Posted by SuperWooper on 25 March 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Romance, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai

Can somebody explain why, in an episode where Kaguya’s loveless upbringing is shown to have profoundly damaged her, 14 minutes were dedicated to stories about eating ramen and not understanding Twitter? With only two slots left in your single cour run, these had to be among the most skippable chapters in the manga (assuming they’re not original material), yet they consumed the bulk of this episode. Was the goal just to pass time so the summer festival could double as the series’ conclusion? It feels like every time we get an episode that reaches the standards the beginning of the show set for itself, the next one has to take three steps back. I’m sure many of you are tired of reading these sentiments, but I’m just as tired of the weird missteps the anime is making. Taken as a whole, this batch of chapters wasn’t even bad, just the sort of unfocused grab bag the show ought to have ironed out of its repertoire by now.

The first of our stories this week was more about Hayasaka’s occupational weariness than Kaguya’s lack of technological prowess. We’ve seen that Kaguya’s valet does a great impression of a normal high school girl, which helps her blend in at Shuchiin Academy while looking after her charge. What’s clearer than ever after this week, though, is that she has a real desire for normalcy, and perhaps even an awkward first romance of her own. She plays it off as a bit of bathtime musing, but it’s clearly real, which is what makes Hayasaka such a good fit as Kaguya’s friend – they both want freedom from their household’s oppressive atmosphere. If we’re being honest about the broader appeal of this episode, though, Kaguya’s search for “Twitter” in the dictionary will probably make a bigger impact than anything about the girls’ relationship. Her struggle to replicate a captcha phrase was the kind of “so relatable” moment that barely outranks reference humor in terms of comedic effort. And just imagine all the 13 year old guts her confusion about protected accounts must have busted. Is my general disdain for social media coming through right now, guys?

Only slightly better was the ramen chapter, which handled narrator duties over to a brand new middle-aged salaryman character who will probably never be seen again. He creepily observes every step of Fujiwara’s ordering and eating processes, and judges her to be a worthier ramen connoisseur than himself after she buys a fantastic dish and devours it with childish abandon. Was this segment funny? I’d say so, yeah. Some of the dramatic shading on the narrator’s face and his overreactions were worth a chuckle or two. But it didn’t teach me anything new about the characters I like. Even Fujiwara was short-changed by this chapter, and she was the only council member to appear on screen. A far better version of the same story might have cut out the middle-aged man and included both of Chika’s sisters in the restaurant with her. Then we could have learned about two new characters, while getting a different perspective on a familiar one by contrasting her with her family. Perhaps the temporary narrator was meant to parody a Japanese pop cultural figure? If not, this chapter feels like a missed opportunity, as the show is quickly coming to a close, and every minute counts.

The bit with Shirogane and Kaguya visiting the student council room and missing each other by mere moments felt abrupt, probably to make room for the post-credits scene. Those few minutes were certainly the most intriguing part of the episode. At first I thought Kaguya had been summoned to their family’s Kyoto home for a marriage interview, given the table where she was sitting, but apparently all she was called to do was greet her father for two seconds as he walked brusquely past. Perhaps she was called out just to interrupt the shopping plans she made in a previous episode, which would make her father a meddler on top of being an “asshole” (Hayasaka’s words). This is the third episode in a row where Kaguya’s love for fireworks has appeared, and here it carries the most emotional heft of the three. Fireworks are loud, bright, and colorful – all things Kaguya was never allowed to be as a child. Shirogane had better get his shit together and properly invite her to the summer festival. If her pained vocal delivery is anything to go by, she needs to reclaim her lost youth now more than ever.

6 Responses

  1. AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

    Well the twitter thing I believe was more for the Hayasaki fanservice and showing the distance that has grown between Kaguya and Shirogane. Which is pretty important.

    As for the ramen part, well it’s the authors favorite chapter. Think he was pretty adamant on it getting in. Pity it left out the final joke though of Isegami giving her breath mints cause her breath stank from the garlic.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      The ramen chapter is the author’s favorite? Now I’m convinced that the middle manager has some special significance, despite his ordinary design and occupation. His name is Saburo Odajima, but googling it just yields Kaguya wiki pages. Maybe the concept of the Four Ramen Kings is supposed to be a shoutout to the author’s favorite cooking or shounen manga? Or perhaps each of the four student council members has an associated Ramen King who shares their personality traits? What’s the deeper meaning?!?

      • Avatar rrw says:

        In manga, We will see him again later along with other ramen kings. Not much to say about him since he is just side-character.

        The ramen chapter is just there to say fuji is back form her summer holiday

  2. Avatar Mentar says:

    The truth is in the eyes of the beholder, but I still fail to see what these supposed “missteps” are? It’s fine with me if you dislike them, but I doubt that you have real reason to objectively label them as such.

    The bath/twitter chapter establishes Hayasaka as quasi-mother figure and critical support for Kaguya (especiall in conjunction with the past-credits segment). It was doubly important because in earlier episodes _the_ major introductory chapter for Hayasaka was omitted. And just for the record, you’re the first one I’ve heard complain about it – in my opinion, it was cute, funny _and_ relevant in character development.

