After watching a wide number of anime with the "romance" tag in the last years, I was starting to lose my hopes in finding another decent one. This Winter I found many interesting action titles, but I needed something to just chill an relax during the week. To my surprise, I found the title of Kaguya-sama: Love is War under the comedy, and romance tags and I couldn't be happier by that.
The story follows the president of the prestigious Shuchiin Academy student council and its vice president Shinomiya Kaguya, along with their daily issues to accept that they've fell in love with
each other. Both of them are too proud to admit their feelings and confess to the other part, since for them whoever confesses first will lose. To avoid this defeat they reached the following conclusion: to win in love you must make the other part confess. Their battles are interesting to watch and really fun, don't think that you'll see a Death Note level mental battle, but Shirogane and Kaguya think carefully about different strategies to force the other person to say... "I love you".
Each episode is divided in three parts, and each part presents a different situation that'll unleash a different battle. The first episodes focus more in comedy, but the last ones give more importance to their bonds and allow us to appreciate how close they've become with each other and with the other members of the council. The romantic vibe takes more strength in these final episodes as well.
Once you start watching this series, it's evident that A-1 Pictures has poured all its love into it. I really like how the Academy portrays the class and elegance that it's supposed to represent. The backgrounds and furniture are well detailed and that's something I really appreciate. The character designs are also an improvement from the manga, and the level of cuteness is taken to a completely new level. I mean, I've never seen someone blushing as beautifully as Kaguya or a dance as cute as Fujiwara's. You want moe? Don't go anywhere else! Another important aspect of the art, is facial expressions. Here you'll either laugh by what's actually happening, by the voice acting or simply thanks to the facial expressions. Simply brilliant.
Usually, finding a comedy with a good soundtrack is a difficult task. However, this isn't the case. The comedic moments are well supported by the right sounds and all the voice actors deliver the emotion of the moment in a spectacular way. "BRAKE ISHIGAMI!" has to be the line that has made me laugh the most during this year. The narrator also makes an outstanding job in explaining the inner battles between the main characters and how they feel in the middle of them, making their mental battles even more interesting to watch. Now let's not forget the OP! It has one of the most catchy songs from the season and will be repeating itself in your head every time you finish an episode. The ED is also really nice and of course don't forget Fujiwara's dance at the end of ep 3. It only happened once, but was enough to stay in our minds forever.
The cast of characters is short but memorable for sure. At first glance it might seem like we're in front of a bunch of stereotyped characters. Of course, this isn't the case. In this show we've the pleasure of meeting a diverse cast in terms of personality.
The president Shirogane Miyuki is the number one student in the Academy, but this isn't because he belongs to a high class family that positioned him there, actually it's all the opposite. Miyuki comes from a poor family and is even considered as a workaholic by the other members of the council due to his obsession with earning what he wants with hard work. His behavior constantly gives rise to different comedic situations in which he gets involved in the activities of rich people and feel completely out of place. I really enjoyed him as the male lead and the difference of social classes between him and Kaguya made their chemistry even better.
The vice president Shinomiya Kaguya shares some similarities with the president, but at the same time they're completely opposite poles. Like Shirogane, Kaguya is a brilliant student that's admired by the other students because of her intelligence and beauty. Both of them are extremely popular students who take their duties in the student council quite seriously. However, as I mentioned before their social backgrounds make them see their daily life from a completely different perspective. She was strictly raised under a wealthy family, and her knowledge about themes like sex is limited to what we learn in Primary School. Some viewers have mentioned that her behavior is childish for a girl who is 16, but let's remember that she has never had any friends before she could get along with the other members of the school council and her family is barely present in her life. With this in mind, it's evident that she has never been exposed to mature subjects and that her knowledge about love and human relationships is limited. So I can understand why she acts shyly whenever she comes across a subject that is almost unknown to her.
The Secretary Fujiwara Chika is all the opposite from Kaguya and Shirogane. She innocnetly ruins their plans all the time, but no matter how many times she does this it's impossible to dislike her. She has one of the cutest designs I've ever seen and her open personality is a plus. Her IQ is of 3, but I don't think she's dumb. She can even dominate the French language, unlike the president himself. She always says what's on her mind and this honesty makes a nice contrast between her and Kaguya.
Fujiwara is an energetic girl that also genuinely cares about Kaguya. Despite Kaguya getting mad at Fujiwara because she always gets in the middle of her plans, she always ends up finding out that Fujiwara is the best friend she can ever have.
