What’s it about ?
Chuunibyou : a syndrome in which middle-schoolers with an overactive imagination act out a fantasy life, which wrecks most of their chances at a social life as their classmates have no time for those antics and shunning them. Apparently it’s a thing in Japan.
Togashi, our protagonist, used to think of himself as the DARK FLAME MASTER (cue Jun Fukuyama doing his Zero voice). He’s now thoroughly embarrassed by this, and trying his best to distance himself away from it. This includes entering a high-school quite away from his home just so that he can avoid anyone who knew him in middle school, and make a fresh start.
Unfortunately, Takanashi, his new neighbour, is still very much in this phase. He’s dismayed to discover she’s in his class, has found out about his dark secret (not that he’s much good at hiding it), and seems stuck to him whether he likes it or not.
Also introduced this episode without much development : the Togashi family (mother apparently working a lot, two little sisters) ; the mandatory lecherous new best friend ; a homeroom teacher who’s happy to rely on Togashi to deal with Takanashi ; and the perfect class representative who’s probably hiding something.
Standard KyoAni fare, although in their lower range : good animation and attention to detail. (When Takanashi’s antics make a cupboard half-fall, it stays that way the whole scene.)
There’s a show within the show that shows up here and there, including taking over the ED ; it’s a cute parody of the kind of angsty nonsense those kids are obviously riffing off.
What did I think of it ?
The “guy takes care of a socially-inept girl” subgenre is always fraught with peril and unfortunate implications, but KyoAni dodge most of that minefield by focusing first and foremost on its protagonist, making it clear that he was suffering from the same problem mere months ago (and that he’s not entirely over it yet). It helps that they’ve got Jun Fukuyama, a voice actor with enough talent and charisma to sell every aspect of the character.
Obviously the topic at hand can be a sore one for the geek audience, but it’s to this show’s credit that it’s not really patronizing or insulting. It pokes fun at its characters without mocking them, which is a tricky balance to achieve. So far, so good.