The long wait for me has finally come to an end, I have finally finished the Anime “Love is War”. Just in time too, especially with another season just around the corner. There were many things I loved about the Anime and given that this Anime touched the genres I loved most, it made me love this Anime that little bit more.
This Anime executes the concept almost perfectly. It masters the art of blending comedy and mind games perfectly. One second, you could be on the edge of your seat, and the next you can be laughing your eyes out. It’s fast pace and episodic nature have only added to this excitement and have helped prevent it from feeling banal.
A war wouldn’t be possible without two sides now, would it? That’s where the 2 leads come in. You’ve got your genius high school guy – Shirogane Miyuki – and an equally competent girl – Shinomiya Kaguya – vying to get the other to confess their love to them as their pride won’t allow them to do the same. Thus, they do what any normal person would do when they want to confess to their crush; they start fabricating incredibly extra, but at the same time kind of believable, scenarios in order to be confessed to. You know, your typical high school antics. And thus, the scheme to psychologically manipulate the other to confess their love is initiated by both sides, which, inevitably paves the path for some engrossing mind battles between the teens masquerading as being far more intelligent than they actually are. Every episode is divided into three separate segments, each placing the characters in an unpleasantly awkward situation, with the characters using their wits to parade around the problem at hand, which gives rise to some tense as well as some hilarious moments.
Kaguya is the Vice President of the student council and she has it all. She’s intelligent, attractive and is from a pretty distinguished and wealthy family. She’s your typical high-school tsundere, or at least that’s what I thought in the beginning. She has the trademarks of a quintessential tsundere, but she actually is not peevish and doesn’t go around killing the main character. She also has her cute side that she shows every once in a while, and trust me, it’s cute. On the other hand, Shirogane is a transfer student from somewhere unknown and is also the student council president. He’s intelligent, but unlike Kaguya, he’s not from a posh background. These 2 characters wouldn’t be as special as they currently are if one of them wasn’t there. The chemistry between them is simply extraordinary. The two of them complement each other and play off of each other magnificently.
Obviously, the show doesn’t consist of just Kaguya and Shirogane. We also have the incredibly quirky side characters. Starting with Chika, who’s an adorable member of the student council. She adds a dumb, but rather interesting take on things, and has had her fair share of hilarious and adorable moments. She massively helps with the process of keeping things fresh, cute and cuddly. I would’ve been fully content with the dynamic of Kaguya vs Shirogane with Chika interfering, but they felt the need of adding one more student council member, and what a decision that turned out to be. It might’ve taken him a while to make his first appearance, but the true star of the show is Ishigami, the student council’s “Treasurer”. He adds quite a unique perspective to the show. His acerbic and brutally honest nature helps make his interactions with all of the characters funny and entertaining.
We have the Narrator of the show. This show contains inner monologues, a lot of them, but instead of the show adding even MORE inner monologues they’ve decided to go with the narrator route. The narrator in Kaguya-sama really reminds me of the one from Kaiji. He’s loud, explains important parts of the show, and like the narrator from Kaiji, he has also faced a large amount of hate, with people calling him annoying, unfunny, disruptive and more. I do agree, he did feel a bit disruptive in the beginning, but ever since episode 2, I felt that the studio had really found the right amount of when to add him and when not to add him, which has prevented him from being annoying and more of the opposite.
The visuals might seem a bit boring and mundane looking at first, but once the comedic scenes hit, that’s when Kaguya-Sama’s visuals truly shine. The large amount of detail on some of the pieces of imagery you’ll see alongside the fantastic dialogue and masterclass directing, will make you crack up. Seriously, this is easily one of best visually directed shows I’ve seen this season. I love the way it shifts around in so many styles, you feel that the studio are having a blast making this. Considering A1 pictures were the ones making this, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved the character designs. Each character is easily distinguishable and looks visually appealing. I also couldn’t help myself from fawning over the amount of adorable expressions Kaguya and Chika made! Sometimes I find myself just pausing the episode and just admiring them.
There was one part in the Anime that I loved the MOST. It was the final two episodes where the Anime covered what I personally call the “final arc”, which was where everyone part of the student council were going to spend their last day of the summer holiday, going to the summer festival. This arc was split into two episodes (episodes 11 and 12), although it didn’t take up the entirety of both episode lengths, it sure did dominate. What I loved about that “arc” (called “I can’t hear the fireworks”), was that for two episodes, Shirogane and Shinomiya, put aside their quest for “dominance” so that they could enjoy the summer festival together with their friends. The build up was wonderful too, because it put their feelings for one another at the forefront of the “story” – if there is a will, then there is a way.
The last episode was my favourite because, Shinomiya defies her father’s orders, which was not to go to the summer festival (for security reasons) to see the firework show with her friends. While Shirogane, Fujiwara, and Ishigami looked to find a way to make her (shinomiya’s) wish of seeing the fireworks with all of them come true. And just when you thought that all hope was lost for Shinomiya, that she missed the event, the fireworks, and the chance to hang out with her friends before the festival finished, our beloved Shirogane comes in to save the day. The last episode showed a couple of things, that your friends will always have your back, and that if there is a will, there is a way. That is why I loved episode 11 and 12.