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‘Kaguya-sama: Love Is War’ season 2 proves itself as one of this year’s top anime series

‘Kaguya-sama: Love Is War’ season 2 proves itself as one of this year’s top anime series

‘Kaguya-sama: Love Is War’ season 2 proves itself as one of this year’s top anime series
July 17
14:00 2020

Whenever a new anime comes out, its future is always uncertain. It’s very common for anime seasons to only have 12 or 24 episodes, but not have its source material adapted any further, essentially leaving the story unfinished with no hope of continuation. So while I watched the first season of “Kaguya-sama: Love Is War” from A-1 Pictures last year, I wasn’t expecting a second season to be announced at the season’s conclusion. Not only did the second season surpass its predecessor in every way, but it also proved to be one of the best rom-coms I’ve ever seen.

The plot once again centers around the student council at the prestigious Shuchiin Academy, where Vice President Kaguya Shinomiya (Aoi Koga) and President Miyuki Shirogane (Makoto Furukawa) are deeply in love with one another. The twist of the show is that they both use mind games to try and get the other one to confess their love, rather than just coming out and expressing their feelings openly. It’s a great way to bypass the “will-they-or-won’t-they” trope that plagues the genre, and the execution of the manipulation efforts never failed to get a laugh out of me. A noticeable change, however, was the greater emphasis on the comedic and dramatic aspects of the show over the romance plot.

With the heavy focus now on comedy, it was important for it to be exceptionally funny, and I’m happy to say the show nailed it. The jokes are very situational and usually are a part of some ridiculous moment, such as when the student council plays a game of chicken involving pumping a balloon. Moments like these are accompanied by some top-tier voice acting, which serves to make the jokes land even harder. One fan-favorite character, in particular, Chika Fujiwara (Konomi Kohara) returns to once again serve as the catalyst for some of the funniest jokes, and her voice actress is able to stand out even among the others.

What ended up propelling this season above the previous, however, was the surprisingly superb character writing the show had to offer. Specifically in regard to two characters, one of whom is the newly introduced Miko Ino (Miyu Tomita), a presidential challenger to Shirogane. In what’s known as the election arc where the reining main cast fight for control of the student council against Ino, we gain an understanding of why she is her controlling and confrontational self, and as a result, we become sympathetic to her struggles. Without getting into spoilers, the execution of the arc and Ino’s character comes out of left field in the best possible way and serves to elevate the series.

Relatable first season character Yu Ishigami (Ryota Suzuki) makes his return, and while he previously served as an interchangeable gag, he now has his own character arc near the season finale that pulled off being simultaneously depressing and uplifting by giving us his past and subsequent redemption. These dramatic and comedic scenes are all undercut with great cinematography and imagery thanks to the work of A-1 Pictures. Usually, when they get their hands on a project it can be a hit or a miss, but thankfully this has shaped up to be a win for them.

Using well-written characters and perfectly executed comedy, the show sets itself apart from not only many of the anime series that have come out so far this year, but also romantic comedies in general. I’m hopeful there will be another season, and if the love the anime has gotten from fans is any indication, I don’t think that’ll be a problem.

Final rating: 5/5

Featured image: Courtesy A-1 Pictures

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Connor Elliott

Connor Elliott

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