They say that if you snooze, you lose. To some, love is a game. A game whoever yields first loses because that is a sign of weakness-cum-submission and allows the other party to dominate you. Therefore it is a battle of wits to make the other party confess first in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai. Yup. Love is more than just a game at this rate. Love is war. But not necessarily that war is love. Our main characters here who secretly have a crush on each other are engaged in some twisted battle of wits to make the other seemingly look like they have confessed. When you have both donkeys who are stubborn and don’t budge because of pride, no points to guess who will turn out to be the ultimate losers. Just a matter of how long they are willing to drag out this stubbornness…

Episode 1A
In Shuchiin Academy, Kaguya Shinomiya as the student council vice president is the daughter of a conglomerate and is talented in many fields. Then we have Miyuki Shirogane as the student council president who is the top scorer. Both are awed together by everyone else so much so they think they are dating. However with that said, both of them have this twisted pride of not being the first one to confess because the one who does so is considered the loser. Hence a battle of wits in trying to make the other confess first. Hence nothing happened for months… But Chika Fujiwara, the secretary who has no idea about this battle, seems to break that pattern as she gives them a couple of tickets to a romance movie. It seemed Shirogane might be giving in when he almost sounded like he was going to invite Kaguya. Luckily he manages to turn it around by giving her the option. Kaguya could easily turn him down but all would have been for naught since she was the one who planted the tickets in Chika’s hands. As both try to mentally strategize, Chika shows another pair of tickets to a children’s movie if romance is not their type. With this chaos thrown into the mix, their brains start overloading thinking for a solution. They crave for something sweet and there is only a manjuu in the room. As they race to grab it, Chika eats it and leaves. Battle result: Both lost.

Episode 1B
Kaguya planted a love letter in her shoebox just to rile Shirogane as she thinks of going to meet this guy. She is waiting for him to stop her and when that happens, it’s her victory. Of course Shirogane doesn’t want this but uses his position that he doesn’t endorse illicit activities between a man and woman. He even threatens to tell the teacher. Kaguya fights back that she is willing to even get expelled for the sake of true love. With Shirogane using assumptions if she would go for a better guy and she mentions there could be a possibility, this is enough ‘evidence’ for Shirogane to fire back this isn’t true love then. Still, Kaguya pretends she is going to this guy and the only thing that could stop her is his teary eyed begging. Too bad it is Chika who is clinging and crying all over her not to leave! In the end, it is Kaguya’s lost.

Episode 1C
Kaguya sees Shirogane simple bento and she would sure love to taste it. However Chika beats her to it and he even shares some with her. This has Kaguya looking at her with scorn but Shirogane thinks she is mocking his miserable lunch. He tries to show off more by making Chika eat more and of course she scorns even more. If this is what Chika wants, it’s war! No more friends. Next day, Kaguya brings in a super high class bento. The duo are amazed but continue to mind their own bento. Kaguya tries to tempt Shirogane to try some but he replies he has nothing of equivalent value to give her. Kaguya feels defeated and even more so when he hears Shirogane made Chika’s bento. That’s it. No more friends for real. Shirogane quickly finishes his and leaves. That is when Chika pops an octopus wiener in Kaguya’s mouth. A taste of heaven. It’s like she’s got her humanity back and considers Chika her friend again. In that sense, Kaguya ‘won’ on technical grounds that Shirogane escaped.

Episode 2A
Shirogane bought a new Smartphone and wants to of course get Kaguya’s address without asking her. Kaguya knows his game and will not do so since it would be shameful for a girl to ask a boy his. However Shirogane shows Chika his childhood profile picture in which he will soon change. Kaguya is interested to see so she fakes her tears and cries of being left out. Panicky Shirogane shows her but realizes his mistake and pulls back. But for that split second Kaguya has seen and memorized it. She no longer has a reason to ask his address. That is when Chika points out Kaguya’s old model doesn’t support the latest app. And so they both lost today’s battle…

Episode 2B
With Chika suggesting to go somewhere for the holidays, Shirogane fantasizes the mountains as the ideal place to get Kaguya to confess to him. However Kaguya prefers the sea. Although she fantasizes of a sunset confession and using her swimsuit to bewitch him, she knows Shirogane can’t swim. She has also prepared a list of answers to counter the dangers he suggests. And when she points out the mountains has bugs which he hates, it looks like a sure victory for her. Until Chika says her body has grown and needs to get a new swimsuit. Kaguya realizes she will lose to her and switches to the mountains. And now Shirogane wants the sea?! He hates bugs more than he can’t swim. Can’t decide? Let Chika decide. What’s it gonna be? How about Mt Osore. It sounds like a place where the dead soul roams. Today’s battle ruined… Is that the same as a loss?

Episode 2C
A guy comes to Shirogane for love advice. Too bad he didn’t know he is a virgin and Shirogane fearing his reputation may come to light if he gives the wrong advice, he likes like he knows it all. Of course Kaguya is eavesdropping outside and would love to hear his opinions. So this guy wants to confess to a girl he likes, Nagisa Kashiwagi but is unsure if she likes him. But Shirogane downplays all the friendzone signs to confidently tell him she likes him. This idiot thinks Shirogane is a genius! It’s all in the confidence. Shirogane even demonstrates this wall slamming technique for size (something he inadvertently practises on the door that Kaguya is hiding behind to make her heart flutter). The guy is grateful to him but gets the wrong idea he and Kaguya are dating. Shirogane refutes that and lists down all her bad points but suddenly praises everything good about her (because now he spotted her hiding). The irony of Shirogane telling him to confess because nothing will happen unless he takes action. Don’t those words resonate with him? Oddly the guy did all that and now they’re a couple. Meanwhile Kaguya is in good mood and this puzzles Shirogane. This means today’s battle is actually a loss for him.

