28 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai episode 1 – A Wild Porygon appearargharghargh

Between the cold open to From the New World, where shaky cam and blurring vision caused my eyes to start watering, to Chuunibyou’s seizure inducing OP, it hasn’t been a great season for my eyesight. It’s not that the lights in Chuu2 are strobe-like either. There’s just something about the relentless swapping from one side of the screen to another and each picture being replaced by blank white that causes massive white blocks on my vision. Plus making my eyes swing too and fro across the screen makes me dizzy. Combine that with the blurry vision and shaky cam of From the New World, and basically what I’m saying is my eyes have fallen out.

The thing that came to my mind watching the lead girl with her firm belief in her Chuunibyou was that otherkin stuff that’s so popular on tumblr. The general idea of otherkin is they don’t identify as a human, but instead as a cat or a dragon or a sea cucumber or whatever. They’re incredibly easy to make fun of, what with ridiculous statements like “that feel when you can’t see your tail”, but for whatever reason I’ve never really been inclined to do so. Seems a bit unfair to mock those who feel uncomfortable with who they are. OK maybe it’s a bit silly that they decide the reason that they don’t feel comfortable with who they are is because they are actually a giraffe, but they aren’t really being a menace to anyone.

Anyway, Chuunibyou reminded me of that. The character feels uncomfortable with their normality compared to the fantastical stories they read, so they imitate those stories and convince themselves that they too are cool awesome badass heroes. What I was expecting to be the logical story conclusion from this was the same kind that Denpa Onna did. The delusions the girl has are damaging her life and the story is about her slow recovery to relative normality.

But then Chuunibyou threw me a curveball at the end by revealing that the story won’t be about that at all. It’s instead about the joy of imagination and the rather depressing fact that we abandon these wild fantasies because we want to be boring old normal. Which wasn’t really a curveball in the first place. More a regular old fastball that I didn’t swing for because yeah I’m pretending I know baseball. Unlike Denpa Onna, this isn’t actually having any negative effects on her life. At least, from the first episode there’s not. I’m guessing she probably does have some issues, and the show becomes a quest to find a balance between the fantastical imagination and the fitting in with normal life that leads to a greater understanding, more enjoyment in their life, possibly a budding romance blah de blah de blah.

Something that does bug me is how checklisty it is. It’s about a normal dude moving to a new school where he meets a pervy sidekick (who, totally random aside, is black! OK a very very very light shade of black, but it caught me by surprise. Making a wild guess, maybe his parent, or one of his parents, is Thai or Malay or something. It probably will be never brought up, and maybe he’s not actually mixed race and just happened to spend his summer holidays on a beach while not wearing enough sunscreen, but it was still refreshing to get a dark-skinned character who isn’t this racial stereotype and is just a dude in school). The pervy sidekick them comments on the attractiveness of the girls in the class, particularly the year rep who the main character has his eyes on. But the OH SNAP in walks the crazy girl and his life is turned upside down. On their own there’s nothing particularly wrong with any of these points, but it’s annoying when it so brazenly follows the exact same set up so many of these stories do.

It’s also by KyoAni, so obviously it’s moe as fuck, to the point that it’s actually a bit frightening. KyoAni have gotten this moe stuff down to an exact science. It’s something in how the characters move. You know that sort of spastic lopsided run that children under the age of 3 have? The one where you stop and watch them because they’re so unbalanced that you just know they’re going to faceplant the pavement any moment? The way the characters move in Chuunibyou have that quality to them. I don’t mind it though, because it fits in quite nicely with the story. The lead girls’ attempts to be all badass keep being undermined by her constantly being adowabubble. Plus, everyone is moe. The guys have these cutesy pudgy faces. The mum pulls silly frowns. It’s fascinating to watch in an anthropological sense if you just pretend everything takes place on the Planet Moe.

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  1. Posted October 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Scamp is an otherkin.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Scamp IS my otherkin

      • Posted October 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

        lol why in the hell did you bold “is” rather than “my”?

      • Scamp
        Posted October 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure. I couldn’t make my mind up which would be better to bold. It’s probably because I’m not human and therefore can’t respond to comments properly. Instead I’m just going to respond to every single other comment on this post as an animal

    • Posted October 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Scamp’s otherkin is Scamp animated by KyoAni. It’s him, but moe, living in the moeverse.

      • Scamp
        Posted October 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink


      • LordOmnit
        Posted October 6, 2012 at 12:25 am | Permalink

        Scamp is moekin?

  2. Nebulous
    Posted October 4, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    “Generic male lead has high school girl with super powers fall into his lap”, only it’s all in her head! OK, it wasn’t that bad, but I’m certain it’ll head downhill from here, there’s too many girls, and anime writers don’t know how to write women at all.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink


  3. Erif
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Gotta say, I’m surprised you liked this more than Hyouka? Or perhaps it just seems like you like this from the apparent lack of Scamp-rant.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink


  4. abc
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    The best moment of the first episode was the walk onto the train. Nothing else compared.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink


  5. Billish
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    My animal spirit is represented in my petronus.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink


      • Billish
        Posted October 6, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        wrong. wrong.

  6. eternia
    Posted October 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    All KyoAni stories took place in the same moe universe. They have yet to surpass the 1% difference. Yuuta’s mom is such a hottie. I can’t help but think of Furukawa Nagisa’s mom.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink


  7. Chipp12
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    > The pervy sidekick them comments on the attractiveness of the girls in the class, particularly the year rep who the main character has his eyes on.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink


  8. Posted October 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    You have a tumblr?

    • Scamp
      Posted October 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      ewww no

      I mean errr


  9. DarkEnergy
    Posted October 8, 2012 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Your description of chuunibyou reminds me of the classic Spanish novel Don Quixote. The main character, Don Quixote (even though that isn’t even his real name), goes on adventures imagining that he is the most nobel and chivalrous of all knights-errant. It’s a hilarious story and considered to be the greatest book of all time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_100_Best_Books_of_All_Time). I’m reading it, but I’m only 27 chapters in so far.

    Also, to Scamp: Quack quack QUACK!

    • Scamp
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink


  10. Erif
    Posted October 11, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    hi i’m other kin and coming out as otherkin has been one of the hardest moments of my reincarnated life

    More seriously, I finally watched and I must say I was quite disappointed, especially coming from the success of Hyouka. People claim that the first episode of HYOUKA was generic and typical of KyoAni, it was miles better than this. This premise in itself is charming, and I quite liked some of the earlier moments of the episode (especially the moments when it’d flashback to the Dark Mage clip, I found that hilarious), but it just got more and more banal as the minutes passed. As you said, it felt very, VERY check-listy, in more moments than you mentioned, and the Chuunibyou chick bored me to tears with her endless ranting. There was just nothing funny or amusing about her or her interactions with the MC. Of course, it looks great, and I always like to see what direction KyoAni decides to take it’s art style, but even that was not up to snuff with Hyouka. Hyouka looked great, but it also had this amazing stylistic flair, and you could tell that it was in the hands of a very capable director/animator.

    Also, it looks like this is going to be a fucking harem. The chances of me watching this just keep getting smaller.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      I’ve run out of animal noises

  11. Cirith
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I must say I liked the lite number 3. Why did he stop being the dark flame master, he was much more entertaining then.

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