Tina Rou writes small and big analysis on anime and games. She unravels psychological traits and patterns beyond romantic behavior
“Never let the guys who created this anime into politics. A politician if forced to decide between the two evils. Those fellas weren’t able to decide between the two goods."
A young man Masamune Makabe was naturally hypersthenic in his childhood. Which made him an interesting character with cute cheeks and a vulnerable heart. But he had one problem — the only friend he had turned out to be a misandrist and a bully. After being called “Pig’s foot” by her, Masamune receives a hard psychological trauma and plans on his revenge ever since. Just like Adagaki Aki humiliated him and turned down his feelings, he’s going to to make her fall in love and eventually humiliate her in return.
In order to do that, Masamune develops a huge hate and disgust towards his own body type (rip old Masamune, that kind soul) and dissatisfaction in who he is. After years of tears and training, he’s finally converted into a “perfect” asthenic type (HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!) and becomes the most wanted hot guy in school.
So far, everything goes great in the plot, with a mystery behind Adagaki’s powerful family, teenage-hood average complexes, “missing” or hardworking parents, school love stories, skillful maids, complicated triangles and other types of classical Shoujo entertainment. Until the story begins to claim the peak of culmination.
The best part of the plot is probably a reveal of Gasou, a person with probably a fake letter, in which Adagaki’s family promised that she’ll marry him. Turns out, that Masamune’s actions were in vain simply because Adagaki’s type is in fact hypersthenic (serves you right, Masamune. You have to believe in your true self). That turns a leaf to Adagaki’s true intentions, who didn’t mean to hurt her old childhood friend Masamune, but did cruel things to him because she liked him (a classical tsundere on the outside and the inside ^-^).
Another awesome and striking moment was in a middle of the search, where Adagaki says about how hurting another’s feelings is cruel (reminiscing on how Masamune left her in the childhood), and Masamune directly asks her if she remembers “Pig’s foot” nickname, implying to the situation that she did hurt him and wanting to reveal himself. But the reveal doesn’t happen.
Filled with those cliche’ but still hooking moments throughout the plot, we realize that the whole story behind Masamune’s revenge is a simple misunderstanding, which sets a base for a nice little comedy. Now it’s going to end in a funny and a bit awkward way regardless. Heroes will either figure things out and someone is destined to realize that he spent so many years cracking a physical appearance that was already perfect in her eyes, or Masamune will get his revenge on a girl who actually did things because she liked him.
At this point, some people are hyped for the revenge to happen, and some hyped for hero and heroine to make up. And this is the moment, when things start to procrastinate hard.
Plot Procrastination's Pros and Cons
Let’s have a moment to talk about procrastination a little bit. It may be an obvious gain (or loss, depends on how you look at it) for production to stop things half way and/or advance the plot slowly, with lots of filler episodes; to make people wait another couple of years for another season that may never come; to wait for more people to rewatch the old series and the light novel/manga to advance even more… However! There are some ways to do it and some ways not to do it. The story must not come aside too much, because the hero will lose the perspective. A hero that lost perspective starts to degrade fast enough.
The most basic law of the main character is that a character must have a goal. He also should have a weakness and a character ark, but I’m not going to dive into something so “complicated” like that, since the creators already fail with simply maintaining “the goal” part. And while a filler here and there won’t hurt anyone, those fillers become unforgivable when the goal is being not revealed to the audience in the end.
Let’s address now the last episode. In the first half of episode 12, Masamune comes with a kiss on a play and falls unconscious. The whole 12 episode is a filler, with him and Aki sitting at the bench only at the end. However Aki refuses to kiss and Yoshino explains to Masamune that he just blew up his revenge opportunity. Masamune cries that he didn’t see that, so he misunderstood the situation. That lame moment is a closing scene for the series that don’t expect a second season at the moment. Couldn’t be more lame, you say? Lemme prove you wrong.
Ending In The OVA?
An OVA released a year after the series, shows us all the characters hanging with Adagaki Aki at her island once again year after. All, except for Masamune. When being asked about it, Adagaki says that he dumped her “for himself”, obviously referring to his revenge… that we never saw! The rest of the episode concentrates on pedophile traps that surround Masamune, a hard life of Aki’s servant… in other words, another filler.
Okay, alright… (*sigh). First of all, if Masamune did a revenge, then he obviously told her who he was in the past and why he had to “return the favor”. So she only would’ve realized that her love of her life was right there all this time. We also see Aki calling Makabe and telling him that she’s alright, with Masamune answering: “You’re lonely, aren’t you?”. End of story.