Episode 3A
Based on a magazine, it seems 34% of correspondence already did their first time in their teens. Although this flusters Chika and Shirogane but Kaguya brushes it off and claims she has also done it! Even to her new born cousin?! When she claims they are not raised in a loving environment, it seems this might be the confession plan she needs. She thinks Shirogane will be pressured that he still doesn’t have a girlfriend and will confess to her. Shirogane on the other hand has no experience and is a virgin but ironically popular. Hence he cannot lie and say he has. This has him ask what does her first time mean. Due to her strict upbringing that term only means kissing to her. Hence Chika explains in ‘explicit’ detail what it really means. Wow. In shock. It’s her loss for being this ignorant.

Episode 3B
Shirogane claims he knows her well so Kaguya suggests playing a game. Usually one would ask 20 questions that could only be answered yes or no. If you can determine what it is by 20 questions, you win. Because Shirogane says he knows all about her, she cuts the questions down by half. So as he asks her stuffs and puzzled by the answers given, when he asks if it is something she likes, she starts to act flustering. This has him think he is the answer. A few more questions seem to likely point to that. Is this her way of indirect confession? When he thinks of all the nice expressions she had, he also remembers she has nasty ones. His answer is Chika’s dog. Correct.

Episode 3C
Kaguya is often chauffeured to school but for some reason today, a cat is hiding and doesn’t want to come out of the car engine?! Because of that, she takes the liberty to walk to school. An experience she longs to have. Along the way, she sees a crying girl who seems to be afraid of crossing the road without her friend. She helps her do so but there are much more crossings to come. I guess after a while and she’s still crying about not wanting to be alone, Kaguya suggests even if the official group crossing is over, she can make appointments with her friends to meet and walk to school together. I guess she never thought of that. Oh look. Her friend is here and they can go to school together. Kaguya is perhaps lost but here comes Shirogane peddling his bicycle, almost late for school. He wants her to hop on because hell they aren’t going to break the school rules as student council. School rules > Traffic rules? Kaguya’s chauffeuring days return but each time she remembers that day, she smiles to herself.

Episode 4A
With Kaguya putting on cat ears as part of the party planned to welcome French students, Shirogane’s heart is racing like hell. Of course he is holding it really hard and Kaguya thinks there is no reaction. When Chika puts cat ears on Shirogane, it is Kaguya’s turn to have her heart racing. As usual, she tries to hide it hard. Kaguya suggests taking a photo and Shirogane fears she might use this is for future extortion. How about both having their pictures taken then? Not a bad deal since Shirogane will get to legally have that photo. All they need to do is smile but since they can’t keep a straight face looking at each other, they look as though they’re going to fight. In the end, Chika confiscates the cat ears as everyone start thinking the scariness of cat ears.

Episode 4B
In order to but decorations and essentials for the party, somebody has to give up their free time on the weekend to do the shopping. Chika suggests a forbidden word game in which the winner is excused from it. Each player holds up a word he/she doesn’t know and if he/she says that word, you lose. Shirogane thinks of putting the word that Chika often says. Check it out? His goal is to have Chika win so he can go out with Kaguya. But Chika starts rapping! Yo! Yo! Kaguya is not speaking and despite it’s a way to win, they’re not going anywhere. Chika then tells her sob story how she is excluded from conversations. Kaguya comforts her and says she loves her straightforwardness. This causes Kaguya to lose since ‘love’ is her forbidden word! Chika was just straight up lying! This makes it easier for Shirogane. All he has to do is let Chika win but the problem is with Chika putting up that bluff, he now has trust issues. Besides, his pride will not allow him to hurt others at the expense of his own. This means his ‘date’ with Kaguya is unacceptable. Shirogane is going to get serious in this game but then he’s out! Seems his forbidden world is ‘serious’! Kaguya has the last laugh since she understands his character perfectly.

Episode 4C
Although they have exchanged numbers, Kaguya is still awaiting Shirogane’s first text. Her maid, Ai Hayasaka knows she has feelings for him and tries to confirm it. When Kaguya says she just likes the qualities she is lacks in him and it is not love, Hayasaka wonders if it is okay for Shirogane and Chika to date. I’m sure that deadly aura means no. She doesn’t want her best friend to be taken away either. Hayasaka suggests calling since he is expecting her to text. Hayasaka then calls on her behalf. Ready or not, you’re on the line. But it is Shirogane’s father who picks up! After passing to his son, Kaguya learns he is in the bath. Hayasaka trying to fuel the fire telling her she is talking to someone naked right now! He manages to make arrangements for tomorrow but Kaguya can’t take it any longer and hangs up. Eventually he finishes his sentence via text. Finally she got her first text. But next day, it is raining heavily. Kaguya even thinks of going because Shirogane might be waiting. Hayasaka doesn’t think so. Yes he is. And it took her 30 minutes to send a cancellation text.

