- Episodes : 12
- Airing Date : January 2017 – March 2017
- Studios : Silver Link
2017 kicked in with a Winter roster of highly promising shows, including today’s subject, the anime adaptation of Takeoka Hazuki’s manga, .Masamune-kun no Revenge. Makabe Masamune, a handsome, athletic high schooler hides behind his beautiful exterior the scars of a painful childhood experience. When he was younger, and a little pudgier, he had his heartbroken by a rich girl named Adagaki Aki, who gave him the nickname “Piggy”. Scarred by this experience, Masamune worked hard to sculpt his body. Now handsome, at least by societal standards, Masamune wishes to win the heart of Adagaki Aki and smash it into a billion tiny pieces. He aims to exact revenge on Adagaki for the torment he experienced at her hands as a child and, with the help of her maid, Koiwai Yoshino, Masamune has a pretty good chance of success. However, the closer he gets to Adagaki, the greater the doubt grows within his heart. Is revenge what Masamune truly desires?
Throughout the series, Masamune’s blatant inexperience with girls stands to bring his plans to ruin; however, Koiwai assumes the role of Masamune’s strategist and clean-up specialist, believing that the experience of heartbreak will be beneficial to Adagaki. The twelve episodes of the series explore, albeit not satisfactorily, the pasts which have shaped both Masamune’s and Adagaki’s pessimistic perspectives on love. Despite her cold demeanour and her dismissive attitude towards Masamune, it is apparent that she bears some form of affection for Masamune, like the time when she stormed off in a jealous rage when her rival in love, Fujinomiya Neko, first appeared, gleefully hugging Masamune.
Other moments which made it blatantly obvious that Adagaki does in fact view Masamune in a romantic light, or at the very least, consider him to be a significant figure in her life in some way, include the time when he was ignoring her. A misunderstanding between them lead to Masamune dreading their paths crossing. Adagaki was in possession of Masamune’s umbrella and was eager to give it back; however, at every opportunity, Masamune made it a priority to get away from her, prompting her to come to the conclusion that he was avoiding her, a fact which did not go down well with her and bothered her a great deal.
What I Liked About Masamune-kun no Revenge (Masamune’s Revenge)
Like most romantic comedies, Masamune-kun did deliver on many occasions with humorous moments and events within the show which made it entertaining. There is a strange sense of airheadedness with almost all the characters involved in the show, which can remind one of the way in which many people do not actually know what they’re doing when it comes to love and romance. The show’s premise boasted much potential in terms of character development and that prospect drew me to watch Masamune-kun no Revenge.
Discussion Time ?
We’ll elaborate upon the things which Masamune-kun no Revenge did well as a series, as well as areas where it could have been a lot better, or things which took away from the experience of the anime. Aspects which made Masamune-kun no Revenge stand out from the rest of the show which aired in the Winter season of 2017, such as its interesting plot, the potential of several brilliant characters and a pretty good comedy. Despite all of these positive traits, as of the last episode, the anime can be summed up as disappointing. The main problem being the lack of discernible progress with the main characters, where their relationship as of episode 12 has not made much progress from the beginning of the series. Characters were also not used effectively and essentially, the anime with an interesting story became just that: the anime that had an interesting story, but not much to show for it.
One thing many people will admit, even those who do not actually enjoy romantic comedies, is the attractive nature of the plot. With a storyline like this, the number of different possibilities is extensive and exciting and there is a wealth of characters who could possibly find their element in such a story. Stories where main characters have a particular kind of childhood experience are always gripping because viewers always need to know why and how things are the way they are now. Masamune-kun no Revenge boasts that kind of story, one reminiscent of Nisekoi or even the mysterious past of Hasegawa Kodaka in Haganai.
A strength of many romantic comedies is in the fact that they encourage the creation and use of several characters. There have to be interesting main characters and side characters who act as a foil or rival to the main character and their romantic missions. Being the self-proclaimed hunk that he is, Masamune catches the attention of several girls at school and even the class rep, Futaba Tae, admits to having a crush on him. It is quite possible to expand and complicate such relationships in a way which makes things interesting and exciting. The bishounen, Shuri Kojuurou, has a fairly unique role in the story as Masamune’s only male friend at school, but also a dark horse when it comes to romantic interactions with female characters. Unfortunately for Kojuurou, his appearance and demeanour cause the female characters to regard him with a level of sisterhood that would normally be seen with girls and their female friends.
