I finally got to see this movie and it was certainly worth the wait. Season 3 was a great ride for Kaguya-sama, but it also ended with a few things hanging. And in that sense, I think the movie succeeded in following up on that. Not everything has been resolved and there is clearly a lot of room for season 4 to handle some of that. But the biggest thing is that it was really satisfying to come back to this franchise. Season 3 only ended in the middle of 2022, so it hasn’t been that long. But the moment I saw this cast again I was left smiling.
Part of me absolutely wishes that a theatre near me was showing this back in February. But there was just no way I was getting to see this without several hours of driving. It is such a good movie though. So many great comedic moments that continue building up the relationships established by the 3 seasons we’ve gotten so far. At the very least this movie was absolutely worth the wait. The real challenge with this post is to spend time on more than just praising it at every given opportunity. We’ll find out by the end of this if I manage it.
I loved the call to Kashiwagi. Poor girl had quite a bit of information dragged out of her. Of course, I suppose that’s partly her fault. If the “war criminal” hadn’t somewhat misled Kaguya, then events would have unfolded differently. It was fun seeing her try to have an over-the-top reaction to Kaguya digging into her sex life, but then realizing she did need to be as serious as possible. My condolences to Maki. It was obvious that the dumb couple had sex by this point, but this did 100% confirm that. Also, the escalation was laid out well. It was a 2-month gap between their first kiss and having sex. It was also a grand total of…40 seconds between their first deep kiss and having sex! In that sense Hayasaka was on point.
This really delved into Kaguya’s personality and mental state. In the end you must take things at face value. That she created these personalities as she went along with the various experiences’ life threw at her. Though it is a brutal thing having things going so smoothly and then Miyuki gets slammed by the appearance of Ice Kaguya. Even if it was led to by an admission by even that part of her that she fell in love with Miyuki before anyone else It might say a lot that this icy personality took a step back instead of maintaining the forward momentum. She does end up admitting that this cold personality would have little luck winning the love she desired. Even though technically Miyuki fell for her when that was her personality.
I think one takeaway I have from this is that Ice Kaguya really sucks at managing social connections. It’s not a surprise considering her upbringing. But almost no one can read her signs. Even Kashiwagi freaked out and stopped using “chan” after Kaguya noted it. Her attempt to show that she appreciated it ended up fizzling out and put more distance between them as a result. The only person capable of reading this Kaguya would be Maki. And that makes sense. They are related and their personalities even in that state align enough to reach understanding. Of course, that’s part of the problem. Maki’s love never flourished because of how she approached things and Ice Kaguya takes a similar approach. The one benefit is that she didn’t take this approach the whole time.
There are moments when I must agree with her assessment in the movie that her personality does end up hurting people. It’s not unreasonable to have a desire for the other side to take the initiative. But her means of expressing her feelings are…at times rough. It reflects her upbringing and how this side of her has been buried for so long. But it’s still rough. I hate to say it left me desperately wanting the Kaguya we’ve seen for most of the series back…but yeah it did. I get what the movie is going for. That this side of Kaguya had to be tackled for the couple to move forward. And that even that side of her is still Kaguya and should still experience some happiness.
Not like the movie did a bad job establishing the similarity between the leads. Miyuki hasn’t just been pushing himself now. He’s been doing so for a long time. It didn’t seem like he could get anywhere being his honest self. So, he took Ryuju’s advice and embraced bravado. And it certainly took him quite a distance. He’s been Student Council President twice. And putting on a brave front got Kaguya’s attention. So, he just kept on going. Even more so with his past eating at him. The idea that he’d be abandoned again like he was by his mother if he showed his weak side just kept him pushing his limits.
In a sense Miyuki is even more broken. The idea that he had to push himself further than anyone else to be worthy to stand on the same level as Kaguya has been all that’s kept him going. The difficulty in showing his weakness created a high bar to clear. And the act of clearing the bar just gets more difficult because it is Kaguya. Showing his weakness to Chika was difficult, but he managed it. But this isn’t the same.
