Remember when I said I would be trying to give this anime an honest chance? I am still trying, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t getting harder and harder every episode, and this is only the second episode. Lovely. That out-of-the-way, Masamune-kun no Revenge’s second episode focused on Masamune’s efforts to continue advancing his plans while also trying to figure out who exactly sent him the letter with the term “Pig’s Foot” inscribed on it. On a good note, this episode was pretty faithful to the manga. It incorporated chapters two and three quite well, and it felt as if I was reading those chapters again. That being said, it does not change my enjoyment of said chapters. The worst has yet to come, but that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize this episode for what it did wrong. Let’s take a look.
Episode two starts off with Masamune panicking over the love letter with the words Pig’s Foot written on it. He desperately needs to find out who wrote it, and we get a quick joke about how some kid packed a pig’s foot in his lunch. Okay then. We’re given some flashbacks to Masamune’s younger days where he was a fat kid, and Masamune fears that if he is found out, everyone will start to treat him like that instead of as the handsome, muscular student he is now. Refusing to give up his grueling eight years of progress, he wants answers, but first he needs some food, which sets up an encounter with Yoshino, one of Aki’s lackeys.
Learning about Masamune’s past in-depth is quite nice, especially to start off the episode. It gives us more reasons to side with him as we get to understand just why he’s seeking revenge. He was a bullied fat kid that put all of his trust into a girl that he thought was his friend, only to be backstabbed in the long run. He sacrificed eight years of his life in order to get into shape and returned home in order to exact his revenge against Aki. I might be reiterating this point a bit too often but that’s the main thing we have to work off of here. Aki is painted as an inconsiderate, bitchy misandrist. We should want to see her getting rejected by Masamune in order to see her at her lowest. Her unrelenting torment towards all males who have confessed to her is something that doesn’t come off as cute, it’s genuinely acting like an ass. While we’ll probably get to learn more about Aki as we go on, as it stands, we have every reason to side with Masamune and virtually no reasons to side with Aki.
As Masamune ponders about his situation, students come rushing into the scene trying to get their favorite foods from the lunchtime shop. Meanwhile, Yoshino ever so carelessly walks up the stairs and tries to make her way through the crowd. Due to her small, feeble nature she ends up getting knocked backwards face down ass up into Masamune. Only in Japan folks. You can’t make this shit up. Anyways, Yoshino wants Masamune to run into the crowd and get five explosive croquette buns and four cutlet sandwiches. Needless to say, he goes along with it. However, he decides to use Yoshino as a way to talk to Aki, as all this food is actually going to Aki instead of Yoshino. Yoshino isn’t too keen on this, but she gets coerced into it by Masamune due to his dominance.
This time, Masamune and Aki are left alone by Yoshino. Masamune’s hand is brought up, and Aki feels somewhat guilty over being the cause of that, which only brings joy to Masamune. He sees it as a way to take advantage over her in terms of the mental game. At the same time, he’s able to piece together that Aki was not the one who sent the letter due to her reactions. Yoshino returns, yet she manages to trip over the door threshold and fall over face down ass up again. Just because they can. I love it. I don’t even know if it’s supposed to be for humor or what not, it just seems unnecessary at this point. The first time around fine, but the second time around what’s the point? All it does is lead up to Aki poking Masamune in both of his eyes, so I guess it was supposed to be funny? Whatever. Aki berates Yoshino for her alleged flaws, mainly the fact that she’s too nice to everyone else. Masamune then approaches Aki with the strawberry milk carton that Yoshino gave him earlier, puts it next to her face, says he wants her to rely on him more than Yoshino, and Aki gets all flustered and shouts out in anger.
Uh, what? What exactly was the point of this scene? Masamune gets some alone time with Aki only to try to make her flustered? The way I see it, this isn’t even progress. This is just making someone mad by confusing them and making no sense. Even I could do that to someone I don’t like. It’s not hard, and this scene doesn’t progress anything whatsoever. It builds up Masamune’s pride sure, but even then, what good is it if nothing of substance happened? In his eyes, maybe he did something substantial, but as a viewer, I think he wasted a good opportunity to take advantage of Aki.
