Masamune's Revenge? More like "Montezuma's Revenge," only slightly more painful and stinky.
Jesus Christ... This series had SUCH potential. The first few episodes were actually very well structured and ably put together. Hell, I didn't even mind it when the second love interest was
inserted shoehorned into the mix — I thought that she might bring something new to the table that we haven't seen before in the totally oversaturated market of "high school romantic comedy dramas" (a genre that has been a part of the anime medium almost since its inception). But alas, earwax.
Let me back up and tell you of the basic premise of Masamune-kun's Revenge.
Back in grade school, chubby boy Masamune Makabe was friends with the super rich girl in his class, one Aki Adagaki. They were very close, but then one day, Aki turned cruel and rejected the tub'o'lard Masamune by mocking him and calling him "Pig's Foot." Masamune was heartbroken, and soon moved away to live with his dad in another town. But, because of this humiliation, Masamune came up with a plan: he then dedicated his life to becoming physically fit and a top student. And now, 8 years later, in high school, Masamune transfers back to his old neighborhood in order to go to the same academy that Aki goes to, so that he can seduce her and then reject her! Hopefully destroying her sense of self-worth in the process, like she did to him! He calls this his "Dead or Love" plan... I mean, it's just soooooo fucking "high school" that it hurts!
Honestly, this basic rundown is why I gave this show a chance. It SOUNDS amazing! A kid devoting his entire youth towards the prospect of destroying a girl's life? Hell yeah! You kind of know that Masamune and Aki will actually develop feelings for each other just because, well, that's how these things go, and most writers are indeed hacks. But this premise at least had me hooked with its unique starting point. Unfortunately things got stale fast. Very fast.
So you see, Masamune comes back into town and begins wowing the shit out of his schoolmates. He's now super fit, handsome, and one of the most brilliant students in his class. The ladies all love him, and the guys all respect him and want to hang out with him. But all this time he's really just focusing his true attention on Aki. Aki, the little princess who is still publicly ridiculing any man who approaches her with any declaration of love.
Soon Masamune gets an unusual accomplice to aid him in his mission of wrecking Aki: Aki's personal servant and fellow student, Yoshino. Yoshino claims that Aki has gotten too high and mighty for her own good, and that she believes that Masamune's eventual rejection of the cold princess will be just what her master needs to become a better person. So Yoshino secretly preps Masamune, giving him inside information on the likes and dislikes of her master, and coming up with schemes to get the boy on Aki's good side.
I was still with the story at this point. In fact I thought that the addition of Yoshino as Masamune's co-conspirator was a great move for the narrative, adding some great back and forth between the two life-wreckers, as well as adding new dimensions to Aki and Yoshino's odd master and servant relationship. But back to the story at hand!
Masamune is (despite his high grades) an utter idiot though. Constantly chickening out of his plan and failing to connect the dots on certain social situations. But soon, after performing some seriously do-goody acts of kindness and heroics in front of Aki, Masamune appears to be making some headway into her heart... Enter Neko Fujinomiya, the second rich girl whom Masamune knew back when he was nothing but a chubby kid. Ugh... Even when there's never a need for a harem (and there never is, 99% of the time), Japan finds a way to force one into any plot at hand.
Well, Neko says that she knew Masamune as a kid, and that she really loves him because of something kind and generous that he did for her years before, but he can't remember her to save his life. More than likely because he's kind of a dolt.
This is when shit starts to fall apart, like when you realize that you just pissed away 4 years of your life, and $90,000 on a Liberal Arts or a Philosophy degree, just when the dean hands you your diploma.... Seriously? A Philosophy degree? You would have had a more fun and a much more productive time wasting all that cash if you just spent it all on strippers and blow. Christ... Your parents must be so proud visiting you at work. Do you clean the jizz off the windows of the peepshow with TWO sprays of Windex for them?
Anyway, this is when the storytelling of this tale gets sloppy.
