Heartfelt Moment Undermined By ‘Humorous’ Conclusion

Kaguya Sama: Love is War Post Title

Kaguya-Sama Love is War Episode 12 Review

For the first half of this episode I thought this was an absolutely brilliant way for this series to go out. Really was loving it. And then… well, then we got to the second part. See the whole way through this series I’ve really loved the moments where the characters have been allowed to just be characters and interact rather than the contrived matches between the main pair, so seeing Shinomiya genuinely upset by not being allowed to go to the fireworks and Shirogane and the others rallying to help her was really a great emotional moment with a lot of pay-off.

Kaguya-Sama Episode 12 - Shinomiya crying

This was each of the characters at their best. No forced humour or awkwardly intrusive narration. Just a girl upset and the overly dramatic solution with her escaping her house and then her frantic rush to reach the wharf in time, only for it to end in failure. That was so incredibly sad and they held that moment just long enough before Shirogane turned up and delivered such an incredibly overblown line and yet it was utterly perfect for the moment.

Kaguya-Sama Episode 12 - Shinomiya and Shirogane running

Watching them run together, meeting up with Fujiwara and Ishigami and getting in the taxi. Even the taxi driver going all out and probably breaking multiple road rules in order to get them to their destination in time all just worked. It was a well paced, well executed, fun and emotional climax to a series that I’ve found very hit or miss.

And I haven’t even talked about how on point the music was during this episode or how beautiful the fireworks were.

Kaguya-Sama Episode 12 - Fireworks

And then…

Well then we go back to school.

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The president is freaking out because he thinks that he acted foolishly in the moment. Shinomiya is all nervous because she wants to say thank you. The narration is back. The forced conflict is back. Its all just awkward and painful to watch and really about as far from amusing as you can get without actually just sitting in a room full of socially awkward people avoiding eye-contact for ten minutes.

Kaguya-Sama Episode 12 - Shinomiya and Shirogane crossing paths

For a brief span I thought episode 12 was actually going to be the episode that made me think overall I liked the series more than I didn’t. But that second half reminded me of everything I find irritating about the entire set up and mostly while there are some great moment overall I’ve mostly found this one misses the mark for me. I’ll be going back through my episode notes and thinking about my final review of this series a lot, but the bottom line is going to end up being that this just isn’t my kind of show.

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Karandi James
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6 thoughts on “Heartfelt Moment Undermined By ‘Humorous’ Conclusion

  1. I will VERY minorly spoil you.

    The status quo only SEEMS to return. This episode is actually the turning point of the story into the actual relationship progress AND a lot of character development on the parts of some of our other beloved characters.

    Karandi, I IMPLORE you to read the fireworks chapter in the manga. The anime version is fantastic, but the manga’s framing and pacing of this chapter is so damn good that I would love to see your thoughts on that specific moment and how it’s titled.

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    1. I get given the nature of this show that actually expect progress is probably a silly thing given it would kind of blow the entire premise out of the water, but then why give us that first half that promised such a better story and ending.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Saying it goes back to ground zero is too harsh. It’s more like one of those situations where the outward surface trappings haven’t changed, but a lot of changes and new forces are rippling around underneath the surface. Kaguya in particular is already in the process of becoming a different person, as she starts growing beyond the warped and twisted view of human relationships that her family espouses.

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  2. I actually really enjoyed this series, But I also found the ending a little frustrating, in that is ended us back where we started.
    All that being said, I don’t have the context to know about other shows in this genre that do it better yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This just isn’t the kind of show I ever get into particularly and there are just some points about it that really frustrate me while viewing. Not the sort of thing I intend to watch again.

      Like

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