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Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions! Rikka Version Anime DVD/BD Review

5 min read

Chuni buffoonery: Compressed Edition

What They Say:
She may be mad, she may be crazy, but are you ready for HER side of the story?

It’s just so not fair! Sure, Rikka may be a “chunibyo” afflicted with a state where she’s convinced that she has hidden powers. Maybe she DOES think she has an evil eye that always has to be covered with a patch. But that doesn’t mean that what she believes isn’t real to her, and Rikka knows in her twisted little heart that Yuta Togashi is much more than just another boy. So why is he always pulling away? At long last, here’s the chance to see the world through Rikka’s eyes (or eye, technically, since the evil one is usually covered). Armed with your trusted parasol, you’ll deal with evil high priestess sisters, enchanted animals, and the scariest thing of all, going literally boy crazy in Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions!: Rikka Version!

The Review:
Audio for the Japanese and English versions of the movie are in 5.1, though considering the subject matter itself, there isn’t much to discuss that benefits from this. While Rikka is notorious for imagining ridiculous over-the-top fight scenes, a majority of the movie is still firmly set in reality. Regardless, the occasional explosions and the like do sound nice, though there is little difference in volume between those and the more dialogue-heavy scenes.

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

Like the audio, while the video itself is crisp, but nothing ever stands out to the point that would warrant watching this movie in high def over standard def. This is only further underlined by the fact that more than half of the movie consists of clips from the original series. Either way, the video itself is up to the standards of Kyoto Animation Studio, especially when it comes to creating an atmospheric, yet lonely world for Rikka to inhabit.

Packaging is in a standard Blu Ray case, with space for the DVD and Blu Ray discs on each inner-side. It’s par for the course for these types of releases, but a nitpick I have with this particular case is that the main section—the right side of the casing has the DVD version of the movie, while the BD is on the left side. Furthermore, the BD is covered up with an insert card survey. To have the disc with the superior audio/video quality on it given lesser priority is such an odd move, but you can always swap the discs yourself, so no harm, no foul.

Menus for both the DVD and Blu Ray version have static backgrounds with menu options clearly displayed to one side (DVD has them on the left, while the BD on the right). While both menus are essentially the same, it is odd to note that both use a different static image as its background, but the same music.

Besides the textless opening and ending credits which have become the norm as anime extras, this set also includes a 6 minute short of Yuuta’s sister recounting a time when Yuuta was at the peak of his chunibyo behavior. As brief as it is, it encapsulates the spirit of the original series (arguably even more so than the movie itself), plus is available both subbed and dubbed.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Compilation movies are almost always guaranteed to be lesser than the series they’re summarizing in the first place, and Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions!: Rikka Version is no exception. The movie itself, both packaging and otherwise, really drive home the point that this movie retells the story of the anime exclusively from Rikka’s perspective, but it’s because of such that the movie comes off as a cluttered, haphazard mess.

What makes the original Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions! work is that the series is told from Yuuta’s perspective—a former chunibyo (quick recap: someone too old to be acting like a cringey, delusion-y dork in public) trying to reclaim his normalcy now that he’s in high school. Soon enough, however, he crosses paths with Rikka—a neighbor and classmate who is nothing but the embodiment of a chunibyo. It’s in their odd-couple misadventures through high school that a relationship is eventually formed, and the series delves into the heart of what makes being a chunibyo a blessing and a curse in the first place. In terms of recent anime, it remains a worthwhile watch, full of slapstick-y yet highly observant insights into high school life.

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

And while the premise itself is something that should be easily condensed within the confines of a movie-length feature, it’s the insistence of sticking to a clip show format that kills any of those prospects entirely. Since the movie sticks to the shtick of the story being told through Rikka’s perspective, we never get a layman’s view of her world. As such, we’re stuck with almost nothing but Rikka’s delusions without any real drama or narrative formed as to why they’re necessarily bad or good to begin with. This results in scenes jumping from place to place with no real context for things like the drama with Rikka’s family, why Nibutani still attends their oddball school club, among other details that serve as the transitions between plot points both major and minor.

You end up with a movie-length clip show, sandwiched by around 20 minutes total of new footage. Admittedly, seeing the Chunibyo group together after the events of the first season is heartwarming, as the cast has now grown to appreciate rather than tolerate each other, but it still doesn’t amount to much. The same goes for the post-credits scene hyping season 2 as well as the English dub, which is the latest in Sentai Filmworks’ awkward, uninspired dubs. It’s choppily made, with little to no redeeming values.

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

In Summary:
Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions!: Rikka Version is what you would expect from a compilation movie. Pacing and overall story is a muddled mess composed primarily of clip show footage that you would only understand if you saw the original series. And while the opening and ending offer some new footage, as well as an after-credits scene hyping the second season of the series, it isn’t anything worthwhile.

Japanese Previews, My Brother 2 Short, Clean Opening and Closing Animations

Content Grade: C
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: October 17, 2017
MSRP: $39.98
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1920x1080p High Definition (HD Native)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 HD Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Samsung UHD 6700 64” Curved Smart TV, Sony Blu-ray player BDP-S6500 via HDMI set to 1080p

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