The great quest for the undecided vote continues, as pretty much everything after Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and Yowapeda is on the bubble. After strong second weeks Onihei and ACCA are a clear step ahead of the pack, but Masamune-kun no Revenge is squarely in the grey area. Like Kuzu no Honkai this one trades in some pretty dark karmic currency, but this show is a lot lighter in style, and I’m wondering if that might not work to its benefit in the long-term (though it was the ponderous second ep of Kuzu that probably made me think that).
While it’s pretty much a given Kuzu is going to be a trainwreck, the range of possibility seems a bit wider with Masamune-kun. It wouldn’t shock me, for example, if Masamune and Aki ended up as an actual couple at some point – though the show has a lot of selling to do before I’d even consider buying that route. Alternatively the series could totally stick to its guns and have Aki continue to be a terrible person, and Masamune a boy so bent on revenge that he loses his chance at a happy adolescence working towards it. And just about every option in-between seems to be on the table, too.
The side characters have a role to play in which course wins out, most specifically Koiwai. She’s a puzzle, the one person in the cast whose motives are hardest to pin down. She and Kuujurou are important to the plot this week, as midterms are coming up and Masamune challenges Aki to a bet that he and Kuujrou (who’s a terrible student) can outscore Aki and Koiwai. He’s counting on Koiwai to throw her tests and tilt the contest in his favor, but Koiwai isn’t about to do that – no, she has grander and more convoluted plans for her pawns. And seemingly everyone is a pawn in Koiwai’s eyes.
I’m not sure how to take the “date” Aki and Masamune end up going on after she (illness, though Koiwai had something to do with that) and Masamune (food poisoning from loli-mom’s bento) end up having to take supplemental math classes. Koiwai embarrasses the hell out of Aki by convincing her that cosplay is de rigueur to break the ice on first dates. This is all part of Koiwai’s plan to apparently take Aki down a few pegs and teach her a lesson in humility, but I’m note sure I buy anything having to do with Koiwai as being that straightforward. I’m also not sure I buy the seemingly tender moments between Masamune and Aki after she knocks him unconscious, either. Koiwai is having fun here and I sort of am too, but I’m not sure it’s enough fun to keep me around for the duration of the series. We’ll see.