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Masamune-kun no Revenge – 12 (END)

「死んでもマイクを手放すな」 (Shindemo maiku o tebanasu na)
“Don’t Let Go of the Mic, Even if You Die”

Well it’s here boys and girls, the finale of MnR. Instead of massive fireworks or greater amounts of drama, the show took a more subdued approach, meeting the expectations and leaving just enough hints of more to come. While the Aki kiss was finally realized and Aki’s interest in Masamune was rekindled (mostly) though, little else changed at the end of the day. The revenge plan took a back seat to Masamune forgetting his purpose and saving the day, while Gasou continues floating around in the background as a convenient excuse to jumpstart the drama. At least best girl guy Kojuurou was temporarily saved from the suffering that comes from Futuba’s ever imaginative mind. Never underestimate the importance of pairings.

Beyond watching a thoroughly fevered-out Masamune being hilariously coldcocked by Aki, the better part of the episode was relegated to the karaoke after-party. I found this scene really ironic because it largely returned everything back to the pre-Gasou point. Aki jealously brooded over Neko’s coat contact, Neko brought up memories with that savage song choice, and the yuri gaggle provided some choice humour with their terrible understanding of the atmosphere. Of course this forgets about Masamune’s singing skills, but I think his solo moment—and the calories burned—speaks for itself.

The issue with this denouement for me is it causes all the problems with Gasou’s existence to come roaring on back to the forefront. If Aki and Masamune were largely “reset” back to pre-Gasou times at the end, what was the point of the preceding arc? Yes, Gasou’s presence—or lack of it—can be excused as the reason for this episode’s kiss for example, but the kiss’ setup could have resulted in other ways too. Gasou may also factor importantly in promoting the release of backstory regarding Aki/Masamune as I expect, but there were no further revelations this week (except for a teaser). Considering this season alone, there’s nothing Gasou has done developmentally which actively helped propel Masamune’s vengeance quest to its conclusion. Too much of the story is missing to see Gasou’s actual purpose.

For MnR’s benefit, however, the show may return eventually to finish the story. While no sequel announcement was forthcoming, the ending was open ended, leaving room for a future season or OVA. Considering all the juicy bits to my knowledge happen after the school festival arc, it would be nice seeing just what winds up happening with Masamune and Aki. After all it wouldn’t make sense leaving a revenge plan unfulfilled, would it?

Final Impressions

I’m of two minds when it comes to MnR. Part of me really enjoyed this show for what it was, but the other part was disappointed in how it evolved over time. The split for me largely boils down to MnR’s central premise: revenge. As romance plots go this is incredibly novel and rarely used, mostly because of the difficulty in working a feasible relationship out of such adversarial beginnings. Ignoring the ridiculous nature of it here—revenge for a grade school rejection?—the revenge idea did create an interesting foundation given the characters involved. Masamune broke with romcom tradition by actually possessing a modicum of seduction skill, while Aki’s tsundere personality enabled the development necessary to engender audience adoration. When combined with the revenge scheme the story obtained all the pieces necessary for producing a unique and entertaining romcom piece. Was it all perfect? No, but MnR definitely was on the right track.

The letdown for me was the gradual dilution of MnR’s central premise by conventionality. Masamune’s fantastic skills, pickup artistry knowledge, and confident persona at the beginning slowly fell by the wayside as master Yoshino entered the picture and Neko threw everyone for a loop. By the time Gasou appeared, Masamune seemed the bumbling fool reliant upon others setting up the situations, whereas initially he was creating those moments. When returns to form were attempted later on, lo and behold the existence of obstacles blocking the moves. For me it seemed like forced regression for the sake of a prolonged story, a means of keeping Masamune moving “forward”, but without every catching his prey.

What particularly affected MnR, however, was not this character change as much as Gasou’s introduction. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, MnR had an easy, logical path for concluding this story, all without needing Gasou’s presence. Masamune could have won Aki over at the festival, got her confession, and then rejected (or not) her as planned. Instead we received the imposter, arguably the most divisive arc of the series, and no indication of resolution anytime soon. Gasou for me represents the ubiquitous forced drama aspect of many romcoms/romances, the arc existing just to drag things out. Lovely Complex for example features this in its back half, and even the nominally fantastic Kimi ni Todoke stumbles from overthinking and character misconstruing in its second season. These moments are always expected in these types of shows, but no less frustrating when tacked onto otherwise excellent bits of development. It’s quite funny when the darker and more cynical Kuzu no Honkai is the romance this season actually breaking with tradition.

Nevertheless while I have some issues with MnR, it does not take away from the enjoyment I had blogging this one. The front half may have been the “better” half, but there were always parts of each episode leaving me satisfied. Whether it be Masamune’s seduction attempts, the off the cuff humour, or the running Kojuurou fantasy, the pieces clicked more often than the gears ground together. A huge help in this regard was Masamune’s VA Hanae Natsuki, who definitely made Masamune as great as he was. Without some of those reactions—and accompanying reaction faces—I likely would have been turned off by MnR long ago. Given how well this worked for what it was and the possibility of more MnR in the future, I’m happy enough for how it all turned out. MnR might not have been the best, but for a typical romcom story, it’s hard doing any worse.

March 23, 2017 at 11:09 pm
18 comments »
  • March 24, 2017 at 12:36 amIncognito

    http://randomc.net/image/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2014.jpg
    *ZUKYUUN!* “You thought it was Gasou, but it was I, Masamune!”

    http://randomc.net/image/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2032.jpg
    “Our ears are still ringing!”

    http://randomc.net/image/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2033.jpg
    “Broke The Rating Scale,” anyone?

    With that out of the way, this episode begs the question: Was this an anime-original thing that was made to wrap up the first season within 12 episodes (instead of 13)?

