As an overweight child, Makabe Masamune was mercilessly teased and bullied by one particular girl, Adagaki Aki. Determined to one day exact his revenge upon her, Makabe begins a rigorous regimen of self-improvement and personal transformation. Years later, Masamune re-emerges as a new man. Handsome, popular, with perfect grades and good at sports, Masamune-kun transfers to Aki’s school, and is unrecognizable to her. Now, Masamune-kun is ready to confront the girl who bullied him so many years ago and humiliate her at last. But will revenge be as sweet as he thought?
When I first heard about Masamune-kun’s Revenge back in the winter season I had heard mixed reviews about it so I wasn’t sure what to think about it going in. My typical thinking about rom-coms is that they follow the same formula with very little deviations which makes them predictable but can still be enjoyable if done right. Masamune’s Revenge shattered most of that logic. It starts off very similar to how most rom-coms go espcially the one’s where the two characters don’t like each other (example: Nisekoi) but then completely shifts off course, roughly halfway through. This was a sort of pleasant surprise. The story managed to stay fresh and went against the grain of the genre a little bit. Some ways it paid off and some ways it didn’t. The story does a good job at not being predictable a lot of the time. Where most rom-coms would make a lovey scene this show throws a wrench in things and adds a challenge that Masamune or Aki must overcome. Now since this is a rom-com I’d be remiss to neglect the “com” portion of that. Masamune’s Revenge has really great comedy. Masamune’s internal dialogues and Yoshino’s analysis’s of his efforts are just downright hilarious. The show also likes to make fun of a lot of the tropes you see in Shoujo manga and anime. These parodies are actually really funny and they are executed very well. As for the romance portion of the show I have to say I really feel torn. Where as most rom-coms have the two characters pretty well destined for each other I didn’t feel that way watching Masamune’s revenge. They do a good job at giving two characters a good shot at ending up with him as well as making it very difficult for Masamune to even end up with his main girl (spoiler alert: that would be Aki). Now I don’t really like to talk about endings all that much on here since I like to stay mostly spoiler free but I feel like I need to say something about this anime’s ending. This ending is extremely vague even for open ended anime. That being said there better be another season or OVA. If not then it looks like I’m going to have to invest some money into the manga. Anyways this story is well written for the most part and does a good job at not being so predictable and boring which makes it very enjoyable to watch.
Masamune’s Revenge has some very nice characters and some not so nice characters. I’ll start with the main cast. Masamune is a pretty good character in my opinion. His internal dialogue and reactions are downright hilarious and are some of the funniest things about the show. What I also like about him is that when he does start to get a sort of harem he stops it by being honest with the girls including Aki. That’s a nice breath of fresh air from the spineless male lead who doesn’t know what he wants. Now the part where I get why people don’t like him is sort of spoiler filled so I’ll try to tiptoe around it. Throughout the show you get clues through flashbacks from his and Aki’s past about what started all this. The thing is: not everything matches up. This gives the impression that maybe Masamune doesn’t have all the details or was mislead. To be honest I’m not 100% sure about it myself but that’s all I’m willing to risk saying. His character development is great and even though he focuses on the whole revenge thing he shows that he does care for Aki, at least to an extent, in a handful of scenes. As for Aki herself I really liked how they gave you this impression of her and then slowly started to peel it away bit by bit. She goes through some great development and I actually went from hating her to liking her. Is she perfect? Far from it but she is a great character for the type of story the author wanted to write. She does make me mad towards the end of the show with some of the choices she makes and that she can’t be honest a lot of the times (before anyone says it: no she’s not a tsundere just hard headed and prideful). The supporting cast kind of gets thrown to the wayside a lot of the times since the focus is almost solely on the two leads but there are some standout characters. Yoshino is Aki’s maid and friend. She is a main focus in some ways as she really drives the connection between Masamune and Aki. I personally think she “ships” them and so wants to see them together even though she claims other motives. She actually sort of seems distressed during a stint in the show where it looked like Masamune and Aki were done for as potential romance partners which leads me to believe she truly wants to see them together. Neko is an exchange student who falls in love with Masamune. Even though Masamune faces it like a man and is honest with her she still has feelings for him but does back off a bit which was refreshing actually. The show does a good job at actually making Masamune and Neko seem like they could actually end up together. Neko actually helps Masamune keep his head on straight at times and becomes someone that he can confide in and trust. I didn’t find much of the other characters all that essential. Kojuro is a boy that is often mistaken as a girl but is basically Masamune’s only guy friend at the school since all the other guys are jealous that all the girls love him. He adds comic relief but other than that not much to tell. However, they do add some chemistry with him and Neko towards that end that would be interesting to see played out.
