Annotated Anime: Chuunibyou Ren episode 4


Check out this phone I found!

I think I've spent the past quarter of an hour playing over the new Chuunibyou opening in my head. It's becoming borderline maddening, but it's a pretty great tune so I'm not sure I mind. Anyone that has a problem with turntable magic circles can take it up with me! 

You know, I keep talking about plot and when this season's story arc is going to show up, but I'm starting to feel pretty okay with the slow pace we're currently moving at. Sure, I want something to go down with Shichimiya eventually, but so long as this show stays fun, I don't really mind where we go.

Speaking of fun, we finally have an episode that focuses on arguably the two best characters in this show. Move over Rikka and Yuuta, this is all about Nibutani and her new-found friendship with Dekomori. Wait, what?

While everyone except Dekomori (and possibly Rikka) believes that Nibutani used to be the famous chuunibyou known as 'Mori Summer', we had some rather conclusive proof appear from Shichimiya in the form of an old photo of the two girls together. I mean, come on. Dekomori may have referred to her as the fake Mori Summer since season one, but even she must have known deep down that Nibutani was the real deal. However, this mere photograph transforms Dekomori; her obsession with Mori Summer causes her to actually start being nice to Nibutani. Ho boy! These two are great because of their constant bickering and silly antics, but it's also pretty interesting to see them get on with each other for a change.

It couldn't have come at a better time either, as Nibutani has decided to run for student council president, something she's wanted to do for a while now. While Dekomori had originally decided to try and block Nibutani by embarrassing her in front of other students (which is a real dick move, by the way), she's now actually helping her with the campaign. I think this is a case of being starstruck, except it's meeting with an ex-delusional schoolgirl. Nibutani isn't even using her Mori Summer persona to get her to help, Dekomori is just kind of...doing it?

Perhaps one of the strangest moments I've seen in this show so far (which is quite the statement in itself) was seeing Dekomori getting emotional at 'meeting' Mori Summer. Dekomori's belief that Nibutani couldn't possibly be Mori Summer has been mentioned several times over the course of both seasons, but with this new-found acceptance that they are the same person, it's not too surprising that she would be nervous just by being in her bedroom. Not only that, but when Nibutani actually dons her Mori Summer persona just for her, Dekomori bursts into tears. 

This whole scene is pretty crazy for a few reasons, mainly because of Dekomori's complete trolling behavior around Nibutani in more or less every episode. It's because of this and Nibutani constantly rejecting her own past that makes it so effective. Looking at it from Dekomori's point of view, she's finally met with her idol: the chuunibyou that caused her and Rikka to become chuunibyous themselves. The feeling of meeting this idol, and perhaps the guilt of not believing in her for so long, completely overwhelms her. Hey, you could even say it was heart-warming! 

But you know, Dekomori's head works in mysterious ways. The candidates running for student council president are having their campaign supporters give speeches to the school, and of course Dekomori has got some strange ideas. It seems that her infatuation with Mori Summer is coming back to bite Nibutani, because the speech turns very pro-chuunibyou very quickly. Nibutani has a breakdown, as you might expect, and Dekomori is left absolutely dumbfounded. The odd thing about this is that it wasn't done maliciously, but rather it was a flawed method of showing devotion to Mori Summer. I couldn't help but feel awful for Nibutani though, even if it was just a gag and not something that'll make a difference to the rest of the series.

Do you remember this image from the second Annotated Anime post on the new season of Chuunibyou? You can see there's a stalker at the back with a camera, though she hasn't been called out or mentioned in the show so far. In this episode she appears again, this time in the restaurant peering over some seating (see the picture above). You can tell that she is the same person due to the hair clip she's wearing, but what is she doing? Another chuunibyou? A member of a journalism club that wants to shame them all? Actually, you know what, there's a more important question: Did I miss her in episodes 1 and 3?

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Chris Walden
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