Love is in the air – generic term, I know.
I’m going to keep this short since I just got back from work and am about as weary as an old man after dealing with a bunch of naughty kids. Seeing as it was my first time heading a project at my job, it makes sense. That being said, things are going fairly well in my life and its just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Whether you’ve got a significant other or you haven’t, I wish you all a very lovely Valentine’s Day with your boyfriends, girlfriends, families, friends, body pillows and so on.
But, instead of spending it productively by watching Alita: Battle Angel like most folks are, I’ve decided to instead check out the first episode of a romance anime. Seeing as my liking for romance is in the same ballpark as a vegan liking meat, my knowledge is super limited. But I’ve settled with a title, and that show is Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – Tensai-tachi no Ren’ai Zunōsen, or Kaguya-sama: Love is War if you want the English translated title.
The show has been described by the anime community as what would happen if a tsundere and another tsundere fall in love. Since Kaguya’s and Shirogane’s personalities are similar, but their arrogance and shy demeanor prevents them from wanting to outright confess their love for the other, their romance becomes more of a duel than something dreamy like in most romance anime. Every single scene shows them trying to get the other one to confess before they do as a result of their prideful nature. It’s a ridiculous premise that could have been avoided if one of them would just suck it up, but there’s a level of self-awareness in its plot. Every shot is done in the most overdramatic manner possible, the narrator yells constantly like he’s an announcer for a boxing match, and there’s a cute, ditzy, comic relief character who’s insistently getting in the way of their duel. Usually, these are aspects I’d dislike, but because they dramatize a mundane and easily solvable situation, it just turns the show from a cringefest into a hilarious, comedic romp. You see, with shows like Kaiji and JoJo, the narration only gets in the way of a dark and edgy plot, at least from my perspective. But, having a narrator like that for a light-hearted rom-com just heightens the comedic value its got.
Another reason to watch the show is for the psychological aspect of it as well as the visuals. Kaguya-sama consists mostly of mind games that the two main leads partake in over trying to get the other party to confess. They’ll constantly be plotting ways to trick their potential significant other into giving in, while at the same time trying to guess what the other is planning. It’s this constant internal strife between the two that seems to keep the show not only comedic but also engaging on a tension-filled level. As for the visuals, the show is animated in a similar style to the Monogatari Series, but without all the deviancy, wordplay and typical otaku humor. It uses a variety of artistic techniques to keep each scene distinct from one another, giving it a sense of uniqueness that most anime lack these days.
Also, the show has quite possibly the best-animated ending sequence out there. That dance has more animation than any My Hero Academia fight.
Anyways, I’m eager to check out more of this show in the future. Hopefully, A1 Pictures doesn’t mess everything up like they usually do (darn greedy crooks). But I’ll leave it there since it is getting late after all.
So, with that said and done, I hope you all had a very lovely Valentine’s Day.