Masamune-kun’s Revenge, Vol. 1

By Hazuki Takeoka and Tiv. Released in Japan by Ichijinsha, serialization ongoing in the magazine Comic Rex. Released in North America by Seven Seas.

The arrogant, haughty girl who owns the campus and can destroy your entire life with just a well-placed word. It’s a common sight in fiction for young adults, both here and in Japan, and it’s no surprise that Masamune-kun’s Revenge uses it as a starting point. Makabe Masamune was deeply wounded in elementary school by his crush, Adagaki Aki. Now starting high school, he’s lost the weight she mocked him for, cultivated a ‘handsome male lead’ personality, and is ready to win her heart only to crush it once and for all. Then he will finally have his… well, revenge, as the title implies. This premise sounds almost like one of the fanfics you read by 19-year-old men writing when they dislike the tsundere harem girl, but if handled well could be interesting. In the first volume, the authors handle it pretty well.


First of all, the narrative seems to be fairly self-aware at how ridiculous and petty Masamune is for carrying his grudge on an 8-year-old for so long. Every smooth move he makes is balanced out by his inner stress about how he looked and how he handled it, just to make it clear that no, he’s really just like you, the reader, honest. Secondly, as the second half of the book shows, he’s hardly the only one who’s devoted his life to messing with Aki. Yoshino is probably the best character in the book, a supposedly meek and put upon followers of Aki’s who in reality is happily manipulating her behind the scenes (and may come from a family of said manipulators). And, of course, he’s beginning to genuinely fall for Aki – if this were JUST about the revenge, there would be no point in reading it. It’s a romance.

As for Aki, I like her. More than I expect I’m supposed to. It’s fairly clear as the volume goes on that much of her arrogance is just as much of an affectation as Masamune’s cool persona. The annoying nicknames are completely lame, but I have to admit, the scavenger hunt she led him on to reject him made me laugh out loud at the payoff. That was well-played. Really, most of the things people hate about her seem to be simple social ineptitude, as she’s shown to have no idea how real life works, being very much a coddled rich girl. I expect in the next few volumes Masamune is going to want to dial back his revenge, and likely external forces will try to stop him. Because honestly, these two would make a pretty good couple if they both stopped putting on an act.

I’m not certain if this is a plain old revenge fantasy or a subversion of same yet, but I hope it’s the latter, as I would find a simple ‘break the haughty’ plot to be far too tedious. But based on the first volume, I think that the authors could pull off something nice. There was also less fanservice than I’d expect from a title like this, that foot fetish cover aside. Fans of guy-oriented romantic comedy might give this a try.

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