KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: From a good family? Check! A good personality? Check! Shuchiin Academy is where all these elite students with bright futures flock to. As the two leaders of the student council, Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane have supposedly fallen in love… But after almost half a year, nothing has happened!? They both have too much pride and can’t be honest. Things have gotten troublesome, and they are now caught in a war of “How to get the other to confess their love first.” This is a whole new romantic comedy, following an outbreak of cunning warfare between two elite students in love. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Kaguya’s anime adaptation does more than most. Typical Manga to Anime adaptations can often be bare bones. They adapt the content in the most basic way, offering a serviceable, but hardly revolutionary experience. Often in these cases I might recommend simply sticking with the manga. But here Kaguya’s anime really elevates the material through solid animation, the VA performance, adjustments to the material to make use of the new medium, and more. The entire presentation feels like a step above the manga, taking the best gags and delivering them with all the punch available, making the comedy hit even harder than it did in the manga.
Linny: The story continues to be innovative and entertaining, spinning new takes on its main premise; the battle of wits and will between its two main leads. But Kaguya and Shirogane’s continued efforts to make the other admit their love first isn’t its only source of comedy. Kaguya does a great job of exploring and expanding its cast and using that to offer comedy beyond just the main showdown between our leads. We get hilarious story lines such as seeing Shirogane’s utter and complete lack of skills at playing volleyball and the numerous physical and visual gags that arise from that. When the show introduces a new character in the sixth episode, Ishigami Yu, the tortured treasurer of the school committee, his addition brings with it lots of laughs and also lots of relatable content as we watch this awkward teenager fumble his way through social interactions much like most of us have or are maybe even struggle with even now. You can’t forget about Chika Fujiwara either, the aloof, seemingly ditsy girl who still manages to throw our ‘love masterminds’ for a loop near every episode.
Tom: Kaguya’s anime picks out the best bits of the manga. With just twelve episodes to cover what’s already a twelve volume manga and counting, the anime can’t possibly adapt everything. Like the best adaptations, Kaguya’s anime cherry picks, choosing to adapt some of the strongest chapters, or reorder events for maximum comedic effect. What results is a series that takes the manga’s comedy and makes it that much more amusing. Unless things take a dive in the second half of the season, my honest opinion is that Kaguya is the comedy to beat for 2019, standing as one of the mediums strongest crazy romantic comedies to date.
Linny: Kaguya is definitely a noteworthy comedy that takes a common anime setting of high school and teen romance and presents it through a new degree of insanity and over the top humour. Presenting Love as a battle to be won works wonders. Every single cast member offers something unique to the story and its comedy with their personal quirks. Some of them even keep you on your toes about whether they truly are as innocent and simple as they present themselves to be (Looking at you, Chika Fujiwara!). With constant twist and turns and plenty of reasons to laugh, KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR is definitely this season’s must watch comedy.