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Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Take On Me Blu-ray Anime Review

8 min read

The enabling continues.

What They Say:
Yuta and Rikka may have finally started to come to terms with the various delusions that have run their lives, but as their relationship becomes progressively more real, their development as a couple seems to be increasingly in danger of stalling out! When your relationship is partially the result of a series of fantasies, what can reality serve up that’s equal to the make-believe?

Rikka’s sister decides that she’s going to move to Italy and take Rikka with her, and the solution that Rikka and Yuta decide on is both improbably logical and unrealistically practical: They’re going to elope! For real! Get ready for the ultimate fantasy road trip as our two young would-be lovers take off a whirlwind tour of the real Japan in Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Take On Me-

The Review:
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language as well as the newly created English language adaptation, both of which are 5.1 encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The show is essentially a high school series with a couple of fantastical elements thrown in for good measure that lets it go big a few times. But for the most part it’s all about the dialogue based aspects of it, which is handled well across the forward soundstage. With a decent little ensemble cast to work with, the series moves effortlessly between parties to provide a solid narrative that has some good placement and depth in numerous scenes to give it a little extra impact. When it does the bigger scenes, it definitely hits things better there, but since it’s all supposed to really stand out as it’s not exactly real, it achieves its goal well. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally airing in 2018, the transfer for this feature film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The release also comes with a standard definition DVD. With animation from Kyoto Animation, the film has a very strong visual design with some really beautifully animated sequences, great detail throughout and the kind of color layering to it that just elevates it to a whole other level that allows it to stand out. The TV show had a strong look to it and this takes it and ups it a couple of notches will still retaining the same overall feeling, just with a richer look and more detail. The transfer for this brings all of it to life with great pop and vibrancy, making it pretty much a joy to watch with smooth, clean colors with no breakup issues throughout it. The detail in the backgrounds and character designs is really nicely done as well and with the show pretty much free of problems, it makes for a great viewing experience.

The packaging for this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case that holds the two discs from the different formats. The front cover has a strip along the top confirming the combo release while the artwork uses the main key visual for the film that was used as a poster and for other promotion. It’s a good piece overall as it features most of the main cast together with some good colors and a lot of variety though it has the simplicity of being set in front of clouds and nothing that really defines what it is in terms of story. The back cover goes for the angular look with a section of shots from the film along the top and another one angling down. In between we get the summary of the premise and a look at the extras as it uses white, pink, and blue in a good way here. The production credits are straightforward and the technical grid breaks out both formats cleanly and clearly. No show related inserts are included, though it looks like a film sample is inside, and we don’t get anything on the reverse side of the cover.

The menu design for this release is pretty nice as we get a great wedding image presented here that has everyone in attendance. With them dressed up a bit and set against a really vibrant blue sky and the sea, it looks fantastic even before adding in the cherry blossoms aspect of it to give it the feeling of movement and additional color. The navigation is kept to the right where it has some good color choices and layering to it where we get the breakdown of episodes by number and title. The layout is easy to navigate and submenus load quickly and easily during the main menu and while working it as the pop-up menu.

The extras for this release have some familiar pieces to it with the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences as well as the Japanese promos for its theatrical release. We also get the three kotatsu extras where we get five-minute segments showing the gang under the kotatsu engaging in different activities, including contacting the spirits from beyond. They’re cute and amusing and provide for a little additional fun after the film is over.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the light novels running between 2011 and 2017 while spawning to TV anime series in 2012 and another in 2014, a feature film landed in 2018. The property has plenty of fans and getting a chance to hit the theatrical side was certainly appealing for Kyoto Animation. For this project, the main staff returned to animate it so there’s easy continuity visually between the previous projects and this one while the main cast also returned for the adventure. It’s been about three years since I last saw anything from this property so I admit it took a few minutes to reconnect with it and what it wanted to be, with its focus on Yuta and Rikka and the whole chunibyo concept that the property plays with.

With the film, we essentially get a fun little extended romp with the cast as a whole but with a primary focus on Rikka and Yuta. The kids are now third years and that’s getting to be a problem with how Rikka is and it’s only going to get worse because her sister Toka wants to bring Rikka to Italy permanently where she’s settled herself and is about to get married. There’s a lot of concern on the adult side about how Rikka is still involved in all her delusions but Yuta is quietly adamant that he’s doing the right thing but letting her come to grips with it in her own way rather than trying to force her from it. The problem is that Yuta doesn’t seem to do much to really nudge her in this regard and that’s allowing Rikka to become further and further entrenched in this fantasy.

What this ends up turning into involves the pair basically going on the run to avoid Toka taking Rikka back to Italy. There’s some fun in some of the other girls giving chase to them because Rikka’s phone is being tracked by Toka but they figure that out fairly quickly in the grand scheme of things. Figuring it out when getting booted from going into a love hotel just leaves lots of questions for everyone else that didn’t see what happened, but for Yuta and Rika they see everyone chasing them there and that pushes them to flee further, moving from Tokyo to Hokkaido and exploring different places along the way. What the film tries to do is to show some of the dynamic between the two and how good they are for each other in their own way, and perhaps to show a little break in what Rikka is going through before leaning back into it because, shock of shock, that’s the person that Yuta fell in love with.

I’m sure you can pull some positive messages out of this in terms of acceptance and all for people and their quirks but I imagine it’ll be fairly divisive with how people feel about these “eighth grade delusions” that Rikka suffers from. I can totally understand the case from both sides when you really get down to it but looking at it from a parently point of view it’s easy to understand why Toka does what she does as there’s a great deal of concern about how well Rikka would function in society. Especially now that she’s a third year and is still basically the same as when we first met her. I do like how the film handles the supporting cast in trying to do the right thing, balancing caring for Rikka and her issues while also dealing with the way that Yuta needs to step up and admit his feelings for her. They all want their friends to be happy but there’s that background concern about Rikka as well.

In Summary:
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions is a fun little property overall and getting a bit more of it through this feature film is like giving a love letter to the fans. Take On Me puts its focus squarely on the two leads while the rest of the cast really does serve in a great supporting way. I’m really conflicted about what Yuta does here because I’m viewing it through the lens of a parent rather than a teenage romantic as I can understand where Yuta is coming from. The time the two spend together as they travel is definitely a lot of fun and both of them handle it well but I also like what we see of Toka and the rest with their various little subplots that leads to a great sequence in Italy. Sentai put together a solid release here with a really clean and appealing transfer, a solid dub, and some welcome extras to give it a bit more fun.

Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Japanese Promo Video, Kotatsu Photo Session Shorts, Clean Opening Animation, and Clean Closing Animation

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

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: November 20th, 2018
MSRP: $39.98
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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