Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai S3- What Money Can Accomplish

I actually forget if I talked about the previous two seasons at all.

Regardless, they definitely went and released two episodes this week at once and spent like 20 minutes for the actual confession to take place, ending Season 3 in a rather momentous paradigm shift where the primary couple finally confess to each other. For those anime-only people, there’s a whole boatload of drama coming our way because much like DAL IV, Kaguya-sama’s anime production team has already announced that there’s going to be a new season.

The connection I can make with Kaguya-sama and DAL is the reason I chose to talk about this series after DAL, because some of the comparisons really stand out to me. Both series are well past 3 seasons now but the differences could not be more staggering, well except for one but we’ll get there soon. For DAL, a series that has so much action, its animation budget is terrible. Kaguya-sama on the other hand is primarily about making the most out of mundane student council interactions but has so much budget that the animators are adding in references that I don’t even remember being in the original manga.

And honestly, the extra additions that the anime has given to the series is quite substantial or I’m just having my memory of reading the manga being completely gone because while I recognize the story beats and certain panels, the smaller reactions in between events among the characters I definitely don’t remember so this entire paragraph could be pointless if someone does point out that the manga DID have scenes referencing the Shawshank Redemption, Resident Evil, and other references the anime has made.

My critique is rather light, there’s not much to complain because the adaptation is doing its job fairly well. There might have been a couple chapters axed to make the deadline for the School Festival finale but I think they got the most important stuff down for the main couple and Ishigami. The only complaints I have would just be for the series as a whole is how I don’t give a rat’s ass about Fujiwara in the slightest.

But the actual critiquing will probably gain some scrutiny beyond this point of the series. For those who don’t know, Kaguya-sama going forward now primarily deals with Kaguya’s family as well as the budding relationship improvements between Miko and Ishigami. Spoilers ahead but I can give credit to where credit is due. The entire arc that had recently concluded in the manga for getting Kaguya out of her messed up family life was quite a lengthy one and a lot of its plot points mirror the usual “get the rich girl out of her family inheritance/arranged marriage” plotlines. Usually these types of stories have the other rich kids band together and stage some dramatic rescue of the damsel in distress and somehow make their way past armed guards and stare down the bad guy in line for inheritance plotline in some well-guarded mansion. That’s exactly what happens but a lot of the power play comes from Shirogane himself who enters some of the political machinations against Kaguya’s siblings and actually gets handed some money, which he promptly spends for tools to use against them. I actually think it’s a decently executed arc for what the issue was, given how so many other romcoms with rich girl heroines and even visual novels with ojou-sama heroines end up in the same pitfalls but I think Shirogane being made out to be a rather exceptional protagonist in terms of character accomplishment with good future prospects have things play out a bit more.

It wouldn’t be too inaccurate to say this is the peak of the series since stuff going forward have some arcs that feel like they overstay their welcome. I really have no idea how far they plan on taking this series’ adaptation because the only worthwhile things I foresee in a Season 4 is the conclusion of Ishigami’s arc and ending things off right before Hayasaka’s arc. Either way, I’m only looking forward to the former.

Rating Kaguya-sama among other romcoms definitely has its premise and payoff through this season’s events rank pretty highly on bombastic confession scenes and build-up towards it. Usually most romcoms are content to let the status quo be maintained until things get too droll but Kaguya-sama did manage to deliver a visually and audibly pleasant confession scene. However, like most romcoms, Kaguya-sama has evidently peaked for me here and what remains is personally less exciting. Apparently the manga is due to end within a couple more chapters so at least they’re not planning to drag things out. Until Season 4 does come out though, these past three seasons were plenty enjoyable and it is definitely in no small part thanks to the animators going above and beyond adding to the animation project.

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