Annotated Anime: Chuunibyou Ren episode 5 and 6


Sorry, KyoAni

It seems my worry that this show would be unnecessary may been legitimate, as we're now halfway through the new season with nothing to show for it. Sure, there's been some relationship business with Rikka and having her finally step out of her shell, but perhaps it was too tall an order to have a plot that would rival that of the first season.

But even though I'm saying all of this, I'm pretty certain that this show is going somewhere. Eventually. But you know, I think I'm about done waiting. Chu2Koi Ren has been enjoyable at times, but without any substantial plot moving things along, this may as well be a third season of K-On!. At least, that's how it feels to me, and it's definitely not what I signed up for. 

Anyway, let's focus on the good bits! 

In episode five, we see the club having to defend themselves from the student council, needing to prove that they are legitimate and aren't just goofing around when the room could be put to better use. Not wanting to be found out, they enter...a sleeping contest? I had no idea these existed (actually, I still don't know if they exist) but sign me up. That is, sign me up for the club; don't sign me up for an episode on napping when we could just be progressing the plot. You know, the plot. Ah well, at least it means we get to see more of Kumin, which is fine by me. The K-On! reject is pretty adorable when she's sleepy.

But there was a point in this episode where I thought we were going places. While preparing for the sleeping contest by staying up all night, we get to see Shichimiya join in for a little bit. We even get to see Rikka getting jealous when she's singing and dancing with Yuuta. Are we heading towards the inevitable Rikka explosion? We then skip to the morning, where everyone wakes up to find Shichimiya has snuggled up to Yuuta while sleeping, and when she wakes up, she does that nose rubbing thing with him. Adorable, but also pole-vaulting right over the boundary of what's acceptable. What does Rikka do? Nothing, and Shichimiya leaves.

Scooting forward to episode six, we join Rikka, Yuuta and Nibutani on a school trip episode. Going away from home with a romantic couple in the ranks is just an open target for the other kids' teasing, and even Rikka and Yuuta are not exempt from some playful pestering. It also makes the state of their relationship painfully obvious, with the unlikely partners shying away from even the mere mention of romance. It's nice to see Nibutani so concerned about them, even if her slightly tsundere personality means she'd never admit to it. 

The highlight of the episodes comes towards the end. No, not the close encounter under the sheets between Rikka and Yuuta that results in your typical cliché interruption before their lips meet, but when he sees her back to her room. Sure, I bet it melted a few hearts when Rikka runs back and pecks Yuuta on the cheek, but what's great about it is how it shows she is adapting to their relationship, slowly but surely. Rikka wants this relationship to work more than anyone, but she just doesn't know how to go about it. This simple peck on the cheek of Yuuta, while in the presence of a friend, is enough to clearly show her feelings for him.

Like I said, this new season has its moments; the problem is that they are few and far between, with each episode so far feeling like filler. Even then, filler for what? There's no meaningful progression, and new girl Shichimiya, who could be the one to shake things up, is just sitting idly by. The first season of this show concluded with a powerful ending; the conclusion to a plot that developed across the whole season. A sequel was always going to be tough to design, but romance tips with Rikka and Yuuta is not what it should have been. 

I have no further interest in covering this show. Sorry, KyoAni.

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Chris Walden
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