Episode 4D
At the party, Shirogane can only speak a smatter of French. Kaguya sounds impressive. Chika can speak fluently too since her mom was a diplomat!!! Oh no. Does this mean Shirogane is the only one who can’t speak French?! Feeling isolated. This party seems to be set up by the principal to test Shirogane if he has what it takes to be student council president. Hence he sends the French’s vice student council, Betsy Beltoise to give it all to him. She has a razor sharp tongue as she insults everything about him that would make even God cry! Fortunately or unfortunately, due to his limited understanding, Shirogane is like cool with whatever he says. The principal is shocked that he can withstand her attack! With Betsy increasing her attack, Kaguya doesn’t like what she said and counters it all equally with her French tongue. Enough to send Betsy running away and fearing Japanese girls! After the party, Kaguya feels ashamed for doing all that but Shirogane reminds her he doesn’t know what they’re talking about except that Betsy badmouthed her and she stood up for him. Kaguya then says something inaudible and this only has Shirogane pleading for her to say it again.

Episode 5A
Kashiwagi comes to ask Kaguya for love advice. She agrees. What does she want to ask? How to break up with her boyfriend! Yes, it’s that girl whom that boy asked Shirogane for advice. She claims he suddenly confessed to her and she was shocked and at a lost at that time. Now she feels their distance has been growing. Kaguya tries to describe liking someone based on the unseen traits but she’s just describing about her preferences of Shirogane. Kashiwagi could easily picked that up if not for eavesdropping Chika who wants in on this love game. First she has them imagine their love being with someone else. They don’t like it (even more so for Kaguya). That means jealousy and this proves you are in love with that person. With Kaguya not wanting to lose out and suggesting some Romeo and Juliet trope, Chika’s intervention means it gets blown out of proportion. WTF fight against the inequality of society?! Yeah, Kashiwagi believes it. In the aftermath, we see them both as a couple but doing charity work asking for donations. They were already interested in doing charity in the first place. Kaguya also sees Shirogane helping them out since they are eager to help but have no experience. This makes him want to support them. Kaguya is impressed with him and this means today’s battle it’s her loss.

Episode 5B
Shirogane sucks in sports. He is having a hard time practising for next week’s volleyball match when Chika spots him. Did she see him how much he sucks? Well, her awesome perception of him still didn’t change. But after seeing how good Chika is, looks like he is forced to learn from the master. As you can see, he continues to suck. Missing the serves and somehow even slapping himself! Chika examines that it is because he closes his eyes and hence the brutal training begins. Yup, to the point of even sleeping with the ball! But still, he sucks. When he refuses to give up because he wants to look cool, Chika takes it as there is someone he likes. She keeps bugging for a name but that is when he shows his manly side and succeeds! Hooray! Now Chika can teach him how to toss and receive. Damn… On match day, Shirogane is flawless! So cool! And Chika is having bandages everywhere, talking as though she is his mom who raised him! Victory for Shirogane and Chika!

Episode 5C
It is a rainy day and it looks like the perfect excuse for that umbrella sharing incident. This would normally work if one forgot his/her umbrella. But in the case of Shirogane and Kaguya, they both forgot! Actually both of them have it but cannot admit because doing so will be a loss. Hence it becomes a game of exposing the other’s lie. Shirogane moves first that she may be lying but doesn’t have enough info to have anything conclusive. Then Kaguya hits back. She did not see him cycle today and in fact ride the train. So if he claims he didn’t check the weather forecast, of all days why take the train? Is he lying? Please check your bag again. Yeah, this is actually Shirogane’s fault for not planning far ahead unlike Kaguya who did lots of preparation and research! It’s scary! Kaguya is moments from nailing his coffin and perhaps scoring the biggest victory when Chika comes by to lend her hers! Just ruined everything. But it saved Shirogane’s neck. So upset that Kaguya sublets the umbrella to him. He borrows just half of it. And in the end, both shared the umbrella. A tie for today’s match.

Episode 6A
Yuu Ishigami is the student council treasurer. He is good at data processing and indispensable to the council. However he wants to resign! He thinks Kaguya is going to kill him! Ishigami can tell a person’s intention just by looking in the eyes (albeit just 5% accuracy). A month ago, he found some coffee coupons underneath a table. It was set up by Kaguya to have Shirogane to go out with her. When she is about to take the coupons, it is missing. She realizes it is in the hands of Ishigami and she threatened him not to tell anyone about it or else. Then last week he asked if she loves Shirogane. Her words don’t match her wobbly actions. In that case, Ishigami plans to tell Shirogane about this and that is when Kaguya almost strangled him! He thinks she is an assassin! And then Kaguya comes in covered in blood and a knife with hand! OMG! Is she really going to kill?! Turns out she was just helping the drama club. Ishigami warns Shirogane she is just playing cute to let his guard down. They almost lost it when Chika comes in ‘dead’! Yeah, just fooling around. Shirogane tells Ishigami to have more faith in his friends. Can he when Kaguya reminds Ishigami not to give Shirogane a hard time? This means she has been eavesdropping about his resignation! Now Ishigami cannot get away from the woman he fears…

Episode 6B
Chika has them take a psychological test in love. The answer given corresponds to your love life. Of course this is a setup by Kaguya as she has read all the questions. All she needs is to get Shirogane to answer in a certain way and hence making it look like an indirect confession. Hence the question of walking in a dark place and the first person that comes to mind who taps your back is actually your lover. Since Kaguya knows the answer, she answers Chika. Ishigami fears Kaguya and names her. Shirogane is suspicious of Chika’s eager behaviour and believes this is a trap question so he answers his sister. Chika thinks he is a siscon. Ishigami now thinks he has Stockholm Syndrome for Kaguya? Don’t kill yourself… However Chika decides to look for a question on the internet. This throws uncertainty for Kaguya. In a field of flowers, how many would you pick? Just a bouquet. Shirogane will have a truck load. While Shirogane and Chika argue about this, Kaguya peeks on the answer. The amount of flowers indicate how much you love that person. Embarrassed with Shirogane’s truck load, she shuts the computer.

