Kaguya-Sama: Love is War Episode 1
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War is based on the manga of the same name (Minus some translation differences obviously). The manga started in 2015 and is incredibly popular, known for its unique approach to the romantic comedy genre. Romance is one of my favorite genres in anime, so this one was definitely one I wanted to check out this season.
Miyuki, the genius class president of a prestigious university is locked in a battle with Kaguya, the ridiculously wealthy vice president. They both have a crush on each other, but they are too prideful to actually confess. Instead, they are constantly scheming to get the other to confess to them so that they will have power over the other.
The fun premise leads to plenty of fun moments as they try to gain the upper hand over each other. This episode is split into three separate battles with each feeling unique. All three parts of this episode were enjoyable, with plenty of silly antics, swings in tempo, and entertaining narration. I found myself giggling at both the ridiculous situations and the genuinely funny dialogue. Despite how arrogant and borderline awful the main characters are, I still found myself loving them. Viewers will find themselves cheering for a different one to win each battle as the situation changes. Different scenarios allow for the characters’ various strengths to shine, and just when it looks like there will be a confession, something surprising occurs that changes the tides of battle.
Despite technically being a romance anime, it often feels like a psychological thriller. Sure, the stakes aren’t actually that high, but the visuals and sound design make every moment suspenseful. The viewer is effectively living the intense moments that the characters go through. I couldn’t help but think of Kaiji throughout this episode because it handles games in the same way.
The sound throughout the episode is great, with strong vocal performances from all of the voice actors. The narrator, in particular, does a splendid job at establishing everything like a high stakes game. Kaiji has my favorite narrator in anime, and I think Kaguya Sama’s narrator matches that performance. The OST is spectacular, with music that matches the beats and emotions of the characters.
A-1 Pictures brought their best to this anime, with great visuals and animation. Every shot captures the perfect moment. This episode is a feast for the eyes, with over-the-top visuals for the characters’ thoughts and expressions. Despite almost the entire episode just being various conversations, the high-quality visuals make this way more fun than it has business being.
Kaguya Sama is a fun romantic comedy/thriller that should be seen, if not just to see where all of the love comes from. The characters are awful in the best way, and the ridiculous game that they play is fun to watch. This episode is everything you want to see from the first episode of the series, and I can’t wait to see more.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War Episode One
Kaguya-Sama is off to an excellent start, and everyone who loves romance, comedy, or thrills should give this one a watch.