Kaguya-sama: Love Is War ~ Ultra Romantic Episode 5
KAGUYA-SAMA WHY DO YOU GO SO HARD???? The fact that this episode was nearly entirely dedicated to rap absolutely KILLS me. So much that they didn’t even include the opening. Which is pretty wild. I honestly had to pause the episode several times because I was cackling so much. You’d think something like this would just be stupid filler, but for some reason, they actually made this episode fairly important for characters such as Shirogane and Hayasaka.
I can’t believe the whole rapping thing has looped all the way back around, all the while traumatizing Hayasaka, Kei and Chika along the way. But oh my gosh, either Chika needs to stop trying to help Shirogane or he just needs to stop because this whole thing of Chika helping Shirogane with something he’s bad at just feels like a toxic cycle lol. Though I do like the twist that Chika actually isn’t great at rap and went to learn it herself so she can properly teach Shirogane. Which is a scenario we haven’t seen between the two yet. This way, both of them get to learn something new and it isn’t just a one way street. Though it does feel like Chika is putting in a lot more effort just for the sake of helping him. I do find it interesting that while Shirogane isn’t good at doing the rap itself, he actually seems to understand the emotional aspect of it. Even going as far as to point out that Chika’s rap is missing something. Though it was funny how Chika realized that helping teach Shirogane how to properly rap was like putting her efforts from her previous singing and dancing lessons into one. The callbacks still kill me.
The placement of this rapping sub plot feels interesting, especially since it literally came after the episode of Kaguya helping out Ishigami with his studying. We did see a brief shot of Chika helping Shirogane out with rapping so it was only a matter of time before it was brought into the spotlight. Hence this episode. I honestly didn’t expect seeing an episode dedicated to Chika helping out Shirogane so soon after Kaguya helping Ishigami. but here we are anyways. I was even talking about how I didn’t like the Chika and Shirogane teaching dynamic because it just felt like the same thing over and over again and I was starting to get a bit annoyed with how Chika treated Shirogane despite him doing his best. Thankfully they actually changed up the dynamic this time and it felt more balanced with both of them learning. But I am glad that this training session ended on a more positive note than the other ones where Chika is just done with him.
Shirogane even turned down her help at first and wanted to be able to get past this hurdle on his own. I do like the theme of working on yourself this season as it feels like in the previous seasons, especially the first season, it more or less felt like a bunch of small little gag segments. But here, we’re actually seeing a lot more growth and self-awareness in both Shirogane and Kaguya. And I appreciate that Shirogane is starting to realize that he should let himself be more vulnerable to others rather than just putting on a mask to cover for them even going as far as to try and convey that to Hayasaka. And for some reason it lead up to him being able to say things from the heart through rapping… which is odd but what else is new in this series lol.
But holy crap, I freaking CHOKED when Chika ended up just swearing at him during her rap. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but I sure wasn’t expecting bleeped out f-bombs being flung all over the place lol. Through out the entire rapping session, I just felt like this weird sense of second-hand embarrassment. I honestly don’t know why, but seeing characters sing at each other randomly like this makes me embarrassed. And I don’t know what it was, but just seeing Shirogane just rap in the middle of a park at Hayasaka and Kaguya just killed me lol. The entire thing was just so silly, I didn’t even know how to properly process the entire thing. And Hayasaka just crying over how much Shirogane had improved was just the cherry on top.
Despite this whole thing being incredibly silly, there was still a very heartfelt moment of Shirogane coaxing Hayasaka to be more honest with her feelings. And once Hayasaka finally voiced what she has been feeling all this time, I felt really sad for her. She was never allowed to properly live her life and just be normal. And I did just want to smack Kaguya for being incredibly hypocritical for criticizing all these different things about Hayasaka, when she’s the exact same. Hayasaka had taken on so many different faces for Kaguya’s sake and has always been there to support her. However, Kaguya more often than not never fully appreciates her efforts when Hayasaka goes above and beyond for her on so many occasions. We’ve seen bits and pieces of these feelings over the seasons, especially from episode two where it does seem like she’s getting more and more tired dealing with Kaguya’s crap. We didn’t really get to see Kaguya’s thoughts or reaction to all of this, but I do hope it will be addressed later in the season.
After that intense rap session, we randomly get a continuation of the Maki sub-plot where she continues to bemoan her situation. It also doesn’t help that Nagisa and her boyfriend created a club just to make out with each other, all the while Maki is there having to witness it. That was a bit insensitive on their part. I find it sad that friendships can be soured if some sort of love triangle forms. Especially when Ishigami and Shirogane feel like they wouldn’t be able to be friendly with the other if the girls they liked ended up with the other. It’s especially sad that despite how close Maki and Nagisa are or were at this point, Maki can’t help but feel hurt seeing Nagisa nowadays. She feels as if she’s lose both her friend and her crush all in one blow.
But I must say that it’s hilarious how we just NOW get the reveal of Nagisa’s boyfriend’s name. Literally NO ONE except for Maki knew his name (sorry for jumping the gun and using his name before its reveal in the previous episode). The self-awareness in this freaking show! Though it is sad that her reasons for liking him were fairly valid and not just spur of the moment or surface level like Nagisa was initially with him. But hoo boy, it felt like deja vu when they had to give the same talk they had with Kaguya all the way back in the first season to Maki. But I feel like Maki had it the worst since Ishigami of all people had to tell her.
Though Ishigami and Shirogane REALLY need to stop being hypocrites and actually do as they say when they should just confess right away rather than trying to save face by doing nothing and waiting for something to happen. But I am glad that they addressed the problem that they’re just scared teenagers that don’t know how to express their feelings properly and are deathly afraid of rejection. I also appreciate the Maki basically represented what could happen if they don’t confess their feelings and if they wait too long, they could be too late. And considering that everything that is addressed in the episodes comes back again later, I’m sure this talk will give the guys a push to convey their feelings to the girls they like. Unheard of in a series like this, but anything is possible in this series.
Though the thing that I really like was how supportive both Shirogane and Ishigami were to Maki and willing to hear her out whenever she can’t bear her love woes. Both of them were very sweet at the end, especially since they know how she must feel. And it definitely seemed to bring out a very genuine reaction out of Maki. She was even less cold and tense towards Kaguya this time around and didn’t seem to be trying to provoke her. Just expressing her happiness of earning Shirogane and Ishigami’s friendship. Which was honestly really sweet and heartwarming that she could find solace and camaraderie with them.
By gosh this episode was a lot. In more ways than one but overall just a hilarious joy to watch. I love how Kaguya is always somehow able to mix silly situations with heartwarming ones All the while making sure that the heartfelt moments are taken seriously and doesn’t let the jokes overshadow it. If you weren’t the wiser, you would have thought this was some sort of filler episode, but they were able to mix in character development that has been building from past episodes. Also can we just talk about how hard then went on that freaking ending??? It’s just hilarious how hard they go in these one off endings for NO reason. Just like the regular opening, it is INCREDIBLY well animated and choreographed. Like, it didn’t NEED to be that good, but they gave it to us anyways. The song is also pretty catchy. Kaguya-sama, you never cease to amaze me.