Type: Love, lover never changes….
Synopsis: I mean, it doesn’t really, does it? Fundamentally, men and women have been doing the same routine since Adam and Eve played chicken with their first love confession. Remember that time when Eve arranged it so that Adam would “accidentally” see an ad for a new movie, then secretly reveal that she had an extra ticket? Or that time Adam tried to find clever ways to exchange phone numbers with Eve? No? Then what kind of Sunday School did you go to!?
Pros: Love is War was one of the hot comedy anime of 2019. The premise is that two very smart high schoolers are trying to get the other person to confess their love to them. Apparently, the first person to confess automatically becomes the other person’s submissive slave. And while that does sound like fun, it’s a no go for our proud protagonists. What follows is a series of high jinks where the titular Kaguya and love interest Shirogane try to trick the other into making the first move. Of course, this being a comedy, they each fail miserable due to a mixture of overthinking, inexperience, and just plain dumb luck. They are just kids after all. The best scenes and set-ups are very straight forward. Kaguya and Shirogane are typically in the student council office, someone or something introduced a mundane activity or topic, and then Kaguya and/or Shirogane turn it into a game of blind mental chess against one another. It’s like if Light and L were actually trying to make-out with each other (just like in my fan fiction). I would love to see these two fight about famous romantic questions: Were Ross and Rachel really on a break? Who should have moved that suitcase, Reymond or Deborah? Should we visit your parents, or should I go on my girl’s trip that I’ve been planning for 6 months, KEVIN!? To my surprise, a lot of scenes also involve Kaguya learning or reacting to something. The writers really got a lot of mileage from having this refined girl get flustered over things like nail polish, twitter, and swears. The shows does have other supporting characters, but none more important than Chika, the resident cheery girl, school body secretary, talented volley ball coach, and the Internet’s girlfriend for a few weeks. She adds a bit of relaxed energy to the intense Shirogane/Kaguya dynamic, and also plays as the comedic wildcard for most scenarios.
Cons: Like most comedies, especially those with segments, some of the jokes are hit or miss. The “How Cute” joke ran it’s course early. It depends on your tastes. While I personally liked the school council office scenes, the scenes outside the school weren’t that great. They added variety, but I didn’t think they were super funny. The show really is strongest when it sticks to one room at the school. Kinda like a better Student Council’s Discretion. I also don’t think the character of Yu is as strong as the other characters. His character of the socially anxious introvert wasn’t bad, but he does give off incel vibes with some of his dialogue. In a show where each of the characters have two sides to them, he stands out as one dimensional (though I suppose the story could reveal a hidden side to him later). Speaking of characters, it’s also pretty obvious that the author and writers prefer Kaguya’s side of the story, as we experience more about her perspective and backstory than Shirogane’s. I know, I know, semi-Tsundere acting cute, but I would have liked to have learned more about Shirogane so I can like him too.
Watch it?: But overall, it is a well made show, and one worth your time. (4/5)
MVP: The Chika dance
From the end of Ep. 03. Because of course.
Best Episode: Ep. 5″Kaguya Wants to Handle It/Miyuki Shirogane Wants to Show Off/Kaguya Wants to Be Covered” (A good showcase of everything, though I also Ep. 7 where Kaguya can’t stop laughing at a dirty word).