I’ve made it no secret that Winter 2017 has not done a lot for me as a season of anime. Uni is at it’s most intense from January to March so I only decided to pick up four shows, one of which was Masamune-kun no Revenge, or simply The Revenge of Masamune-kun. To be honest, I started this knowing that it was going to be light, silly and quite predictable. By the end of the final episode last week, when my prediction (and many other people’s, I’m imagining) did not come true I somehow felt quite disappointed. We’ll keep this spoiler free, but let’s say that I was expecting something predictable and disappointing and instead I got something quite unpredictable and disappointing. I’ve now discovered that the second is worse. Anyway: let’s review.
Concept and plot
Masamune Makabe is your average kind of ordinary nice guy. Aki Adagaki is your average beautiful, but untouchable female lead – no really, she gives every guy who asks her out (and we are led to believe that there are many) an embarrassing nickname that will stay with them for the duration of their school (or who knows, it might be longer) lives.
Masamune’s little quirk is that he loves to work out. He’s completely obsessed with having a good body and staying healthy – but there’s nothing wrong with that is there? Do you see where this is going yet? As a child, Masamune was not the toned, beautiful man that he believes he is today, he was in fact short and fat. And yes, as a child, he was given a nickname by Adagaki: Pig’s Foot. After years of making himself look completely different and remaking his character he joins Adagaki’s highschool in order to get revenge.
Adagaki is not to be swayed so easily however, and the series continues as Masamune desperately tries to win her affections in order to ruin everything for her at the end. Characters come and go and Masamune even gets the help of Adagaki’s maid, Koiwai Yoshino, to put the monstrous nickname giver in her place.
The pace of the series is very flat, not changing at all, with the final episode feeling somewhat like the writer’s idea for half an ending episode and half an OVA.
Besides Adagaki, Masamune and Yoshino, there is a reasonably large entourage that follow each of the two main characters around presenting them with additional problems throughout the series. The most notable I suppose is Fujinomiya Neko (yes, her given name is cat, and no, there is no reason) who completes a rather odd love triangle for Masamune that never really develops enough to feel genuine, but every so often reappears to make everyone (including me) feel a bit awkward.
Masamune himself is a poor excuse for lead character. Although we are expected to go along with this idea that he is a narcissistic, broken teenager who wants revenge above all else, he lacks any kind of conviction to go through with his plans. There were at least two occasions when he could have gained the upper hand in difficult situations for Adagaki, but he gets flustered and turns into a bumbling idiot. I appreciate that this is meant to be part of his character, but it doesn’t really come across very well.
As for Adagaki, I couldn’t really work out whether I was meant to like her or not. At some points she would unashamedly show behaviour that completely fits the I’m-independent-don’t-need-no-man-and-will-treat-you-like-shit-to-show-it portrayal that equals how Masamune feels about her. Sometimes though, the character that is quite broken, lonely and in need of some friends rears her head with some touching moments that I feel like I have to say are actually out of character. I’m not sure, but I think the idea is Adagaki’s anti-men attitude is not a statement about feminism and women’s strength, but instead a way to show that she is lonely and in need of the right person to come along and feed her all day (did I mention she’s really into food). I’m willing to be talked out of this so let me know what you think.
Sadly, I found this show to be a bit of disappointment. The characters were bland and uninteresting and the ending was subpar even by vein of shows’ nature. To top things off, the way the season finished left the possibility of a season two open and although I wouldn’t necessarily be against the idea of them fixing the story, I’d just rather have something better in the future. Despite everything I’ve said, this show isn’t the worst thing you could watch, it’s pretty easy to watch and there are times when you will begrudgingly laugh (which will help to even out the cringing you do alongside it).
Masamune’s Revenge won’t make it onto any recommendation list of mine any time soon. I’ve enjoyed seasons of anime less but unfortunately, that’s the best compliment I can pass.
Did you make it all the way through Masamue’s Revenge? What did you make of the show and it’s characters? Do you agree or am I missing a work pure genius?