I’d say the payoff is worth it. Even if much of the movie was difficult thanks to how these two acted for much of it. Kaguya especially made things rather tough. The initial appearance of that colder side made for a difficult chunk of the movie. She did mellow out as the motive went along though. I think once she was pressed enough to communicate her feelings then things had the potential to improve. At that point the big issue was Miyuki’s fear of expressing himself. In that sense it required a severe effort on her part. Not that he had any hope of escaping. Kaguya is in fantastic shape and showed her almost supernatural abilities earlier in the movie.
The good thing is that they did clear things up. But they also raised a fair point. Both Kaguya and Miyuki had to push themselves or they wouldn’t be together right now. If he hadn’t embraced bravado and if she hadn’t tried to make herself more appealing, then they would have lost interest. At the very least they wouldn’t have hung in there long enough to get here. It’s an interesting dilemma. They do need to take breathers, or they’ll break. Miyuki collapsed in this movie because of that. But they can’t really give up on it either. Kaguya being more like the girl we’ve seen for much of the show and Miyuki being all about bravado is still a fair direction for them to travel.
And finally, we did get the confessions. There are no more doubts. They’ve expressed their feelings, they have agreed to start dating, and they are really moving forward. The potential issues aren’t hidden. Kaguya’s father is bound to be a major hurdle. While she’s agreed to go with Miyuki to America that doesn’t mean she’s gotten permission. And it’s kind of nice that there presumably is enough room to explore a bit more drama now that they are officially dating. Glad they managed to squeeze a cute little date into the movie right at the end. I’m also glad (and weak) to admit that seeing Kaguya back with her ribbon left me as happy as anything in the movie. It just feels right.
Miko remains my favourite girl in the show and this movie kept playing into that. The girl is just all over the place emotionally. She can go from freaking out at the sight of Shirogane and Kaguya being stupid in the student council room to getting swept up on the romantic side. I went from feeling bad that her attempt to get along with Ishigami was initially blown up to feeling happy for her that he refuted the idea that her coming along to the party would be a problem. Just having him say that her going along wouldn’t be a bother meant a lot.
There’s quite the interesting 3-month deadline in place here. Of course, with Tsubame it’s a misunderstanding. But her answer must come around the same time that Miko could claim that heart that Ishigami passed onto her from the lost and found. There’s a chance that someone will claim that before the time limit, but at the very least all parties are left in a kind of standby mode for now. It’s a much simpler situation for Tsubame though. Ishigami already is clearly in love. While he does have an interesting connection with Miko it would take a bit more for those two to get together.
There wasn’t much focus on Miko, Ishigami, or Tsubame outside of the early part of the movie. If there’s anything left for this franchise to explore…it would be that. Miko was all dressed up for the Christmas party and even was taking the perfume advice to heart. It didn’t really get her anywhere as far as I can tell. But that makes sense. I don’t even think Miko herself has a good grasp on her feelings. She’s loosening up around Ishigami, but that’s different from actively pursuing him romantically.
And we’ve got Tsubame getting “advice” from Miyuki’s father, so we’ll see what comes from that. It does seem like she’ll absolutely give a response to his confession. But in that sense, it makes things seem too simple. Ishigami likes her. The second she gives the ok to date that should settle things. Even though he doesn’t realize she took his words as a confession…it shouldn’t be tough to start dating him.
The movie was legitimately good. It had parts that drove me up the wall a bit. I think putting this Ice Kaguya arc into a movie was a smart move. It gets through the difficult part in one sitting without spreading it out over a month’s worth of episodes. Honestly, I might have gone nuts after 2-3 episodes of it. So, this did allow things to end on a high note. And even the frustrating parts kind of made it all worthwhile. I’m happy for Miyuki and Kaguya. These two have been through a lot and chased after each other for several seasons. It’ll be fun to come back at some point for season 4 with that relationship being established.
Tags: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: First Kiss wa Owaranai, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: First Kiss wa Owaranai Review, Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Kaguya-sama: Love is War - The First Kiss That Never Ends, Kaguya-sama: Love is War - The First Kiss That Never Ends Blog, Kaguya-sama: Love is War - The First Kiss That Never Ends Review, Kaguya-sama: Love is War Screenshots
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