Koiwai Yoshino, Adagaki’s aide and favourite servant is also a strange case. A stoic and reserved character, her role in helping Masamune get his revenge is strange and breaks away from the servant role she is said to serve. There is much that can be achieved with a character as enigmatic as she. The same could prove to be true with Fujinomiya Neko, the one rival of Adagaki Aki and spanner in the works for Masamune’s plan for revenge. She presents herself as someone from Masamune’s past (a complete lie) and attempts to use her feminine wiles to seduce him. It turns out that her rapidly deteriorating health prompted her to at least try to experience love once in her life and she therefore saw it fit to pursue Masamune.
Adagaki Aki is perhaps one of the most irritating, yet most exemplary examples of a tsundere; never baring her true intentions or feelings despite how much they show. Her past, like everyone else’s, is a mystery, apart from the constant flashback she experiences of an event where it seems that a promise between herself and a certain someone was broken, causing her to become the pride-killer that she is currently. Masamune himself is interesting due to the fact that there is dichotomy in who he is and what he seems to represent and what he appears to be. Being an attractive male who has some knowledge on how to charm women, Masamune still hadn’t had his first kiss at the start of the series and even enlisted the help of Koiwai Yoshino in order to woo Adagaki Aki.
Nothing Actually Happens
The biggest issue that Masamune-kun no Revenge faces as a romantic comedy is the simple fact that nothing happens. After twelve whole episodes, the characters are, for the most part, exactly where they started when the anime began. The relationship between Masamune and Adagaki shows signs of change in the earlier episodes but come the final episode, we realise that nothing has changed. Most viewers would feel betrayed, annoyed, maybe even disrespected if they invested several hours of their lives watching a show only for nothing to happen.
Whatever possible character development that could have happened, especially after the introduction of the other, chubbier Masamune, Gasou Kanetsugu, fell to the wayside as the final episode was a complete cop out – all the characters did was ignore the events of the school play which actually led to Masamune and Adagaki sharing a kiss. Surely after an event as significant as that, there would be a great difference in how the two interacted but, nothing. After twelve episodes, we know nothing about Aki’s past, we know nothing about the chubby Masamune and we still know next to nothing about the titular character himself. That is a major flaw.
While we did praise Masamune-kun no Revenge for having a decent roster of characters, that was based on their potential to become really interesting characters. That potential was not actually realised and instead, we ended up with many one-trick-ponies who, despite hinting at possible moments of growth, ended up not changing at all. This is either due to the fact that the season ended before they could do so, or simply because they weren’t given the chance to do so at all. Such characters include Kojuurou, for towards the end of the first season, he began harbouring a crush on Fujinomiya Neko and therefore wanted to change himself to a more stereotypical image of masculinity in order to win her heart. This event did not happen, nor was it even given the time to develop into an interesting side-story. Another, much bigger missed opportunity was of course, Gasou Kanetsugu, the chubby Masamune.
Gasou was initially introduced as a strange blast from the past for Adagaki Aki and his introduction was done brilliantly because it played with the audience’s doubts – it made him look like one of two possibilities: a) the real Masamune from Adagaki’s past, or b) an imposter planning to use Adagaki’s unresolved feelings for her childhood friend in order to win her heart. That was an intense cliffhanger and set up the anime for an interesting “arc”. However, this introduction happened late into the series and as such, Gasou barely had three episodes in which he could make a significant impact. That being said, Gasou did do a good job of being the type of rival Masamune needed, due to the fact that Adagaki seemed clearly attracted to him and therefore gave no more attention to Masamune. His past was given a short burst of screen time and it was then exposed that his family is marrying him off to Adagaki for purely financial reasons. That fact could have been expanded and used to create more drama within the love triangle involving Aki, Masamune and Gasou.
While the premise is exciting and boasts all the aspects one comes to enjoy about romantic comedies, we feel the need to mention the frustration one feels after investing much time into a show only for it to achieve nothing. It was really good at times, interesting, funny and even gripping, but for all that potential to become nothing… If all you’re looking for is a good time with a few funny characters and a decent plot, Masamune-kun no Revenge will always come highly recommended. However, if you aim to take something away from the anime you watch, or grow impatient with characters who are slow to do what they are out to do, you might want to skip this. It really is a fun ride, but there is much to be desired.