Episode 6C
Hayasaka ‘lectures’ Kaguya about beauty and trendy because you don’t want opportunities stolen by women who only has good looks going for them, no? She thinks nails are the in thing although she is totally off. Hence Kaguya does up her nails and hopes Shirogane will notice although she does have her reservations. She tries to make it so freaking obvious but he didn’t notice. So frustrating. Actually he did and just pretended not to. He thinks if he compliments her, it would be sexual harassment. Ishigami then notes Chika using a different shampoo. He meant to compliment but the way he said he has Chika commenting he is a creepy person. He lost his mood and goes home. Hopefully not to die. This has Shirogane give more thoughts about this. At the end of the day as Kaguya leaves, disappointed all this is for nought, Shirogane then comes up to her. He is about to comment her nails but drops the idea halfway and pedals off. This only leaves Kaguya flustered and even more frustrated she couldn’t hear him finish his sentence.

Episode 7A
Looks like that guy is back to ask Shirogane more love advice. Yeah, he wants to hold hands with Kashiwagi now. This sounds like a relatively easy question so Shirogane makes some expensive suggestions. Can’t afford it? Work! He also has sweaty palms that he needs to solve. Surgery too expensive? Work for it! Could it be a ploy for Shirogane to hire someone as extra help at where he works? Kaguya is eavesdropping and won’t allow that because she has summer vacation plans for him. Good thing or not, here comes Chika thinking she could play cupid. But after hearing out the problem, she gets disappointed at how low level the issue is. Couldn’t he just hold her hand normally? All Shirogane could do was to wish his best. You don’t need a job for that! Just will power! And with that, the guy manages to hold Kashiwagi’s hand. So easy. And Shirogane loses today’s match since he failed to recruit a part timer…

Episode 7B
Other than social standings, the school has also a caste system in terms of club activities. So those who aren’t in one are ranked as inferior. Like Ishigami. So he is complaining so much about it and is even going as far as to suggest some happiness tax. Yup, slash budget for every couple for every club! Shirogane suggests he could join even though he is in the student council because the ladies are doing it. Chika in the table top game club and Kaguya in archery. That is when Ishigami starts to badmouth their boob size in relation to their clubs. Cliché moment for the ladies to be standing behind him. He hit the brakes too late… Punishment from Chika! He’s fortunate Chika ‘forgives’ him but not Kaguya… Ishigami is now scared as he goes home to do his will… Then the girls try to argue for Shirogane to join their club. For that moment Shirogane felt like a winner because it’s like his harem fighting over him.

Episode 7C
Chika is glad Kaguya is able to smile. Long ago she always casted this cold and distant exterior. Her dream is to make her laugh like mad someday. So when Chika talks about her dog’s dick, this sends Kaguya into a laughing fury. Remember, Kaguya just started on her real path on sex education so she is like a child, laughing each time she hears the wiener word. Hence Chika notices this and keeps spamming that word just to make Kaguya delirious. Not that Chika realizes it has anything to do with the wiener word, but rather Kaguya is laughing madly. Then Shirogane comes in. Can Kaguya hold her laughter? Of course the ladies can’t say such vulgar word before a boy but Chika is going to make Shirogane say it! So what is the other word for a dog that looks like a sausage? Before he can answer, Kaguya answers with a substitute word. Each time foiling Chika’s plan so much so she gets mad and admits all she wants is for him to say that word. This shocks Shirogane as he thinks they are nymphos. He runs away and Kaguya is left to rue this misunderstanding. Chika continues spamming wiener. More uncontrollable laughing. Little do they know, Ishigami has been eavesdropping outside and gets the wrong idea of them talking about wieners. Futanari?!

Episode 8A
Shirogane’s sister, Kei visits the student council room. Since her brother is away at a budget meeting, Kaguya greets her. Kaguya then devises a plan to get close to her so she could win Shirogane’s heart. Kei is about to give some documents for Shirogane that needed checking but Ishigami efficiently points out all the errors. Kaguya then changes her tactic that she should be her friend and equal and after that long delusion, Chika comes in. What’s this? Chika and Kei doing some weird pose together?! You mean they’re such close friends? Chika’s younger sister, Moeha is in the same class with her and Kei often comes for sleepovers. Kaguya’s hope is to be her sister but with Kei calling Chika her big sister, now Kaguya’s is boiling with jealousy. When Chika suggests they go hang out together, happy Kaguya would gladly love to. Back home, Shirogane heard that Kei stopped by his student council room and asks her opinion of his members. Though she finds Chika and Ishigami to be okay, she felt nervous around Kaguya that she can’t carry a conversation around her.

