I give this retarded anime...a 45/100.
I'm autistic. I've come a long way since I was young. Oftentimes autistic people prefer fantasy over reality. When I was in the 4th grade, I got into Yu-Gi-Oh. Unlike most normal kids, I still couldn't distinguish fantasy from reality. I truly believed that characters in cartoons were real people. I fell in love with the little Yugi. No, this wasn't some childish crush. It was basically a hardcore obsession. I raved on and on and on about how I'd marry Yugi and cuddle with him and kiss him and have kids with him and all that dumb stuff. Yeah, stuff like this is normal with kids in kindergarten or something, always delving into make believe stuff. But I was in the 4th grade then, and I didn't realize back then that cartoons were just drawings on paper made to move with high rez technology. I think my obsession set in motion some bullying I had to endure later on, but I don't remember as I haven't run into anyone who knew me back in the 4th grade. I didn't get out of this phase until the 6th grade. Yeah, personally I'd love to bury those memories under six feet of dirt, as they're so embarrassing to look back on (and I don't think I understood that what I was doing back then was embarrassing). Everybody has embarrassing memories they wish they could bury six feet under dirt. Everybody has a time where they pretended to be something so intensely that they believed they were some fictional character for some reason. Something like this is usually common among little kids or the mentally disabled. But...in this anime, middle/high schoolers, who should CLEARLY know better, bring this up to such extraordinary and retarded levels, it's not even funny. Why does this thing exist?!
Okay. Forgive me for sounding rude and blunt, which I don't mean to be, and I'm not trying to look down on fans or people who actually used to pretend to be fantasy characters when they were young. However, there is SO MUCH wrong with this anime it's not even funny. I'm surprised other people haven't pointed these things out yet, so I'm going to no matter what people say to me! Let me start off with the single worst thing about this show: the way it portrays these fantasies. Now, it's not uncommon for people to pretend to be anime characters or something like that. Heck, sometimes I like to pretend I'm Dilandau from Escaflowne or Usagi from Sailor Moon. Heck, when me and my friends were young, we would pretend to be Pokemon trainers and play pretend battles back when we had recess in elementary school! Of course, that was mostly because I'm autistic and because we were young kids back then who wanted to have fun instead of deal with boring stuff like school or homework. Plus, we actually knew when to be lost in our fantasies and when we had to deal with reality, even though we didn't want to deal with the latter. But our main character, Yuuta, a perfectly normal and NOT physically or mentally flawed high schooler AT ALL, suddenly decided he was some Dark Flame Master and completely took on this persona. In middle school. And acted like that. IN MIDDLE SCHOOL. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. EVEN DURING CLASSES. IN PUBLIC!! Do you see what's wrong here? It's one thing to be a little kid and pretend to be anime characters when we're alone, but...a middle schooler?! Acting like that every single day?! In plain view of other kids, teachers, and authority figures?! Seriously, this kid SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!! So should everyone else, despite having their reasons for deluding themselves in fantasies! Yet what does this anime do?! It tries to give it some fancy name called Eighth Grader Syndrome, or Chuunibyo as they call it. Come on people!! This isn't some phenomenon! It's just stupid retarded kids acting out their fantasies and acting like complete retards! What also appalls me is the way other people react to them! They just watch looking all weird and let them do their thing! Seriously, if someone did stuff like this in real life, they'd be bullied relentlessly and be reminded of it for the rest of their lives, possibly to the point of making them commit suicide! I'm surprised the kids who saw Yuuta's Dark Flame Master gig didn't laugh at him or bully him or record videos of it and put it on YouTube so they could ruin his life completely!! I know that if I ever did that stuff in public, it'd most certainly happen to me since I'm not the most popular person in school! We all know what happened to Tyler Clementi here! Seriously, Yuuta should have known better than to do embarrassing stuff like that in public all the time!! Just the way the show portrays all of this as if it's the most normal thing in the world by making light of it and using it for comedy...how can any sane person even approve of such atrocities?!
Well, if there is one thing the show does well, it's the fact that it DOES show characters who DO feel embarrassed by their past selves and flinch whenever they even run into someone they knew from those days, and that's how the show starts. Yuuta, ashamed by how audacious and retarded he acted back in middle school, even by his standards, manages to go to a new school and hopes to start anew...but then he meets some random girl named Rikka who is so lost in fantasy it's not even funny. Even Yuuta agrees with me. But unlike him, Rikka only does it outside of school (smart move!). But her antics drive Yuuta up the wall and he wants nothing to do with her. He tries to get her off his back, but she keeps on coming back no matter what despite actually telling her multiple times to back off and leave him alone. However, Rikka makes him join her "society", along with a bunch of other people including a personal friend of hers, and form some stupid and pointless club whose name is so stupid I can't even remember it. Only two of said members are lost in their fantasies, Rikka and her friend, while Yuuta and three others, Shinka, Kumin, and Isshiki, just go along with their antics without really caring much except for Yuuta and Shinka. But soon, Yuuta starts to discover the real reason behind Rikka's yearning to be lost in her fantasies, especially when her older sister, Touka, also refuses to get off his back.
