Masamune-Kun no Revenge: Episode 2 — The Inconsistencies of Masamune

Episode 2 of Masamune-Kun no Revenge was no different from the first. Masamune continues down his despicable path, scheming ways to win over Aki all for the sake of repairing his fragile ego. Funnily enough, Masamune himself seems to be a bit confused as to whether or not to pull the trigger. For as terribly misguided his intentions are, there are moments where he shows it’s all an act of some sort. He helps people. But just as we’re about to believe that perhaps there’s a nice guy underneath it all, we’re led right back around to the realization he’s an emotionally insecure boy trying to repair his ego at the cost of destroying another’s. It’s not something I can get behind. A large part of the episode was dedicated to his formulation of this plan to get Aki’s email address so that he could reject her.

For as much of a buffoon Masamune comes off as, he does make significant efforts in helping people around him. However, because of the disconnect between Masamune’s thoughts and actions, he risks appearing as an inconsistent character. Before this episode, we saw Masamune come to the rescue of Aki when an angry rejected admirer sought revenge. He took the the brunt of the attack and ended up being stabbed by scissors. Now, you have to ask — Is that something a truly bitter and hateful person would do? Not really. Granted, you could make the argument that he’s doing it for the sake of manipulation of Aki, but maybe that’s not entirely it. The series sometimes hints that for as much of a narcissist Masamune is, it’s all an act. At least, that’s the vibe I get when we’re not exploring Masamune’s internal monologues. Unfortunately, the series does explore Masamune’s mind quite a bit. When we do get a glimpse into his head, there are some pretty ugly thoughts coming out of it.

Episode 2 begins with Masamune panicking over an anonymous letter addressed to him, citing that this person knows Masamune’s true identity. His worries consume him, thinking that if he’s exposed he may have to resort to the days when he was a pushover. You can’t really blame him for feeling that way. He’s built himself up as pretty boy through painstaking deliberation. He’s finally at a point where (he thinks) his hard work has paid off, as he’s the subject of admiration from his peers. While the means that he used to get praised were largely despicable and he’s misguided in every sense of the word, it’s only natural for such a young minded teenager to seek the compliments that they’ve grown used to.  For Masamune, reverting to his old self would completely destroy his sense of self.

Perhaps that’s why the inconsistencies of his action and mind plague his character. On some level, he wants to keep the attributes of his old self and he’s not completely willing to sacrifice it, but he’s afraid that if he lets go the façade will crumble. People will see him for what he truly is. It’s worth noting that throughout episode 2, there are many instances of these conflicts taking place. After the incident with the letter, Masamune goes off to lunch where he witnesses the chaos forming around the bread line. The crazed students trample all over the poor Yoshino, who lands with her rear in the air right in front of Masamune. Masamune, of course, knows just by looking at the panties that it’s Yoshino. In any case, Yoshino has lost the fierce battle to claim the croquette buns that are all the rage in school, so Masamune takes it upon himself to help her. He knows it’s for Aki, but he doesn’t really care. Now, if he was truly a malicious person, he wouldn’t really help Yoshino. There’s not much to be gained from the incident.

It doesn’t take long for him to go back to his heinous ways. He does retrieve a croquette bun and takes it to Aki’s favorite hiding spot, but their conversation returns to him being his usual jerk self. In his mind, he says things like “it’s all part of my plan to get a mental advantage of you.” It’s these moments that really make me despise Masamune. For all the moments establishing him as having redeemable qualities, there are more that show his devious nature. It counteracts the purpose of those scenes and just makes him less likable altogether.  The rest of the episode was dedicated to him executing his plan to ask Aki for her email. He approaches Futuba to practice, but he has trouble asking her for her email. He ends up avoiding asking her because he’s fearful his phone will share his low number of contacts and that he’ll be exposed for the unpopular person he truly is. He’s really not as confident as he seems. Nonetheless, him and Futuba end up alone and at some point she asks him out, but before she can hear his answer she runs off. This restores Masamune’s fragile ego quite a bit, so he finally musters up the courage to ask Aki out. She makes him wait for her answer, claiming that her phone is being repaired. In the end, it was all a ruse that was painfully drawn out to hurt Masamune’s pride as much as possible. She sets up an elaborate game where he pieces together her answer by collecting clues all over the school, only to see the scroll of rejection once he arrives at the window of a classroom. With this, the power struggle is reversed and Masamune is seething angry.

Aki’s long drawn out answer did her character a huge disservice. It’s not like she has to be equally as despicable as Masamune, but I suppose the series wants otherwise. She had no reason to be that harsh to someone that not only saved her from being hurt, but also voluntarily helped her get food. The incident just shows that she lacks any tack as a character and that they’re both terrible people.

The episode was fun to watch, but I’m still not sure as to how I feel about the series. I really want to like the characters, but for every situation that the series builds up their compassionate sides, there’s an equal number of scenes where their atrocious personalities seep through.

 

— Palpable ヽ(´ー`)┌

2 thoughts on “Masamune-Kun no Revenge: Episode 2 — The Inconsistencies of Masamune”

  1. It’s tempting to judge Masamune based on what he says (or thinks), but seeing what he actually does should convince otherwise. As you said, these two things are inconsistent. Realizing that one is a conscious thought that he’s trained himself to believe and the other is a gut reaction based on his morals and emotions should give a clear picture as to which is more genuine.

    Sure, he wanted to look good by saving Aki from scissor guy, but he didn’t anticipate getting hurt like that. On top of that, he forgives the kid the very next day with no fuss. He tries to intimidate Yoshino in ep 2 as part of his act, but gives up pretty quickly when he sees her reaction (which, curiously, might make her an even better actor than him). Masamune plainly doesn’t have the heart to be mean. He’s just trying to tell himself he does because he thinks revenge is the only way to salvage his ego.

    1. Great point about his self-deception. At first glance, it’s really easy to dismiss his thoughts as being narcissistic ramblings. His hesitations and insecurities do seem to manifest from some semblance of a moral compass, which explains why he’s so inconsistent. I wonder if it’s a similar situation for Aki. It’d be interesting to see if they parallel each other in that regard.

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