It turns out that Masamune took some advice from Chinatsu’s favorite manga in order to catch Aki off guard like that. Okay, now I’m even more confused. Is this supposed to be funny? Is this supposed to be mocking the way romance and shoujo manga work? What’s the point of him using manga in order to try to get Aki to fall for him? Thus far, it really isn’t working and nothing of substance has come from his attempts. Unless this is supposed to be satire, it comes off as the author’s excuses for his inability to make Masamune take action and try. Even if he failed to make a move here, it would’ve made more sense than what just transpired. Keep in mind, Masamune has been socially isolated for the past 8 years of his life trying to lose weight and become a muscular, hot guy. Are you telling me that by reading a shoujo manga, Masamune’s instantly going to know how to take on all the girls in the world? At this point, it feels like they’re trying to make Masamune less likeable even though they’ve established that we’re supposed to like him. Even though he has his looks and muscles as charms for the girls, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything when it comes to trying to make a move onto someone else. You can look like Fabio and still fail to get a girl if you come off as romantically incompetent, unless the girl’s THAT dense and takes you at face value. Aki definitely doesn’t come off as that kind of girl, so let me reiterate, what was the point of that scene? Oh yeah. To waste our fucking time.
Masamune’s next step of his plan is to exchange email addresses with Aki, but he gets caught in a snare trap right in front of a playground. Alrighty then. Turns out, the person who trapped him is Yoshino. She knows the nickname and realizes that he’s trying to get revenge against Aki. Unsure as to why Yoshino knows this name, Masamune realizes that Yoshino is in the window in the photo from 8 years ago.
How many times have we seen this character? You know the one, the quiet character that seems so innocent and resembles a small animal only to be a lot smarter and more deceptive that we had thought. Seriously, how many times is this character archetype going to exist? I especially dislike it because it gives us this idea that the character will act a certain way initially only to change at some point, and it’s not done in a way where I’d be surprised or happy with the way it’s done. It comes off as cliché and makes me wonder why the character couldn’t act like that in the first place? It feels unnecessary.
The Koiwai family has been serving the Adagakis for generations upon generations, and Masamune feels fooled. He fears that his revenge will end here, as the closest person to Aki knows about his plan and his past. However, Yoshino sides with him. For what reason? We aren’t told just yet. We jump cut to the next day where Aki is being attended to by her lovers also known as the student council members. Masamune remains confused about Yoshino’s intentions and wants to continue his plan, but he can’t let her get in the way if what’s she’s saying doesn’t turn out to be true.
In the midst of all of this, I want to take the time to make a note about the way the characters look in the anime. I focus on this aspect specifically because being a guy that read the manga, I really don’t like the anime designs as much as I do the manga designs. This anime was animated by Silver Link, and the anime looks like just another Silver Link anime. While it’s good for an animation studio to have a certain look to them, for some reason, Silver Link and J.C. Staff in particular have this certain look to them that is extremely hit or miss. With Masamune, it’s a miss. Masamune-kun no Revenge, the manga, was written by Takeoka Hazuki and drawn by Tiv. One of the manga’s best aspects, if not the best aspect, is its artwork. Tiv does a very good job at making the manga look good. The artwork is one of the main reasons why I even got into the manga in the first place. Tiv has a certain style to her that looks so good to me. She did the artwork for another manga airing this season, Idol Jihen. Her style looks fantastic in the manga, but unfortunately, the animation studios never use the artists that draw the manga, they use their own, which makes sense and is all fine and dandy, but it shouldn’t get to the point where I’m not enjoying looking at the characters. Do they look horrible? No, not really, they just don’t look as appealing to me. I’m not trying to be all “hey guys, go read the manga it’s a million times better,” but I just wish that it looked better than it does. A slight disappointment, but for people who haven’t read the manga, it shouldn’t bog down your experience.
