Masamune-kun's Revenge
Episodes 5-6

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Masamune-kun's Revenge ?

How would you rate episode 6 of
Masamune-kun's Revenge ?

Over the series' first four episodes, Makabe seemed to be making slow but definite progress in his fumbling attempts to win over his disagreeable revenge target Aki. Despite her continual sniping, there were clear signs that she wasn't as against him as she let on. There were even hints along the way that he may be genuinely infatuated with her despite his revenge goals. So of course it's time to shake things up with the introduction of a new love interest.

That prospect turns out to be Neko Fujinomiya, the rich girl who first appears at the end of episode 4. Though Aki is certainly pretty, Neko is closer to Makabe's ideal physical and personality type, and she cozies up to him quite fast with her claim that she first met him a few years ago and has been pining for him ever since. Though she seems like a gentle and wonderful person, a couple choice lines dropped between episodes 5 and 6 suggest that she has some kind of hidden agenda as well. There's every implication that she could be playing a similar game to Makabe's, such as telling an obvious lie to others about how the two of them first met or the way that Yoshino reacts to her as a potential threat. Also, during at a meal at Makabe's house with Neko and Yoshino, comments are made about how alike Makabe and Neko are; while the immediate implication is their mutually fussy eating habits, it seems a little too perfectly timed not to also be implying other similarities. The one thing that Neko doesn't seem to be lying about is knowing Makabe from before. And what's the significance of her going commando at school? If it's merely a fanservice ploy, then it's an odd choice for a series that isn't otherwise prioritizing fan service.

Fortunately, Makabe seems to be resisting her ploy so far; unluckily for Neko, his desire for revenge remains strong enough to give him slightly more hormonal fortitude than the typical romcom protagonist. Aki's also giving him potential in-roads, with the kissing challenge that marks the episode break between 5 and 6 further suggesting that she's looking for a more serious love commitment than typical teenage fumblings with romance. There's still definitely a story to be told with her, and I'm hoping that the second half of the series doesn't take too long in getting to it. The truths behind Aki and Neko's pasts and current motives are the main interest drivers for the series so far.

That's good, because the artistry remains lackluster beyond giving Neko a convincingly pretty design and providing some nice background shots. There are just a few too many times when the animation is shaky about staying on-model (especially on Aki for some reason), and some of its framing choices are oddly mundane; the reason for the camera focus on Neko's hips as she deftly folds her miniskirt under her before sitting down are fairly obvious (especially since Makabe knows she's going commando), but why focus on Makabe in the same way as he sits down? The humor is also very shaky too, leading me to think that this series might play better if it took things more seriously. Right now, it's starting to feel more and more like Scum's Wish Lite, and airing on the same day only further drives home that impression. I don't necessarily think that's a bad approach to take, since Scum's Wish is so serious and heavy that a lighter approach would make a nice counterpoint, but Masamune-kun's Revenge hasn't found the right balance to pull that off so far.

Rating: B-

Masamune-kun's Revenge is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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