Considered a genius due to having the highest grades in the country, Miyuki Shirogane leads the prestigious Shuchiin Academy's student council as its president, working alongside the beautiful and wealthy vice president Kaguya Shinomiya. The two are often regarded as the perfect couple by students despite them not being in any sort of romantic relationship.
However, the truth is that after spending so much time together, the two have developed feelings for one another; unfortunately, neither is willing to confess, as doing so would be a sign of weakness. With their pride as elite students on the line, Miyuki and Kaguya embark on a quest to do whatever is necessary to get a confession out of the other. Through their daily antics, the battle of love begins!
Considering the circumstances that have lead us to these conditions, I conclude the state we're currently facing is refreshingly cuddly in a soothing manner.
I.e. How cute.
I don't really like A-1, but this time they are doing pretty darn impressive job. Even the character design which A-1 fucks up approximately 100% of the time is quality here. Unbelievable. Sure the stares and GAZES could deliver more, and the how cute moments can only be so cute, but otherwise this is a ridiculously high quality adaptation which success was unpredictable.
The first and last thing that stands out here is the directing. Those who have seen
basically any anime at all will immediately recognize that this style is close to SHAFT's Shinbou Akiyuki, who is known as the nro. 1 anime director in the world pretty much. The director of Kaguya seems to be his old underling/coworker and, needless to say, he has learnt a great deal from the master himself. However -- unlike Tomohiro, who is the underling of the other big anime director (2nd biggest if you will), Ikuhara Kunihiko -- Kaguya's directing is much closer to its director's very own innovation, and to say that this is just a copy-paste would be a blind insult. This man has vision and style and doesn't seem to be afraid of anything. This is creativity and detail at its finest. It's rare to see modern anime even try and even more so: to success at anything new, but what our director, Shinichi Omata is doing here is nothing less than impressive. It's damn fresh to be accurate. Fully approved.
Now that this nerd stuff out of the way, the content:
'Love is War' is a rom-com series aimed for mature audience. It centers around 2 main leads and few other leads who are kinda as important as the other two but also practically in the side roles. Our main 'couple' are Shirogane and Kaguya who have made the concept of 'love' their battlefield. In this battle they are quite literally trying to outwit each others with the power of psychology, logic and pure rhetoric. Why do this, then? Because they both share this fundamental idea that love is weakness of the mind and confessing it an act so against ones pride that doing so makes them.. losers. So, what they are doing instead is try and make the other one confess first. Hence the battlefield.
The series heavily relies on both: interactions between characters and silent monologue that plays inside the heads of our different POV's. The catch being how different the characters are inside their own head and how they appear to others in real life. They have lots of personality and can show different sides of it. Perhaps my favorite part of all of it are the "war planning" and also how overly dramatic Kaguya often is. To say few words about the other cast members, Fujiwara is criminally cute and the rest are pretty much weirdos.
There is one entity in the series that is highly important to the overall execution and that's the narrator. He appears to add lots of missing links and initial reasoning for the characters' thoughts, actions, and real purpose among other things. It balances out the comedy and "plot side" of the series as well as simply makes the overall narrative work/more solid.
As of currently, I'm extremely happy with this show. There are no major issues, only few small things that are questionable but also necessary to make the series' core idea hold water. As far as rom-coms go, this is already among the better things anime has to offer. Also +1 for Fujwara's dance scene which animation budget is higher than the entire season of Date A Live III's cashmoney.
“People confuse ego, lust, insecurity with true love.” –Simon Cowell.
Kaguya-sama Love is war, is basically an anime that you either take it serious and look at it in depth, or you just enjoy it to the max, ignoring any further thinking about it.
The major problem that I see in this anime is about the concept itself. From the first glimpse before watching this anime, I thought that we will have a mature psychological romantic anime that shows how love can be hard, painful and depressing like wars as a metaphorical realistic imaginary, and how can love affects someone’s personality like what wars do, it’d
be interesting to see a concept like this. Unfortunately, I was completely mistaken. The concept shows us that if you fall in love, you lose, if you make the other person confess to you, then you win, and this person is like your pathetic slave and you won a battle. You have to be very careful with everything you do or say, to not show your feelings to your opponent – your crush -, and wait for the perfect chance to trap them and make things go as you wish, somehow like making up tactics and strategies like in war. I’d rather say, this has to be one of the most childish romantic concepts I’ve ever seen.
Relationships and love aren’t games, it’s inappropriate to think of them in such cheap concepts as winning and losing. You know it’s love when even you’re losing, you’re still winning. But rather than that, we here have some autistic teenagers who aren’t even aware of their feelings and have zero idea about what love is, wasting efforts just to protect their childish ego and pride. They think that love is a game. For an instant, I became pretty sure that I can’t even call it “romance” anymore, because romance and true love collapses what you call by ego.
The idea of showing the tactics and strategies done by our prodigy protagonists can be highlighted by an interesting idea, working your brain to the max as if you’re playing chess, it’s an interesting idea. However, it’s done in the wrong way, if everyone on the earth tried to experience love the same way our protagonists do in this anime, humanity would be vanished long ago cause it’s more like an endless loop of useless act that can be done in 1 step only, confession – that in case if they even have feelings to each other -. It’s okey if someone got rejected, life won’t come to its end if something like this happen, but it emphasis also a something that can happen within the upcoming generations’ daily life, which is overthinking like this about love, some people nowadays think that rejection means the end of their life and that “game is over”, hence they try to act cool or hide their feelings to not make the first step and let the other person fall for them. Even that in this case, love has lost its meaning in my opinion.
