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!
What is your favourite battle of wits story? The classic Light vs L? Maybe the JoJo fights? For me the winner is clearly Miyuki vs Kaguya!
Kaguya Wants to be Confessed To completely caught me by surprise with a hilarious and adorable romantic comedy based on mindgames between the two main characters with the objective of making the other confess his/her feelings, and why? Because they believe that the one that confesses will become the submissive part in the relationship, and their pride makes them refuse to be that one.
The chapters are episodic and feature a different battle in their war for love, everything that happens
is overly exaggerated for the characters, Kaguya usually goes for extremely well through, crazy prepared strategies, while Miyuki is more of using his knowledge and quick thinking to come up with a plan on the spot, sadly for them, there is also Chika Fujiwara, the school council secretary, ready to sometimes screw up their plans just when they through the other had no chance to escape, later on, Ishigami, the treasurer, also starts appearing, and every single one of his moments is pure comedy gold.
The art style is fantastic, with the reaction faces of the characters being the best part, making me laugh like crazy without failing, I expected a drop in both art quality and story after moving from publishing monthly to weekly, but I'm really happy to say that for now the quality stays consistent the whole time, it's more, the the comedy is getting better and better every chapter.
I really recommend this manga to everyone, and I specially want to mention the readers that don't like romance manga to give it a try, yes, it's still a romance/comedy, but for the way it works, it feels so different to the others, maybe this is the one that you will like!
I like to call this the Death Note of school romantic comedies. If Death Note ever made you laugh out loud (on purpose).
This manga is a breath of fresh air, as usually romcom manga start out with them meeting and being put into an awkward more than friends but less than lovers scenario, or some misunderstanding happens and all the characters are pissed at each other. Not with Kaguya Wants to be Confessed To, in this manga both main characters are too proud and scared to confess, so they try and bait each other into revealing their feelings.
There are a lot of
absurd convoluted situations, AHA, THAT WAS MY PLAN THE ENTIRE TIME moments, and an adorable and goofy side character that may or may not be masterminding everything behind the scenes.
The art sytle is more suited for subtle humor than pure quality, and honestly it works a lot better that way.
The humor is intelligent and original, there are no cliche scenes (unless one of the MCs planned it out to be a cliche to get a reaction out of the other MC), only one Tsukomimi scene, and very little "hurr durr panties and boobies" humor. Its just originally funny.
Oh yeah, there's a minimum amount of ecchi fanservice in this. This is a manga that I could and did read on my phone in a Panera. This is probably because it is a shounen written by a woman, and that also makes it so that its an easily accessible manga for both genders.
I honestly believe that usually females are not good mangaka. Despise the art skills many have, they lack a lot when it comes to actually writing a story. I, for some reason (most probably to fill the void created by my own loneliness TT TT) I end up reading a lot of shoujo manga. For me shoujo manga is a guilty pleasure and a great mystery... a mystery because, I don't think that there is any other genre, form of art or literature that manages to be as unmemorable as most of the shoujo manga on the market does. I hate reading ongoing shoujo manga
because, especially if is monthly, I manage to forget most of what it is about until the next chapter comes up... in fact if I forget about it for 3-4 months, and find it on internet by chance, even though I know that I had read it, is amazing how everything about it is erased from my memory.
But of course not every female mangaka is able to produce just a pale shi... irrational melodrama and hardcore cliché. There are great female authors, most of them write Shounen manga trough... I love Hoshino Katsura - D Gray Man is one of my favorite manga... and even in the shoujo genre there are some beautiful jewels that I can't forget, like Taiou no Ie or Akatsuki no Yona... Despite the fact that most of the females mangaka do so badly, when they are competent, they usually manage to be extraordinary. And such is the case of Akasaka Aka, the author of this manga, which is not shoujo, but is a romance manga, a genre that becomes the victim to a lot of cliché in the hand of the wrong author.
Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen follows the story of two extraordinary students, who are the President and Vice-President of a prestigious high school. They are both dignified, have a solid background... and a very twisted view about love. In their vision love is war which has a strong hierarchy, and as a result the one who falls in love lose - the one who confess first will always be the one bellow, which will be oppressed and have to obey the winner. They had become aware of each other, and consider that they wouldn't mind to date, but the problem is that both of them want to be the winner, and that lead to a simple conclusion: ''I will make him/her fall for me and confess first.'' And this is how our story begins. From there on each chapter presents us the psychological warfare between those characters, full of complicated plans, twists and situations that usually end up bad (but funny for us), and with a winner or defeated.