    The ramen chapter is – like the others already mentioned – a personal favorite of the author. I understand how this can be hit-or-miss for people (I’m on the “like it” side). What you don’t seem to see is that there is no “hurry up, anime episodes are running out” pressure. These manga chapters were written without any anime in mind. And don’t worry, you will get a proper ending. Just relax and take it easy.

    Of course the third segment didn’t end “abruptly” to “make room for the post-credit scene”. Again, these are _manga_ chapters, and they don’t care about anime episodes one bit. There were three points to this story:

    1) They wanted to see each other dearly, but their pride prevented them from achieving more
    2) They missed each other due to bad luck (this will become relevant in ep12)
    3) The manga set a decidedly more somber and sad tone, for the upcoming arc. It was the first serious-sad chapter in the entire story.

    In order not to spoil, I will only mention that the post credits segment was the first half of the manga chapter “I can’t hear the fireworks, part 1”. The second half and the subsequent second part will follow in ep12.

    So, to wrap it up, please keep in mind that this is a _conversion_ of a weekly manga series, not an anime in its own pace. You’ll still get a proper ending run, do not worry.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      I haven’t objectively labeled anything. This post is a distillation of one man’s thoughts after watching an episode of anime – and it is an anime, not simply a moving manga. Just because it’s adapting another work doesn’t mean it can’t be judged on its own terms. There’s only one episode left, and as somebody who probably won’t move onto the manga after the show finishes airing, I’d like it to conclude on a strong note. Perhaps it will, and perhaps it won’t – either way, I’m going to post my subjective opinions about it on the internet next week.

  3. Avatar Kiryuu-sensei says:

    Aside from the factors mentioned previously, there are two other reasons why the Twitter and ramen chapters were included. These reasons are spoilers for the 12th episode, so stop reading here if you don’t want a hint of what will happen.






    Kaguya leaves a message on her Twitter account that spurs Miyuki into “saving the girl”, so to speak. And one of the Ramen Kings is the taxi driver who goes the extra mile to ensure Kaguya’s fireworks wish is granted.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Dororo – 15 [The story of the scene from hell]

Fuck you Osamu Kobayashi. Your a terrible director and you ruin everything you touch. Welcome to another week of Dororo, where for once OPM isn’t the show I am most disappointed in. Lets dive in. Let’s cut right to the chase, Dororo looked like shit this week. And all the credit goes to Osamu Kobayashi, […]

Sarazanmai – 02 [I Want to Connect, but I Want to Take]

And the wild ride is here. In turn for cardboard zombies last week, our three kappa-who-are-pooped-out-by-someone-else have to fight cat zombies, an acid bee-themed amusement park, a person with a cat face who clearly reference Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lamb, weeds and a (yuri) kiss at the end of the rainbow. It’s […]

Fruits Basket (2019) – 02/03 [They’re All Animals! / Let’s Play Rich Man-Poor Man!]

I believe it’s safe to say that one of the main concern for this adaptation of Fruits Basket isn’t about the source, but more about whether or not the current staffs have what it takes to bring this classic to life (while at the same time pleases the original author, but that’s beside the point), […]

Mix – 02/03

Star Crossed is one of the oldest anime blogs left on the English-speaking internet, so we’re bound to have a few devotees of Mitsuru Adachi, that master of classic storytelling, among our readership. If you fall into that category, you might wonder why someone who has never read or watched Touch, his seminal work, has […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 3 [Sabito and Makomo]

Welcome to Kimetsu no Yaiba, the premier Saturday Morning Cartoon of the season! This time we burn through a training arc, meet some ghosts and learn the arcs end-goal. Lets jump in! Starting off, like always, the production. Yaiba does a great job here, like usual, looking fantastic. Assume you like digital effects that is. […]

Paranoia Agent – 13 [The Final Episode] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome all to the finale of Paranoia Agent! People grow up, Shounen Bat is defeated and absolutely nothing makes any sense. Lets dive in! Starting off, visually, it worked very well as a finale. Lots of awesome shots, action and moments throughout, all blending into just a joy to watch. Really, it just flowed well. […]

One Punch Man S2 – 2 [Human Monsters]

Breathe deep… Siiiiiiiiigh… Guess we are doing this. Strap in folks, because this is going to be a rough season of OPM. Let me start off, with a friendly warning. If your here for my usual attempts at constructive criticism and attempted multifaceted analysis, I apologize. There will be very little of that for these […]

Dororo – 14 [The Story of Sabame]

Another week, another episode of Dororo. This time we learn the mystery of Dororo’s back, meet a new demon and get a lot of parallels to their current overall situation. Lets jump in! Starting off, Dororo once again is a bit disappointing on the production front. There were a number of dull or sliding stills, […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 2 [Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki]

Welcome one and all to the 2019 Spring Season! My name is Lenlo, and I am Shounen Trash. This, is Kimetsu no Yaiba, now with cute demon sisters, mysterious old men the the high possibility of developing a drool fetish. Sounds weird? Good, lets jump in! First off, production. Its Ufotable, obviously Yaiba looks fantastic. […]

Latest Reviews

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]

Planetes Anime Review – 84/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]