Episode 11 – Kaguya-sama: Love is War -Ultra Romantic-

Can I just say that the haunted mansion reference made me age about 20 years? So here we are with the final bit of build-up before we reach the finale of the culture festival arc, and a good chunk of this episode can best be summed up as “Kaguya being messed with by the writer”. She digs herself a giant hole multiple times throughout the episode, like how she almost single-handedly crushed Ishigami ‘s dreams of her, but when she does anticipate the usual random circumstance to interfere with her endeavors her, they end up progressing without a hitch. It’s actually kind of interesting how the best way Shirogane was able to get Kaguya to lose her composure her was by simply being direct with her her. I know the entire premise of the show is predicated on these two not being honest with each other, but you can’t help but wonder what that other timeline looks like. Life is honestly too short for us to let pride or status get in the way of genuine happiness, and I wonder if that is something Kaguya might end up walking away from in the next episode. It certainly seems to be something that Shirogane has accepted when you consider the fact that it’s that acceptance letter to Stanford that seemingly made him decide to make the most of what time he has left. This is his last culture festival his, and as a result, it might very well be his last chance at having a relationship with the girl that he ‘s loved since he entered high school.

It seems like everyone else’s arcs are more or less wrapping up. Chika is going to be distracted by whoever the heck the phantom thief is and to be honest, I don’t really care about that plot point. I’m perfectly content with that just being a thing that distracts her from interfering with everybody else’s lives (on top of being a really cute Lupin reference. I meant what I said a few reviews ago: if any new, unexpected plot developments happen before we reach this definitive romantic climax, I will riot). Ishigami’s confession was met with a surprisingly realistic and rational response even if he’s not even aware of the fact that he confessed at all. His senpai coming to the understanding that she has the capacity to like Ishigami in a more romantic way but is worried about what that really entails for her is interesting, and I like the fact that she acknowledges how she doesn’t know that much about Ishigami outside of planning activities together. I do think it might’ve been a missed opportunity that she doesn’t try to get a better understanding of why he was angry when she saw him hitting Ino – I mean it wasn’t just him, Ino’s friend was right there with him stopping her from potentially getting taken advantage of by random guys because let’s all be honest, that girl has no sense of self-preservation whatsoever – but that’s relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.


Speaking of Ino, I am a little bit worried if the show just kind of forgot what to do with her these past couple of episodes. It felt like they were setting something up a while ago about her being interested in the festival hence why she went out of her way to set certain things up, but we’ve barely really seen her enjoy the festival proper so I hope they don’ t try to cram too much of that in the next episode. The finale is upon us and let’s hope that the answers these characters give each other are worth the years of buildup that got us to this point!


Kaguya-sama: Love is War Ultra Romantic is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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