Shelf Life
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Rikka Version

by Paul Jensen,

Recovery of an MMO Junkie is one of my streaming review shows this season, and it's gotten off to a really good start over the last couple weeks. Between its charming romantic comedy and the inspired chaos of Gamers! last season, we've had some solid video-game-themed anime recently. It may just be a coincidence of timing, but it's nice to see some well-written shows in this category. Welcome to Shelf Life.

Jump to this week's review:
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! Rikka Version

On Shelves This Week

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day - Complete Collection BD
Aniplex - 256 min - Hyb - MSRP $149.98
Currently cheapest at: $119.98 Right Stuf

Synopsis: Several years after a tragic event divided them, a group of childhood friends are forced to confront the past.

Extra: You'll find a review of this tear-jerker series here, and we also have a feature article about its real-world setting. It's available streaming on Crunchyroll.



Castle in the Sky BD+DVD, DVD
Shout! Factory - 125 min - Hyb - MSRP $29.95|$19.96
Currently cheapest at: $17.19 Amazon|$12.99 Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: When a young mechanic's apprentice rescues a girl floating down from the sky, the two of them embark on a high-flying adventure.

Extra: I went to a screening of this movie earlier this year, and watching it on a proper big screen really does make it easier to appreciate the visuals. You'll find our most recent review here.




Chargeman Ken! - Complete Collection DVD
Discotek - 455 min - Sub - MSRP $44.95
Currently cheapest at: $29.22 Right Stuf

Synopsis: Ten-year old Ken Izumi protects the world from alien invasions with an arsenal of powerful weapons and armor.

Extra: We don't have much coverage for this 1970s series, which has apparently acquired a cult following as a "so bad it's good" title. If you're curious, you can stream it on Crunchyroll.




Fist of the North Star - Complete Collection BD
Discotek - 3500 min - Hyb - MSRP $89.98
Currently cheapest at: $58.47 Right Stuf

Synopsis: In the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse, a lone warrior wanders the wastelands in search of justice.

Extra: That second zero in the runtime isn't a typo. There really are over 150 episodes in this series. You'll find reviews of some previous releases here and here, and you can stream the whole darn thing on Crunchyroll and Hulu.




Magical Canan - Complete Collection DVD
Discotek - 300 min - Sub - MSRP $39.95
Currently cheapest at: $25.98 Right Stuf

Synopsis: After rescuing a shape-shifting creature for another world, high school student Chihaya becomes the Magical Warrior Carmine.

Extra: We don't have a whole lot of info on this one, though I can tell you that it's an adaptation of an adult PC game. Our user ratings average out at around 6 out of 10.




Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind BD+DVD, DVD
Shout! Factory - 117 min - Hyb - MSRP $29.95|$19.96
Currently cheapest at: $12.99 Amazon|$9.99 Amazon

Synopsis: When the inhabitants of the Valley of the Wind are threatened by their warlike neighbors, young Princess Nausicaa sets out to save her kingdom.

Extra: This is the second Studio Ghibli movie on this week's release list, and much like Castle in the Sky we have a review of this one from a few years ago.





The Adventures of the Little Prince - Complete Collection DVD
Discotek - 600 min - Dub - MSRP $39.95
Currently cheapest at: $25.97 Right Stuf

Synopsis: After growing up on a faraway asteroid, The Little Prince catches a ride on a passing comet in order to travel the galaxy.

Extra: Not much info on this one either, though judging by the list of alternative titles on our encyclopedia page, it's apparently been adapted into quite a few different languages over the years. Our user ratings average out to around 6 out of 10.




The Dragon Dentist BD+DVD
Sentai - 90 min - Hyb - MSRP $39.98
Currently cheapest at: $22.89 Amazon

Synopsis: While working as a dentist for her country's guardian dragon, Nonoko discovers a soldier trapped between the dragon's teeth.

Extra: We don't appear to have any reviews for this title just yet, but it's currently on the Shelf Life review schedule for a little later this year. At the moment, we do at least have an Anime Spotlight page with some more info.




The Testament of Sister New Devil - Season 1 BD+DVD, Limited Edition
Funimation - 325 min - Hyb - MSRP $64.98|$84.98
Currently cheapest at: $43.49 Amazon|$61.49 Amazon

Synopsis: When two girls move into high school student Basara Tojo's house, their supernatural secrets lead to danger and chaos.

Extra: We have episode reviews for this series, and it's available streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.





True Tears - Complete Collection BD
Discotek - 300 min - Sub - MSRP $39.95
Currently cheapest at: $24.99 Amazon

Synopsis: Caught between his melancholy housemate and a girl who claims to have given all of her tears away, aspiring author Shinichiro searches for a way to help his friends.

Extra: We have an older review of this series from 2009, and it's available streaming on Crunchyroll.



Shelf Life Reviews

The first season of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! was my first Shelf Worthy title as a Shelf Life reviewer way back in February of 2015. A compilation movie of that same season ended up on my desk this week and well, it ain't as good as the original.

Based on its title, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Rikka Version is an alternate retelling of the well-received TV series. In some senses, that's true; the movie frames itself as Rikka Takanashi's take on the events of the first season. For the most part, however, this is just a standard compilation film. It edits the show's first twelve episodes down to a little under an hour, adds some new narration here and there, and bookends this compilation with some original content. Whether or not that's worth your time will ultimately come down to what you hope to get out of it.

