Opening this weekend in 27 theatres across Japan is the highlight film of the first Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! TV season, Rikka Takanashi Revision. To promote the film, the director of both the TV series and the film, Tatsuya Ishihara has done various interviews with various publications. One of those publications which focuses on subcultures is bonet. They published an interview in two parts; one prior to the film, which is spoiler free, and one following the film’s release which has spoilers for the film. This post will translate the sections of the interview that were first posted and are safe to read before watching the movie. Linked at the bottom of this post will be the spoiler portion of the interview. Thanks to irrevilent for editing!
“With chuunibyou, I think we could depict a new adolescent love story.”
The TV anime Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! combines the characteristic high quality visuals and cute characters known from Kyoto Animation while using a unique motif known as “chuunibyou,” a period of puberty where one’s self-awareness fluctuates. The story’s characters include former patient Yuuta Togashi, known previously as the Dark Flame Master, the current patient Rikka Takanashi, user of the Wicked Eye, Shinka Nibutani, who holds a grudge against chuunibyou due to her Mori-Summer days, Sanae Dekomori, the user of the Mijnoir Hammer, and Kumin Tsuyuri, an slightly airheaded upperclassman who likes naps and goes about her life at her own pace. This romantic comedy contains parts that’ll make you laugh, cry, as well as battles.
A second season has already been announced, but this movie Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! The Movie: ~Rikka Takanashi Revision~ opens ahead of it today, September 14th, to highlight the first season’s events through the perspective of Rikka. It’ll be shown in 27 theatres.
In order to commemorate the movie’s release, we asked the series’s director, Tatsuya Ishihara, to talk with us.
The power that lies within yourself!
–Before we talk about the movie, would you please introduce the theme of Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! (hereafter Chu2).
Ishihara: The main motif is “chuunibyou” of course. However, the phrase “chuunibyou” has various meanings depending upon the person saying it. For this work, we’ve explained it as “your serious view of yourself mixes with the part of you who dreams like a child causing you to say and act ridiculously.” For past examples, middle schoolers who loved movies with heroic leads would walk out of the theatre and try to bump into people to make them angry and the generation before me would be rebellious against adults. Both of those would be called chuunibyou now.
However, chuunibyou occurs during the time where adolescents have other worries. If we were to depict those in this work, the darker parts would be much stronger. We didn’t think about Chu2 going in that trend though. “Why not use chuunibyou to stress the comedy aspects of a love story?” was our idea from the very start. Our way of handling chuunibyou was to have our delusions being about “someday a power will awaken inside you and you will change the world!” And because of that as well as the boys and girls influenced by manga/anime, I think we were able to make a new adolescent love story for this generation.
–The first half of the TV series detailed chuunibyou in humorous fashion, yet the second half was a heartbreaking story that delved into the difference between delusion and reality.
Ishihara: Chu2 itself is a comedic work, but I think the shifting of the soul as children grow to be adults is beautiful and I thought it’d be nice to depict that. I also remember when I was around the age of chuunibyou constantly doubting myself about special powers. “I have a power inside me… no, I definitely don’t…. But I really do?!” I depicted Rikka’s chuunibyou like that. Usually you’d just have a character pretending to have some power, but near the end of season 1, the gap shook back over to someone saying seriously “you do have a power.” Series composer Junki Hanada and I discussed that scene many times over; I was quite worried by it.
Fly, Incomplete-Winged Angel!
–You depicted the swaying back and forth of Rikka and Yuuta’s story in season 1 until everything was settled. Could you tell us about how season 2 as well as the movie came about from there?
Ishihara: Season 2 was decided first. The movie was decided afterwards. Our company’s producer thought about doing a movie that would depict an episode occurring between seasons 1 and 2, not just a simple highlight movie. New footage would be included. Once he spoke of that, it was green-lit.
–Rikka Takanashi Revision is a very unique title. Could you tell us what you meant by it?
Ishihara: The first impression you get when reading the characters is the embodiment of chuunibyou itself. We instantly decided that the movie would be from Rikka’s point of view, so it fits that perfectly. However, the real title itself had many twists and turns while determining the particulars. From troublesome foreign words to parodies like “Rikka-chan’s Foul Mood” and “Rikka-chan Goes Out,” we had many ideas tossed about. (laughs) After straying around, we finally came to the current title.
–One of the big characteristics of the film is that it re-organizes the events of the TV series through Rikka. The TV series was told through Yuuta’s point of view. As a result, some episodes were mostly trimmed.
Ishihara: They wouldn’t fit into the hour this movie had to re-tell a cour’s story. Re-making the story’s emotional points into that short length was quite difficult. We comprised everything down into the memorable scenes from the TV series. In particular, we put emphasis on enjoyable scenes. In order to make it seem like a fan movie, we chose scenes where the characters were cute, comical parts, and put them beside Rikka and Yuuta’s love story.
Also, to infer this film is from Rikka’s point of view, while there’s no newly drawn animation in the highlight portion, the music was newly made to reflect Rikka’s emotions in those scenes. After all, there were more than a few scenes where Yuuta’s point of view make it a gag while Rikka’s point of view takes it much more seriously. Of course, with the movie being very comical, changing the BGM makes the same scene appear differently than before.
–It’s amazing how the atmosphere has changed in the movie. Incidentally, by emphasizing the comedy aspect, it feels like a taste of what to expect in the second season.
Ishihara: That’s right. The second season emphasizes the comedy nature of the work, so the movie works as an in-between to that feeling. While there’s a few heartbreaking scenes in the new portion, it’s mainly action and comedy.