During his years in elementary school, Masamune Makabe was a pudgy and overweight kid who frequently over-indulged in high calorie foods and was the victim of relentless bullying. One fateful day, he confessed his love to the beautiful and popular Aki Adagaki who mercilessly rejected and humiliated him, labeling him with the nickname “Pig’s Foot”. Since then, Masamune has worked incredibly hard to shatter his previous image through losing weight, building muscle and changing his attitude to become the hottest and smartest guy on the block. After years of hard work and devotion, Masamune, now in his high school years is waiting patiently for the day he can exact his revenge on Aki and pay her back for the scarring event that ruined his childhood. And as fate would have it, after transferring to a new school, Masamune discovers that Aki is a student there, still her usual cruel self, and the time for revenge has presented itself sooner than he thought. Armed with the plan to make Aki fall in love with him, only to later crush her feelings by dumping her in the most humiliating way possible, Masamune starts working towards his goal. But has Aki already figured out who he once was?
I’ve never been a fan of Harem Comedy shows. I have a difficult time enjoying Slice of Life as it is, never mind adding harem elements to the mix dashed with sprinklings of comedy that tend to always fail at making me crack a smile at all, let alone having me laugh out loud.
Fortunately though, Masamune-Kun’s Revenge is a lot more than your average Harem, Comedy, Slice of Life show due to having both a unique story focus and a fantastic blend of character drama that actually feels meaningful and comedy that is actually pretty funny.
What makes Masamune-Kun’s Revenge stand out from most other shows of its ilk is that the main idea that makes up the entire series is both incredibly mean-spirited and just plain evil. This is a show about taking revenge in the meanest way possible: by trying to play around with someone’s feelings and break them from within. Yet, despite this incredibly cruel concept for a show, we want to root for the protagonist who’s trying to act out this nasty form of revenge.
Because we’re made to feel sorry for Masamune. He was flat out rejected and made fun of throughout his entire childhood all because of this girl, and as a result he wants to make her feel the same way he did. He initially seems to have all the personality traits of an intolerable person, especially due to how he acts to maintain his new public image, but there are several moments in the show where we see his true nature surface, and remember that he’s really just a very insecure, average teenager who changed his ways because he was the victim of relentless bullying.
The show has a great focus on Masamune’s own insecurities. Although on the outside, he acts like he’s completely perfect, he’s aware that he’s not and we often see him struggle to maintain his flawless facade, especially when he’s presented with high calorie foods that he avoids eating to maintain his muscular physique. In the space of this first episode, we already know exactly who Masamune is as a character and what to expect from him, and that’s some pretty great character writing right off the bat.
And to top things off, Aki herself seems almost unlikable as a character. She’s a mean, stuck-up and selfish little rich girl, complete with servants who treat her like a goddess and a very nasty attitude to boot. She’s the kind of girl you want to see suffer, although there already seems to be more to her than the series would suggest and it’s clear we’re going to be seeing more about who she really is under the surface as the series goes on. I’m looking forward to seeing how this pans out and whether or not she’ll be seduced into Masamune’s scheme.
Further adding to the shows strength is its dynamic blend of drama and comedy. The series is primarily a comedy, with a lot of humour in just about every scene, yet at the same time, it manages to present itself as a genuinely serious story with dramatic stakes that feel like they matter. Despite being loaded with jokes and silly quirks, Masamune-Kun’s Revenge doesn’t forget that it’s a revenge story and there are several key scenes from this first episode that highlight its dramatic nature brilliantly, most often when Masamune is alone and thinking to himself.
Of course, this is all helped by the fact that the comedy is also fantastic. There’s a lot to laugh at, and the jokes always had me smiling and often had me laughing, despite having some cliches in there.
But how the show handles its blend of drama and humour is by far its strongest point, with one of the final scenes in this first episode being the perfect example of what makes it work so well. A scene where Masamune is alone in his room, and gleefully laughs like a maniac at his plans coming to fruition only for the focus to turn to his family members downstairs who can hear him doing so and for his mother to comment the following:
It was this moment that made me realise I’m going to have fun here. A lot of fun.
As for the production side of things, I don’t have much to comment on. Silver Link have handled everything pretty well, with the character designs being gorgeous as usual and the backgrounds being absolutely stunning and feeling like real locations. It’s not the most stand-out production in terms of appearance, but it’s enough to make a difference, especially for a show of this kind.
The animation quality is also fairly standard for this type of show, and everything looks about just as plain as you would expect, although there are some moments where things get taken up a notch and move very fluently.
However, the directing is where the visual presentation really shines. There are some incredibly well directed scenes in this premiere episode, with a ton of them really doing a great job in enhancing Masamune’s past and the impact it had on him growing up. There’s also a handful of scenes that do a great job in enhancing the comedy visually as well.
Oh, and can we talk about that Opening? Because it’s pretty great.
There are a lot of visual cues and hints throughout this episode that give me the impression of the road this series is going to wind up taking further down the line. I have a feeling that this false romance revenge story has the potential to turn into a genuine romance story. And if that means we get to see both these characters really develop and interact with each other like real people, then I’m completely fine with that.
If on the other hand, the series decides to go full revenge, I’m fine with that too.
Regardless of the road it takes, at this stage, Masamune-Kun’s Revenge is a very compelling revenge driven story complete with dramatic stakes all tied together with a nice comedic twist. It may come across as fairly juvenile to some people, particularly because of Masamune’s primary motivation, but that’s what I expected. It’s a show about a high school kid wanting to get revenge on someone who bullied him. Of course it’s going to be juvenile!
Perhaps I’m slowly beginning to soften my shell when it comes to the Slice of Life genre, but in all honesty, this first episode was pretty great and was very enjoyable. Even if you’re not into these kinds of shows, the unique presentation and ideas are more than enough of a reason to check this one out.
I can’t wait to see how this develops over time.
And please Silver Link, adapt the whole Manga this time.
What are your first impressions of Masamune-Kun’s Revenge?