Image source: @masamune_tv on Twitter/YouTube
The characters of Masamune-kun’s Revenge treat each other like garbage. And I love it.
If you’ve ever been made fun of and had your life changed because of it, Masamune-kun’s Revenge is a show that will immediately grab your attention. It’ll make sense why the characters treat each other like garbage. You’ll immediately understand exactly why it’s so fun to watch it all unfold, too.
Like Kiss Him, Not Me, the show features a protagonist who was previously overweight and thought of as unattractive or made fun of by their peers. Masamune Makabe believes a beautiful, callous girl named Aki Adagaki was the cruelest of anyone when they were younger, having bestowed upon him a horrific nickname related to pigs and pig feet. Ah, yes, the name “Pig’s Foot.”
Knowing what I know about the manga series and story so far, I can’t speak to the specifics of that situation (but I surmise some readers will know where I’m going with this). But the situation goes that Masamune has it out for Aki in a big way. Her treatment caused him to change his life completely, turning his life around so that he lost weight, changed his image, and started attracting members of the opposite sex.
Aki is a detestable person in general–despite the idea that she may have spurred on Masamune’s change. She is completely unlikable, unless you’re a sucker for girls with no redeeming qualities. That’s exactly why it’s so entertaining to watch Masamune attempt to screw her over at every single opportunity. She deserves what is coming. But it’s not like Masamune is totally in the right either, so it’s fun to see what pitfalls he has to deal with on the path to “righteousness.”
See, to me, anime (like video games) is a form of escapist entertainment. We can watch these fictional characters treat each other like utter excrement for our enjoyment and no one is harmed because of it. If someone Aki deemed “Pudding Prince” tries to lop off a lock of Aki’s hair, I’m ready to see them get into a fistfight because of it. It is utter sadistic pleasure. I loved watching Aki tear down a potential suitor while referencing the genderswapped fanfic and empowerment fantasy novel he wrote. I have imagined exacting that same kind of revenge on people who have wronged me in the past–even though I’d never do it.
But it feels good to think about being able to do so in context of this anime world where there are no lasting consequences for our own. Seeing these things happen to these characters is awesomely cathartic–and frankly I’m down for them to utterly destroy each others’ lives in any way they possibly can. And Masamune is a master manipulator. He even saves Aki from having her hair cut off simply to appeal to her pride and have her fall in love with him. (Of course, this is all so he can break up with her and watch her heart shatter.)
In the end, I don’t want to see Masamune actually fall in love with Aki. Just once, I’d like an ugly ending for everyone involved. For now things are deliciously dark, even despite some of the pitfalls in the last episode. I don’t want it to be just another clichéd series with a tsundere girl and a protagonist that turns out to have a softer heart than he lets on. Let the anger and hurt run rampant, and let’s have an electric and dismal end for once!