Anime Review: Masamune-kun no Revenge

Masamune-kun no Revenge is the kind of anime that would inevitably come out every season. It is, in essence, a harem, high school life, comedy, light romance show. It is the kind of show that would appeal to younger anime fans, especially those with less experience in knowing the tropes and cliches in the industry.


Don’t get me wrong. Just because an anime roots itself in a genre that can easily be seen as cliched does not mean it has to be so. My subjective opinions aside, there are definitely some good shows that I’ve seen in the past in this genre that have some unique aspects to them. However, Masamune is definitely not one of them. It does have a premise that has potential. As it turns out, though, the plot is more or less filled with tropes from the standard drama shows, of which plot development depends on. The eye-catching premise of “revenge for childhood rejection” is just another excuse to make the main romantic pairing, without going very deep.

One of the things that this show suffers from is that it tries to adapt the entire source material so far in 12 episodes. While even the source story is not complex, adapting the whole thing in one season turned out to be not so great. The show starts off fine, but rushes through character relationship with other main heroines during the middle, only to abruptly sweep them aside as “side characters” to make way for the main heroine in the end. While this seems to be the standard adaptation practice for harem shows nowadays, it is still very bad for the story.

What else is there to say? If you’ve seen a dozen shows in this genre you can predict how the story is going to go. The artwork is vibrant and character design is quite nice, but there is no “wow” factor to be found in visuals. BGM and theme songs are typical JPOP. If you enjoy it, you would like the music. Obviously, songs vocalized by upstart seiyuus are nowhere near the levels of “professional music”, as you would expect. I would not call the main characters flat, but their depth are quite far from being intricate. In fact, the main girl is the amalgam of two tropes: ojousama and tsundere. The protagonist is just… another male harem lead.

All in all, Masamune-kun no Revenge is an above average harem show, but still deeply entrenched in cliches and tropes of the genre without its own quirks. Most people who enjoyed watching this show would probably not going to remember its title after a while.

My very subjective score: 5.5/10


Shoujo Manga: Tropes and Cliches


I was inspired by *imperfect-girl*’s Shounen Manga Cliches post (which I reblogged) to write this post. Personally, I haven’t read a lot of shoujo manga, so I am not exactly extremely knowledgeable about them, nor do I have anything against shoujo manga. I will only be stating some “tropes and cliches” as any guy would see in shoujo manga in general.

Shoujo I have read: Kaichou wa Maid-sama (epitome of cliche), Special A (cliche), Vampire Knight (inevitably cliched), Kimi no Sei (refreshing), Watashi ni xx Shinasai! (less formulaic than others), Last Game (cliched despite the interesting setting), and Beast Master (not cliched; i am serious).

1) MC is either a clumsy, tomboyish one or a cutesy, fragile, helpless girl. Seriously, one of the two.

2) Choose one of the two types of male lead. Either the bad-boy gangster type, or the perfect, rich, and well-mannered boy who is good at everything. OR even more convenient, the perfect, bad-boy, rich, and good at studying type!

3) Shoujo manga’s distinctive character art style. To be honest, most boys don’t like it. Furthermore, in most shoujo manga, backgrounds are all but ignored. A definite minus here.

4) Most of the time drama turns into what is referred to as “Reverse Harem”, meaning multiple guys liking one girl (MC). Much like romance shounen manga, the girl experiences a lot of romance drama with these guys, who are all rich, tall, handsome, and charismatic by the way. Finally, the girl ends up with the “right” guy, who usually is easily discerned since volume 1.

5) Does the girl really needs a guy to save the day every time she gets into trouble? Can’t she do anything by herself?

6) While major shounen manga suffer from the same problem, shoujo manga suffer from “deviating plot disorder” when it is 5 – 10 times shorter than shounen!

and don’t forget …

7) Yaoi. Yes I can include it here because shoujo is a demographics label, and Yaoi is targeted at young girls. I can never understand this genre. I would if most of its readers are male homosexuals, but clearly that is not the case. So, what’s the appeal in this genre? Why do girls like to read it?

Can’t think of anymore atm. If you know more, just comment below and I’ll add it.