    I’m a bit peeved that they still didn’t reveal why Gasou was trying to get betrothed to Aki. That and the manga spoiler about Gasou’s character.

    Also, did Masamune end up dancing with Neko instead of Aki or was he indisposed at the school clinic after the play?

    Anyway, despite my disappointment about Gasou’s character, the series was decently hilarious, enjoyed the ecchi bits and the romcom (as well as the actual comedy), though I couldn’t help but cringe a bit on some scenes (like Masamune deciding to enter Class 2-A’s play as the prince–had to pause the episode a few times). Oh, and Neko still best girl, though at least Aki didn’t punch Masamune in the end…

    • March 24, 2017 at 11:05 amPancakes

      As far as I know this was not anime original, just a convenient location to end the arc. I’m a little annoyed too knowing we have no answer for Gasou, the truth of Aki’s first rejection of Masamune, or hell even Masamune realizing his revenge, but meh, cannot get everything in life lol.

      Also regarding the dance, I think that was cancelled after Fubuta’s play fell apart between the unconscious Masamune and her rejection of Gasou. It seemed to me that the karaoke scene was the actual after party, and the dancing was filled in by the Aki-Neko duet.

      And yes, Neko definitely best girl :P

      • March 24, 2017 at 11:43 amzztop

        Answers on Gasou and Aki’s 1st “rejection” are given in later chapters.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 24, 2017 at 1:25 amzztop

    The anime’s covered the 1st 29 chapters of the manga.
    Chp 39, the story’s climax, came out in December. Chp 40, the aftermath, releases this month. (Jan and Feb’s chapters were side stories which didn’t advance the plot.)

    There’s potentially enough material for S2, but they may be waiting for the manga story to properly end.

    • March 24, 2017 at 7:21 amJeffers

      indeed you are right…. if the manga did wait for the anime series to end before releasing the chapter 40 (which is the latest) more likely, the anime will also wait for the manga to finish before announcing season 2, which i am kinda expecting that it will happen pretty much soon, unless author will show some surprise on ch 40.

    • March 24, 2017 at 11:07 amPancakes

      They could, but typically sequels are scheduled alongside the first season from my experience. The lack of announcement implies only the one season was planned, with the potential for more depending on the sales and popularity of the finished manga. Best case IMO might be a two-three season wait, unless an OVA pops up before then.

  • March 24, 2017 at 7:23 ambagelzord

    Masamune-kun no Revenge: Promising at first, then turned into Nisekoi. *but better because that’s not even in the remote vicinity of hard to do*

    Been reading the manga since its first chapters, was hyped for a vindictive revenge plot but the heroine always needs to be yome material at the end of the day.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Once you take the revenge away from Masamune, he becomes an infinitely less likable character. When you take away Aki’s negative attributes and make it all a misunderstanding, she becomes infinitely less endearing. Then you’ve got Yoshino, who was alright for a good long time but she’s pretty much the least likable character in the entire series after a while; possibly tying Gasou by the end which is amazing.

    Then again, it’s been a while since this series was anything but Nisekoi 2, I’m just glad it isn’t dragging on as long; by virtue of that, it’s better and is still pretty entertaining for what it is.

    I don’t think it is possible for there to be a hard enough change in the story to save these characters, lol.

    • March 24, 2017 at 11:18 amPancakes

      Yeah the gradual change of the story into the typical prolonged romcom is what ultimately disappointed me on this show. The initial setup was fantastic IMO, it had a unique plot and a main character breaking with convention. Then the changes happened, Masamune reverted to your usual male MC, and Gasou appeared. It’s more aggravating than enraging, because while the show stayed above water, it lost most of the magic originally drawing me in.

      Still have hopes a decent ending can eventually be salvaged here, but I have no serious expectations given the latest arc.

    • March 24, 2017 at 1:25 pmAzordahai

      I didn’t mind any of that. I enjoyed it, but it is the first manga I’ve ever read. Books on vengeance, death, and backstabbing is what I’m used to.

  • March 24, 2017 at 7:30 ambagelzord

    Crap. If I could edit that last post I’d toss on spoiler tags, but hey; at least you won’t be misled from here! Wahahahaha

    • March 24, 2017 at 11:10 amPancakes

      No worries I got you, although technically not much was spoiled there. One would really have to read between the lines to catch the spoiler haha

  • March 24, 2017 at 7:31 ambagelzord

  • March 24, 2017 at 11:31 amDan simon

    Hey it’s a little off topic but is the spring preview coming soon? I really love those and am anticipating it

    • March 24, 2017 at 11:41 pmPancakes

      Pretty soon, we are currently editing the hell out of it :P

  • March 24, 2017 at 8:44 pmrandom viewer

    • March 24, 2017 at 11:43 pmPancakes

      Just wouldn’t be fun if we couldn’t watch Masamune struggle a second time would it?

  • March 25, 2017 at 11:30 pmChisel

    So any other revenge plot anime recommendations? Doesn’t necessarily have to be the romcom genre. I just enjoy a good revenge plot and not many anime that I’ve seen have tackle it.

  • March 26, 2017 at 10:20 amtheirs

    Not the ending I expected, but I’m fine with it. It was a fun ride, and I watched it till the end. Really didn’t think I’d do that in the beginning.

    The best character they introduced was Neko, and the worst has to be Gasou. He’s really rather pointless. Probably better off being introduced in the (theoretical) second season. But I really can’t think of a good cut off point in the previous episodes.

    Of course if they cut it off early we wouldn’t get this funny moment.
    http://randomc.net/image/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge/Masamune-kun%20no%20Revenge%20-%2012%20-%2023.jpg
    Good to see that ship can still have fun from Davey Jones’ Locker.

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