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Wednesday
Jun282017

AA Masamune-kun's No Revenge Review

WARNING SPOILERS! - Eventually

“The Boulder feels conflicted.” - The Boulder from Avatar the Last Airbender 

You and me both buddy.

 

Masamune-kun’s Revenge is about a Masamune Makabe who years ago was a fat child and was best friends with Aki Adagaki one day he decides to go up to her (window) and confess his love to her.  She rejects him by calling him “Pig’s Foot”.  This of course crushes him but it does motivate him into exercising,  changing his name and then years later get the ultimate revenge on her…by making her fall in love with him and then breaking her heart.  MWAHAHAHAHAHA! 

 

What initially interested me in this series was that it seemed to be a variation on “The Count of Monte Cristo”.  I’ve seen variations of other classic works before but rarely of this, so I was game.  It’s tough to review this because there both good and bad aspects to this series.  I suppose the best place to start are the characters.  I don’t like them.  Okay, with the exception of one I don’t like them.  When we first meet them Masamune comes off as vain and egotistical and Aki comes off as a cold hearted bi- uh witch(yeah let’s go with that).  So we have two unlikable characters in a rom/com series.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Having whip smart and razor tongued protagonists go at it can be fun.  Also you can have unlikable main characters and still have a good story and characters.  Ex: Sherlock Holmes and the cast of Seinfeld.  My problem with the main duo is I get the feeling from following the series that we’re supposed to like them.

 

A big reason why I’m conflicted about this series is that while I understand and can relate a bit to the motivations of the tow main characters I just feel a bit distant from them.  Masamune wanting to better himself in order to prove someone wrong and get revenge?  Perfectly relatable.  Aki not having a positive male role model and it affecting how she is years later?  MANY women can relate to that.  Part of my problem with Aki I believe had to do with by the time I started the series I was just done with “Tsundere’s”.  So she took my ire.  Still after learning her backstory while I could sympathize I still dislike her.  

 

Yoshino Koiwai is the life long maid and emotionally abused “best friend” of Aki.  She’s also the best character in the series.  Originally seemingly shy and clumsy she’s not what she appears to be.  I want to talk about her more but I’ll wait until the “Spoilers”

 

Neko Fujinomiya is a pretty and happy yet physically frail girl.  At first she seems like a good character but basically she’s used as a plot device.  Because of her weak constitution you know she’ll be used for both comedic and heavy drama purposes.  It’s tough to be invested in her since I know that she won’t play major part of the love triangle.

 

The supporting characters are okay but they don’t get a ton of focus and when they do I just got the feeling they were there just to push the story along and nothing else.  

 

The comedic bits between the 2 protagonist(s)is okay but I find the series at it’s funniest when Masamune interacts with characters other than Aki.  Yoshino specifically.  Especially the end of chapter 2.  Heh. 

 

As far as the comic goes the art is clean and has a good amount of details in the background.  I would say the character designs are a bit generic however.  You can properly peg a character’s personality the second you see them.  The exception being Yoshino.  They are a bit stylize though so their not boring to look at.  When it comes to the animation there is a smooth transition from comic to tv.  The tv series I feel is accurate to the comic.  The opening and ending themes are good(actually they may be to good for the material their adapting).  Considering where the tv series ended it will be a little while before we could get a 2nd season.

 

RECOMMENDATION: For myself no.  For anyone else yes?

 

While I couldn’t get into the series myself I do see the appeal of it.  It’s an alternate take on the rom/com where the main characters are antagonistic towards each other and that can be done for great comedy and drama I just don’t think it worked here for the most part.  I feel a better series that does this better is “Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen”.  It has relatable characters and the flaws of their personalities fuel the comedy.  Plus while it’s a battle of the wits(to see who will make the other confess to them first)the stories feel less cliche.  The author can take a small seemingly insignificant thing like cat ears and derive comedy from it and can also take something like going to the fireworks and get real believable drama.

 

Hmm I guess I’m saying skip Masamune and read KAGUYA!

 

Despite the revelation in chapter 39 I don’t know with I want to continue with the series.  I don’t care about the main couple and the only reason for continuing is to follow a supporting character.  I don’t think that’s what the the author was going for.

 

And now to the spoilers.

 

SPOILERS

 

Yoshino Koiwai is the best character in the series and one of the best characters in Japanese/Manga of the last few years(if I ever get back to the top 25 Females in Japanese Manga, Anime and Light-novels I may have to put her on it).  If she were the focus on the series it would’ve been 10 times better.  I noted above that she first appears as a shy, obedient, clumsy moe stereotype but we learn by the end of chapter 2 that she’s also cold, manipulative and we learn latter on guilt ridden.   

 

Aki wasn’t the one that crushed Masamune’s heart.  It was Yoshino.  She dressed up like and did the deed that’s why when confronted Aki didn’t know anything about this.  Why did Yoshino do it.  Jealousy.   Even though she’s supposed to be Aki’s friend Aki never treated her that way.  Masamune’s love for aki was mutual.  Yoshino did this to get back at the both of them.   However this is a major cause of Aki’s hatred of men.  The reason she’s helping him is 1. If he does succeed in his plan and breaks her heart she might treat her better(ok flawed) 2. Since she’s the cause of his troubles she has to do this rectify her previous mistake.  With the most recent chapters though her motivation has changed.  She want’s Masamune to confess to Aki but he wants them both to be happy.  Also it was revealed in chapter 39 that Yoshino's fallen in love with him.  Over the course of 40 chapters she’s gone thru a very subtle but believable character arc.  

 

It’s interesting as a kid she had weight issues and Aki treated her like crap.  Meanwhile Masamune who was also fat she fawned over.  Looking at it that way I can understand why she this resentment for the both of them.  Of the main 3 characters she’s the one I’m most invested in and hope has a happy ending.  Except that happy ending isn’t going to be hooking up with Masamune.  I’ve read too many stories like this so I know by the end Aki and Masamune will hook up.  Personally I hope she doesn’t hook up with him.  Hopefully by the end of the story she will have a positive self image of herself and either have a healthy relationship with Aki or just put her in the rear window and go on with her life.

 

Currently with the series Masamune’s secret is revealed and it looks like him and Aki will start dating.  With this happening I wonder where the series will go next.  Unless something happens to cause major conflict I could see the series ending within the next few months to a year.  I suppose Yoshino could be that conflict but based on how she acts she wouldn’t want to hurt them that way now.

 

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