Episode 8B
The test is coming up. Hence we see Shirogane and Kaguya putting up brave but fake fronts about their perceptions on last minute studying. All lies! Yeah, Shirogane has taken leave from his job so he could burn the midnight oil so as not to lose his top status. He’s been helming it for 3 consecutive terms. Kaguya may sound casual in taking the tests but deep down she is dead serious to beat Shirogane. Unlike those 2, Ishigami doesn’t care. Yeah, all he wants is to play video games and he is already no stranger to failing. Chika falls into their psychological trap to not study. During exam day, you bet our prideful student council duo are as nervous as hell and somehow doing a good job keeping it all in. When the results come out, Shirogane maintains his top spot while Kaguya takes second place like always. Humble in victory, gracious in defeat. That’s what the duo may seem but deep down, Shirogane wants to howl and do shadowboxing while Kaguya is so frustrated she wants to cry and stomp all over.

Episode 8C
A week before the test, Ishigami is already warned if he fails again, he will have to repeat a year. Kaguya doesn’t really care about him but knows this will drag the student council down. Hence she is going to make him study! Poor guy thinks she wants to torment his soul. He tried to run away but each time she catches him and hence giving up to study with her. At the library, several girls note how creepy it is for them to be together. Ishigami just gives up. He doesn’t care if he repeats a year. He was a problem child back in middle school and doesn’t want her name to get dragged just because of such rumours. Kaguya then confronts those girls about judging others. She has judged Ishigami to be worthy of a relationship with her so do you have any problems with her judgment? The girls quietly go away and although Ishigami thinks this will still give them the wrong idea, Kaguya’s priority is not to make him fail. She will not abandon him and nothing will sway her. She swears to her family name. Without him, Shirogane will be troubled. When the results are out, despite Ishigami didn’t fail, Kaguya is upset he barely passed. After all the studying this is what he gets?! I guess Ishigami thought he had a better view of her now, returns to his original stance that she is a scary woman after all. Shirogane hopes he won’t take it to heart as Kaguya doesn’t lie to herself. You can be assured that she keeps her word, come what may.

Episode 9A
A storm is going on and Chika is afraid of lightning for fear it will steal her belly button?! But Shirogane is concerned because the train service is out. Kaguya fantasizes him riding her car for a driving date. However it will seem like she is inviting him and that will not do. With Chika hinting about sharing her taxi, Kaguya shoos her away. Kaguya then gets psychological with him about skipping his job due to the storm. As he thinks about it in the toilet, Kaguya realizes the trains have resumed. No choice, she quickly swaps out a dead battery for his phone. All that is left is for her to wait outside for him to beg. Unfortunately crazy Shirogane rides his bicycle zooms past her and splashes water all over her. Next day, Kaguya has fever.

Episode 9B
Now somebody needs to hand over prints to her. Chika would love to go since Kaguya acts like a baby whenever she is sick. Shirogane starts fantasizing the things he could do to her but Chika wants to be fair and has them play a memory card game. Because of the rules she set, Shirogane sniffs out her cards are marked. The game continues anyway and when Shirogane learns from Ishigami that it could be his fault for splashing water on Kaguya that made her sick, Shirogane ups his game and sees through Chika’s other trick (placing cards in clock time positions to remember their value) to win the game. Ishigami spams Chika with shame as she goes home to ‘die’. For once it isn’t Ishigami. Please don’t kill yourself. But now Shirogane faces a new problem: What to get for Kaguya!

Episode 9C
Shirogane is astonished by Kaguya’s mansion. He is greeted by Hayasaka and because she doesn’t want him chickening out last minute, she forces him into Kaguya’s room. Looks like she really regressed into a mind of a baby. From her psychology explanation, it looks like Kaguya won’t remember this when she returns to normal. Then she leaves them alone together and hints nobody will come here for a few hours and the walls are soundproof. Please don’t do anything inappropriate… Shirogane sits by her side, feeling guilty and needing to find out her true feelings. He knows she wanted to give him a ride and if this cold is his fault. However she doesn’t know. She feels sad for always giving him trouble and never know what to do. She doesn’t know other ways and it’s the only way she could do it. Then she invites him to sleep with her and pulls him in! Shirogane’s mind is in panic but soon falls asleep because of sleep deprivation. Later that night when Kaguya wakes up, she is horrified Shirogane is sleeping next to her. She kicks him out and accuses him for taking advantage. Shirogane runs home in tears while Kaguya fears how far she has gone with him. Lucky for you, Hayasaka examines the bed. Nothing happened…

Episode 10A
Shirogane and Kaguya are in a cake standoff. Ishigami thinks it is his fault because he ate 1 and now with only 1 left, the duo are trying to be polite and let the other eat it. Yeah, they’ve been at this for hours. Time to go get some Chika help. Now the duo are drawing up the pettiest and most trivial of memories of why the other should eat it. It all comes down to feeding each other. There is still some distrust about feeding each other at the same time but when they’re about to do it, here comes Chika as she eats the cake. Punishment for not being friends! Maybe she just wants to eat the cake… Shirogane and Kaguya double losers…

Episode 10B
Ironically, it is Kaguya’s turn to seek Kashiwagi’s advice on love. The same for Shirogane but he talks to Ishigami who is the self-proclaimed love master thanks to all the manga and games he played. So we hear them talk hypothetically about that night they ‘slept’ together. Kashiwagi and Ishigami go on the offensive to blame the other party. Shirogane and Kaguya try to control and not make it seem like it is entirely the other’s fault and that they also share some partial blame. Eventually if they did nothing wrong, there is no reason they should be feel guilty about. At the end of the day when Kaguya and Shirogane pass by each other, the latter admits he did lay a finger on her although it was only on her lips. That is when Kaguya puts her finger on his lips. Now they’re even. She hopes that with this settled, they will go back to being normal tomorrow. Shirogane and Kaguya double winners.

