Sep 4, 2020
One of the themes that SWOT, the subject of our latest episode, tried to play around with was romance in a highschool setting. Its questionable attempt might be making you, the reader, wonder how an anime/manga can do the job properly. Look no further than Kaguya-sama: Love Is War aka Kaguya Wants to Be Confessed To.
Love is War might look like a typical high school romance, but it has a twist: the two main characters both have a crush on each other, but neither wants to look weak by being the first to confess. This leads to a battle of wits, as they try and manipulate each other into admitting they have feelings. They have to do this while balancing the responsibilities of being the student body president and vice-president, respectively, of a prestigious highschool.
The series shows how important strong writing is for the genre. For instance, even things that would normally be mundane - like who should hold an umbrella when the main characters are trapped in the rain - are played out like the cat-and-mouse mind games you see in more serious shows. Further selling the writing is the fantastic cast of characters. From the blissful but simple-minded secretary Chika (of the infamous Chika Dance) to the anxiety-riddled treasurer Ishigami. Everyone has their own unique motivations outside of moving the plot forward, which makes the cast feel fleshed out. Also, the opening theme is damn catchy.