The main characters of this anime are all in the student council, which are 4 members. Our protagonists are somehow look like typical tsunderes, they’re much funnier and intriguing when they try to manipulate each other and try to counterattack, However, sometimes the extra monologues done by our main characters and the provided narration sometimes are plain and repetitive in the way it’s done, but I’m more interested in our adorable cute girl Chika who is very simple and normal. No need to mention the “Chika’s idiosyncratic dance” in the second Ending song which is so fascinating to watch. I really appreciate A-1 Pictures’ efforts in making this dance so much.
There’s progress between our protagonists in this anime of course but it’s very slow, as the first 3 episodes each of them contained some small arcs and some of them were boring, unlike the 4th one which is about 1 whole arc, it’s probably the one I liked the most cause it was full of events. It seems that the anime would take the “each episode contain many small arcs” route till now or maybe things will be changed later - like each episode contain 1 arc.
The visuals and the animations in this anime are decent, the OSTs aren’t that noticeable, but the Opening song is catchy as well.
Is this anime very very very awful? No.
Is it somehow enjoyable? Yes.
If you enjoy watching romcoms without thinking so serious or try to overthink yourself while watching them, then this anime is the best thing for you, however, if you’re more into mature and realistic love and fed up from typical Japanese teenagers who are naïve when it comes to love, then, I warn you that you’ll not enjoy this at all. Everything in this anime is fine, the only thing that bothered me is the concept itself, aside from this, the anime is really good. Maybe there’ll be a noticeable progress between the character’s relationship in the near future, which is a something that I’m really waiting for to watch. Finally, Love isn’t war, Love is simple and pure or sometimes it’s complicated, but it was never a war by any meaning, nor in any era.
A masterpiece that evokes every emotion I want to feel from a Romantic comedy.
President Miyuki and Vice President Kaguya are in love with each other, but both view themselves as the ultimate object of desire, and thus see no reason to confess, in fact when you are as perfect as they are shouldn’t it be the duty of other people to aspire towards you? However, this is quickly revealed to be a front used by two egotistical Teenagers who can’t quite work up the courage to ask out their crush. What follows from this is a sequence of over thought-out plans in order to force
the other to confess. The comedy in the series comes from its hyper-dramatization of the utterly mundane. Asking someone to the movies is a complex web of intrigue, a game of 20 questions is a western shoot-out, and cat ears are banned by the Geneva convention. But no matter how well-laid the plans of Miyuki and Kaguya, destroying them is but child’s play to their secretary, Chika. This show would be amazing even if it was just comedy, but underneath the absurdity is a sincerely heart-warming story of teenagers learning to move past their flaws, insecurities, and other problems. We are given enough reminders that beneath all these mind games between the two leads there is genuine and sincere emotions for the other. So even though they never confess outright significant progress is still made in the characters’ lives.
A fast frenetic directing style gives the characters so much life even though all they are doing most of the time is thinking in a room. It’s not afraid to break away from reality constantly keep its visuals engaging, and the camera loves to spin, swing, and slide across the main set; Maneuvers made possible by some excellent use of CGI and compositing. Character expressions are exaggerated in creative ways, and the voice actors bring their A game to match the animation. Much like Jojo the color swims to match the mood of a scene, and combined with an eclectic collection of background music serves to set the tone perfectly for most scenes. Character movement is usually quite fluid. Aesthetically it knocks it out of the park. Not to say every frame is a masterpiece, as the cut corners are quickly discernible to a practiced eye, but the peaks far outnumber the troughs.
Aesthetically fantastic and narrative-ly ingenious: A show people must at least try.
Disclaimer: This is a more critical view of Kaguya sama than something commented just on pure enjoyment overrall.
Kaguya sama is one of the newest and most popular comedy animes in the current times, be it due to simple jokes being shared or the dance in the ending that literally everyone decided to talk about, however, the overall quality of the anime itself should'nt be ignored because like everything else, it has it's flaws.
First of all, the anime is extremely episodic almost to the point of being predictable, it sticks to it's formula and never decides to change or take absolute advantage of being formulaic which
ends up in it being repetitive, still fun due to the visuals and somewhat great jokes every now and then but, critically speaking it's far from being as perfect as many reviews i've seen here make it out to be.
Also, the direction is overall pretty weak, it's an extremely visual style that reminds a bit of what studio shaft's directors tend to do but the way the director applied those tecniques makes it more something visually interesting that good unlike the huge majoritiy of the works by shaft.
And Lastly, the characters themselves are pretty "ok-ish", they sure are fun to watch but they lack some depth to them, even if you argumente that it's unnecessary for a comedy series to have a bit of complexity, Kaguya sama tries to actually be a romance at times to try going further into developing the relationship between the main cast so, if it's attempted by the author, even if weakly, automatically makes the argument invalid and compromises a bit more the anime.
Well, concluding it all, Kaguya sama is a weak anime and far from being the best of the current season, however, it's a fun ride, not a perfect one and even less one that deserves a nines and tens but one that should be taken a look if you want just a pretty nice comedy.