「豚足と呼ばれた男」 (Tonsoku to yoba reta otoko)
“The Boy Who Was Called Pig’s Foot”
Anime romance typically falls under one of two “styles”: the serious, guaranteed to devastate your tear ducts variety, or the more laid back, comedic romp through the jungle. Piecemeal crossover between these groupings is common, but all the stories adhere (more or less) to one of these varieties. When previewing Masamune-kun no Revenge (MnR, because I’m lazy), I pinned this one firmly in the latter camp. Yeah it’s a tale of revenge—a healthy spring for more serious stories—but the series sticks firmly to the tried and true genre tropes, emphasizing the funny over the awkward. We’ve got the jovial imouto, one cute loli mother (14 is the new 30 didn’t you know), the friendly trap, and the ever supportive class rep. It’s all but your ubiquitous romcom setup, much in the vein of Oregairu and Oreshura.
MnR does distinguish itself from its peers in a few areas, however; besides the novel revenge plot, we have two archetype breakers in Masamune (Hanae Natsuki) and Aki (Ohashi Ayaka). While Masamune isn’t your oblivious protagonist who ends up with all the girls just because, Aki tests just how far one can take the tsun in tsundere. It is the relationship between the two which drives MnR here, propelled along by Masamune’s reason for vengeance and Aki’s obliviousness. At face value Masamune’s revenge is incredibly petty—getting back at a girl for humiliating you as a kid, really?—but kicks into gear once you consider Aki’s exceptionally disgusting personality. This “cruel princess” wastes little time in publically humiliating one of the school’s popular guys, using his personal tastes to fashion him a denigrating nickname. The unfortunate bespectacled introvert who also writes her a love letter? Similarly shamed into lowly insignificance. God help poor Yoshino (Minase Inori) too who is treated as little more than a tool fit only for berating. No matter how great those legs may be, Aki will definitely test peoples’ opinions. At least this episode showed why Masamune might have such a hard on for taking her down a peg or six.
Masamune of course is up to this girl’s (not so) unique challenge, which is where a lot of the humour comes out. Masamune deviates from protagonist tradition by becoming a literal Casanova, able to get away with damn near everything, but who remains hilariously surprised by the results. Enjoying the labours of tennis players? No big deal. Sleeping in class? Gosh darn how cute. Secretive meetings with dweebs? Oo so mysterious. Makes it all the more ridiculous too when Masamune catches Aki flatfooted with the hilarious hypoglycemia spiel and rescues her from the unfortunate bespectacled reject. It’s like an introduction to female seduction 101 (i.e. game), buoyed by Masamune’s fantastic motto of “everything depends on whether you’re hot or not”. I’d personally tack on a no shits given personality to that primer, but Masamune effectively sums it up in full, with one particularly important lesson of the day: a girl mad at you is a girl interested in you. No really, I speak from experience.
Although little actually happened this episode, MnR did firmly establish the foundations and illuminate the path going forward. The story may be conventional, but plentiful comedy is likely and a few bumps along the way are certainly not unexpected. After all someone apparently knows who the new Masamune is, and it’s not at all clear who that could be. With both OP and ED hinting towards a few twists to come, MnR definitely hasn’t shown all its cards just yet. Stay tuned boys and girls, the fun is only beginning.
With a face like that you could only ever be the designated bottom.
Love how Aki carries a gaggle of girls (it’s the scientific term) with her, but relies solely on Yoshino for her sustenance. You know that could never end badly.
OP: 「ワガママMIRROR HEART」 (Wagamama MIRROR HEART) by Ayaka Ohashi
ED: 「Elemental World」 by ChouCho