ARC Review: Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Vol. 1 by Aka Akasaka

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Vol. 1Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Vol. 1 by Aka Akasaka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release date: March 6, 2018

All’s fair when love is war!

Two prideful geniuses locked in battle. Who will make the first misstep and in doing so…confess their love?

Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane are two geniuses who stand atop their prestigious academy’s student council, making them the elite among elite. But it’s lonely at the top and each has fallen for the other. There’s just one huge problem standing in the way of lovey-dovey bliss—they’re both too prideful to be the first to confess their romantic feelings and thus become the “loser” in the competition of love! And so begins their daily schemes to force the other to confess first!

This rivals-in-love storyline had me laughing and shaking my head at the ridiculousness of these two. The story is simple – Kaguya and Miyuki are the student council heads, geniuses in an elite school and have a chip on their shoulders. The entire student body already thinks they are dating, but they are not – simply because they are waiting for the other person to make the first move. For them, it is an all-out war in psychological manipulation to make the other person confess their feelings first. Each chapter has one event, and by the end we have an imaginary scoreboard but no clear victory.

The situations are a little absurd, and it is a bit unrealistic, but this is a bundle of laughs through and through. Both of them are trying so hard to be all ‘conceal don’t feel’, and pretty much convinced they will not be the ones to lose, and yet present a serene and calm demeanor to the other. Most of the situations are initiated by Kaguya; she thinks herself above him in status, and also determined to make him bend, while he is already having a complex about the possibility of her looking down on him and also his pride as a guy so we have a stalemate most of the time. Also, the secondary character Chika is an oblivious addition to this strange romance whose job and she adds a bit of comic relief and facilitation between the two.

Overall, a good comedy which I am interested in pursuing further.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media, via Edelweiss.

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