「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.