「かぐや様は送りたい / 藤原千花は見舞いたい / 四宮かぐやについて①」 (Kaguya-sama wa Okuritai / Fujiwara Chika wa Mimaitai / Shinomiya Kaguya ni tsuite 1)
“Kaguya Wants to Give a Gift / Chika Fujiwara Wants to Pay a Visit / About Kaguya Shinomiya, Part 1”
They say all is fair in love and war. And apparently, when love IS war.
I rarely watch romcoms anymore and I’ve been enjoying the comedy in Kaguya-sama so much, I forgot that mushy romantic moments go with the territory. Plus, the whole series is based on winning or losing, so I’m used to seeing our fierce opponents as rivals first and foremost. They’ve been involved in a battle of wits since the beginning, with very rare instances of flustered conversations and dokidoki moments. It’s a refreshing take on the genre. However, I very much enjoyed the romantic story arc in this week’s episode.
For one, I appreciated the fact that all three chapters were in chronological order, and I was proud of Shirogane for fighting for the right to see Kaguya himself. He mustered up every brain cell in his body to outwit Chika’s cheats during the ‘Concentration’ match and was quickly rewarded with the ultimate prize of visiting a bedridden Kaguya, which by the way makes her the cutest character in the entire episode. I mean, yes, Hayasaka was weirdly amusing and Chika showed some wit of her own, but Kaguya took the throne this week with her vulnerable childlike personality.
However, she also irked me. In the first chapter, Kaguya’s high-tech Bond-like battery plan highlighted a stark difference between her and Shirogane. I’m going to call myself out and say that this is probably something I should have noted earlier on in the season as a key point. They begun this war on completely different footings. Kaguya is so privileged with extra time (among other things) she can plan ahead for any scenario giving her the upper hand. Shirogane, so far, has only had his quick thinking and determination to challenge Kaguya. The simple fact that she continued to scheme while he was clearly distraught by the impact of the typhoon on his part-time job (something he needs) made me realize that she’s a little entitled. She can’t see past her pride. Meanwhile, Shirogane focuses solely on reaching his job on time, ignoring her attempts completely.
After this episode, if someone forced me choose between Shirogane and Kaguya, I think I’d have to pick Shirogane. Kaguya is kind in her own ways but still very naive as to the realities of the world outside her own. I don’t mean to focus on our lovers’ flaws but this tiny detail crawled its way under my skin and rubbed me wrong this week. Plus, Shirogane wins points for being a true gentleman. He disregards Hayasaka’s very uncomfortable innuendos, which are super weird might I add, and actually… Well, what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.
On another note, I’ve made up a list of things we’ve found out about Kaguya that make up for her selfish behaviour:
- Assuming Kaguya doesn’t carry the same belief, she protects Chika from the sound of thunder which frightens her. To be clear, I’m with Chika. The god of thunder can definitely steal belly buttons.
- I’m all for Kaguya’s soft and unguarded demeanour which Hayasaka, or should I say Smithee A. Herthaka, explains using Freud’s ID theory.
- Kaguya’s sideways confession is reminiscent of one of my favourite moments in Toradora!
- The Shinomiya family mottos right outside Kaguya’s bedroom door explain…well Kaguya. She wants to love, she wants to show kindness but she’s clearly been brought up in an environment where ego is favoured over humility.
If that family motto is really how Kaguya’s been raised all her life, then I can forgive a lot. I can’t forgive everything, but karma took care of the rest when Miyuki dowsed her on his way to work. Too bad he had to feel bad about it when it was her own fault.
And Chika needs to stop trying to cheat. The Student Council is way too savvy for her shenanigans. Ishigami lambasting her was a riot, though!
The Family motto was pretty badly translated in the version I saw or at least pretty diffrent from the translated manga.
But either version is not a healthy way to raise a child and combined with the other ways in which her family treats her they are the reason why Kaguya is how she is.
she has a brother too, you know. wonder how well adjusted that one gonna turn out to be.
Don’t forget the French student visit arc, which had cat ears+NG word game+Kaguya wants to text/phone+actual French student visit all rolled up in one.
You were asking for some story-based episode, guess this episode gave you some of that. From this point on, it might be the turning point of Kaguya and why so many readers still stick around with the manga.
Hope anime-only watchers enjoy.
It definitely gave me story. I really need to get on with reading the manga. I might complain less after that, ha.