Masamune’s Revenge’s soundtrack pleasantly surprised me. I was expecting a generic soundtrack like a lot of rom-com anime have but this one sounded good and had songs that really seemed to fit the theme of the show. The opening is “Wagamama MIRROR HEART” by Ayaka Ohashi who happens to be the Japanese voice actress for Aki. It’s a song that actually has a bubbly sound to it but judging from the title of the song it’s a little heavier than it lets on. Unfortunately I can’t find a version with the lyrics so I’m just spitballing here. The crescendo towards the end of the TV version is really awesome and the varying tempos really add emphasis to parts of the song. It was just a really catchy song that I surprisingly enjoyed listening to. The ending song was called “Elemental World” by ChouCho. The song is really catchy and has this pop techno overtone but then the chorus comes with a nice rock guitar undertone. The vocals are beautiful and the song was just really great to listen to. The person in charge of the music was Tatsuya Katou who has also done the soundtracks for Demon King Daimao and Free! as well as some of my all time favorites: Food Wars! and Mirai Nikki/Future Diary. This was a really nice soundtrack to listen to and I highly recommend it to those that like catchy anime soundtracks.
I’ll admit right now I had my doubts about this voice cast. The people they had picked didn’t really sound how I had originally thought the characters would/should sound like. Once again though, Funimation proves me wrong. The main cast is Josh Grelle as Masamune and Morgan Garrett as Aki. I’ll admit Morgan Garrett’s Aki had to grow on me. She didn’t really sound how I thought that Aki should sound but after about 2 episodes I realized she was perfect for the role. She really handled the smug arrogance of Aki well and then when she flips the switch to her flustered and embarrassed voice it’s practically flawless. By the end of the show I couldn’t see anyone else playing Aki. It was a great performance and I’m glad that I gave her a chance. Josh Grelle is one of my favorite voice actors and performances like this are the reason why. He does fantastic as Masamune and really nails his internal dialogues. I loved the way he’d talk when Masamune would get a little vain about himself. It was pure comedy gold and the voice was perfect. The supporting cast goes as follows Morgan Shipman as Neko, Cailin Glass as Tae Futaba, Monica Rial as Yoshino, and Justin Briner as Kojuro. Morgan Shipman was great as Neko and she starts off with this girly high pitched voice and then ends up with a voice that just really suits Neko. She just has this sweetheart voice that just fit Neko like a glove and made her character all the better. Caitlin Glass was pretty good as Tae. She’s a very hyperactive character and it was cool to hear that from Caitlin Glass. I’m not saying she hasn’t played that character before but whenever I see her listed or I hear her voice in an anime my mind just automatically imagines Winry from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. I loved the performance and honestly wished she would’ve gotten a bit more screen time. Monica Rial nailed the role of Yoshino. The stoic voice she had combined with what she would say was just so funny. Whenever Masamune would shake Yoshino or do something to her when he was stressed she’d make a noise in a stoic manner and Monica Rial’s voice just made it so funny to me. That may have sounded long winded for a minor detail but that minor detail will make you laugh. It was a great performance and she proves again why she’s one of the best in the business. Justin Briner was the perfect fit for Kojuro. The feminine voice he gave Kojuro made the fact that many of the characters considered him a girl all the more comedic. All in all it was just a great performance by a great voice cast. Even though a couple of the voices had to grow on me and I had my doubts they were all put to rest very quickly. This is high quality voice acting and if you like to watch dubbed anime I recommend checking out the quality of this dub.
Masamune-kun’s Revenge is a rom-com that isn’t afraid to go against the grain. The story is fresh and interesting and will keep you watching. I really enjoyed watching how things would play out from episode to episode. The ending is a killer and there needs to be another season or at least an OVA/OVAs to finish it off. You could always read the manga and I may end up doing that just because I loved the story so much. The characters can be hit or miss but I thought that for the most part they were great for this type of anime. The soundtrack is catchy and definitely worth a listen and the voice acting is top quality with some great voice talents. Masamune’s Revenge is currently 1 season with a total of 12 episodes. I thoroughly enjoyed Masamune-kun’s Revenge and will be looking forward to hearing more from it. Until it’s finished Masamune-kun’s Revenge will have to settle for an 8.5/10!