With season two of Kaguya-sama: Love is War now streaming, I felt an indescribable need to catch up on the manga! Check out my thoughts on volume 12 below!
Once Miyuki sets his mind on something, he vows to see it through to completion! It’s time to break free of any sense of superiority. The time has come for Miyuki to confess his feelings to Kaguya!
With the goal in mind, Miyuki does his best to be as honest with Kaguya about how he feels without saying it outright. He suggests that Kaguya try on some of her cosplay choices for her class’s cafè and gets more than he bargained for. That’s right, it’s the return of neko Kaguya! The pair aren’t able to enjoy each other’s reaction for long, as Yu suddenly shows up and mentions how clichè cat costumes are.
Despite the minor setback, Miyuki is determined to give it his all with Kaguya. He decides that he is going to ask Kaguya out on a date. With another school’s culture festival happening that weekend, he sees his opportunity to take her somewhere. Under the guise of a recon mission, Miyuki asks Kaguya if he’ll attend the culture festival…and she totally shoots him down. It’s only after she says no that Kaguya realizes Miyuki’s intention.
With some help from Hayasaka, Kaguya finds the courage to ask Miyuki to go with her. Before Miyuki can respond, the rest of the student council show up laughing about some poor guy in the hallway whose crush rejects him. As the conversation continues, both Miyuki and Kaguya feel their resolve crumbling.
When Chika mentions that she went alone last year and was constantly getting hit on, Kaguya sees her chance to get her date with Miyuki back on track. She mentions that if a girl were to go with a guy then that girl wouldn’t get hit on. Miyuki senses what Kaguya is doing and enthusiastically agrees. Just as the two are about to declare that they should go together, Chika unknowingly sabotages her plan by suggesting that Yu and Miyuki go together. While it isn’t the date Miyuki hopes for, he still has a pleasant time.
In an attempt to see if he even has a chance with Kaguya, Miyuki asks for Chika and Miko’s objective opinion of him, and the two don’t hold back. What quickly becomes an airing of their grievances with Miyuki is cut short by Kaguya’s arrival. When asked for her opinion on what Miyuki needs to change, Kaguya responds that she likes Miyuki just the way he is.
On the other side of things, Kaguya finally confesses to Hayasaka that she likes Miyuki. In a flashback we see the moment that Miyuki met Kaguya, which is coincidentally also the moment that he fell in love with her. While helping the student council drain the swamp (don’t go there), another student falls in. As Miyuki stands there helpless, another female student jumps in to save the girl. After the two emerge from the water, Miyuki is in awe that someone would act so quickly and selflessly, and immediately falls head over heels for Kaguya.
Y’all, I feel like I’m watching my children grow up. Kaguya and Miyuki are simultaneously so mature and immature at navigating a relationship. They both come to each encounter level headed, and then just end up awkward. It’s adorable. Despite their lack of skills in the flirting department, it’s exciting to see them beginning to own their feelings.
I also love that we finally know what made Miyuki fall in love with Kaguya. Typical shojo usually portrays the characters falling in love at first sight based on looks. They usually only find out about the other’s personality after this fact. In Kaguya-sama: Love is War’s case, Miyuki is enamored by Kaguya’s courage and willingness to help first, only realizing that she happens to be pretty after the fact. It’s just the best.
What manages to make both Kaguya’s confession and Miyuki’s realization of his own feelings so magical is the art. Aka Akasaka manages to make Kaguya absolutely ethereal in Miyuki’s flashback. It’s no wonder he fell for her! Similarly, Kaguya looks positively bashful and adorable when she confesses her feelings for Miyuki to Hayasaka. These are just two moments among many where the art enhances the storytelling.
This latest volume also brings back the Miyuki x Yu bromance, which I’m all about. It’s endearing to see a manga show that two guy friends can care about each other and enjoy each other’s company and be totally platonic. The only bummer is that we didn’t get to see more of their outing together.
We also get to see Miyuki and Kei share some quality time together. Despite her tsundere ways, Kei actually cares deeply for Miyuki and wants to impress him. Kei also happens to be a teenage girl, so she also wants Miyuki to impress her and her friends, which he won’t do with his current fashion style.
After some back and forth banter, Kei helps Miyuki pick out an outfit to wear to her school’s festival that not only impresses Kei, but gets her friends talking as well.
All in all, Kaguya-sama: Love is War Volume 12 is a solid addition to the series, and I am eagerly awaiting the next volume!