Episode 10C
Summer vacation will be soon and it seems Shirogane and Kaguya are hinting to Chika for plans. Yeah, remember that mountains or the sea decision? It’s time to put that to an end. Of course they can’t make it look like they’re initiating the trip or it will look like an invitation, hence a total defeat. Too bad Chika announces she is going to Hawaii for a week! Shirogane tries to steer Chika and put her ‘under his control’ to do at least something together for the holidays (because without Chika in the trip, the plan will not get off to a good start) but Kaguya knows better this is impossible and hence she has regressed into a retard mode just to avoid arguing with her. Even when Shirogane argues they can have one after their trip abroad, Chika counters that she needs to study. Balance between work and play! Can’t argue with that. Ishigami then comes up with the unlikeliest comment that he wants to spend time with them since this is the only year that they can possibly do so. Hence Shirogane suggests the summer festival. Suddenly Chika wants to come! Oh yeah. Fireworks and food. That’ll be great. Screw studying! As they try to make that date free, suddenly Chika realizes that week she’ll be in Spain. She even has the cheek to blame them to go there without her. Ishigami fires back that it is she who is having fun but have the nerves to tell them not to go? Hypocrite. Chika continues to blame them and runs away. For once, Shirogane and Kaguya side with Ishigami. Looks like he doesn’t have to go home and kill himself from guilt this time. Summer festival here we come!

Episode 11A
Half of summer vacation has passed and Shirogane and Kaguya have not done anything of importance! Kaguya is shocked that Hayasaka knows what Shirogane is doing as he posted it on Twitter. Yeah, Kaguya isn’t IT savvy and needs to look up what it means. Meanwhile Hayasaka is just getting ready for her own bath relaxation when suddenly Kaguya barges in to grumble about the broken internet! Oh dear. It’s that human verification code… Hayasaka points out a few starters and then returns to her relaxation. She too is grumbling this unappreciative job when suddenly Kaguya barges in again. Twitter has banned her! No, girl. It’s a protected account. I’m sure it all sounds alien to her as Hayasaka explains about trolls. So if she sends a request, he might invite her to look at his tweets. Of course you know, that would mean making her look like she’s begging to know him. She can’t do that and will let Shirogane follow her instead. You know that’s not going to happen… Hayasaka returns to her bath again and as she is about to go into deep relaxation, here comes Kaguya again…

Episode 11B
Saburo Odajima is a middle aged man who prides himself for knowing the best ramen to eat. So when he enters and orders his optimum ramen in this small shop, he thought Chika is a spoilt rich kid who knows nothing. To his shock, she also orders some optimum combo but fails on its firmness. Saburo decides to show her how it’s done to appreciate ramen. WTF, getting technical here? However she blows him away as she eats and enjoys it at her own pace. Then he gets over analytical how this is all calculated by her for the most optimum taste ever. But he thinks she will fail as a ramen connoisseur since women hate garlic. Guess what? She eats them all and even drinks the soup! This has Saburo remember his youthful days that he too once enjoyed it like this. He supports her to go all the way. When she leaves, he gives her the thumbs up but Chika doesn’t know what the heck it means.

Episode 11C
Shirogane and Kaguya continue to languish doing nothing. Yeah, how can you expect something when all your plans revolve around the premise of the other inviting you? So we see both of them flustering staring at their handphones, hoping some new mail will pop up. Keep waiting… Although coincidentally both of them have this idea to head to school in hopes of bumping into the other, it is unfortunate that they missed each other. Hence the sad day continues. To a point where they dread that summer vacation wasn’t so long. Although the results say nobody won because they didn’t meet up, I believe they’re both losers at this rate…

Episode 11D
Kaguya narrates she never experienced a normal family and do what normal families do like watching fireworks. Thanks to others treating her special due to her wealth and status. She feels blessed to have such resources and some wonderful friends in life but still can’t do as she pleases. Kaguya is summoned by her dad to the main house. However as she waits, her dad passes by and just notes she is there before walking off. Sad. She further narrates how father never said goodnight or I love you to her but it’s okay since it has always been this way. And nothing at this point will make her feel one way or the other.

Episode 12A
Kaguya is looking forward so much to see the fireworks with her friends. However she is shot down by her servant who thinks father will not approve of it. Kaguya well knows her father doesn’t care but sucks it up and accepts her fate. She texts to her friends she is unable to come. All she can do is cry in bed. Hayasaka tweets on Kaguya’s behalf that she wants to see the fireworks. Shirogane sees this and understands. He rushes to her place. Hayasaka talks to Kaguya about giving up this time. She has come to realize that nothing in the past works. It isn’t any different now. But Hayasaka has made preparations. Kaguya manages to sneak out and get a taxi driver to send her to the fireworks. Hayasaka is now impersonating as Kaguya. Shirogane sees this and understands fully what it means. Back to the fireworks? A traffic jam has Kaguya deciding to walk there herself. Damn, she and Shirogane just missed each other. Kaguya makes haste as she prays to God that she doesn’t need romance or love. Just her friends. Too bad there is no God. When she arrives, it is over. She cries alone in the alley and wishes to see the fireworks. Better rethink if God exists because he came in the form of Shirogane. He knows how to find her since he knows how she thinks. He is going to show her the fireworks. He and the rest have made arrangements to go to the next city to watch the fireworks as it was delayed due to the rain. Yeah, the taxi driver is really going to put the metal to the pedal. Can they make it in 20 minutes? Well, if you pray hard! Just in time they reach the next city, the fireworks begin. What a lovely sight. Only… Kaguya failed to see them. Because she was so enthralled with Shirogane’s coolness that she was looking at him the entire time. Her heart was beating so loud that it drowned out the fireworks’ sound.

