The Tools Of War: Phones, Vacations and Love Advice

Kaguya Sama: Love is War Post Title

Kaguya-Sama Love is War Episode 2 Review

Well, seems the annoying narration at the start is there to stay but I kind of raised my issues with that last week so moving on. We also have the character introductions again and I realised just how much this series was leaning of Kaguya’s social status for a lot of the jokes and set-ups, but again its a comedy so we’ll just move on. Still, between opening narration, OP and character introductions that’s a chunk of episode time eaten before the first of the three segments even starts so I’m just wondering how sustainable this story is given even with that it felt like the second skit dragged a little.

Kaguya Sama Episode 2 Shirogane

Focusing on the three sections of episode though the first one was the best of the three. Featuring the President getting a phone and then trading Line addresses with Yuu was actually a pretty good set up. Admittedly, some people may find the punch line hilarious but mostly I just found the conclusion a little eye-roll worthy because it just felt like there was no way Shinomiya would have missed that point. Still, visually, this first skit was the most interesting and the characters were at their sharpest and best.

Kaguya Sama Episode 2 Shinomiya

The following two sections both had good moments. The argument about whether to go to the mountains or the beach for summer vacation seems fairly innocuous and turning it into a high stakes battle actually worked very well in terms of humour. While the proceeding argument ended up taking too long and felt like the punch line was deliberately held off just too far for me to stay full invested, it was still reasonable. However, the visuals here lent more toward girls in swim suits and wasn’t as creative or interesting as the previous section which meant the argument unfolding had to hold the section.

Kaguya Sama Episode 2 Beach scene

Finally, the President was approached for love advice and this was the section I found the weakest and ultimately I didn’t find much about it funny or entertaining. Though I’ll admit watching Shinomiya blush after Shirogane wall slammed the door she was standing behind was pretty cute.

This show remains a real mixed bag for me. There’s some impressive visuals and direction at times and some of the exchanges are very clever and amusing. However, there’s also a lot that really falls flat for me and this episode toward the end really felt like it was dragging. I’m also really concerned about the ability of this anime to keep this concept fresh at three scenarios an episode for a whole season. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

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Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Vol. 1
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Vol. 1

15 thoughts on “The Tools Of War: Phones, Vacations and Love Advice

  1. Part of me thinks this series would be better off as a short series. Like one chapter per episode. It’d maybe help with the fatigue. Judging by the other comments though, maybe grouping chapters is the best way the staff came up with in order to get to less varied stuff later on.

    1. I still think if they already have enough source material and if the format changes later, they possibly could have just skipped over some of this and after establishing their characters and scenario in week one they could have gotten on with whatever they do later in the story. That’s the wonderful thing about adapting a story. You can cut out things that aren’t needed. Then again, people who want a straight adaptation would probably be annoyed if they did that, but it might make a better anime (not that it is actually bad, but it is quite mixed).

      1. Skipping stuff might work. I was just trying to play devil’s advocate in my last comment since most adaptations refuse to take liberties, much to my chagrin sometimes.

        1. I know. It is like they are so worried about offending fans of the source that they are genuinely scared to actually dare to think about how to make something work in the new medium. It kind of defeats the purpose of adaptation.

  2. For me, the third segment was my favorite, but maybe that’s partly because I could easily relate to it. Bullshitting your way through conversations with other guys about sex and dating is pretty much a fact of life for high school guys – we all acted like prats who knew more than we actually did, and the clashing commentary from the eavesdropping Kaguya made it even funnier.

    Also gotta say that so far this is my favorite OP of the season – I’ve already found myself popping over to YouTube to listen to it again several times. I’m a longtime James Bond fan and it reminds me of one of those classic 60’s Bond themes (the fact that we even got a brief gunbarrel view in this episode makes me think the comparison is intentional, too). Hopefully the duplicated intro was just an artifact of the manga like Lumi said, and we won’t get it again, because I’d really hate to have that OP tied to the same repetitive introductory spiel every week.

    1. The OP works well for this anime but it doesn’t really stick with me after it is done. Still, you are right that there are some interesting visuals in it and I kind of get what you mean about the Bond feeling.

  3. The introduction at the beginning of the episode had me wondering if I was watching the right episode. I’ll probably start skipping that from next week since it’s a really annoying intro. As far as the content of the episode goes, I agree with you. Whilst the first bit with line was kind of funny, the other two just didn’t hit the right notes for me. The beach and mountain section was okay but the third just dragged. I do have to wonder if it’ll be a mixed bag every week.

    1. I kind of suspect that with most comedy shows that have different skits. Some hit and some miss and given my sense of humour is a little flat a lot more miss for me in the first place. There is still quite a bit about this that is interesting and the presentation so far has been quite nice so I guess we’ll see how it goes.

      1. That’s true. For me, it can go either way. Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don’t. True, and I quite like the artstyle so if not for anything, I’ll stick around for that.

  4. I really love this manga but I completely understand why some people will be finding this a mixed bag in the adaptation. Th early parts of Kaguya are not as strong as it’s middle and current part, and that’s just on the author’s growth being a factor.

  5. For the introduction, as I also will be pointing out in my review later tonight, it was reintroduced because the adapted chapter was during the time when Kaguya was shifting magazines and had to be introduced to new readers, and for some strange reason, they adapted that whole part too.

    As for the formulaic nature of the show, I’m telling you right now to strap in, because the manga stays formulaic for quite a bit of the first quarter of it’s run, but after 30-ish chapters, things get a LOT more varied and interesting. Not to say those first 30 chapters aren’t good, they’re very fun and entertaining in the manga, but the rest of it just shows a lot of growth on the author’s part about storytelling and character writing.

    TL;DR, I hope this show reaches that point in the manga where it really goes up in quality but if it doesn’t, I implore you to read the manga because the manga is amazing past that point.

    1. The manga strays away from the formulaic nature especially after Ishigami is introduced. So we’ll most likely experience some changes after his introduction. If the anime doesn’t change the formula… well I’m still going to enjoy watching this anyway. I’m hoping this anime to be a bit like Gamers where while it is comedy focused, it still has a progressing plot. With the content of the source material, I believe Kaguya-sama Love is War has the potential to do that.

    2. I really wish when they were adapting material they thought more about how to make a good show rather than just following along with the source. Clearly the source had its reasons for repeating something where the anime had no need to and yet it did it anyway, and if things change up later on, why not think about what the best way to deliver the story might be?

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