Kaguya-sama: Love Is War is a Japanese romantic comedy manga series by Aka Akasaka. It began serialization in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Miracle Jump in May 2015 and was transferred to Weekly Young Jump in March 2016. In North America, the manga is licensed in English by Viz Media. A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan between January and March 2019, and a 12-episode second season premiered between April and June 2020. An OVA episode will be released in 2021, and a third season has been announced. It was also adapted into a live-action film directed by Hayato Kawai, which was released in Japan in September 2019. The anime series is licensed in North America by Aniplex of America. As of April 2021, the manga had over 15 million copies in circulation. In 2020, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War won the 65th Shogakukan Manga Award in the general category.
AnimeAn anime television series adaptation was announced by Shueisha on June 1, 2018. The series is directed by Shinichi Omata under the pseudonym Mamoru Hatakeyama and written by Yasuhiro Nakanishi, with animation by A-1 Pictures. Yuuko Yahiro is providing the character designs, while Jin Aketagawa is the sound director. Kei Haneoka is composing the series’ music. The series aired from January 12 to March 30, 2019, broadcasting on MBS, Tokyo MX, BS11, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, Chukyo TV, and TV Niigata. The series ran for 12 episodes. Masayuki Suzuki, Rikka Ihara, and Yoshiki Mizuno performs the series’ opening song “Love Dramatic feat. Ihara Rikka”, while Halca performs the series’ ending theme song “Sentimental Crisis”. Aniplex of America have acquired the series in North America, and streamed the series on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and FunimationNow. In Australia and New Zealand, AnimeLab simulcasted the series within the region. The series is licensed by Muse Communication and released on Netflix in Southeast Asia. A second season titled Kaguya-sama: Love Is War? was announced on October 19, 2019. The staff and cast returned to reprise their roles. It aired from April 11 to June 27, 2020 on the Tokyo MX, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, BS11, Abema TV service, MBS and TV Niigata. The second season will feature Kaguya’s character song “Kotae Awase” and a key visual with the new characters Miko and Osaragi as they join the returning main characters of the series. Suzuki returned to perform the season’s opening theme “Daddy! Daddy Do!” with Airi Suzuki, while Haruka Fukuhara’s “Kaze ni Fukarete” (“Blown by the Wind”) was used as the ending. The season received its world premiere prior to Japanese broadcast at Anime Festival Sydney on March 8, 2020. Funimation acquired exclusive streaming rights for the season in late March; the company began airing an English dub for the second season on July 25, with the first season dub streaming on March 9, 2021. In Southeast Asia, Muse Communication released the season on Netflix. On October 25, 2020, an original video animation episode and a third season were concurrently announced for production during the “Kaguya-sama Wants To Tell You On Stage” special event. There will be three episodes in the OVA bundled with the manga’s twenty-second volume, which ships on May 19, 2021.
Live-action filmThe film premiered in Japan on September 6, 2019. Sho Hirano was announced for the role of Miyuki Shirogane, and Kanna Hashimoto was announced for the role of Kaguya Shinomiya. Hayato Kawai directed the film, Yūichi Tokunaga wrote the screenplay, and principal photography was conducted in March to April 2019. A sequel to the film was announced on January 6, 2021. It will be shown in Japanese cinemas on August 20, 2021. Hirano, Hasimoto, Nana Asakawa, and Hayato Sano, actors of Chika Fujiwara and Yu Ishigami respectively, are confirmed to return to reprise their roles.
- The titular character of the series, Kaguya is the vice president of Shuchiin Academy’s student council. She is known for her beauty, intelligence and wealth, her family owning one of the largest business conglomerates in Japan. Due to being born into a high-class family, the manner Kaguya was raised caused her to be prideful, cold and calculating; but underneath her personality traits, she is really an innocent, kind and fair-minded teenage girl at heart. Her social status and upbringing also causes her emotional suffering due to loneliness and isolation. In spite of her intelligence and resources, she is surprisingly inept at utilizing social media and digital technology (although she excels at older, analog methods of input such as typewriter). She is also quite naïve when it comes to romance and sexuality, and had to be taught how to utilize fashion and femininity to her advantage. To make Miyuki confess his love directly or indirectly, she usually plans ahead to tilt the circumstances in her favour. Apart from engaging in student council work, she is in the Archery club.
- Akasaka said that he modeled Kaguya to be like Kaguya-hime in that both are princesses at the start, but have something deeper about their character later. He made both Kaguya and Miyuki to have similar personalities at first, both proud and intellectual but later revealing to be more like “goofy idiots” on the inside. He would later have the two diverge in tendencies, with Kaguya being more like a “bad girl”. Akasaka also said that while Kaguya has a dark side to her, he didn’t want people to hate her so he tries to keep the positive and negative emotions balanced.
- is the student council president of Shuchiin Academy. He is famed for being the top student of the school who has also placed second overall in national mock exams, attributed to his studying all the time, hence his messy hair, dark circles around his eyes, and glaring look. Like Kaguya, he is inexperienced with romance and relationships. Miyuki struggles with physical sports involving skills and has a paralyzing fear of bugs, especially cockroaches. Because his father, formerly a factory owner, is unemployed and his mother – who left the family when he was a child – does not support them, he and his younger sister Kei often take part-time jobs. A running gag in the series is how he always imagines Kaguya looking down on him and saying “How cute.”, and refrains to confess his feelings for her in fear of being rejected in such way.
- Akasaka said that he initially thought about naming him Mikado, after the Emperor in the Kaguya-hime story, but found that he liked Otomo no Miyuki better. He developed Miyuki to begin like a twin in personality and character to Kaguya, and would later diverge to a “good boy”. He likes that he can portray him as calm and composed on the outside, but his mind would be racing on the inside.