Friday, 28 March 2014

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! REN - Episode 12 (Completed)

Rikka and Yuuta's "contract" might finally be settled and set in stone now Shichimiya is out of the picture, but it seems that this isn't the end of the matter for Rikka.

After some puzzlement as to why she isn't acting like her usual self around Yuuta, it's Satone who breaks the news to Dekomori and Nibutani - Rikka wants an "enhanced" contract with her boyfriend.  As it turns out, this isn't quite as lewd as some might initially think from its description; in fact, Rikka just wants to advance to kissing Yuuta.

Clearly, this isn't something she can progress to alone, leaving it up to Nibutani to get at least some admittance of what Rikka wants out of her before agreeing to assist her in her quest to kiss Yuuta while ensuring that she doesn't run away at the last moment.  This proves to be easier said than done, as even when Rikka has come out with her desires to Yuuta she still does everything in her power to back out at the last, before circumstances conveniently intervene anyhow.  Not that any of this seems to matter to Yuuta, who is still happy to take things at a glacial pace without a care in the world.

This closing episode of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions' serves up both the best and worst of the series in microcosm - it's occasionally funny and can be sharp with its physical comedy, but what feels like an increasing over-reliance on its "chuunibyou" angle is both irritating and frustrating, and only serves to ensure that its main relationship between Yuuta and Rikka goes nowhere.  For all of the talk of progression, the two of them really haven't moved forward in their lives at all (if anything, they've regressed), ensuring that the already tenuous thread of their relationship feels even harder to believe.  Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions can certainly be funny and deliver entertainment - it's just a shame that it can't do so more often, and that the very core of its premise compromises so much of the story that it wishes to tell.  Cut the delusions out of this series, and it could probably deliver something far more compelling than the marketing tag it saddles itself with in the name of Blu-Ray sales.

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