Kaguya-sama, comedy at its finest

Kaguya-sama: Love is War has to be one of the best manga I’ve ever read. Long story short, it’s a romantic comedy with everything done right.

*True love is the rhetoric for sloth*

True love is the rhetoric for sloth

The story revolves around Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, who happen to be the two best students in their high school. They are both in love with each other and are aware of their mutual feelings, but they are too proud to confess. Therefore, they make use of their superior cognitive abilities to design plans that would make the other confess his love!

Let’s face it: the art is average at most, and the high school setting is clearly not an innovative one for a manga. However, the main topic is quite original, and both the romance and comedy aspects are masterfully handled. Jokes can get a bit childish, but a lot of them revolve around the characters' relationships, which often give birth to hilarious misunderstandings.

Indeed, the characters are the true gem of the plot. The crew is actually quite reduced: there are more than 150 released chapters as of today, and fewer than 10 characters who are worth remembering. Nevertheless, their interactions are well fleshed-out and feel genuine. For example, although everyone respects and admires Shirogane, who is the student council president, the student council’s secretary, Fujiwara, sometimes has to help him learn a few basic skills he doesn’t have. That makes her flinch when other people say that he’s perfect, and her face expressions are priceless. Also, the mangaka, Aka Akasaka, pays a great deal of attention to detail, and a lot of easily missable information in old chapters' dialogs surprisingly resurfaces later, for the joy of attentive readers. Finally, characters experience genuine development, whether they are the two protagonists or supporting characters. For instance, Shinomiya and Ishigami, the treasurer, progressively warm up to each other, and they become very close friends who support each other.

Bonus points: the romance does move forward, and it feels very satisfying.