Let’s face it, kids do dumb things. So much of the magic of youth is that we spend our time being idiots and learning from our mistakes. At some points in childhood we do this with games, and at other points we call it dating. It all seems very silly in hindsight but when we’re living in that moment we can imagine precious little of more importance. If I were to write about a time of precocious flights of fancy, bold statements, wild insecurities, and rampaging imaginations would I be describing chuunibyou or puberty?
In my last post about Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren I intended to cover the series up to that point, after all the first episode is as much of a recap as we’re going to get. The story has moved on. It is no longer about clinging to childhood. Instead, our cast is trying to decide how they are going to grow up. For some it is through romance; others take on new responsibilities; Kumin occasionally stays awake.
Anime doesn’t get enough credit for properly capturing the inanity of pubescent children. We often watch these stories through an incredulous lens. Either we’ve forgotten how dumb we were as teenagers, or perhaps we are watching as teenagers and wish to believe we’re better. The odds are against us, but it’s okay because that means everyone else goes through it. You’re never really alone.
When I think back on those years almost all of the dumbest and most embarrassing moments that come to mind were the result of some attempt to interact with the opposite sex. In the early days even the most obvious signs of interest sailed clear over my head. Later as I was figuring out how to share my life with another, there were endless fits and starts. The seeds of love grow awkwardly.
My experience with the relationships of my youth had two recurring patterns. The first was that unbridled passion would eventually give way to the realization that our relationship was—or perhaps we were—inherently flawed. The second, was that the insecurity of one or both of us would create some terminal jealousy or envy. This latter scenario seems to be the conflict building in The Far Eastern Magical Napping Society of Summer.
Nibutani and Dekomori have fallen into a destructive vortex of mutual envy. Rikka has not overcome her doubts about her relationship with Yuuta. She doesn’t know how to react when Shichimiya is entirely too familiar with her boyfriend.
I would love to see Rikka learn to speak up for herself. The best course of action would be to tell Yuuta that she’s uncomfortable with the way he allows Shichimiya to act, at which point he should change his behavior or at least own up to it. Dating isn’t ownership, but it involves mutual respect. Rikka isn’t showing the level of trust she should.
As mid-season approaches, Chuunibyou is set to tackle another step toward adulthood. Perhaps our young lovers might figure out a thing or two in time for Valentine’s Day. Good luck.