As Masamune prepares to act, Futaba Tae runs into him in the hallways, noticing that he’s going the wrong way. As the class representative, she wants to help him get to know the school and its environment better, but Masamune sees this as a way to try out the email exchange before he tries it with Aki. Seeing how he doesn’t know how to do any of this (apparently this means something now yet it didn’t before), he runs away shortly after asking Tae. We’re treated to a pointless scene where Kojuurou points out that the number of contacts that you have isn’t visible when you share them with someone else, which is apparently the biggest thing that Masamune is worried about. Tae appears and makes it known that the school beautification committee lost a member, and that it needs a fill in. Masamune volunteers in order to get on Tae’s good side and get the email in the long run, but he also joins because Aki is part of the school beautification committee. As he tries to advance on Aki, she ignores him, so he attends to his club duties. While cleaning windows, Tae runs in on him and feels bad for forcing this responsibility onto him, despite Masamune voluntarily choosing to do this, albeit he had his reasons for it, which weren’t exactly altruistic. She belittles herself in comparison to Masamune as a person, and instead of trying to lighten the mood or be a nice person and refute all of that, he comes to the realization that he’s in a one on one with a girl who went out of her way to find him.
Again, this is a protagonist that we are supposed to be rooting for. Why is it that he keeps prioritizing his revenge over trying to be a decent person? I understand that this is somewhat realistic in the sense that he’s blinded by revenge, but at the same time, if the protagonist comes off as a pompous douchebag rather than an innocent kid who wants vengeance against his tormentor, it makes us like him less. Stories like this are the ones where you tend to cut realism a bit because you don’t want the main character to be unlikable. At the same time, this allows us to see just how Masamune’s impulsive, self-centered reactions will affect him in the long run, so I guess it’s not all that bad. Right?
Suddenly, Tae asks Masamune to go to a movie with her, just the two of them, also known as a date. The way I see this, this is her confession to Masamune. A bit early on for that, but I’m okay with this. Masamune stutters and can’t find the right words, but Tae takes the hint, but she takes it better than most other female characters would. While her expressions make it obvious that she’s upset about being rejected, she’s not completely breaking down as a result. She apologizes for putting him on the spot and tells him to do his best before running off to wherever. This is the first time that Masamune has been confessed to as far as we know of, so naturally he’d be in a state of confusion, sadness, and a whole other bunch of mixed feelings, right?
Oh fuck you! You have got to be kidding me. Instead of feeling sympathetic in any way towards Tae, Masamune just looks past all of that and believes that her confession to him means that he’s popular. I need to keep stressing this point, WE ARE SUPPOSED TO ROOT FOR THIS CHARACTER AND WANT HIM TO FULFILL HIS REVENGE. How are we supposed to keep doing that when with every passing moment he comes off as a jackass? Sure, maybe he’s still being blinded by revenge and what not, but why does he act like this in every scenario? Why is he not human about it? If you were confessed to for the first time by a girl, and you rejected her because you both didn’t know what to do and had other plans regarding dates and what not, wouldn’t there still be a part of you that feels bad for rejecting her? Why is that not a thing here? He’s entirely focused on revenge and not even an inkling of regret or sadness is shown. Call me biased if you will, and maybe I am because Tae is one of the only two characters that I like in this loathsome piece of filth (the other being Chinatsu, of course), but my point still stands, Masamune becomes less likeable as this anime goes on. If it’s this annoying in episode 2, episode 3 should be a field day, and everything after that, I don’t even want to know. At the same time, Masamune thanked Tae for giving him a confidence boost by having her confess to him! HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO LIKE HIM? Quite frankly, if he really wanted to use her as leverage, he would’ve accepted her and used that relationship against Aki in an attempt to make her jealous. Is this still malicious? Yes, he’s not being genuine to Tae, but at the same time, at least it comes off better than flat-out rejecting her and not acknowledging her feelings at all. It may result in worse consequences, but at the very least it allows for more interesting storytelling.
After Tae runs off, Aki shows up in the room with Masamune, and she heard the whole confession. In a brief moment of jealousy, she tells Masamune that it must be nice being so popular. This is a brief euphoria folks, this isn’t something that’s going to haunt Aki if you ask me, especially with the way we’ve seen her character being shown thus far. Masamune revels in her jealousy, and then he flat-out says that it doesn’t matter if some girl he has no feelings for asks him out. I WANT TO FUCKING PUNCH THIS GUY. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO SYMPATHIZE WITH HIM? I can understand the validity behind this statement, but he acts like someone he isn’t. Sure, maybe this is all of the plan, but come on, you can’t tell me that the “socially isolated for eight years” Masamune just all of a sudden knows how to say the right things all because he read a fucking shoujo manga. I don’t know if this is supposed to be satirical or not, or if the whole thing is just a joke. Even then, IT’S NOT FUNNY. I’m not laughing, I’m pretty sure no one else is laughing. Sorry, this guy just makes me mad. Aki asks him who he’d like to ask out, and Masamune replies with her name. He continues to press the issue, and Aki thanks him. She doesn’t really give him a substantial response, but she accepts his offer to exchange emails, although there’s a catch. Her phone is being repaired. She offers to do it next week while they’re on duty.
