Ah, this is a series best appreciated (?) by those with a chuunibyou past. For those who don’t know what chuunibyou (中二病 ) means (perhaps you are in its throes) – it refers to that period around the second year of middle school when you are obsessed with some imaginary world beyond all rationality – perhaps analysing the meaning of Anno Hideaki’s crack-fueled screen-vomit, wishing that sparkly vampires exist, or writing fanfiction online and arguing about “shipping” (I have no idea what that means beyond it being a fanfic term) – and becoming an obnoxious know-it-all. Yes, the Special Snowflake years.
This Kyoto series concerns everyone’s favourite melodramatic know-it-all with magical eye powers Fukuyama Jun (Lelouch from Code Geass, Itsuki in Rental Magica, Watanuki in xxxHolic) trying to put his embarrassing past behind him and live a normal high school life. Unfortunately his secret is discovered by a delusional girl (still living the dream), who possesses the “Tyrant’s Eye” and forces him to go along with her (including having him declaim his identity as the “Dark Flame Master” in his famous voice).
The first few episodes are the best, where the ex-chuunibyou characters go into a cringing fugue state every time they remember their chuunibyou days (see Mori Summer). The series soon moves into a more serious drama/romance, explaining why this Rikka hasn’t moved past this phase, with interludes when she imagines titanic battles against her sister (Kyoto animating them like Nanoha combat). There are some nice otaku references dropped here and there (“Blood Type Blue!”) but the primary reference will be to those heady days of childhood. Excuse me, I have to roll around on the floor in excruciating psychological pain.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai (“I’m a Chuunibyou but I still want love”) is a drama romance with otaku/chuunibyou touches, which is good if that’s what you’re after. As a sadomasochist for awkward humour, I wish the chuunibyou elements were stronger.