What?!? Back to back reviews of Kaguya-sama: Love is War? Well, I couldn’t resist immediately consuming Volume 8, so everyone wins! Need to catch up? Check out my review of Volume 7 here!
Volume 8 starts off with Miyuki reading a shojo manga to prove how stupid it is. Unfortunately for him, the manga has him in tears by the end. He makes it his mission to get Kaguya to read it so she will confess her love. When the other student council members also recommend it, Miyuki thinks he has it in the bag. Unfortunately for him they are all so moved by the material that they spoil the entire series for Kaguya.
Despite that, Kaguya reads the manga series and it recommits her to wanting to fall in love (just like Miyuki wants). The manga has an unintended effect and warps Kaguya’s worldview into believing her school is part of a shojo manga. She plants some tickets to the aquarium for Miyuki to find so that he will ask her out. Kaguya ends up so wrapped up in her feelings that she is too enamored with Miyuki to comprehend that she turned down his offer to take her to the aquarium.
After some distractions, the student council members decide to get back to business. They decide to collect Bellmarks to spearhead philanthropy amongst the rest of the population. Unfortunately for Kaguya, her family buys one of a kind items, which means none of them have bellmarks. In an adorably wholesome move, Hayasaka agrees to cut up her old journals from her mother so that Kaguya can take the bellmarks. As it turns out, Kaguya didn’t need them anyway as everyone else botched their competition.
A volume of Kaguya-sama would be incomplete without the appearance of either Tsubasa or Kashiwagi. This volume treats us to Tsubasa asking for some much needed advice. He has no idea why Kashiwagi is mad at him! As the others try to guess, Ishigami steps in and gives everyone some insight into how women think (ie: tells everyone how wrong they are about women).
Given how good Ishigami is at reading relationships you’d think he’d help out Kaguya and Miyuki. Instead, those two just keep ending up in more awkward situations. This time around, Kaguya and Miyuki end up in a compromising position in the storage shed. Just as the two are about to kiss, Miko walks in. The situation shocks Miko so much that she questions leaving the student council. Thankfully, she changes her mind at the last moment. Hopefully nothing happens in the next volume to push her over the edge!
Hooray! Volume 8 treats us to more Chika wholesomeness. Every volume we that comes out just makes me love her more and more. In this volume, Chika tries to pull a sneaky to get Kaguya to open up about the person she likes by pretending to talk about her own potential love interest. What Kaguya doesn’t know is that Chika is actually describing how she feels about Kaguya. Kaguya assumes Chika has a crush on Miyuki and attempts to talk down about him, not realizing she’s putting down herself. Unable to bear it, Chika admits she cares about Kaguya too much to be swayed by her beliefs. It is probably the most wholesome misunderstanding in all of human history, and I am here for it.
The Kaguya love train doesn’t stop there though. When Hayasaka is cutting off the bellmarks from her journal she tells Kaguya that she views her as a sister. Despite being an adorably heartfelt moment, it’s a really great thing for Kaguya to hear. Her own family is distant and cold; it must be hard to grow up in an environment where no one shows any real affection. Luckily for Kaguya, she has a lot of friends who love her.
The downside to growing up in an emotionally closed off family is that you become closed off to your own feelings. Kaguya is so overwhelmed by her feelings for Miyuki that she passes out! When her doctor tells her – no – insists that nothing is wrong with her except for a case of puppy love she just about loses her mind. I hope that we see Kaguya become more comfortable with the idea of being vulnerable to someone else. It will only help her in the long run.
Besides all of the sappy love feelings, Volume 8 of Kaguya-sama: Love is War has some great art. One of my favorite moments are when Kaguya imagines everyone stylized like a shojo manga. It’s really neat to see what sort of direction Aka Akasaka could have taken in terms of illustrations.
Chika’s face when she tries to convince Mike and Kaguya to pose with her also tops the list of hilarious moments for me. Her character is so versatile and fun to see in different situations.
In short, if you’re a fan of Chika, want more Chika in your life, and need a love confession of sorts from Chika, definitely pick up this volume. All the other characters and moments are great too, but Chika really steals the show. More information on where to purchase Kaguya-sama: Love is War Volume 8 can be found here.