This movie isn't the best point of entry for the series, but here's the basic setup for any curious newcomers. High school freshman Yuta Togashi is trying to make a fresh start by abandoning his history as the “Dark Flame Master,” an embarrassing persona he invented for himself in middle school. The only flaw in Yuta's plan is Rikka Takanashi, his neighbor and classmate who wears an eyepatch for purely aesthetic reasons. Rikka is still fully committed to her own delusions of grandeur, and she's determined to drag Yuta into her misadventures. As they spend more time together, the two of them start to develop feelings for one another.

The new content in this film makes up a minority of its running time, and it's largely contained to the beginning and end. The beginning is easily the stronger of the two parts, opening with a dream wedding sequence before transitioning into a fantasy fight scene. The fight scenes were a visual and creative highlight of the original series, depicting the characters' imagined battles with enough flair to rival an outright action series. This new sequence lives up to that standard, complete with flashy effects and deliberately cheesy special attacks. The film's ending is less impressive, sticking mostly to the real world as it sets up a narrative link between the first and second seasons. This is mildly useful from a storytelling perspective, but there's a good reason why most of the screenshots on this release's back cover are taken from the opening scenes. If you're watching this compilation for its original content, then the fight sequence is the obvious highlight.

As for the re-edited stuff in the middle, it feels like the movie misses an opportunity to fully embrace its “Rikka Version” subtitle. Rikka does interject a few new voiceover lines here and there, but this narration stops short of being a proper commentary on the film's events. The editing does little, if anything, to shift the perspective of the story; even with a new narrator, we don't really learn anything new. Honestly, I was hoping to see this movie do more with both of these elements. With some creative editing and more frequent narration from Rikka, it might have felt like we were actually seeing this story from a different point of view.

What we get instead is a largely by-the-book compilation film, complete with all the usual compromises. Most of the show's side stories and underlying themes are trimmed away in order to focus on the core plot of Yuta and Rikka falling in love with one another. The predictable result is a disjointed narrative told at an uneven pace; we jump from one scene to another without much in the way of transitions or context. It's a testament to the quality of the TV series that many of the key moments still carry some emotional weight, even if they lose their thematic significance along the way. The characters are still charming and the basic love story is still cute, they're just missing most of the big ideas and small details that made them special. While the TV series was easily a Shelf Worthy title, this movie barely makes it into the Rental category at all.

The look and sound of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions survive the condensed edit better than the story. This is still a top-tier effort from Kyoto Animation, and the new scenes are mostly on par with the old. I've already mentioned the creative spectacle of the fight scenes, but even the more ordinary moments look pretty darn good. The English dub cast carries over from the TV series, and my previous comments remain relevant here; as long as you're on board with some slightly different takes on a couple characters, it's a solid option. Along with some standard-issue extras, this release also includes a fun five-minute comedy short that offers a look at what Yuta was like during the peak of his chuunibyou phase. It's hardly required viewing, but it's a nice bonus for anyone who decides to pick this movie up.

That leads us into the obvious question of who should bother watching this compilation film. It's hardly the ideal choice for viewers new to the series, who would be much better off watching the full first season. That narrows it down to returning fans, who are unlikely to get anything out of the recycled content but will probably enjoy the handful of new scenes. Whether or not that's worth your time and money depends on how much of both you have to spare. It has some value from a completionist perspective, but you won't be missing anything of great significance if you decide to skip it.
-Paul[TOP]

That wraps up the review section for this week. Thanks for reading!

This week's shelves are from Troy:

"So, I have been putting off sending in photos of my collection for some time because of a couple of reasons. Firstly, the actual 'anime' portion of it isn't all that big (Yet!). Secondly, I don't actually have a dedicated 'shelf' for most of my scale figures (still trying to get hold of a decent glass display cabinet). Anyway, I have finally decided to bite the bullet and send in my pictures!

I started collecting anime some time ago (the DVD's in the collection) with Code Geass being my first purchase, but stopped due to it getting too expensive for me at the time. However, I restarted collecting again around 12 months ago (Those would be the Blu-rays!) and am slowly adding about a series per month to the collection.

I started collecting my manga and scale figurines about 18 months - 2 years ago and although I have slowed down my purchases lately, I still try to add a bit to each every month. My most prized possessions in my manga collection would definitely be the complete collections of Code Geass and Rave Master, which were extremely hard to track down without blowing a hole in my bank account! (finding volume 8 of Code Geass for less than several hundred dollars nearly had me pulling my hair out!!).

You may notice that a lot of my figurines are pretty boys! I decided early on when I started collecting to get as many of them as I can and throw my support behind the males figures, as there isn't nearly enough of them in comparison to the female figures that are around! Oh, and I am a total fudanshi, as you probably worked out by the yaoi in my collection :P

Anyway, enough rambling. Hope you enjoy my collection."

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Troy's collection is even more extensive than you see here; I had to leave out a few photos just to make it all fit into this column (sorry about that!). In any case, I love the collection, and I appreciate the dedication to male figures. We definitely need some more guys to balance out all the figures of female characters. Thanks for sharing!

Whether you've been collecting for years or just started, Shelf Obsessed is the place to show off your anime loot. Send me your photos at [email protected]!


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