The whole situation is extremely funny and enjoyable. The plot is a doze of fresh air in the rom-com genre, that has the potential to become extremely popular between readers and one of your weekly pleasures that have place on your calendar.
I like the art, is not extraordinary, the character design is not exceptional, and the art is simple, but is very suited with the story. The expressions of the characters are perfect, and every important moment is well drawn managing to capture the tension of the situation.
At this point we only have 3 characters, and you will love them all. We have:
Shirogane, the male protagonist - he is the President. Extremely smart, the number 1 student in the whole country. He is quite badass, serious and extremely calculated. He is able to read and understand Kaguya's character more that she is able to do about him, as a result he manages to counterattack many of her devious plans... but he is not perfect, and he has moments where he completly fails to read her - that results in misunderstandings and complete collapse of his character.
Kaguya, the female protagonist - she is the Vice-President. The heir of Japan's biggest corporation, the future of the country's economy is one her shoulders. Raised as a sheltered lady, her knowledge of the outside world is very shallow, and many times that is her weak point. She devises extremely complicated plans that are successful until the point where her lack of common knowledge, has different effects than what she wished for. She definitely likes Shirogane, but her pride won't let her to admit it, but makes her creates more plans and prepare more traps trying to win the war. She has a very devious personality, quite manipulative, and with pretty strong Yandere shades... her pure naivety is the only thing that keeps her from becoming a ''feme du fatale'' (fatal woman).
Fujiwara - she is the secretary. Kaguya's best friend and an extremely cheerful girl. Is hard to understand if she is aware of the war between those too, because she plays quite a big role in the creation and the failures of many of the plans, but she is fun to watch anyway. She is nowhere as smart or rich as the main protagonists, but many times she is Kaguya's connection with common sense and outside world, as she clears many of her misunderstandings and helps her learn... stuff e_e
Is difficult to not enjoy this.
This manga is about the battle between the prides of two peoples with twisted ideologies. Is a great psychological warfare used in a pretty original way. Also really unpredictable, it will manage to make you enjoy each battle waiting to see how it ends.
I made this review because I was surprised to see that there is none written yet. This manga is simply too good to be underrated.
Comedies usually aren't that much my thing, though I enjoy reading some from time to time, but the psychological tag made my decision.
My first impressions were mixed. On the one hand, the first page got me in, since I do believe that there is a relationship of power in a couple. I took that from a Kundera novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, I found it to be quite true throughout the years. That's only the characters' motives though : take the advantage in the future relationship by making the other confess. So I'm on board with the premise.
Kaguya's first description, on the other
hand, pissed me off a little. I tend to dislike the very wealthy family background, since it easily breaks the suspension of disbelief for me. And the fact that both Shirogane and her are depicted as geniuses added to my bad first impression. I'll admit though that from time to time, the wealthy background is required, especially in mangas talking about social differences, such as Velvet Kiss (in that manga though, the author builds up the characters nicely). I read the chapters available, the first 18, in a row, so my fears weren't met.
In Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai, since it's a comedy, the hyperbole is fine. Some developments on the characters are interesting, yet still very cliché (Shirogane has somewhat of an inferiority complex because of his more modest background, Kaguya has troubles dealing with everyday life because of her privileged background). Overall though, their background is pretty slim and revolve on these very archetype. To be fair, Fujiwara, their common friend, brings a breath of fresh air, by bringing to the conversations a bit of spontaneousness, hence often breaking the plans of the main protagonists. She's quite shallow in terms of background, but she is the spice and the charm of this manga.
These first chapters are stand-alone chapters, and revolve around psychological duels between the two main characters trying to make the other confess. Some are interesting with nice twists, some are really funny and made me laugh, some are even touching as behind the calculations the characters let genuine emotions through, some are pointless since you see the outcome from a mile away, and some are outright confusing and miss the spot. The structure doesn't bother me in itself. Stand-alone chapters can work really well on me. For example I hold Mysterious Girlfriend X as one of my favorites, because the atmosphere is incredible and the characters really interesting, at least to me.
The problem here is that with the lack of an overall story and the very simplistic background for the characters, the quality of this manga entirely depends on the quality of each chapter's plot. And I wasn't amazed overall. If the psychological part interests you, there are plenty of better mangas out there (if I had to cite only one : Liar Game). Yet, the combination of the psychological games and the light romcom has its value, and for that Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai is a refreshing read.