Neko (the beautiful, but physically fragile, second rich chick) actually treats Masamune like a real person, and showers him with gentle affection, which he completely rejects. Then, she straight up tries to seduce him, but Masamune is apparently a total masochist, and he shoots her down for no real reason at all. I'm not saying I wanted him to bang Neko and then still continue with his so-far-failed pursuit of Aki, but the set up and delivery of Masamune's brush-off of Neko's kindness and then temptation was SUCH BULLSHIT. No teenage virgin in the world would ever have had the power to say no to a girl who actually loves him (and treats him nicely), whom he actually has feelings for, who also completely THROWS herself at him like that.
Masamune literally has no reason to say no to Neko at this moment either (as his mission with Aki was stagnant at the time, mostly due to Masamune causing stupid misunderstandings and acting like an idiot, which I've found to be the "plot d'jour"). The writers of this thing could not even toss the viewers a tiny bone and give the protagonist even the slightest hint of logic or reasoning behind his choice to continue to try and "get revenge" on a girl who once called him a name eight years earlier, instead of being happy with another pretty rich girl (with a larger rack) who actually likes him for who he is.
I think I yelled "WHAT THE GODDAMN FUCK!! You fucking PUSSY! Go back to Neko! What the FFFFFFFFUCK are you doing? Why are you running away from her like she were an agitated bumblebee!?!?" at my TV whilst watching that scene. I mean, seriously, take ANY male protagonist from ANY high school-based anime or manga series in the past. They are all Don Fucking Juan's compared to Masamune.
But this moment was nothing compared to the final 3 episodes of this abysmal production. Soon a fat kid appears in Aki's garden one night, claiming that he's the fat kid whom she used to play with when they were children. He also has a letter written by Aki's grandfather to his grandfather saying that their two grandkids should get married, because fuck logic. Oh, and now this new Fat Masamune is living with Aki and going to her school, because the writers just stopped giving a shit.
These last few episodes are just a major step down in quality from what had come before. Masamune finds that all his good will stored up by being totally awesome to all his other classmates seems to be evaporating because Fat Masamune is even nicer and smarter than him. Then we're just told matter of factly who Fat Masamune is (and the answer is "a total nobody" who's lying his ass off to everyone because he's poor... He's POOR, Kenny! POOR!). And then there's a contest between Fit Masamune and Fat Masamune when both their respective classes want to put on the same play for the school festival. That play? Snow White, because that's the only play the hack writers could think of that ends with a kiss, because a boy kissing a girl in high school is SCANDALOUS!!!!!
How is there "a contest" between two plays of the same title, you ask? There isn't. Just like there's no contest between which is more entertaining: a barium enema or watching Masamune-kun's Revenge. No, wait, I change my mind. I think that I would actually GLADLY subject myself to another barium enema than watch this mound of zombie diarrhea again. Even if complications from the enema took hold, and I lost my intestines in the aftermath. Even if...
Did I like ANYTHING about this show?.... I think I thought that the op and ed songs were okay.... Nothing great, but nothing I'd skip unless I was hurting for time. That's.... That's it.
The character designs were alright, but so many episodes had them drawn so far off-model that I find that I would have to classify them as ugly. The characters themselves acted more like really awful caricatures than anything remotely human too. About halfway through this short, twelve episode series I found that I hated every player, except for Neko. She was the only sincere, sweet, and likable person in this whole show. Not that I need everyone to be all roses and lollipops in my stories, but I (at the very least) have to understand them and the choices that they make. Neko is the only one who fit that bill here.
Once again, this thing started off fairly strong. I loved the premise, and I appreciated the different take on the whole high school relationship anime series, but then it didn't know what the hell to do with itself. And that last storyline, with Fat Masamune... That was just pulled straight out of some geriatric's used adult diaper.
Yet another Japanese anime show about high school kids doing stupid things. I appreciated the fact that this one at least started out with the main guy wanting to destroy the main girl's happiness and life. In fact, this reminded me of that time that the Rossman tried to help me get revenge on Holly Fitzpatrick during our senior year in high school, after she ripped my heart out of my own ribcage, just like Mola Ram in Temple of Doom.
You see, all during our junior year, Holly and I would be all cute during our English and algebra classes: we'd flirt, I'd offer her gum, she'd chew it for a while, then she'd offer it back, and I'd take it and chew that second hand gum as if it were the jizz of God!... I was putty in her hands, and I made her laugh.
