A Tale of Two Tsunderes (Kaguya-Sama Season Review)

A Tale of Two Tsunderes (Kaguya-Sama Season Review)

Recently, I saw Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War amazingly described as my title, and couldn’t find it more accurately explained. I’ve made it no secret that I’ve been all for this anime to come out for over a year now since I stumbled upon a show sold to me as “a giant high level mind game romcom.” It pleases me to no end that the subreddit for this has grown from just under 4k to over 16k and constant memes and shitposts pertaining to the show being thrown all over the internet. Best of all, I’ve been able to find a show that became popular and track the interesting dynamic of its characters throughout the season.

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Hipster statements aside, the fever dream that is Kaguya-Sama kicked in as people fell in love with the lovable chaos that is Chika Fujiwara, and I’m glad that it just exploded from there. The anime started out as the manga did with a series of fun and lovable moments where Kaguya aligned events to occur with great forethought and Shirogane managed to outwit, draw, or get played in fairly equal regards. However after around episode 7, they stopped cutting content so that they could get to a solid ending in the form of the Fireworks arc. During this time we find out how the dynamics of the rest of the student council interact with one another and the students. All of this was calculated to an immense success that culminated in the end of episode 11 and episode 12.

One of the biggest plot points and set ups to our lovely fireworks scene, was the segment where Kaguya was sick and transformed into Kaguya-Chan, an innocent and adorable version of the otherwise methodical Kaguya. During this state Shirogane and Chika (and Ishigami kinda sorta) compete to be the one to visit and see Kaguya, with Shirogane winning out in the end. After dropping by her awe-inspiring mansion, he is subsequently pulled into bed with Kaguya and after resisting the urge to do anything with her while she was out of it, Kaguya wakes up lucid and is enraged at the President.

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Poor Shirogane finds himself in an awkward damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t moment with Kaguya enraged if he touched her and offended if he didn’t. After a bit of reconciliation and apology, we find our tsundere couple in a familiar place, balancing mind games with trying to not reveal how much they care for one another. This eventually leads us to the set up of Summer vacation with Kaguya and Shirogane unable to hang out for several segments worth of time to the mutual sadness and loss of both. Eventually we have Kaguya quote her inner child mindset of wanting to see fireworks. With this we are given the sad truth that with her cold and unloving family and their overbearing control over her, she will be unable to see the fireworks with her friends as planned. Not being one to let us down, Shirogane sees a tweet from Kaguya (which in the anime I feel they heavily implied was really Hayasaka but I never really noticed in the manga) and races off to take her to see the fireworks.

As shit gets real, we do end up having the crew meet up and race off to a far section of Tokyo to see fireworks from the taxi, but Kaguya is unable to see nor hear them. Her eyes are locked on the man next to her and her ears are deafened by the beating of her heart. And so we have the first real progress away from a romcom filled with unresolved sexual tension and towards the amazing story that Kaguya-Sama will eventually become. Overall I can’t help but tell you anime watchers that the show only gets better and honestly, if it takes another couple years for Kadokawa to get Season 2 out, I can live with that so long as they do it justice. This season overall has been nothing short of amazing between Shield-Hero, Mob Psycho, and Promised Neverland, but my favorite is still Kaguya and I hope that it stays a regular reference point like Darling or JoJo’s and doesn’t just fall to the seasonal wayside.


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