DVD Review: Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb – The Complete Series
20/02/2017 Leave a comment
After several months of delay’s Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb is finally about to be released within the UK on DVD and Blu-ray via Manga Entertainment; but what can one expect to receive from this release? Well let’s take a look in our latest review.
Yuta Togashi thought he had problems dealing with one delusional girlfriend in the person of Rikka Takanashi, but now things are about to go totally insane as his former “one true soul mate” from when he was a chuni himself returns with a vengeance! So how bad is Satone Shichimiya’s re-entry into Togashi’s chuni-verse likely to be? Let’s just say that she’s so epically off the deep end of the chuni-scale that she prefers to use the name Sophia Ring SP Saturn VII and that she’ll joyfully tear Togashi’s real world to pieces in order to get him back in her imaginary one!
Some girls just want to have fun and some want to break down the walls between their boyfriends and themselves. But when a girl’s idea of fun is breaking down the wall between their presumed boyfriend and reality, retreating into a fantasy world might just be Togashi’s best option. Especially since Satone knows where ALL the skeletons from his past are buried. Toss Rikka’s equally delusional friend Sanae into the mix and girl-crazy begins to take on a whole new meaning!
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb, otherwise known as #HeartThrobHewson on Twitter thanks to a social-media trend by fans (including ourselves), follows on from the events of the first season, known simply as Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions, which saw Yuta Togashi throw away his chunibyo (imaginative lifestyle) in an attempt to lead a life as a normal high-schooler. This ‘common’ experience was cut-sort when his neighbour, Rikka Takanashi, discovers Yuta’s past life-style and attempts to bring back Yuta’s alter ego Dark Flame Master to life. Through a comical series of events, as well as help from old-friends and new acquaintances (namely Nibutani, Dekomori and Kumin), Yuta and Rikka begin to develop feelings for each other and by the end of the first season these two characters start a relationship under the pretence of a lover’s contract.
Fast-forward to the events of season two, which in turn sees the second year of high-school commence, and nothing has really changed. Rikka is still obsessed with the chunibyo life-stlye of being the Wicked Lord Shingan, with Dekomori playing along, and Nibutani is still accused of being the fake morisummer (which is the name of her chunibyo alter ego).
Naturally to make things interesting something unique must happen and in turn it sees Rikka being evicted from her apartment and being forced to live with Yuta and younger sister Kuzuha; which sparks much reaction from their friends who think that they are up to some ‘monkey business’. It’s an interesting twist and it’s one that re-invites the viewer into this world of romance and make-believe-magic; but alas that’s not all as shortly after a new female character moves in to Rikka’s old apartment and it’s someone from Yuta’s past.
It turns out this female character is Satone Shichimiya and is someone that Yuta, under the name of Dark Flame Master, used to hang out with before moving schools. As you’d expect Shichimiya is also a Chunibyo and goes under the name of Magical Devil Girl; a name which causes some rivalry between herself and Rikka’s alter ego the Wicked Lord Shingan.
You’d expect this confrontation of two alter-ego’s to battle out constantly over the affection of Yuta (and his alter-ego Dark Flame Master) but in turn there’s nothing of the sort.A small magical battle, and a short conversation, ensues and all three – along with the rest of the group – steadily becomes close friends and alas the remaining episodes are rather a stale, unimaginative and have a ‘stop-go’ effect with no real purpose other than a few laughs. Unfortunately this is the disappointing aspect of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb; we have a new set of characters, and a few familiar faces; but it doesn’t feel like the story progresses aware.
Sure enough we get introduced to Yuta’s old friend Shichimiya, and in turn discover her backstory, but for the most part her involvement in the series is very little as does very little to spark a rivalry of love between characters… that is until the final few episodes. Everything you’d expect to happen, such as Shichimiya becoming true to her feelings from the past, do not start to appear until the series begins to draw to a close at which point Rikka’s own emotions start to bear fruit – something which for a Chunibyo is completely new.
Once again no sort of rivalry exists; instead everyone works together to help each other out and while a rather emotional ending is presented it adds nothing to overall experience received in the first season; which is a shame as you’d expect the series (as a whole) to help the characters move forward in their relationship.
Although character development and relationships within the series stay relatively the same we are provided with a large amount of chunibyo lifestyle and comical banter; which in some cases is what we really wanted to see (especially with Rikka and her delusions).
Manga-come-Animatsu continue the trend of using disc assets produced by Sentai Filmworks and as such we have all twelve episodes (and the bonus OVA episode) spread across three DVD discs with bonus features spread across all of them. Unlike past Sentai Filmwork authored releases we have some nice variety with the first disc offering a selection of trailers, the second disc offering the textless songs and the third disc offering the Chunibyo lite episodes.
As mentioned the first DVD disc features four trailers from other Sentai Filmwork licensed shows; in this case Little Busters EX, Angelic Layer, Hakuoki and The Kawaii Complex Guide. All four trailers are pretty much various clips from the show with a song placed on top – so nothing special but it gets the message across. It’s also worth nothing that although Little Busters has been licensed by MVM Entertainment in the UK the others have yet to be picked for UK distribution.