Episode 12B
With the school term resuming, we see Shirogane reeling from embarrassment. All those cool things he said to Kaguya then was actually out of his excitement of seeing her the first time during the holidays. Yeah, so embarrassed that he could die! When Kaguya enters the room, he fears she is ignoring him. However she is doing that because she too is embarrassed to see him in the face. They have this thinking if they cross paths, it would make a natural reason for them to talk. Nothing happens. Kaguya realizes that he might be embarrassed and tries to take advantage of this. However Chika interrupts thinking that their path crossing is some sort of formation and a game. They try again but this time Ishigami accidentally walks into it and gets chided. Yeah, he’ll be heading home to lick his wounds. With Chika teasing him, Kaguya tells her off for being an annoyance. I guess she too will be heading home in tears. With the duo alone, looks like a great opportunity. This time, Shirogane realizes that Kaguya could be embarrassed. Another path crossing has them bump into each other. Can they do it? Kaguya starts off by wanting to tell him something. However he thinks she is going to taunt him and baulks. He runs away while Kaguya gives chase. I guess Kaguya wins this time.

Pride Comes Before A Fall In Love
I know we really want to see Shirogane and Kaguya end up together. But alas if that ever happened, that will be the end of the story. End of the war. End of the romance. Now you know why some people love war and want to keep it going, eh? Hence this love war will continue to go on as long as our main duo have their pride bigger than the Milky Way. Perhaps if we look from another perspective, this is their own way of loving each other because it keeps each other on their toes.

Even with the repetitive cycle and the predictable nature and outcome of each attempt, it doesn’t feel boring or tedious at all. Perhaps it is because we see the duo try so hard and going to great unrealistic lengths before they ultimately fail. The different methods and over analytical thinking as well as over the top exaggeration effects that they conjure up in their mind are most interesting and varied. Goes to show how far and creative (AKA twisted) a human mind can go. So I guess it is fun because we expect to see some sort of punch line AKA failure in the end. My, such sadists we are. Sure, we want to see them end up together but not before we see them fail a million times. Like they say, success is 1% inspiration and 99% perseverance.

Even though at the end of most skits the narrator will announce who actually won that battle, personally I feel that overall they are still both losers! You know, you might have won the battle but not the war. Yet. So perhaps the mini victories that each of them seized in each mini battle would one day accumulated to become the ultimate victory that they seek. Hopefully by then, it would be a win-win situation. At this rate it seems to be heading for a lose-lose situation but like I said, the war is not yet over by a long shot. They care for each other but just too scared to show it.

While it is funny to see the main duo engaged in their own ‘pathetic’ war on love, sometimes we can’t help think if it is society and the environment to blame that made them act and think so. For example as highlighted in Kaguya’s case, thanks to her very strict upbringing, she lacks knowledge and what is basically common sense to common people. For example, sex education and even the internet. You think all youngsters these days are well versed in IT like as though they downloaded all the skills while they were in their mother’s womb. Therefore all this affects the way she thinks and how she acts. More revelation about her upbringing is revealed towards the end of the series and many of us would sympathize with her status. So instead of identifying her as some sort of high class prideful b*tch, her back story does help make us understand why she does everything in certain ways.

Therefore I believe that despite Kaguya has almost everything that other people would die for (wealth, status, etc), she does not have that one thing that she really needs: Freedom. My guess is that love is the only way would set her free but thanks to the twisted notion of wanting Shirogane to fall for her, it’s not going to be that easy. In fact, downright close to impossible. Hey, at least the chances are not completely zero! I mean, it is not like she wants to please her father or anything. More than so, she doesn’t even really care all that much about him. Perhaps my theory is that if she wants to rebel against him, she would throw away that dumb pride of hers of waiting for Shirogane to be the first one to ask her and instead she goes to ask him. That would be a real shocker. Things would have been so much easier that way but I guess we won’t have much of a story to tell then.

Shirogane as the other half of the problem also has his own pride but I think his is more of biological rather than those artificial wealth and status. Because males have this dumb prideful thinking of the need to be manly and anything less would be seen as a coward and hence very unmanly. It is pretty normal for guys his age to have a crush (and vice versa for girls). But in regards to Kaguya’s status in the student council as well as her family background, it can’t be more than just a simple confession. That’s why he has to put on that stubborn male pride and have Kaguya make the first move. Other than that, Shirogane is just a normal and could be a very useful member of society in the future thanks to his workaholic ways. Japan loves their people being workaholic, right?

Therefore the ‘reward’ for us in seeing their ‘pathetic’ failure is that they make those flustering faces and emotions that they otherwise never show to each other. The Japanese have a saying that all of us have 3 different types of faces. One that we show to the public, one that we show to our family, and one we only show ourselves. So seeing this sort of expression on them is like their third and supposedly truest form. Like each time Kaguya from a very prideful and arrogant position suddenly drops to an agitated emotional girl who is frustrated things didn’t go her way. It makes you go, “Aww… So cute…”. Or in her words, “Okawaii koto…”. We all smirk at this reaction and at the back of our heads we blame them that they deserve this.

