Spoiler free for series, minor spoilers for Nisekoi
Picture it, there is a chubby kid, rather unpopular and not a stranger to being picked on but there is one saving grace. A childhood friend of sorts, a young, wealthy, beauty that accepts this kid for who he is. Naturally, as the two build their relationship the boy gets a flutter in his chest when he is with her. But the romance seems one-sided, time and time again the boy gets turned down in some of the most ruthless ways possible. This makes a deep-seeded spite grow within both of them, the boy no longer visits the girl due to the pain she causes, the girl feels abandon, restoring to hatting all men. I am of course talking about Winter 2017 romance harem, Masamune-kun’s Revenge.
Now as far as shounen harems go this series tried a little bit of a different route than the typical run of the mill. It follows main Makabe, Masamune, a chunky boy turned school hottie as he plots for revenge. (who would of fucking guessed) the target, none other than himidere Adagaki, Aki, the as for mentioned school princess who lives for the moments of breaking any boy’s heart that looks her way. The plan? Simple, Masamune will make Aki fall in love with him, only to dump her leaving her as heartbroken as he was way back when they were wee lads, and he was a chunker.
Over 12 episodes we watch the duo’s bit play out, Masamune getting close to Aki in certain points allows the show to keep pace just about as much as any typical harem would. Throw in some other random hotties and boom, Masamune now has all these girls to choose from but fret not, his plan remains vindictive, he will emotionally ruin Aki if it is the last thing he does.
My initial take away, sadly, is how shit the two of them are. Aki is a glutton bossy type that is a mixture of tsundere and himedere arc type, but the worst of the two. She is mean, entitled, spoiled and her mood can flip on a dime. While Masamune is a fucking idiot and not in a good way. He obsesses about keeping his body lean and strong, county calories, and working/ checking himself out every chance he gets. He is doing this of course to remain “hot” because Aki used to tease him about his weight when he was younger. Add to the fact since he is skinny now, there is no way he could be the Masamune of Aki’s past. Like every series in this vein, the main characters suffer from server brain damage as they can’t seem to recall events that happened literally 4 years ago.
This is one trope that drives me insane actually. If there was an event that occurred that made one decide they were going to upend how they live, one would assume they would recall these events vividly, but naturally, neither of them do. Aki recalls her chubby friend fondly, even lovingly while Masamune remembers her as nothing but cruel and vile. Add Fukinomiya, Neko to the list and suddenly neither of them knows who this bitch is even though she is well aware of who they are. Oh and sprinkle in some incest, that weird cousin that looks like your mom because your mom is a loli, well she is in 5th grade now and is in love with you so why not?
By no means is this the only series to pull such crap but it is without the most infuriating I have seen in a while. Raku from Nisekoi is the king of brain aids but at least it didn’t hinder that story. Sure forgetting that you gave out three keys for your stupid little necklace, pretty brain dead. But the show didn’t do constant, vague flashbacks that in the end never get answered or really progress the plot at all over the 12 episodes. Add the fact Masamune family remembers all of these girls quite vividly but his dumbass can’t recall any of them to save his life doesn’t make the mystery any more interesting.
I will say what the series does well, is actually making me want to read the manga. Overall I think the plot is interesting, the whole plan of revenge is shitty but it is a fresh idea to me. Add the fact when Aki isn’t doing her whole bit I actually find her bratty self to be quite adorable, and her drive and determination when she puts her mind to something also adds a lot to her overall character. As of chapter 32 of the manga Aki has grown on me a lot more than the show really allows, given the source material it would have been damn near impossible to give all the characters the proper amount of screen time but the anime doesn’t really do the two mains much justice either. Until the very end, I wasn’t very fond of either of them, and that isn’t a good thing when the whole story is about them.
If I had to put a number on it I would give this series no more than a 5 out of 10. It had a solid foundation to build on but really didn’t make any real progress with it. Any time Masamune made any advancement he would do something stupid (that he probably read in a Vogue magazine) piss off Aki who would immediately cut him off and ignore him. The whole show is just him trying to pull this typical “cool” guy shit which he sucks at and Aki hates anyways. Which we as viewers would assume this dumb ass would know since, well, he has obsessed over her for years and was her childhood friend.
In short, this show, infuriated me. The series as a whole, to be determined. I am looking to finish the manga here shortly and I’ll be able to unpack my full thoughts but for now, I will leave with this.
As always thanks for the read!