「早坂愛は防ぎたい / 生徒会は神ってない / かぐや様は結婚したい / かぐや様は祝いたい」 (Hayasaka Ai wa Fusegitai / Seitokai wa Kamittenai / Kaguya-sama wa Kekkon Shitai / Kaguya-sama wa Iwaitai)
“Ai Hayasaka Wants to Stave Them Off / The Student Council Has Not Achieved Nirvana / Kaguya Wants to Get Married / Kaguya Wants to Celebrate”
Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai‘s second season is back and with our favourite characters to boot. This first episode jolted us right back into Kaguya’s mischievous ways and Shirogane’s stern exterior and succeeded in endearing us with Chika’s aloofness, Ishigami’s forever dark moods, and Hayasaka’s chivalry. The cast of quirky characters make up the student council of Shuchi’in Academy, a prestigious high school reserved for children of the most elite.
This was the first official show I covered as a writer for RandomC and I’m thrilled to have it back on my docket. I didn’t come into the season expecting much: “Oh, this is just going to be the same old comedy and jokes.” And yes, the formula is the same but damn! (excuse my French). I couldn’t stop the belly laughs from coming through.
This anime is such a great adaptation of its original work, and even though it might seem repetitious to some, the comedy always remains fresh and enticing, spunky even. But if I’m to choose the best thing about this show, it would be the characters. There’s just such a great dynamic between them and it really comes through on-screen.
If you’re new to Kaguya, know that the episode is split into a few short stories that cover events around and about Kaguya and Shirogane’s inability to communicate their feelings to one another. While they play risky love games with one another, they rope in their peers, some oblivious to the situation (like Chika), and others loyal to their cause (like Hayasaka).
The first short of the episode focused mainly on Hayasaka and her role as Kaguya’s right-hand man. She’s not only her wingman when needed, but her household ‘maid’, and her closest confidant. This short sequence demonstrated just how much she puts into satisfying Kaguya’s every whim, whether it’s to decaffeinate Shirogane, or whether it’s to keep anyone from disturbing the little moment of peace Kaguya is experiencing with him. That said, what keeps this story so fun and interesting is how overboard it goes to show the efforts Hayasaka puts in. I mean, the drone? And drugging Ishigami?
The second short was a quick one focusing on the student council as a whole. The members are slow on the uptake when it comes to socializing with their peers, which is what made this sequence hilarious. I loved how they edged their heads into the door just to get a glimpse of what it is to be in a ‘serious’ relationship. The imagery of the trains, which we’ve seen in the first season, returns as a perfect metaphor for how incapable their brains are at processing this kind of information, romance.
And finally, we have two longer shorts. One about Chika’s made-up ‘life’ board game, and another about celebrating Shirogane’s upcoming birthday. What these two stories have in common are Kaguya’s internal thoughts and monologues. In general, she blunders most of her attempts at seducing Shirogane into giving up his feelings for her, she often misunderstands people’s intentions, and she can’t read a room if her life depended on it. She might be book smart, but her knowledge about intimacy and friendships is still evolving. That’s the fun thing about Kaguya. We get to watch her as she progresses through her high school life. She’s always been cooped up as the Shinomiya heir, and now, with friends in her midst, she can experience life as a high school girl. It’s just taking her some time to get there. When she kept pulling money out of her wallet to give to Chika and Shirone for their ‘marriage’, it was proof of her inability to keep her true feelings from being toyed with by a fictional game. It shows just how ‘immature’ and inexperienced she is in the game of love. She’s so susceptible to her surroundings.
The same can be said about Shirogane. Coming from a lower class socio-economic background, he’s been caught up in studying, school, the student council, and working a part-time job. He’s never truly experienced regular high school activities. The firework festival at the end of the previous season was most likely the only extracurricular activity outside of school that he’s done for himself. So it’s no surprise that he can’t tell Kaguya how he truly feels. That step is just too big for him right now.
There’s never a dull moment when watching Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai and I can’t wait for the rest of the season to unfold. These kids have a lot of growing up to do, a lot of experiences to gain, and a lot more fun moments awaiting.
And there you have it. Shirogane and Kaguya are back at it again.