The other amusing character who is a joker and wild card is Chika. Unaware of the love war between Shirogane and Kaguya, she is like the unpredictable variable that threatens to unravel and reset all their efforts so far without even realizing so. The war could have been won long ago by either one of them but thanks to Chika’s unholy intervention, everything returns back to square one. Like as though she is God’s agent sent down to prolong the war. But Chika isn’t actually a dumb girl. She is actually smart and resourceful herself. The only thing is because she is always at her own pace and that is why she might have this ditzy girl outlook. I believe that Chika has something that Shirogane and Kaguya would envy to die having. And that is the freedom to freely express herself. You can bet that life around her will be short of anything dull but also it can get as annoying as hell. Maybe the world needs more Chikas.

Hayasaka as Kaguya’s maid has this very tired look and sound. I can understand why since she has to put up with all of Kaguya’s whims and fancies. And not just your typical whims and fancies. The kind of look and sound that screams, “I wish I wasn’t here doing all this crap”. You can see for yourself the things Kaguya does and the way she thinks that often warrants a facepalm. It is good that Hayasaka is very loyal and caring about her oujou-sama but more than often she has to put up with her shenanigans and that could really get to her. For her to be working under her this long (not like she had a choice anyway), this shows Hayasaka can tolerate any sort of antics to say the least.

The other characters are amusing in their own ways but not as significant as those aforementioned. Like Ishigami who is mainly a pessimist thanks to his misinterpretation that Kaguya is out for his blood. Hence he always feels sick and the need to go prepare a will. I am guessing he never got round to it since that is what he always says when it reaches this stage. I mean, does he need to amend his will all the time? Assuming he did one. And see? He has lived for this long so all is not that bad. I think. Then there is Kei whom I thought would be a bit more prominent after her introduction but I guess I was wrong. Good thing the siblings don’t have that lovey-dovey obsessed complex relationship that is so nauseating. Last and not least, Kashiwagi and her boyfriend. Despite being simpletons, you could pretty much say that their love is successful. The irony that they sought the (crazy) advice of their seniors and then hit it pretty much soon after. Uh huh. Lesson learnt here is to go with your guts! Worry about everything else later! These 2 should in fact be a role model and lesson for our stubborn mules.

Art and animation, well I got to say that overall it looks a bit dark and gloomy. Is this to highlight the depressing war that our main characters go through? Because even the colours just have this gloomy and depressing feel. Furthermore, Shirogane and Kaguya have this ‘evil’ look on their face. Maybe that is why others respect and admire them. Even Ishigami is always the eternal doom and gloom dude like as though his end is near. Not even Chika’s bright and lively personality can blow away all that. This anime is done by A-1 Pictures who brought to us Sword Art Online, Nanatsu No Taizai, Ao No Exorcist and Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso.

Voice acting feels okay, I only recognized Takehito Koyasu making his cameo as Shirogane’s father. The other casts are Makoto Furukawa as Shirogane (Shorter in Banana Fish), Aoi Koga as Kaguya (Hanabi in Mahou Shoujo Naria Girls), Konomi Kohara as Chika (Kasumi in Asobi Asobase), Ryouta Suzuki as Ishigami (Yuuga in Dorei-ku The Animation), Yumiri Hanamori as Hayasaka (Seth in Radiant), Sayumi Suzushiro as Kei (Oono in High Score Girl), Momo Asakura as Kashiwagi (Rona in Endro) and Yutaka Aoyama as the narrator (Yamada in To Be Hero).

One of the most amazing things of this series is the opening theme, Love Dramatic featuring Rikka Ihara by Masayuki Suzuki. His voice sounds like the Japanese version of the sexy Rod Steward as he belts out this piece that could have also served as an epic theme for a James Bond spy thriller movie. It has very catchy lines that you want to sing along and it fits the theme of the series quite well. While the main ending theme is Sentimental Crisis by Halca, typical anime pop that is nothing to shout about, the more epic one is the special ending song, Chikatto Chika Chikaa by of course the one and only Chika. What makes this song so epic is the very cute and epic way Chika dances throughout. Yeah, I can see there are many videos posted imitating her dance. I’d try it out too have I not have this dumb self-consciousness that I look pretty silly and lame… But I don’t think it will be the next Gangnam Style craze since there is quite a few complicated choreography involved.

In the end, love is all about give and take. The sooner our main characters realize that his is how love is supposed to work, this battle is going to take a while to resolve. If not, never. While there are so many types of love, I think Shirogane and Kaguya may have the wrong impression on what love is. Dominating over the submissive one, is that called love? But a lot of married household follow this type of ‘love’… And it goes to show that despite all the knowledge, wealth and status one might have, love isn’t anywhere in sight. You Don’t Know Love. Can’t Buy Me Love. It isn’t that Shirogane and Kaguya are at war with each other. They are rather at war with their own inner demons. Hence this series can be said to be fun and enjoyable not because we are seeing 2 people fail hard at trying to just fall in love, but the things they do for love. To quote Meat Loaf, “I would do anything for love… But I won’t do that!”. Yup. Pretty much summarizes up what this series is about. Okawaii koto…