With the latest news incoming for Kyoto Animation’s latest show Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!, I thought it would be nice to make a little info post to tell people what it’s about.
1. The title
The term “chuunibyou” (中二病) was a slang term originally used to refer to the things middle schoolers did. It morphed into a term that now is used to mean someone who doesn’t accept reality, but instead pretends they are not who they really are. In this story, it means that characters think they have superpowers and are meant to save the world. Obviously, they don’t really have superpowers, but they are deluded into thinking they really do have them. I’ve personally translated the title as She has Chuunibyou, But I Want to Love her!, but others may feel differently. There’s a gag later on that needs the specific phrase “chuunibyou” and so it couldn’t be translated and keep that gag as-is.
2. The characters
Chuunibyou (or the hashtag #chu2koi) is told from the perspective of Yuuta Togashi, a first year high schooler who previously suffered from chuunibyou. He’s enrolled in the same class as Rikka Takanashi. One day, it’s revealed to him that they are bound by a contract. Other characters from their class, such as Makoto Isshiki (Yuuta’s pal) and the class rep Shinka Nibutani, also play a role in the story. There’s others to be revealed, but I won’t spoil anything past that.
3. Why Chuunibyou?
That’s the real question, isn’t it? Why would Kyoto Animation choose to animate this work over something like Little Busters!, Haruhi Suzumiya, or Full Metal Panic!? In 2010, Chuunibyou won an encouragement award from the Kyoto Animation Awards in the light novel category. They chose to publish the manuscript (after editing) in July 2011. Last December, the second volume was published and this anime adaptation was announced. No news has been revealed for a third volume as of now.
KyoAni (their Board of Directors more specifically) probably decided to animate Chuunibyou in either 2010 or 2011 as a way to advertise their KA Esuma line of light novels. It’s a smart business decision as their line is only sold via their online store, shops, and select bookstores. Hopefully the publicity will sell a lot of novels/merchandise/discs. We do not know the composition of the production committee yet, so we don’t know who else is funding this risk.
4. How are the novels ? (Will the anime be good?)
Personally, I enjoyed reading the story and translating it. The biggest problem that I have is that the story isn’t written very well. It’s difficult to go back and edit, even if you’re reading it for the first time. Conversely, I felt there were really strong portions of the story that will be amazing to see adapted. With Ishihara overseeing everything and the series composer from Steins;Gate (Jukki Hanada) assisting, I believe the weaknesses from the prose will be masked by the anime staff. I’ve seen it called a homage to the Haruhi Suzumiya series, but that’s stretching it. In the same sense, I could see Haruhi‘s supervisor/director doing well with this work. It suits his strong points as an animator. Hanada helped craft the wonderful Rintarou Okebe in last year’s Steins;Gate, so you don’t have to worry about the humor/chuunibyou aspect. The anime staff is very solid and will do their best to make this work good.
5. What should we expect?
I’ve prepared a general preview of the story that puts it all together
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! is a romantic comedy featuring Yuuta Togashi and Rikka Takanashi. Yuuta previously suffered from chuunibyou, or “8th grade sickness,” a disorder where the patient believes they have superpowers and pretends to save the world. During his final year in middle school, he focused on studying and was cured. Now in his first year of high school, he finds himself entered into a contract with Rikka, an infected chuunibyou patient. How will the former patient and the infected patient co-exist?
You’ll laugh, you’ll root for the two to get together, and you’ll be entertained (I hope). It’s nothing spectacular, but the interactions between the characters are really well-done. At minimum, you can laugh at Yuuta’s old self as he’s embarrassed.
We don’t know when this series will air on TV, but given that we’re seeing articles in Newtype and the official website is up, I’d expect it to air this Fall. There’s only two novels, so it’s likely going to be between 12-13 episodes. Anything longer would need a lot of anime-original material. More news will come soon. The website is holding a countdown. Who knows what’ll happen when it hits zero!
If anyone has any non-spoiler related questions, feel free to ask in the comments or tweet me. I’ll try to answer anything that may be asked without spoiling the story.
(Images are from the Kyoto Animation Encouragement section for Chuunibyou except the last one which is the current image/background on the anime website)