The second disc of bonus material is pretty explanatory, as it is just the opening and closing songs in creditless form; however it is the third disc which (in my eyes at least) features the most worthwhile of bonus materials.
The third disc features a selection of Chunibyo Lite episodes each of which offer around six minutes worth of additional anime viewing with our favourite cast of characters. These ‘Lite’ episodes add no real story value to the events of the main series but it does add some of the best ‘comical’ moments from the entire franchise including one which sees Nibutani trying to attack Kumin while she is sleeping whereas another sees Rikka trying to wear two bandages thus rendering her powerless to move. Unrelated but funny. Unfortunately, unlike the series which is available in English and Japanese, these ‘Lite’ episodes are only available in Japanese with English Subtitles – so it boggles the mind why Sentai Filmworks didn’t opt to dub them as well.
For once we do receive a generous amount of bonus material and it’s also great to see them spread across the numerous disc as opposed to being forced on to a single disc. The benefit of doing this is that the quality remains consistent throughout; and that’s exactly what we see.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:38:28 (Disc 1 & 3), 2:03:05 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow) & White (Translations)
Resolution: 720 x 480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 30 fps
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb is a series I expected to expand upon the original story by introducing a new love interest as well as see Yuta and Rikka become your traditional couple with Rikka no-longer under the delusions of a Chunibyo; but alas will the former may happen the latter doesn’t. Instead it is a series which pretty much stays within its boundaries to deliver more stories of Yuta’s relationship with a girl who is going through the Chunibyo phase of her life. Sure enough we see new areas of exploration, such as Yuta and Rikka wanting to take their relationship to the next level and the introduction of a new character sparking some heated discussions between characters; but other than the odd-surprise it’s pretty much the same as the previous season.
Personally I expected Shichimiya to become a rival to Rikka for Yuta’s affections, with the two battling it out in their delusions which in turn would see the characters leave their Chunibyo lifestyle; but alas this doesn’t happen. Instead Shichimiya, despite being a mainstream character in this second season, acts more like a support character and only appears when needed or to progress forward with the story.
It’s not until the later remenant of the series that Shichimiya’s feelings begin to seep out; to she confronts Yuta directly to find out where he stands with Rikka. It’s not the most direct love-story; but one does exist but unfortunately you’ll have to sit through plenty of potentially pointless dialogue in order to see it. The dialogue isn’t entirely pointless, its just the way these characters react, but if you are unfamiliar with the chunibyo lifestyle of these characters then it may seem like pointless dribble.
Of course while the main series has its ups and downs, of which sort of ends on a bit of a conclusive cliffhanager, we have the bonus OVA episode. Personally this OVA episode seemed to be more entertaining than the events of the entire series as it sees Mokoto give Yuta a USB stick containing pictures of his childhood female idol; to which Rikka gets jealous about. It’s a typical ‘boyfriend-girlfriend-argument’ and yet it’s done with such comical flair and fun that its actually satisfying to watch.
When it comes to this DVD release by Manga Entertainment then not everything is as it seems. For starters (and as mentioned in our quick look video) that disc labels for each DVD disc are incorrect. Disc Two is labelled as containing episodes 8 – 12 + OVA whereas it actually contains episodes 5 – 9; meanwhile Disc three on the other hand is labelled as 9 – 12 +OVA when it actually contains Episodes 10 – 12 + OVA. I suspect that the episode listing for disc two was intended for the Blu-ray version of the release rather than this DVD; but that aside the episode listing on the label for disc three is still incorrect. That’s not all either as while this set is being distributed by Manga Entertainment, with the Manga logo printed on both the box-art and disc labels, the Animatsu Entertainment logo appears on the disc. It’s a bit of a small mix-up; but its a mix-up that will annoy some people and cause confusion; but we have confirmation that it should be fixed in a second print-run of the series (if that is to happen in the future).
Disc label and logo issues aside the presentation, menu integration and layout is exactly as you would expect from a Sentai Filmwork mastered release; with each disc having a menu system that lists each episode with the special features option located at the bottom alongside audio options. This release of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb features both English & Japanese audio options and although the English audio is half-decent (with the same vocal cast returning from the previous season) I prefer the rather more dramatic (and on point) Japanese audio with English Subtitles. As per with most Sentai Filmwork subtitles they are presented in Yellow with text translations, and translation notes, appearing in White.
Additionally when multiple people are talking the main discussion is coloured in Yellow subtitle text whereas background conversation is coloured with White text; which of course makes it incredibly easy to read. Basically it’s everything you would expect it to be; but unfortunately one disappointment does cross my mind. The picture quality is constant throughout the series but (personally) I couldn’t help but notice some pixilation and/or distortion during certain episodes and at times the quality of the bonus materials seemed better than that of the episodes themselves. Its a minor thing; but at times I felt it was noticeable.
Overall this DVD release ofLove, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb by Manga Entertainment is pretty much as you’d expect it to be; sure enough it does have a few faults (namely the disc labelling and logos) and the events of the series may not be as you’d expect – but at least it continues the story with our quirky cast of characters which is all we could really ask for. If you enjoyed the original season then you’ll no doubt enjoy this; otherwise it may be best just skipping this set for the time being.
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb – The Complete Series will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 27th February 2017.