Let me get the other ridiculously bad part out of the way: the characters. Other than Yuuta, Shinka, and later Rikka, all of the characters, even some of the adults who aren't directly involved with Rikka's life, act like such retards it's not even funny! I especially couldn't stand Rikka's ridiculously pig-tailed friend Dekomori and her constant emphasis on "DESu! DESu! DESu!" all the time! Every time she said a word I seriously wanted to duct tape her mouth shut! Isshiki's nothing but a girl chasing cheapskate (though admittedly he DOES actually decide to go after one single girl later), and Kumin...oh God. She has to be the single most retarded and annoyingly bland character in the ENTIRE cast. Why? All she likes to do is sleep and act retarded with her squeaky voice! That's it! And even in the end she acts retarded but for a different reason entirely! The only characters in this show who actually have their brains in tact are Yuuta, Shinka, and members of Rikka's family, and the former two only act normal AFTER they get over their retarded fantasies! I actually applaud Yuuta for being strong-minded and saying what's on his mind, not being totally bland and indecisive even though he gets dragged into stupid stuff against his will. At least he MAKES IT CLEAR that he hates what he's being dragged into. Yeah, he's loud, brash, selfish, insensitive and does treat Rikka badly in the beginning, but in this case, I'd find it rather justified, as no normal person acts the way she (or he did when he was young) does in real life! I hated every interaction between them, especially the time where Yuuta shaves Isshiki's head with very pointless and melodramatic screaming and crying, and when Shinka and Dekomori fought like cats and dogs. Now, one reviewer I read about was disappointed by Touka blackmailing/threatening Yuuta into helping her fix her problems with her sister instead of doing it herself. I don't think this is the case. Maybe she DID try to help Rikka out offscreen but her attempts didn't work no matter what, so she decided to go the extra mile. That's how I think of it. But that's pretty much it.
It may be KyoAni and all, but I'm going to be upfront: their animation here looks really sloppy. Tamako Market looked better than this. The music is rather bland, the theme songs were annoying, and the insert songs were used in the wrong places. Ugh. Now, the only reason I watched this show was because of one reviewer's interpretation of it, and how the final episode shows a strong moral about being true to yourself, embracing the weirdness within, and not being happy with conforming because other people say so. Now, these are themes that I love to see explored in anime. Heck, right now, I'm in a situation where I do do things people think as strange, but I do them in moderation and I do them to be happy, not to cause anyone trouble. Why else would we watch anime and read books and play video games than to take a break from the tiresome world around us? We want to have fun, and in a way, I understand why the characters in here do the things they do. My sister and I don't really see eye to eye since we have very different views on the world and we clash a lot. I'm convinced that because of my disability, she believes I'm someone who will throw a tantrum if I even remotely do anything she deems rude and inappropriate, like accidentally say the wrong thing, and who she has to watch over every single second like I'm that kid from the movie Problem Child (y'know, the one with Gilbert Gottfried). I may have a disability, but I KNOW what to do when I'm out in public. I know how to be polite and say thank you and be appreciative and when to do something and when not to. I know all of this, yet she seems to believe that I don't and constantly reminds me of how stupid I am and seems to believe that anything I say or do, well intentioned or not, is always rude or out of malice. I don't show her the anime I watch because I'm convince she'll question my motives for watching them and completely get the wrong ideas about said shows, and I LOATHE being misunderstood more than anything. Sure, we all love a little fun and games once in a while, especially if it's to unwind after a hard day at work or find happiness after a really bad day. I used to be bullied in school, yet anime and manga have saved me from doing stuff like doing drugs and cutting myself. I don't mind pretending I'm in my safe little fantasy world and being lost in it for a short while when I'm alone. But...if it's taken to this extent, then it's just plain annoying and insulting.
Now, I'm NOT trying to start any backlash or flame wars or anything. I'm not trying to bash the disabled or the mentally ill or anyone like that. I'm not even trying to imply that the characters in the show are disabled or mentally not right in the head. Why would I do that when I myself have a disability? That's the last thing I'd ever do, and I'm not that kind of person, especially since I explained why I don't like this show. We all have our strange sides here and there, and we should do what makes us happy, even though society claims it's not normal and that we should act the way they want us to act, which is basically to obey everything they say, even though it feels more like they want to put us in a box because we're flawed. So what if we want to burst out and be ourselves? That's what people should do! Be themselves! Don't hold back! Do whatever makes you happy, and don't be what others want you to be just so they can feel good about themselves. Don't be poisoned by the selfish wishes of others. I love being myself. We should embrace our weirdness and enjoy it, no matter how hard people try to drag us down. But this anime approaches it in such an insulting manner it's not even funny. I KNOW for a fact that if I wanted to write a story about an anime about being true to yourself if it makes you happy despite the opinions of others, I'd be able to execute it better than this! It's one thing to actually have people who pretend and play act for fun, and then there's having people do it ALL THE FREAKING TIME AND IN PUBLIC IN FRONT OF OTHERS, and the latter is just plain wrong on so many ridiculous levels.
This is fine for entertainment, but if you really want an anime about being true to yourself, stay far away from this. This has retarded written all over it.