The next week arrives, and Masamune waits for Aki to show up, only for her to never show up, although he finds a letter addressed to him telling him to look inside the drawer of the teacher’s desk. From here on, we get a wild goose chase involving Masamune trying to find whatever it is Aki’s hidden only to go back to where he started. He’s told to look out the window, where Aki is waiting with a scroll that says “I Decline.” Long story short, Aki played him like the sucker he is. Yoshino appears in the room with Masamune, noting that his efforts were futile, and that she’s there because she had to cover Aki’s duty for the day. However, Yoshino gives Masamune an assurance that she can make things happen in this relationship if he leaves it up to her. From getting her email to getting dates, Yoshino boasts a big game. Yoshino gives Masamune hers, and then the episode ends.
This episode made me quite angry, in case you couldn’t tell from earlier. Structurally speaking, it was fine. The episode only covered two chapters, and I can understand why it did that seeing that I know what’s going to happen next episode (see manga spoilers). Plot wise, it was alright up until Masamune and Aki came into the picture. Their interactions never come off as genuine, and it feels like it’s supposed to be some sort of satire of the genre, but it fails to deliver in that regard. I don’t find myself laughing, I find myself wondering why the author thought writing the interactions like this was a good idea. Masamune acts like a complete douchebag now instead of trying to be a good person, and while I can somewhat see the reasoning behind it, some viewers won’t be as willing to get behind him and his revenge, as it can invalidate his reasoning. On the bright side, next episode, Yoshino’s plans will come into effect. What she has in store, we’ll find out next episode.
Thank you for reading this review! Although I was a certainly angrier this week, let me know what you thought about it in the comments. Were you as mad as I was, or did you actually side with this guy? I’d love to know.
WARNING: The following section includes aspects of the review that include minor and major spoilers about the manga. If you do not want to be spoiled, then I highly recommend that you do not read this part of the review. You have been warned.
If there’s one thing that this episode did right, it was the adaptation aspect. Chapters 2 and 3 were adapted almost identically in these chapters, with very minor differences. Bravo for that much. I still didn’t enjoy the episode, but I have to give credit where it is due. I still wish that Tae had been dealt with in a different way and not only because she’s one of the two characters that I like. The entire scene still feels unnecessary and forced. There was no need to have her confess then and there because they still remain good friends afterwards, as she participates on the island trip as well as the other shenanigans, albeit in a minor role. It just served to feed Masamune’s ego, and it makes us dislike him more, which fine, if that’s what he was going for then it makes sense, but in a revenge story where we want to see a guy get redemption, why should he be somewhat of an asshole in general rather than to the person he’s trying to get revenge on? I keep stressing this point so often because if I read a revenge story, I want to have a protagonist that I feel for, and I want to see him succeed. While revenge in itself is malicious, the whole idea is that you’re getting back at someone who did something terrible to you, so why does Masamune need to be displayed as a pompous jackass in general? It’s even more confusing given that he hasn’t been around society for such a long time, and when he was, he was treated like shit. The justification of “Masamune read a shoujo manga” doesn’t work for me, it didn’t when I was reading it and it doesn’t here. All things considered, with Yoshino now on Masamune’s side, we’ll be treated to the date and more than likely the competition next episode. We might even get to see Neko’s introduction right before the episode ends, and if that is the case oh boy I’m going to have a field day. Neko’s introduction is probably one of my least favorite things to have ever happened in the manga, and the way in which her character is utilized is horrendous. We’ll get to that when we get there though, I need to save that rage for when it actually happens.
Due to the lack of anime and manga differences in this episode, I will not be putting it on this review.