Is Kaguya-sama’s Story in Danger of Running Too Long?

One of the most popular and successful romantic comedy anime in the past few years is Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. The anime adaptation in particular has been beloved by many, with the laugh-out-loud hijinks being a unique twist on the classic “will-they, won’t-they” romance. Unfortunately, some are wondering if the romantic war is growing a bit long in the tooth, especially given recent developments.

Kaguya-sama‘s story is only now seeing the main characters become a couple, with the primary joke wearing a bit thin at this point. Now, it would seem that the real war is in maintaining audience’s interest, with the expectations that the show once subverted no longer fresh. Here’s why the biggest current romantic comedy anime needs to hurry it up a bit.

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The Kaguya-sama Anime Was a Refreshing Change of Pace – At First

From its first episode, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War showed off all kinds of hilarious, uproarious antics involving protagonists Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane. The central premise is that the two popular students have incredibly strong feelings for each other, but due to their mutual pride, they refuse to admit as such. Instead, they engage in all manner of ridiculous actions to try to get the other to admit their affection, thus making that person the “loser.”

There are several anime in which the main characters develop begrudging romantic feelings for each other, with their admission typically held back by the belligerent tsundere female character. One notable example is Toradora, but in the case of that series and others like it, the main characters start off liking other people and actually have quite a strong disdain for each other. Needless to say, Kaguya-sama was refreshing in how it both had the protagonists realize their feelings for each other, as well as their all-out battles and inane lengths to get the other to lose.

The show premiered in early 2019, with its third season ending in June 2022. Sadly, the once-fresh joke that was the series’ setup has begun to wear thin, with some wondering when Kaguya-sama will end. This is mainly due to how little progression there’s been in Kaguya and Miyuki’s relationship, with three seasons’ worth of warring cat-and-mouse being a few episodes too many. They’ve only now “confessed” to each other in Season 3’s finale, and it wasn’t even a confession in the traditional sense. The result is viewers who feel as if the once-funny series is spinning its wheels, with the “war” between Kaguya and Miyuki seemingly not ending anytime soon.

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The Kaguya-sama Manga Has the Opposite Criticism of the Anime

The original manga version of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War was created by Aka Akasaka, and the series began publication back in 2015. It’s still ongoing to this day, though some fans of the series dislike how it’s developed. Many have noted the stronger focus on relationship drama, with comedy and the original “war” premise having long ago taken a backseat. This is both understandable and a shame, as it casts off what made the series a success in the name of keeping things from being too repetitious. Ironically, that’s exactly how the anime’s current path comes off to many.

Part of the issue is that the Kaguya-sama anime skips and rearranges the manga’s plot, which likely contributes to its somewhat repetitive pacing. The manga is slated to end soon, so the anime may have to switch things up to get to the source material’s ending anytime soon. That is likely a fair way off, however, as Season 3 adapts up to about Chapter 137 of the manga. The manga has nearly twice as many chapters now, leaving lots of room for the anime to not hold so tightly to the same old formula. For the sake of even the biggest fans, the sooner it does so, the better.

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