Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2 anime series cover art
Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2

Season Overview

Kaguya-sama: Love is War season 2 (Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai?: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen / かぐや様は告らせたい?~天才たちの恋愛頭脳戦~) is basically just more of the same stuff that was in season 1. So if you liked the first season, you’ll probably like this one. And if you didn’t like the first season, you probably have bad taste in anime.

Unrelated to the actual review, it’s nice to see that even Kaguya-sama is following the tradition of adding random punctuation to its title to denote additional seasons. Notice how the Japanese title doesn’t actually say that it’s the second season, but instead includes a “?” to differentiate itself from season 1.

The first season of the anime covered the first term of the school year and the summer break. In Japan, the school year begins in January, with the summer break denoting the halfway point. This second season covers the second term of the school year, which is the fall semester.

Apparently, the fall semester is when the next student council election takes place. I don’t think this makes a lot of sense. Really the election should either be at the very end of the year or the very beginning of the following year, not right after the mid-year break. But whatever; let’s roll with it.

So the student council election is the primary event taking place throughout this season. This is important storywise for two main reasons: First, it serves as a minor reintroduction to the current student council members. Second, it introduces a few new characters who want to join the student council.

Aside from that, the only real difference between season 1 and season 2 is the character development that occurs. But rather than discussing that here, I’ll have a full section on it later.

New Characters

The two new characters introduced this season are Miko Iino and Kobachi Osaragi. Miko is a new main character while Kobachi is a new supporting character.

Miko believes that the current student council has become too morally corrupt and is no longer in any position to lead as role models for the other students. She views Shirogane and Kaguya as the most morally depraved because of their apparent open relationship. And she also just hates Ishigami (or does she?)

The only current student council member Miko thinks is worth keeping around is Chika, who she believes is the perfect role model. And as part of her election campaign, Miko chooses Chika to be her vice president should she win.

Chika Fujiwara and Miko Iino from the anime series Kaguya-sama: Love is War season 2
Chika Fujiwara and Miko Iino

Kobachi originally plans to join the student council as well, but it’s later revealed that she doesn’t actually have any interest in that sort of thing. She simply wanted to support Miko in her endeavors. In that regard, Kobachi is like a watered-down version of Hayasaka.

While Hayasaka is completely devoted to Kaguya (because it’s her job to be), Kobachi is devoted to Miko (because she’s actually her friend).

I should also mention that both Miko and Kobachi are first-year students just like Ishigami. I find that it’s sometimes difficult to determine who’s an upper and underclassmen because they all look the same — and their roles don’t seem to be based on their year.

For example, there are no third-year students currently in the student council. And even some of the third-year students who we know of aren’t in high-ranking positions in their respective clubs. Basically, the ranks of junior (kouhai) and senior (senpai) don’t really apply except for when speaking to or about a student older than oneself.

Season 1 vs. Season 2

I know that 99% of people who watched this season will disagree with me on this, but I think Kaguya-sama: Love is War season 1 was better than season 2. The second season definitely had some higher points and some much-needed refreshment with the introduction of Miko, but overall I think it was worse.

On the comedy side of things, it got a bit stale. With the exception of the final episode, basically all of the gags involving Chika were just rehashed from season 1. And I can’t really think of any gags involving Shirogane from this season that I actually found funny.

The character development that happens across seasons 1 and 2 is a mixed bag for me. I think the vast majority of viewers would agree when I say that Ishigami’s development was the peak of the season, and potentially the series as a whole so far. However, I think both Kaguya and Shirogane got worse this season.

Ishigami wearing Kaguya's school uniform from the anime series Kaguya-sama: Love is War season 2
Ishigami wearing Kaguya’s school uniform

Let’s start off with Ishigami because his development is the best. Ishigami’s character arc came in episode 11 when we learned about his backstory. This was not only a way for us to learn why Ishigami is the way he is but also presented an opportunity for him to grow as a person by leaving his past behind him and learning to make new friends and enjoy new things.

What interested me the most about this episode was how it presented a much more realistic drama plot in an otherwise generally comedy series. There’s been drama in Kaguya-sama in the past, but it’s generally been shoujo romance trope drama, not “real” drama.

And lastly we have Kaguya and Shirogane’s development, which was probably the least entertaining part of the series for me. The issue I have with these two is that Shirogane hasn’t really developed at all, while Kaguya has regressed into an infantile-like state.

There’s not really much of the back and forth between these two characters that made the first season so entertaining. Instead, Kaguya does something, Shirogane barely reacts, and then Kaguya goes into her inner voice “baby Kaguya” mode. I just don’t see that as good development. It’s technically development, but not good.

Conclusion

Kaguya-sama: Love is War season 2 is a 7/10 from me. It’s still a good season of anime, but I just don’t think it was at the same level as the first season. And while a third season is obviously going to happen, I’m not convinced that it will be any better.

Also, just to add more fuel to the fire, I have to say that the OP and ED(s) of season 1 were better than season 2. I get that a lot of people like the season 2 OP, but I think it’s inferior in almost every way. It’s probably just a case of recency bias causing everyone to think it’s the best thing ever, just like when Funimation (viewers) claimed Demon Slayer was the best anime of the decade.

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