After a stellar first season, a pretty okay second season and a baffingly pointless recap movie, Love, Chunbyo and Other Delusions is back for one final hurrah in the form of Take On Me, a second theatrical feature that brings the story of The Wicked Lord Shingan and Dark Flame Master, aka third-year high-school students and awkward couple Rikka Takanashi and Yuta Togashi, to a close.
Rikka and Yuta have been together for a while now, both living under the same roof, but aside from occasional hand-holding their relationship still hasn’t progressed beyond one single kiss, much to the disbelief of fellow club members Nibutani and Kumin. Rikka has flubbed her exams, and after doing make-up classes has just barely scraped in to her final year of high school and her hopes of following Yuta to college with her lacklustre test scores are slim. Meanwhile, Rikka’s elder sister Toka is getting her career on track and declares her intention to return to Italy and take Rikka with her. Yuta assumes this will just be for spring break and the trip will do Rikka some good, but when the two return home and find movers clearing out all of Rikka’s things it’s apparent that with Rikka’s academic future in question Toka has a more permanent move in mind for her.
So, with the help of fellow Far East Magical Napping Society club members Dekomori, Nibutani, Kumin along with Satone Shichimiya, the pair hatch a plan to elope and take off across Japan to avoid Toka’s clutches. Not to be outdone, the ever resourceful Toka blackmails Dekomori and Nibutani, who now form the schools student council and have had their fair share of easily misconstrued and exploitable accidents with each other which would undoubtedly be cause for scandal if someone where to post them online, into chasing our two lovebirds across the country to apprehend them via smartphone tracking.
As Yuta and Rikka make their way across the country, stopping off in Kyoto, Tokyo and Hokkaido among other stops, sometimes a step ahead of Dekomori, Nibutani and Toka, sometimes not, the two have some serious alone time to come to terms with their relationship and future together and particularly for Rikka, what falling more and more in love with Yuta means for her personality and identity, which is still thoroughly wrapped up in the world of magic and make believe as part of her chunibyo ways but which she feels slipping away as the two get closer and on the opposite side, what Rikka’s personality and behaviour means to the mostly reformed chunibyo Yuta.
As ever, being a Kyoto Animation production the animation, soundtrack and backgrounds are all beautifully done with impeccable attention to detail, and eagle-eyed viewers will spot some easter eggs from other KyoAni series in the background along the way. With the awful events at the studio still very fresh it was a great reminder of just how great they are at what they do and I hope that in time the KyoAni can recover and keep dropping great animated series and movies for many more years to come.
Take on Me is a very fun and heartfelt ending to Rikka and Yuta’s story of awkward high school romance. The cat-and-mouse road trip setting provides a great motivation for all the characters and keeps the movie moving at a good pace, with the 94 minute run time never feeling slow or padded, and Dekomori and Nibutani bring plenty of laughs balancing Rikka and Yuta’s soul-searching sequences nicely. It’s a little sad to say goodbye to these characters at long last, but Take on Me provides a fun conclusion that gets back to the level of feels the first season delivered while the theatrical format means it never feels bogged down like some parts the second season.
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.