Review: Kaguya-sama: Love is War Vol.1

This is the first time I’ve encountered manga, so I’ll keep this post short because I have no idea what I am talking about.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War is based on the premise that the first person to ask the other person out “loses”. Its protagonists are two highly intelligent high school students who basically mount a campaign of mental and emotional sparring against each other as they try to get each other to admit that they are In Love.

It’s ridiculous, but ridiculous in that uniquely heightened way that high school/secondary school actually is, when your status in the pecking order is the most important thing in the world. Ake Akasaka’s angular, stylised art does a great job of capturing that sense of heightened intensity and focus: the few backgrounds there are in the panels are simple and uncluttered so as not to detract from the mind games the characters are playing.

There are, however, sixteen volumes in the series at the time of writing, with a seventeenth on the way, and although I found one pretty diverting, I don’t know that I could sustain interest in the same repetitive formula of “someone sets a situation up, neither of them win” for that length of time. I’d probably read further volumes if they were around and I felt like it, but it’s not something I’ll seek out.

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