Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb is the second season of this slice of life romantic comedy from Kyoto Animation. Picking up after the end of the first season, Rikka and Yuta are now in their second year of high school. After a real-estate bungle, Rikka’s apartment was put back up for rent and with Yuta’s parents now in Jakarta on business, Rikka moves in to the Togashi household, and the relationship between the two begins to slowly progress in its own strange way.
After the first season, Rikka is still deeply consumed with her chunibyo delusions of the Wicked Lord Shingan, and Yuta – aka Dark Flame Master – continues to play along from time to time while Rikka sets out on a quest to awaken the Dark Flame Dragon within him by uncovering a series of tokens Yuta buried many years ago. The other members of the Far East Magical Napping Society return – Dekomori, Nibutani and Kumin, and we also meet a new character from Yuta’s past and the one responsible for his past chunibyo ways. Satone Shichimiya, otherwise known as the Magical Devil Girl Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII. Sophia is introduced as something of a wedge between Rikka and Yuta. She knows Yuta’s past and has a fondness for him that often makes Rikka very jealous, but apart from a few later episodes they never really make good use of the love triangle dynamic and she usually ends up being used as a plot device to make Yuta momentarily ignore then chase after Rikka.
This season doesn’t quite have the same depth as the first season did, and it’s not going to hit you in the feels in any major way. That’s not to say it isn’t entertaining, but it lacks the emotional punch of the original episodes as we learned about Rikka and her family. Things between Rikka and Yuta have slipped back to a chunibyo status quo that they never really move on from, despite the overarching theme of the two taking their relationship to the ‘next level’ which in this case, means kissing. The two do have their moments, though, and it’s still fun to watch them bumble through their feelings while their friends help/hinder in their own special ways.
One aspect of this season I quite enjoyed was that we got a significant amount of time devoted to Nibutani and her chunibyo past – The wise Morisummer character she has tried so hard to bury, and her love/hate relationship with Sanae Dekomori. I could quite happily watch an entire series just about those two. They’re responsible for some the funniest and most heartfelt moments in this season.
The animation is, again, superb as you’d expect from KyoAni, and all the backgrounds look fantastic. In particular they’ve ramped up the chunibyo battles into full-blown RPG-esque scenes which look awesome. All in all, if you enjoyed the first season and liked the characters you’re most likely going to have a good time with Heart Throb, but be aware that this season has slipped much more into episodic slice of life comedy compared to the first season’s overarching emotional themes.
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review