Masamune-kun’s Revenge – Mid Season Review
Original Air Dates: January 5th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Makabe Masamune had a tough middle school life, and faced the rejection of a lifetime. Now in high school, Makabe is buff, fit, and prepared to woo the girl who caused his middle school trauma, one Adagaki Aki. However his aim isn’t simply to win her affections, but to outright dump her in the end!
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Masamune-Kun’s Revenge is over the top, as evident from the premise alone. The show is peppered with outrageous gags of an increasingly bizarre nature. Yet, despite that, it oddly wants to be taken seriously when it comes to Masamune’s quest for revenge against Aki.
Linny: It’s the insistence to be taken seriously that often ruins what potential the show has as a comedy. If it had thrown all caution to the wind and just been a crazy over the top line up of gags, Masamune’s Revenge would have been so much more enjoyable. When the story takes itself seriously, the protagonist comes off as such a petty and pathetic person to have held on to a grudge from childhood to the point that he has spent his life fixated on it. It’s all the more frustrating too then as the show throws girl after girl at him while constantly reminding us that he is so fixated on his revenge to ever even give any of them a chance. It’s a problem most harem shows suffer from, where it’s always super obvious who the main couple are from the very start but the show insists on introducing new stereotypical heroines every few episodes or so.
Tom: Masamune’s efforts to seduce Aki become flat very quickly, and as we hit the mid season I find my opinion having changed little since we wrote our preview. The work it takes to keep Masamune’s quest for revenge reeling between success and failure borders on try hard. While the oddball comedy and random jokes keep the show from feeling entirely stale, it’s simply not enough. The show simply remains uneven, only on occasion displaying laugh out loud comedy.
Linny: The jokes in the show failed to make me genuinely laugh even once though some could argue that comes down to personal tastes and preferences so I won’t be too harsh about it. However, the humour does feel stretched and the only times the show got a genuinely surprised or shocked reaction is when it features Makabe’s mother who looks like she’s 5 and who Makabe himself addresses as a ‘loli hag.’ But seeing her tiny stature and kiddish behaviour makes me feel disturbed rather than amused.
Tom: The further we get in Masamune gradually comes off as more and more petty, which in turn detracts from the overall comedic feel of the series. It doesn’t help that the show’s harem elements actively undermine this. Masamune has, by mid season, at least three different women he could pursue beyond Aki. Yet the show goes to great lengths to keep Masamune focused on his quest. This is a man who could easily find happiness in any of these girls arms, yet remains so petty, so consumed by his past that he doesn’t even entertain such notions. It’s honestly quite sad and pathetic, making it difficult to empathize with Masamune.
Linny: Makabe feels like such a complete f***-up for someone who apparently spent several years training to seduce and win over Akagi. He apparently thinks that just because he slims down that he will automatically have her eating out of his palm. And for someone who fixated so much on making Akagi fall for him, he seems completely clueless about how to actually interact with girls. Ultimately, his clumsiness may have been put in for the sake of comedy but it only ends up undoing the premise of the show.
Tom: As the show gets dangerously close to feeling creatively bankrupt, we’re introduced to a new character mid way into the series, one Neko Fujinomiya, a weird, happy girl who injects a bit more random into the series. It’s enough to give Masamune-Kun’s Revenge a small second wind, creating a new avenue of humor and trouble for our hero, but it’s ultimately not enough to alleviate the greater problems.
Linny: Earlier on in the show, Tae Futaba, class rep, seemed like a strong candidate for most popular harem member as she’s friendly, level headed and genuinely sweet. However, she ends up completely forgotten as the show proceeds as if it was quickly decided she wasn’t interesting enough and refocuses all its energy on the new flavour of the month, Neko Fujinomiya. While I agree with Tom that Neko is in her own rights an interesting character, it’s a little disappointing how bad the show is at juggling its harem ladies.
Tom: Overall Masamune-Kun’s Revenge isn’t awful. The random/absurd comedy is peppered through enough that those less questioning of Masamune’s quest for revenge should find enough laughs to keep them going, but anyone struggling to become invested in Masamune’s efforts will find the series wholly lacking.
Linny: While the premise for Masamune’s Revenge is definitely novel, it really needs to balance its serious tone with its constant and random attempts at comedy. It’s hard to decide who to recommend this show to as it has such a peculiar vibe that makes it an odd watch. Without spoiling too much, if the show sticks to its source material, it is likely to get really convoluted in a way that feels contrite and forced rather than intelligent and genuinely surprising. If you haven’t picked this show up yet, it’s best to leave it be and watch something else.