I might about 3 months late to the party, but I sure as hell enjoyed this ride. To sidetrack a bit, the season of Winter has been laden with endings that either felt rushed or merely an “OK”. There wasn’t chills to be had, there was no “I NEED MORE NOW THIS INSTANT” feels. This episode was everything but the above. To be frank, while I was expecting nothing less than a satisfying ending (I did remain unspoiled about what exactly happened throughout all this time), I wasn’t expecting it to be this good. Everything about this episode was beautifully executed. Even the animation itself looks visually stunning (just look at them screen-caps). Let’s save the praises for later, so as to go into what actually made this finale a masterpiece.
Why hello there gorgeous, have we met somewhere before?
All along, I consider Chuunibyou be primarily a lighthearted slice-of-life comedy series although there is also slight romance elements, which I feel isn’t their main strengths. From what I can recall, episode 11 took a drastic turn in terms of direction, abandoning the usual comedic antics and instead dialing up on the drama notch. While I could certainly use some drama from time to time, it just feels a little out-of-place for a show like Chuunibyou.
Going back to one’s roots, Chuunibyou does what Chuunibyou does best. My Dekomori can’t simply be this normal! On the other hand, this isn’t all too bad after all. After ditching her chuunibyou behavior, I gotta admit that this version of Dekomori that I wouldn’t mind seeing more of compared to her delusional counterpart.
While that was enough to put a slight grin on my face, watching Kumin attempting to pass off as Rikka has to be icing on top of the cake. I have to question though: “How in the world is she that impressive at impersonating Rikka?!” Her altered voice was so similar to Rikka that I kinda suspect that Rikka’s VA actually spoke those lines, which if you think about it, is highly unlikely. Not only that, her mannerisms and way of speech is exactly that of Rikka’s. For someone who is virtually either seen sleeping or being air-headed otherwise for the entire series, this hidden side of Kumin is one that fascinates me. Even though Kumin is one helluva enigmatic character, I find it odd that she is suddenly doing this out of her own accord. I get that she’s trying to bring Yuuta and Rikka back together subtly, but out of all possibilities, this? It just doesn’t feel very..logical if you ask me.
Sometimes all we need is that little push
After finding out Rikka has packed up and moved away for the greater good. It is all but over for Yuuta, in his quest to bring Rikka back to the dark side. But as always, all hope isn’t lost. The darkest hour is the one before dawn, and Yuuta finds the resolve he needed – through a mail written by his past self. I have to admit this was an ingenious move, one that his past self foresaw, one that his present self couldn’t have foreseen. What matters wasn’t so much so about the contents of the letter itself, but it was the little push that Yuuta needed in order to move forward.
When we look back at our pasts, we often reminiscence about the silly stuff we did when we were younger. We were foolish back then, but at the same time also more reckless (in a slightly positive manner). This was exactly the same case for Yuuta, as recklessness and the willpower to do so was all he needed in order to man up and save the damsel in distress.
Eighth-grade syndrome is not a disease, but a cure
While the climax wasn’t as solemn compared to the previous installment, it was still pretty dramatic in its own way. From the trespassing, to the moment of embrace to the eloping in the middle of the night (mind you they’re still high school kids). Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed them all and the best was yet to come.
Throughout the whole series the term “unseen horizon” has been thrown around countless times, but we’ve never actually seen it, not till now. The beautiful thing about it (the unseen horizon) is that while it might not exist physically in reality, it exists in our hearts and minds. This was the message Chuunibyou was trying to get across, at leas that is how I feel.
The epilogue really drove home the moral of the story – to be true to yourself. Eighth-grade syndrome or whatever, we all have our dark pasts, moments that we’re ashamed. But guess what, they are all pieces that make you, you. Scars remind us that the past is real, and it is those very scars they make us who we are today. There is nothing we can do but to accept our inner-selves. I can tell you from first hand experience that it is painful to deny the other unseen half of you, just for the sake of appearing “normal” to the rest of the world. Everyone is special, in their own unique ways. So learn to embrace and love yourself wholeheartedly. Dare to dream, dare to live.
Retrospectively speaking, I listed Chuunibyou as one of my top 5 favourites of 2012 – this despite being 2 episodes behind. The bigger irony is that out of all 12 episodes, the final two have the largest impact on the series, positively speaking. I’m really glad that I didn’t give up blogging this series despite me hitting a slump towards the end. While I know that due to the lateness of this post it may not matter all too much now in terms of freshness, I still had a blast watching Chuunibyou. Not only did Chuunibyou excel in the animation department, the VAs did a commendable job at bringing their respective characters to life. The MVP deserves to be awarded to Dekomori’s seiyuu definitely. Even the writing in itself wasn’t too sappy or cheesy as the staff managed to hit all the right notes with them – for my tastes of course.
Speaking from the future, the great news is that there will be a season 2! Well, I knew about it beforehand, not that it really mattered either way. Chuunibyou is definitely a recommended watch from me, regardless of whether you’re a casual, or a non-anime watcher. It’s that justified, in my opinion, especially after the strong conclusion it displayed. Long live KyoAni!