Then, senior year came along. I thought we were all good and almost a couple... And so I asked her out to to the Homecoming Dance. My biggest mistake here was doing it in the crowded hallway at school, in between 1st and 2nd periods. Holly's laughter could be heard over the rest of the chatter produced by over 1,500 teenagers blathering to each other in the same open space. I was humiliated. And that's when the Rossman and I came up with my revenge... Well, after school ended and he finally found me all catatonic in the back stall of the Hall "G" mens' room.
So, we hatched our plan. The Rossman and I sent Holly's parents 3 free tickets in the mail for a new movie that was opening that Friday night (with a letter saying that they won them in some contest they entered at Kroger's, or something like that). We then hid in the heavily-wooded lot across the street and waited for them to leave.
At 8:30PM the Fitzpatrick's car backed out of their garage and down the driveway, and then drove down their street on the way to the theater.
At 8:45PM we then left our hiding spot, convinced that they were gone for the evening. Then we snuck around to the back door and found the hollowed-out rock that Holly had once told me that her family kept a spare key under.
At 8:50PM we entered the Fitzpatrick residence. The Rossman was wearing a fake Santa beard for some reason. I wore a ski mask, but had to have my distinct glasses on over it because I'm blind as a mole without them.
Neither of us had been inside the Fitzpatrick house before, so we split up and started looking for Holly's room. I eventually found her dad's home office and her little brother's room, and the Rossman found a guest bedroom and the master bedroom. We then met back in the hallway and we looked in unison to the only remaining room on the top floor.
The Rossman made some hand signals that he thought were very Navy SEAL-like, and then we approached the door. It was 9:01PM.
I then turned the knob and pushed the door open only to be caught face to face with Holly on her bed, pantsless, with a GINORMOUS lime-green dildo halfway up her snatch. I was in shock, she was petrified of the man in a facemask watching her at her most private of moments, and then the Santa-bearded Rossman got one booming "HA!" out before producing a camera and taking a picture of the wide-eyed, open mouthed, masturbating Holly. The camera's flash was brighter than a nuke's explosion in my memory. Then we ran, just as she found her screaming voice.
9:05PM. We pretty much ripped the front door off its hinges as we ran for freedom. We had parked a few blocks away, and sprinted to my car while still wearing the face-mask and beard. We were in my car and gone before any police could have ever been alerted.
So, long story short: Apparently Holly's younger brother went with their parents as the third ticket to the free movie that night... Which is kind of creepy since he's 11 and the movie was Indecent Proposal, but whatever makes a family work, right?
All the Rossman and I planned to do was the take pictures of Holly's diary, and staple copies of the most sultry excerpts (along with some of her panties) on all the bulletin boards around school the next day. Instead, we just kept the picture that the Rossman took for ourselves and never told a soul... Well, until now. But, like, I'm sure the statute of limitations is past on this, right? And she was 18 at the time... I think.
I typically like — and hell, let's face it, I also typically instigate — revenge tales.
Most of the time people seek out revenge over somebody else for the dumbest and lamest reasons imaginable: they cut them off in traffic, therefore making them 2 seconds later to work than they would have been; somebody smirked at them when they did something embarrassing; or their cheating spouse totally cheated on them like the cheating whore that they are.
I'll be the first to admit that that revenge is usually not necessary. If you were inconvenienced slightly, well, tough titties. Everybody is constantly inconvenienced. That's called life. If your cheating spouse cheated on you, well fuck them, but their lives are probably too broken to fix, and you focusing on revenge against them just pulls you down to their level, when they were already doing a pretty awesome job of fucking things up for themselves.
I guess I'm just feeling generous today (it occasionally happens). And on that generous note I will also tell you to stay the hell away from this boring and abysmal Japanese animated program called Masamune's Revenge. More like "Montezuma's Revenge!" (NOTE FROM THE ROSSMAN: I already made this joke, but I'm not going to say anything to Satan about it, nor will I change it, because I don't like pain.) It's just very poorly told, there is no point to anything going on it it, all the characters are wimps or losers, and the "revenge" in this thing is so poorly planned out that a worm devising to eat an apple has a better strategy in place for how to accomplish its goals.