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Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
Kaguya-sama: Love is War is a romantic comedy focused on two student council members of a prestigious and elite high school, Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, having romantic interest in one another. However, both are too prideful to want to confess their feelings to one another and are in a battle of wits to try getting one another to confess their love with the first to confess being the loser of their battle.|
Kaguya-sama’s episodes are formatted as such where there are 2-4 separate segments within each episode that revolve around either Miyuki and Kaguya’s battle of wits to get one another to confess or each character interacting with family and friends. The series is meant to poke fun of typical cliches of the rom-com genre that involve the budding relationships between classmates, as Miyuki and Kaguya attempt to force the other into a confession or manipulate the other into having things go their way for a specific scenario that would typically advance their relationship in a typical romance anime. In these instances, outcomes of the battle of wits vary from one of our two leads getting a victory or a draw resulting from some sort of inconvenience that includes the personal flaws and quirks of both leads or the cheerful student council treasurer Chika unwittingly meddling into the battle between our two leads.
To prevent the format from getting repetitive or monotonous, the segments also include instances where one of our two lead characters interact with members of their family or other classmates. Much like the confession war segments between Miyuki and Kaguya, many of the characters that the leads interact with have their own comical quirks that serve to inconvenience or befuddle the lead characters to some extent. For the most part, the characters have enough dimension to their personalities where they don’t fully fall under a character type, though they don’t necessarily develop at all throughout Kaguya-sama’s run as the series is more focused on the comical interactions between the cast than any serious developments with them. So anyone expecting our main couple’s relationship to develop at all throughout Kaguya-sama’s run may be disappointed to find that the show goes nowhere at advancing it.
Much like other comedy titles of its ilk, you can either like or dislike how it delivers its humor and how well you warm up to the characters. While I do applaud the series for having a premise that breaks the typical mold you would find out of many school comedies that have over-relied on familiar story structures in recent years, I must sadly admit that I was rather indifferent to much of the comedy delivered throughout Kaguya-sama’s run. It is still largely dependent on the typical tropes of high school comedies to carry its humor and I didn’t really find myself connecting with any of the characters since there still wasn’t enough dimension to them where I could identify with them to any degree beyond whatever character types they personify. Also, I found the narration used for Kaguya-sama’s comedy to be rather obnoxious at many points throughout the series as it seemed the narrator was trying too hard to hammer on the comedy in Miyuki and Kaguya’s conflict.
Overall in spite of the show’s fanfare, I just didn’t care much for what Kaguya-sama: Love is War offered with its comedy in spite of its premise sticking out from recent premises and episode structures of high school anime comedies. I found I was more receptive to the high school rom-com parody offered up from School Rumble nearly 15 years earlier, which is a bit more manic and exaggerated in its comedy compared to Kaguya-sama. If Kaguya-sama’s style of comedy isn’t your cup of tea yet you are still craving for a parody of high school rom-coms, I’d say give School Rumble a shot instead.
Last updated Tuesday, July 02 2019. Created Tuesday, July 02 2019.
Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen
(All episodes watched):|
Well, an interesting premise--but one lesson I have learned is that a good premise does not necessarily lead to a good anime. If Shirogane and Shinomiya develop complex personalities, and the plot moves from the absurd love/hate relationship they currently have towards one where they realize that they are only hurting themselves by pretending not to be interested in each other, then this show might be good. But early on I was skeptical that that was going to happen. Each episode seems to consist of three little skits about different tricks the two protagonists use to try to trick their opponent into conceding. For a good part of the series there was no sign of them learning anything about either themselves or the other person from their experiences. It was already getting a little tiresome for me even in the first episode. It was modestly amusing but not exactly brilliant, and if that's as good as it was going to get I had serious doubts about whether it would be worth watching. I was reluctant to quit a show which at least tried something new, but in a comedy there is no substitute for jokes that make the viewer laugh. The bit in episode three where Shinomiya misinterprets the phrase 'doing it' was amusing. Episode four had me laughing a couple of times--not exactly rolling on the floor, but definitely laughing. It would seem that this show is funny enough to be worth watching after all. Episode six had a couple serious laughs as we meet the fourth member of the student council and see how he has become entangled in the love/hate relationship between Shirogane and Shinomiya. Often times anime seem to add more characters than they need, but in this case I would say that the show needed a fresh one and did the right thing. As the show nears its completion the two main characters act less like haughty idiots and more like genuine lovers, which is definitely good. You can feel sorry for them as they do their best to hurt themselves out of fear of embarrassment. The final episode slightly disappointed me because rather than Shirogane and Shinomiya finally realizing that they have been fools to put pride before love, they basically revert to their old ways (could a second season be in the works?). They do come close, however, so it wasn't a complete loss. I guess ultimately their attitudes towards each other have definitely softened from the mostly adversarial one that they started out with to the mostly loving one they end with. Not outrageously funny, but funny enough and with a slow moving but pleasing romance as well.
Last updated Friday, April 26 2019. Created Saturday, January 26 2019.