Review: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions: Rikka Version (DVD)

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (previously reviewed here) was easily one of the best romantic comedy anime series in recent memory (provided you ignore most of the floundering second season), with a great cast and touching story. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions: Rikka Version takes the first season and promises to retell it through Rikka’s eyes over the space of a 96 minute movie.

It starts off well enough, with a newly animated sequence of Rikka and Yuta’s wedding which descends into absolute chunibyo battle chaos before the premise kicks off in the familiar club room as the deluded Rikka, vessel for Wicked Lord Shingan, begins telling her equally delusional ‘servant’ Dekomori the tale of how her and Yuta got together. And unfortunately this is where it falls apart – Sandwiched between a kickass new opening and the final that provides a bridge between the first and second TV seasons showing how Rikka and Yuta came to be living together is just an unbearably long-slog recap episode. Pick the boring recap episode from any anime, and then make it three times longer. That’s the bulk of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions: Rikka Version.

I’m a little lost as to who exactly this is for – If you’ve already seen the first season then this is just sorta boring. It’s nice to revisit these characters, but after the first new scene it’s pretty tedious – you know all this already. If you’ve never seen the series, this isn’t going to make one goddamn iota of sense. So much of the additional background and story has been excised that large chunks are presented with seemingly no context at all. What’s the deal with Rikka’s family? Why is she suddenly acting like a normal girl instead of a crazy chunibyo? You know if you watched the series, but if you haven’t? Good luck.

It doesn’t really fulfil the promise of retelling the events from her point of view, either. It’s all just bits and pieces cut from the TV series and pasted together to give a whirlwind overview of the relationship as it progressed over the course of the season, and while the primary focus is on scenes with Rikka in them, they’re no more from her point of view than they were in the original season where most everything is presented from Yuta’s perspective.

I’m finding this hard to recommend to anyone, really. In the technical sense it’s as polished and beautiful in all aspects as anything you’d expect to see from Kyoto Animation. But if you’ve watched the series already, leave it at that, or just watch the first and last sections of this that actually add something new. If you haven’t seen the series, as tempting as it might be to sit through a single short movie instead of a full 13 episode series, do that instead, because a majority of this will mean nothing to you. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions really is a great series, but this isn’t the way to watch it.

Radness scale:

A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.

© Torako/Kyoto Animation/Chu-2byo-Production partnership