Let’s count unforgivable mistakes:
1. We didn’t see the revenge.
2. Heroes didn’t figure anything out (even after the reveal of the whole truth?)
3. The ending explained not in the series, but in a freaking OVA!
4. Masamune, who had feelings for Aki suddenly is “in love with himself”. A switch of a character. He’s no longer concentrated on his goals, but rather obsessed with his “perfectness”. That makes him a despicable narcissist that nobody wants to vote for. Even if he’s not interested in Aki, there’s another girl in this anime: “If it wasn’t for my revenge, she’s totally my type”. Neko Fujinomia, who’s waiting for him to notice her one day.
5. Adagaki Aki is suddenly not engaged to Gasou anymore with no explanation provided.
I believe that when someone is dedicating their time and money to watch a nice 12-episode Shoujo, they should not be obliged to buy and read manga in order to understand how on Earth the story has ended. And as much as it was lovely for them to say: “And somewhere between those episodes Masamune got the revenge he was longing for”, I still believe that the story at this point is a bit more complicated that just being about “revenge”. It’s about misunderstanding and choosing on the right goals, it’s about feelings and obligations, pride and forgiveness. And it shouldn’t be dropped like that.
They had two awesome ways to end an anime — with royally dumping Aki as Masamune always wanted, showing that he didn’t wave from his goal despite all the distractions. Or with them realizing that revenge was a wrong idea, and Aki switching from “tsun-” to “-dere”.
They went with neither. Irresponsibility at its best. Please never let the guys who created this into politics. A politician is forced to decide between the two evils. Those fellas weren’t able to decide between the two goods.
Don’t drop a cliffhanger if you really don’t plan on the second season!
Endings that we deserved.
Careful: major spoilers from manga!
(I didn’t read the manga fully, but am aware, after some research of several canon major turns. I’m considerate of those turns to the best of my knowledge and abilities.)
Those endings represent what I personally consider a more satisfying ending to my personal taste. Feel free to share your satisfying version of an ending in the comment section.
Possible ending 1
“It didn’t go as planned, yet I’m not gonna complain”
Masamune continues his talk about the “Pig’s Foot” with Adagaki despite the flying paper-plane. Adagaki replies that she doesn’t remember that. Masamune snaps and reveals his pain, asking how can she talk about cruelty to others if she herself did it to her friend. Adagaki reveals that she never called him that (because of the manga).
They understand that Masamune was tricked by someone, Adagaki also finds her best childhood friend she was looking for. They save that forever-dying thot on the roof. The next episode Adagaki wants to asks her maid Yoshino to search for the one who separated her with Masamune forever, but Masamune stops her. They decide to investigate in discreet.
In the process of investigating Makabe sees that Aki is in love with him for another 8 years. Since she’s not the one who dumped him, Makabe questions his revenge and a possibility to be with her. However, he doesn’t want to fall into a trap until they find the truth. A part of him is still wary about that it may be Adagaki’s plan and she lied to him.
The story unravels with them catching Yoshino, who admits that all her efforts weren’t enough and “love” still got them together.
Possible ending 2
“Revenge is sweet when you plan it, not after you’ve done it”
Masamune succeeds in a grand public revenge against Adagaki, which the whole school witnesses to and the life moves on. Adagaki is depressed, but Gasou and Yoshino are trying to console her. Masamune is faced with a new reality, that he wasn’t prepared for — revenge didn’t free him from the pain, and there wasn’t much satisfaction to it. Now without a goal in mind, he becomes an empty lost shallow that does things just out of habit. Masamune realizes that even though it was in a shape of revenge, but still his whole life was built around one girl that he denied.
At the same time, Gasou trap is being revealed and it turns out, Adagaki is engaged with a girl. That ruins things for Aki, who thought that in her engagement she’ll forget of her old friend Masamune and his sudden stab in the back. Seeing Adagaki in even worse shape then before, Yoshino realizes there’s only one way to bring her back to life. Once more, she contacts Masamune. He refuses to answer, but then Yoshino leads both Makabe and Aki at the same place by a number of accidents. That forces them both to talk things out and they realize that “Pig’s foot” was the name Yoshino gave and not Adagaki. Aki laughs at Makabe’s pointless revenge and he feels confused, but then Aki turns into a “-dere” mode and says that she may forgive him one day and she’s a bit sorry too.
The story approaches an end with Aki arriving home and giving Yoshino the hardest time ever, but also thinking to herself that nothing stands between them anymore.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Tina Rou