Now I must talk about The Man, and no, I'm not referring to Becky Lynch but to our precious treasurer of the student council Yuu Ishigami. Ishigami is the kind of character that appears much later in the story just to steal the show. As many on here have mentioned before, he's the most relatable character in the story, the one who feels real the most in this series. He's an expert in analyzing data, but he's a loner with great issues to socialize. He always says what he thinks, without analyzing the effect that'll have in the other people. This constantly puts him in trouble, especially with both Fujiwara and Kaguya. He's a genius in terms of technology and videogames, but totally fails with his grades and social relationships. Ishigami thinks that Kaguya wants to kill him, but after a certain event he realizes that she isn't as cold as she seems and also after many episodes, it gets noticeable that his relationship with Shirogane has gotten really close.
Finally, a special mention to Kaguya's maid, Hayasaka Ai who encouraged Kaguya all the time to pay attention to her own feelings and stole the show every time she was on screen. All the maids in anime should be like her.
This winter season gave me many great titles to enjoy, but after a couple of weeks this was the one I was looking forward the most. I was never bored and was always interested in the story and the characters. Definitely one of the most enjoyable experiences ever and my favorite rom com from all time.
I'd recommend this show to anyone who enjoys the comedy genre or to anyone who's looking for a light romance story. However, the idea of two people looking for a way to make the other part confess their love might not be attractive for some, or the concept can get repetitive. Also, the innocence of the characters in terms of love might be childish for others. If you're looking for a serious romance with lots of drama and twisted pasts, go away from here and watch something else. But if you're just looking for an entertaining story about two characters with issues to deal with their first love, then go ahead and enjoy!
Apr 1, 2019
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Jan 11, 2019
So as a person who has been evading idol related series all her life, I was convinced that I wouldn't enjoy this one. A friend recommended it to me a while ago, so I told myself why not? At least there are hot guys! But how wrong I was. Idolish7 is a lot more than that.
The story isn't anything complex. Basically a group of 7 guys reunite to form an idol group from scratch. But don't think that things will come easy for these guys, actually it's all the opposite. We get to see a quite realistic story in which fame doesn't come as ... easy as you'd like. Our lovely group must face different situations that will complicate their path to glory. There's even an episode in which they perform in front of just 9 persons and other in which fake rumors about them are spread once they start getting some fame. However, the dramatic or negative moments help the characters to grow and are well balanced along with comedy and heart warming moments. The only complaint I have is that the last episodes felt a bit rushed, but overall the story is nicely done.
What can I say about this? The art is simply gorgeous! All the characters look really handsome, and everything's so colorful and vivid. A real delight for the sight, no doubt. Also, the show constantly makes use of CCG, more specifically during the song performances. I'm not an expert in CCG stuff, but at least I can say that it wasn't great nor bad. It was ok for its purpose. Finally, there's also a lot of chibi moments. They are cute as you can expect from chibis, and contribute a lot to the comedic moments.
Now let's go with one of my favorite aspects from this show... the sound. The voice actors made an excellent job in this one since each voice fits the character's personality perfectly. I also liked how each group portrayed their own style in each song. The songs by Idolish7 are more catchy and suitable to dance and have fun, while the songs by Trigger are more elegant and serious, but equally enjoyable.
What I like about this anime the most is that despite presenting a huge cast of characters, it gives some development to everyone. We get to see what motivates each guy to become an idol and how each one of them deals with their fame as individuals and as part of a group. There are many character interactions that allow us to appreciate how each member feels and how they get along with the other members.
And let's not forget about the rival group, Trigger. This group is already famous and basically our main characters aspire to reach the level of fame they have. The three members of Trigger are really charismatic. I really enjoyed their performances and their interactions with the main characters. At the end I decided that my favorite character from this series was one of the members of Trigger, so no doubt I enjoyed their existence on here.
Did I enjoy this? Of course I did! I'd rewatch it without hesitation. The characters are interesting, the comedy is good, the music is great...yeah, I did enjoy this more than I expected from an idols show.
I'd definitely recommend this to anyone, even to guys. There isn't unnecessary fanservice that'd bother them and the story flows really well. And most important of all, the characters aren't unidimensional, they grow and so does your interest in them. So if you're looking for something simple but well done, don't look anywhere else!
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