Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb-

Have you ever thought what it would be like to be a wizard? How about an elven warrior possessed with the powers of a Demon Lord? For some of you, the thought may have crossed your mind. Heck, you could head down to the local park every Sunday for a good Live Action Role Play session. For most, it’s just a fantasy – a wonderment that arrives in the brain and leaves just as quickly. But what if you were fixated on the idea of being powerful to such an extent you truly believed it? That’s the central theme to Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb-, an anime from Kyoto Animation.

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb- is the second series in the Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions saga. It continues the story of a group of high schoolers who are convinced they hold magical powers. They must cope with the responsibility of protecting the world, as well as passing their exams and falling in love.

What is Chunibyo?

The anime centres around the condition known as Chunibyo. It’s common among people of an impressionable age. They are drawn to the mystical world, convinced that they are mages, witches and all sorts of other-worldly beings sent to protect (or destroy) the world. Chunibyo goes on step further than table-top roleplaying such as Dungeons and Dragons. These people live their alter egos.

Yuta is one such boy. His constant battle between fitting in and being what he wants to be, an alter ego known as the Dark Flame Master, has caused him many headaches, and having to endure many embarrassing situations. This isn’t helped by the cute Rikka Takanashi, a girl in his class that he has fallen for. She encourages Chunibyo at every opportunity and has even set up a club where the two of them can be with others under the same delusions.

The story

As with any young, budding relationship Yuta and Rikka set upon navigating the minefield that is first love. Emotions and hormones are all over the place, which leads to some truly awkward and funny moments. From the couple living together in secret, to an old admirer returning to split the pair up.

Each one of the 12 episodes of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb- is funny throughout. It’s an anime that straddles the line of sanity and top level crazy. There are a few moments when you question the reality of what happened. Unfortunately, this is a distraction to the biggest problem of the series – the overall story.

The constant back and forth romance between Yuta and Rikka and is dragged through the series at a snail’s pace. Normally this would be the story that is bubbling as a larger plot develops, but as it is the primary focus for Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, it does feel overstretched.

The comedy and wacky secondary characters helps to break up the monotony of the main point of the series. This does feels like an underwhelming love story that should have taken half the time to conclude.

Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb- Conclusion

On balance, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb- is a mixed bag. It has great characters, and is as bonkers as auntie Margaret on the sherry. There are moments you question what you’ve just seen, and times when you go with it and roar with laughter. The blu-ray presentation is as crisp as you want and you don’t have to have seen the first series to understand everything.

The only thing that pulls the story down is the main plot. It moves too slowly to grab your attention and by the end of the series there are no twists and turns for you to guess. Since the insanity is on overload, it does help soften the blow.

3 (out of 5)
Pros
  • Great Characters
  • Loads of funny/Awkward moments
  • True WTF situations
Cons
  • The romance between Yuta & Rikka
Summary
Aside from the main plot, Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb- ticks a lot of boxes, you don't even need to have seen the first series. But the slow story does hold it back.

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