- Alt. Name
- Eiga Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Take On Me
- Release Date
- January 2018
- Run Time
- 1 hr. 33 min.
- Kyoto Animation
- Light Novel
When it comes to animated series getting a theatrical movie premier, western creations do not always have the best outcome. No matter what the result may be, it is quite an impressive feat to have towards any series, regardless of the country of origin. However, sometimes when a series has been continuing for so long, then takes a break to release a massive explosive hit within the fandom finally, the results are sometimes a little messy. However, when a series has two seasons, two original net animations, and a previous anime film already, the biggest question creates itself. What can happen in this film that has not already been done before?
Love, Chunibyo & and Other Delusions! Take on Me is a 2018 Romantic Comedy anime film by one of the most beloved Japanese animation studios, Kyoto Animation. While the studio has created some of the most beloved anime series from the 21st century, can this studio create something as wonderful and heartfelt as it did in the first season while also not falling into the same traps as the second season did? Considering that the light novel had four volumes and countless adaptations, fans will undoubtedly flock to support their favorite series, irrespective of whether it is warranted or not, regardless of what the film is about. Regardless of the fandom or the studio, quality is always better than quantity.
Yuta Togashi is a boy who, during his junior high school days, suffered from “chunibyo,” believing that he possessed supernatural powers and was the reincarnation of the “Dark Flame Master.” By doing so, he, unfortunately, alienated himself from his classmates and slightly from his reality. Finding his past embarrassing, Yuta attempts to eradicate his past by being as normal as possible. Though what one plans to do and what life deals with us are not always eye to eye.
Throughout the first two years of high school, the plan has yet to be succeeded but being a third-year student, he remains hopeful. Unfortunately for Rikka Takanashi’s case, she remains a chunibyo, but that is nothing new to her or their friends. Her relationship with Yuta has gone unchanged, and with entrance exams right around the corner, both must strive to enroll at the college. However, Tooka has different plans for Rikka, which involve taking her to Italy as she has found a stable job there.
This unforeseen turn of events causes a commotion between the couple and their friends as well. With the powerful and intelligent older sister telling him they’re leaving tomorrow, there is not much time left to do anything memorable. Thankfully neither wants the couple to separate. After getting coerced by their friends, Yuta and Rikka hatch a plan on what to do – elope!
For a franchise with elements of Comedy, Drama, Romance, Action, and even Fantasy getting a theatrical release should be a massive plus for the story. Though Take on Me may be the last creation from this series, they indeed held back no punches. The story itself was rather exciting and seemed to be a great grand finale. The pacing is significantly better when compared to the anime series, which was a potential hindrance that the film greatly avoided. Throughout the film, viewers will understand that it has a similar emotional connection towards the series while also feeling relatively new and fresh.
Another exciting aspect of this film was that this film somehow surpassed my expectations when developing the relationship between Yuta and Rikka without feeling like a repeat of season one and two. Though fans of the series may enjoy these shenanigans, regardless if they work within the story or not, overall, this story passed a few expectations that longtime fans may have been wary about.
Perhaps one of the most significant negatives within this movie’s story is that even though the story was slightly better than expected, the buildup was rather anticlimactic. There was a climax within the film but compared to other series, and not having that surprise factor could be the sole reason why the film felt a little flat once it reached its denouement. Another problem within this story is that it felt less of a romantic comedy movie and more of an outdated buddy film. The couple is on the run from someone, and they try to escape them. This plot device did work in some areas but just missed the mark in others.
Outside of those two major problems within this story, the lesser problems were common within this franchise. The characters’ arcs were nothing to brag about, especially if a character isn’t the main one. The one potentially good part is that these characters are the same throughout the film, so if one enjoys the characters, they won’t change. Other films have done similar narratives within the same genre and have created more with their characters, so somehow, this film felt no need to work on anyone outside of the main two.
When it comes to the art style within this film, it stands with the rest of the studio’s better series and movies. The art was beautifully created and continued the expectations of the franchise of a bright and colorful atmosphere. The dark and gloominess scenes even seemed to be just as lovely and didn’t lack elegance. The overall appearance seemed very polished and correctly done, which was highly expected. Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions!: Take On Me continue to showcase its excellence in creating something rememberable and easily identifiable.
Though when it comes to the better side of this film, the animation production takes the top-notch. The opening animation is very upbeat and has lighter pastel colors that perfectly fit the film’s atmosphere. For instance, the opening has such an upbeat tempo that it almost gives the series a wonderful send-off, appropriate for this film. The film’s original soundtrack is also quite fitting though a bit bland in some areas but still very pleasing.
Considering that Japanese sing ZAQ has worked with other series either singing or composing songs, the theme’s amount of praise is no surprise. Though fully justified since this J-Pop singer, lyricist, composer, and even arranger is undoubtedly very multitalented. The one shocking film credit was Mutsuo Shinohara, whose art direction in many famous and fan-favorite anime creations, including A Silent Voice, Clannad, and Clannad: After Story, and even K-On, To name a few. His direction clearly shows as each area was fitting with the rest of the creations he’s worked on in the past.
Unfortunately, this film’s biggest problem has to do with its characters. Ideally, the viewer will enjoy seeing their favorite nerdy Chunibyo couple. However, outside of them, there weren’t many other characters. Yuta and Rikka are in their third year of high school, where they still have yet to progress their relationship regarding non-Chunibyo standards. Though compared to the other two seasons, this film is, of course, hard-hitting in the emotional aspect.
This film’s villain is Rikka’s older sister, Toka Takanashi, whose Japanese voice actress Eri Sendai’s performance was highly underrated within this role. She is still the same character that she’s always been throughout this entire franchise, which is nice and saddening because of the result and everything coming together from the beginning of the series.
If one is hoping for more chances to see Nibutani, Tsuyuri, and even Dekomori, they’ll be disappointed since the latter is rarely seen. Though there are a few funny moments with Nibutani and Tsuyuri, they are few and far between. Don’t expect much from the side characters within this film; it’s all about the couple.
When it comes to the overall enjoyment that one may receive from this movie, it’s hard to pin down for multiple reasons. If someone is a fan of the series, it’ll be a no-brainer that they’ll enjoy this final film but will want more. If someone is brand new to the series and this is their first step, this will be a rough time for them, sure the viewer may enjoy the film, but it won’t have the same connection.
There were many significant parts with this film and minimal negatives, but that’s in almost every movie, especially when it’s the last goodbye to a franchise. Overall this film is very entertaining a proper send-off to a franchise that has filled so many fans with love and entertainment for its entire run. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Take on Me is an excellent film and should be vastly enjoyed by any fan of the series. With its beautiful art and proper use of all things action and fantasy within this love story, it simply will amaze anyone who watches this beautiful ending to an attractive franchise.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.