Monday, July 25, 2022

Love Is War!

“First you fall in love, then you confess it and find it returned in full. Ask anyone and they will say it is a wonderful thing, but they are so ... very ... wrong. Even with the cutest of couples there are power dynamics at work. There is a side that gives and a side that takes; one who rules and one who serves; a winner and a loser. If it is your wish to live a noble life you must not become the loser. Love is no game, Its War! Whoever gives there heart first will be conquered.” This is how the show Love is War starts.

This show starts as a parody of traditional romantic comedy manga, comparing love to war, but as the show progresses it morphs into a charming well developed story about two characters, Shirogane and Shinomiya, trying to get the other to confess their love to them in the most elaborate, over the top ways. In each story we follow either Shirogane's or Shinomiya's perspectives, listening to their inner dialogue as they execute their plot to get a confession. One of my favorite schemes is when the student body council (which Shirogane presides as president and Shinomiya as vice president) play a truth game where one person asks a question and everyone answers anonymously with a coin; heads is true, and tails is false. They all agree to be honest and when it comes to Shinomiya turn she asks the group if they love her in a romantic way. She knows that the president's coin with a unique year on it and this would be as good as a confession. if you want to know how Shirogane gets out of this situation you must watch the show and find out. This is how formula for most episodes one will plot a diabolical plan to get the other to confess their love.  

Most of the time while I watch shows I don’t laugh out loud, but this anime had me chuckling on numerous occasions with its exaggeration. If you like the romance between Jim and Pam from The Office or enjoyed romantic comedy's like The Proposal and any other of Ryan Reynolds chick flicks, then give this show a try. I have laughed more watching this show than most comedy's I have seen and was more invested in the romance between the main leads. This comedy develops the characters into compassionate, well-fleshed out characters. The supporting characters are a great addition and make the show better. My favorite characters are the other members of the council, like Iino who has a strong sense of justice and decency and wants her school to not decline in morality. Her interactions with Ishigami are priceless because he is carefree and has no structure for life, but he protects his friends (even Iino) from embarrassing themselves which usually results in him being humiliated. Iino doesn’t realize he does this for his friends and gets frustrated because his actions decreases the decency of the student council.

I appreciate that what is learned in one episode is continued throughout the show. For example, when Shinomiya feels like she is not in control of the situation and becoming flustered she trained herself to be calm by placing her hand on her cheek. After she learned this we see her keep using this technique throughout the show letting the audience know that she is being compromised.  

I am not the only person that believes that this show is the great. According to MyAnimeList Love is War is currently the highest-rated anime of all time--- passing Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Finished airing August 2010) which has been at the top spot for a very long time. Personally, I can see why this show is number one. I see myself re-watching this show if I wanted to look for a good laugh. Before the 3rd season I watched the first two seasons again for a refresher and I still got a good laugh out of it.

Love is War is a great anime that shows how entertaining anime can be. It has clean language even when Shirogane is learning how to rap, when his rap swears it’s bleeped out which made it more fun. The show is also respectful and doesn’t show anything inappropriate. Each season is about 12 episodes, each episode is 20 minutes long, each episode has multiple mini stories. If you like anime, you would like this show. If you haven’t seen anime or gave it a try once, give this show a try.

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