Hayasaka saying the titular o-kawaii-koto to Kaguya melted my heart. Only to then straight up pimp her idiot master, what a savage, just like her mom. Also if you pause(it’s very clearly seen in manga) kaguya flicks a box of tissues at prez(lewd, this anime is lewd).
also the whole freud shit lacked the third component. ego/id/superego. which is exactly what latest manga did, you know what i mean, whoever reads manga here. press F
Omg. What do you mean just like her mom? The more I read the comments every week, the more I find myself in the outer circle XD + small spoilers here and there. It’s also poking at my curiosity though…
yes, let the curiosity flow through you. embrace the black and white pictures.
laughing matters aside, lemme go offtopic and tell you a little story of ages past and why you should always read the manga of the anime you like, cause there is always a chance that season 2 would not see the light of day. there was this little anime, it was featured on this very site too, called mushishi. absolutely glorious and wholesome anime. easy top 3 for me, maybe even top 1 tbh. now first season started in 2005-ish, i think. and then poof. nothing, for years and years. course i’ve read the manga in that time, and by god was sad that anime-only peeps won’t see the beauty that manga had. and then come 2015 and lo and behold, season 2 outta freaking nowhere. oh the joys and happiness i had seeing all those things animated.
now that was 1 anime that by some miracle, thanks being X, sorry salaryman. but i have way-way-way more stories that does not end and such miracles. hope my point gets across.
While Kaguya is definitely the plotter, there’s actually an interesting little twist on that in this episode: Kaguya’s first thought was to offer Miyuki a ride home, and it was only after thinking about it a bit that she remembered that she was supposed to be plotting against him, and quickly pulled out the phone scheme. It somewhat mirror’s the time Miyuki encountered Kaguya while she was walking to school.
In the early episodes, plotting against each other was as natural as breathing. Now they’re at a point where they have to remind themselves that they’re supposed to be plotting against each other. In the earlier episodes it felt more like neither really loved the other, they were just each determined to prove that the other was in love with them. Now it feels like each of them is starting to more genuinely care about the other, and the plotting is what they’ve convinced themselves is necessary, rather than an actual desire.
^ Good observation. Kaguya has definitely softened in recent episodes. I’m also really enjoying her friendship with Chika. Her show of affection is a little sideways but still genuine.
Kaguya was just adorable in this
The best episode so far, it seems that both the actors and the staff have hit their stride and keep givings some very consistent quality episodes. Kaguya’s VA was the star of this episode, I did not expecet that good a voice when she had to act out Kaguyas unguarded side of her personality. Followed by the switch to the side of her id that is fueled by teenage hormones…
This was so sad. They could have a nice time together, but couldn’t cause the obdurate people they are.
Hayasaka said o-kawaii-koto in that moment though, which makes it good. cause it’s one of the better ones when Kaguya’s moronic schemes backfire on her with Hayasaka commenting on just this. which actually helps kaguya in the long run. pretty sure season 1 won’t touch on this long run though. maaaaaaaybe late second with more Hayasaka character development. Show Spoiler ▼
I agree with you on the aspect where it can irk me a little with the flaws that come with Kaguya being more entitled, especially given this week’s situation where Shirogane’s responsibilities were at stake, but just goes to show the level of tsundere we’re tackling I suppose.
It was nice how the episode was built around the typhoon and the lingering after-effects of the typhoon. Seems like Shirogane taking it upon himself to dart out in the rain to get to his work instead of trying to read between the lines was a wake-up call of sorts for Kaguya that she doesn’t need to plot against him to get him to say/do something lovey-dovey with her.
The Shinomiya family motto hammers this on as well with how Kaguya’s behavior was conditioned to act as backwards about the concept of love. Where because love is supposed to be a battlefield, it stunts her growth enough so that she has a hard time handling any of her true feelings. Being sheltered enough to laugh at “chinchin” is one minor example, but her behavior towards the beginning of the series is suspect in how she’ll go from a decisive master manipulator to an embarrassed, shy mess as soon as she’s caught off-guard.
We’ll probably see more development from here, especially since Shirogane’s gone through quite some growth since the start. For now though, fans at least have sick Kaguya being adorable. It really is something to juxtapose the “How Cute” she says to Shirogane being shy about the bed situation versus the “How Cute” that he hears in his mind whenever he fears her scrutiny.
If love is war… Well…
Show Spoiler ▼
We Kakegurui now.