Masamune-kun no Revenge is a bit of a tough series to figure out in terms of blogging. You guys seem to be reading my posts, but no one is talking about the series – so what does that mean exactly? If I didn’t take the approach that I blog based on what I want to write about I’d have gone stale and bailed years ago, but the interests of the readers obviously have to play a part in the decision-making too. And there’s no help to be had in my own feelings about the show, which are squarely in the bubble zone at the moment.
Is Masamune-kun a good series? Well, it’s certainly a competent one – the production is solid and the narrative flow is smooth and easy to follow. And it has an interestingly offbeat sensibility that shines through every once in a while (like in the dinner scene this week, where Makabe and Fujinomiya were indulging their obsessions rather than simply enjoying a meal). But I can’t shake the feeling that it’s ultimately too conventional to be really compelling, and as it progresses we’re seeing more and more of that side and less and less of the offbeat one.
I will allow this – it was nice to have a break from Aki for a week. I didn’t like her when she was an unvarnished horror and I like her no better as a character now that the series is trying to make her sympathetic. I’m not too keen on Fujinomiya either, but she’s at least civil and less a composite of anime tropes than Aki. I still don’t know what she’s really doing here – though the fact that Masamune-kun’s loli mom knows her is surely relevant – and I’m not sure what she adds to the equation story-wise.
While there’s definitely the nut of an interesting story here, about people so caught up in their own narcissistic obsessions that they pass op opportunities at happiness practically slapping them in the face, the germ is more conventional anime romcom. And that’s the problem – right now Masamune-kun no Revenge is neither especially romantic nor especially funny. It can only thrive if it indulges its dark side, and often – but I see no evidence that’s the sort of series it intends to be. The safe course is the wrong one for this show, but it seems likely to be the one it follows.