So how things go, if I hate an anime that I believe is worse than the source material, I go read it. In a long time coming event I finally finished Masamune-kun’s Revenge anime, a story about an angry boy and girl who constantly miss one another. In the series one of my biggest beefs was simple, Aki and Masamune, the mains, are shit. But for those who haven’t read the anime review, Masamune-kun’s Revenge in short is this. A young, rather chubby boy who is bullied finds sanction within the presence of an equally young, entitled princess, who accepts him for who he is. Throw in some random drama shit, they quickly learn to hate each other. One who feels chastised by the girl, the girl, who feel abandon by the boy.
In theory, this premise builds the foundation for a shounen harem that is a bit different than what is usually established. So when the show launched in 2017, it had my attention. But keeping my promise of re-watching anything I have seen before I reviewed I was in the mood for such a series, and re-watched it recently. (here) But unlike 2017 me I wanted some closure, I wanted to understand what was the meat of this series, I wanted to look beyond the “I wanna be a chad” or the “I wanna be the princess” mains.
So I read the manga, and boy, was I in for a surprise.
Masamune-kun’s Revenge end of anime to manga is around chapter 29 out of 47ish, but I don’t recommend starting there. One will have to start both mediums from the very start, the manga is a solid 7/10 the anime, more like a 5, and here is why. Like I mentioned before in the anime both MCs, are rather, insufferable. But on the print version of this series, I was shocked to see not only is Aki relatable, but as was Masamune. Suddenly these two dense dumb asses vibe, in a way that is understandable yet in a way the anime whole ass ignored.
CARRYING ON ARE SPOILERS OF THE MANGA
I didn’t want to spoil this but doing so is the only way I can bring up criticisms. Masamune-kun’s Revenge is actually a really good manga, caught up in the ‘how the fuck do I end’ syndrome, and trust me it suffers from it. In short, a point of tension bubbles up as a new chubby boy shows up in the series (this happens in the anime as well) Known as Gasou, Kanetsugu he plays the role of Masamune of old. The childhood friend that abandon Aki, only to show back up to ask for her hand in marriage, typical shit.
With this added element Makabe discovers that Aki sees their past differently than he does, and she can’t move on from her first love therefore she can never accept Makabe’s feelings. She also confides in him that since Masamune (Gasou) has returned she doesn’t know how to confront him in respects to just leaving her alone (compounded anytime she brings it up he has no idea what she is talking about)Annoyed and confused about why she sees their past so differently then he does Makabe goes to mutual friend Koiwai, Yoshino. A maid of the Adagaki family and right-hand man of Aki.
Grilling her on the subject Makabe discovers it wasn’t Aki but actually Koiwai pretending to be Aki that threw the harsh words of pig foot at him, and that event she deeply regretted because it destroyed Aki. With this newfound information and no reason to carry on with his revenge he confronts Aki, claimed to be the OG Masamune, and asks her to be his girlfriend, to which she agrees.
At this point, I’m like alright, this is some good shit. But then, the series threw in a strange point of tension that lasted no more than a handful of chapters and didn’t overall do anything meaningful for the story. Dating Aki the two start doing couple things, but shortly afterward Masamune discovers this weird hive breaking out across his body. Unsure of what is going on he determines he is allergic to his new girlfriend. Going (for some fucking reason) to his ex-lover Neko he asks for advice in which she curtly says that simply, he doesn’t actually like Aki, he was obsessed with this idea of getting his revenge but at no point did he actually feel love for her.
That makes sense actually.
Confused frustrated he goes to yet another girl, the maid, Koiwai, and pretty much says he likes her instead. Knocking him out she writes down that she is going to pretend she didn’t hear that and he better be good to Aki. This whole event came way out of left field since through the whole series you have never seen her as a threat. Neko? Sure, but the quiet, Koiwai, hell no. It was like a shot of adrenaline actually, this so not the best girl was going to come out of nowhere and steal the crown.
Aki coming to terms that who she loves does not love her back breaks up with Masamune, going to Koiwai, and pretty much saying go get em champ. So at this point, I’m like this is it, this literal worst girl is going to win and this manga will do something that I don’t think any has done before, taking a nonfactor and putting her front and center.
Until it decided not to.
Confessing Koiwai is turned down as Makabe decides that he does love Aki, and is the only one that is fit for her. After doing the typical dumped girl thing of chopping off all of her hair Aki is confronted by Koiwai stating that she was turned down and she needs to go to Makabe. I will say it does this strangely since as the reader you are not aware she was turned down for a good one chapter and it plays out like they are dating. But in the end, Aki finds Makabe who confesses, again, then they kiss and that is it. The whole Koiwai arc seemed pointless and rushed since in the end nothing bloomed from that but I will say there was plenty of shock value.
This series on paper is actually quite good, overall the characters had more time to breathe but ultimately a lot of them still fell flat. Gasou whole bit just gets extremely confusing after his bluff is called and Neko stays true about her feelings for Masamune throughout the whole series. Koiwai bit came out of nowhere like mentioned and most of the cast outside of them felt nonexistent. I would confidently give this series a 6/10, maybe even a 7 but as far as harems go, it is a solid take and one I overall enjoyed.
As always thanks for the read!