Masamune Makabe is a popular, handsome high-schooler... except he used to be anything but. As a child he was fat and frequently picked on, and to add insult to injury, a girl he liked rejected him and called him "Pig's Foot", making the rest of his childhood a living hell.
Swearing vengeance, he sought out his grandfather, a martial artist, to help polish his mind and body. After eight years, he returns to urban life changed beyond recognition. What didn't change, however, is his burning desire to get back at Aki Adagaki, the girl who called him "Pig's Foot" years ago, now the Alpha Rich Bitch of the school he has transferred into.
After saving her from a disgruntled suitor, Masamune finds himself in Aki's good graces... which is the first step of his grand scheme for revenge: date Aki, earn her love, then dump her in the harshest way possible when she is at her most emotionally vulnerable. With nobody but Aki's maid/schoolmate Yoshino Koiwai roped in on the plan, Masamune embarks on his quest to redeem himself and deliver payback to his childhood tormentor...
...and it should go according to plan if adolescent yearnings for affection don't get in the way.
Masamune-kun's Revenge (政宗くんのリベンジ / Masamune-kun no Revenge) is a completed 2012-2018 manga written by Hazuki Takeoka and illustrated by Tiv, published by Ichijinsha under the "Monthly Comic Rex" imprint. It has received an Animated Adaptation for the Winter 2017 Anime season, directed by Mirai Minato for SILVER LINK.. It is available for worldwide streaming on Crunchyroll here and with an English dub on FUNimation here.
The series concluded in 2018, with OAD coming out the same year, that told an "after story".
Months after the manga ended, a few bonus chapters were published on Comic REX titled Masamune-kun's Revenge -after school-. The story, like the OAD, gives more closure to the cast and follows them through their school year.
The series provides the examples of:
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Masamune and Chinatsu's mother, Kinue, is ridiculously childlike in appearance and mannerisms for a 42-year-old, and has a habit of adding too much sugar and/or fats into her dishes (which Masamune blames for his past obesity). Masamune flat-out feels this way about her after she drags Yoshino and Neko to her home and has them help her prepare dinner.
- The Atoner: Yoshino tells Masamune that she was responsible for the incident all those years ago, but later mentions that the reason she wanted to help Masamune was out of guilt, and that she really wanted him and Aki to get together. Unfortunately, she'd fallen for Masamune somewhere along the way.
- The fourth-to-last chapter has Aki subtly push Masamune into taking back his white day return gift to her and give it to Yoshino, along with breaking up with him for good measure. You would think that this leads into Masamune finally resolving things with Yoshino, right? Well, wrong: he just escapes to his grandfather's house and burns the gift wholesale.
- The entire finale arc is this. Makabe begins to have serious Ship Tease with Yoshino, and the entire narrative pushes the pair together, with Makabe getting stressed out being with her and having dreams about Yoshino, Neko telling Aki and Masamune that the latter doesn't really love the former, and Yoshino wanting to be more honest about her feelings. It even climaxes with Aki giving her blessing and Yoshino giving Makabe a dramatic kiss in the penultimate chapter. And after all that development, what happens in the last chapter?Makabe: (to Aki) She confessed to me... but I turned her down.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Aki towards Masamune. Masamune feels this way internally towas Aki, but keeps up a nice guy facade.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Yoshino is pretty soft-spoken, but can also be pretty cold and brutal.
- Bifauxnen: Kanetsugu turns out to be this. Also counts under Big Beautiful Woman as well.
- The Big Damn Kiss: The penultimate chapter ends when Yoshino kisses Masamune while he's still processing her being at his grandfather's house. Subverted since Makabe outright rejects her afterwards, and gets together with Aki again.
- Big Eater: Aki has a surprisingly large appetite and is embarrassed by that.
- Call-Back: Yoshino's outfit in the final chapter is the same as her outfit from the second DVD illustration, where she's meeting up with someone in the rain. Given the penultimate chapter, the person she's meeting is Masamune.
- Chick Magnet: Masamune becomes one after losing weight, although he isn't the most popular in school.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Masamune was in love with Aki when they were kids, but her cruel rejection of him drove him to seek revenge against her. However, it turns out that Aki was in love with Masamune too, and that the one who gave him the nickname "Pig's Foot" was actually Yoshino disguised as Aki.
- Dance Party Ending: The anime adaptation ends with the girls singing the opening song at a karaoke joint.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Ayaka Ohashi (Aki's seiyuu) sings the opening theme, "Wagamama MIRROR HEART".
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Masamune's friend Kojuurou is incredibly feminine. Hell, he's even voiced by a woman in the Japanese version.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Aki is known at school for first humiliating all potential suitors by doing an in-depth background check then airing the findings public, topped off by giving them one of these. This confirms to Makabe that she is still the same person, because he as given his own, "Pig's Foot." Except that it was Yoshino who actually gave it to him.
- Entertainingly Wrong: Muriel imagines that Aki instantly recognized Masamune when she meets him again in high school and recognizes that she ruined his life, and thinks of it like an instant fluffy romance. Yoshino, the one who actually drove Masamune away, slipped him a mysterious note and set up a trap for him when she reveals she knew who he was.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Masamune gives this to Yoshino when he finds out that she was the one who called him Piggy as a child, ruining his relationship with Aki. Fortunately, she then explains that she was in the middle of bringing them back together to atone.
- During the trip to France, Muriel imagines that Aki instantly recognized Masamune when she meets him again in high school. Yoshino, the one who actually drove Masamune away, is the one who instantly knew who he was, and even refers to him as "Piggy" right from the getgo.
- One chapter has Makabe proclaim that a roncom manga's about 80 percent complete once the main couple gets together. When Masamune begins dating Aki and resolved the false Masamune plot (around chapter 42), the story's not even all the way resolved, and he feels a lot of internal conflict for his dating Aki and dissolution of his lifelong goal, all of which takes about 9 chapters. So when Aki and Makabe get together, the narrative was literally 80 percent finished.
- Genre Savvy: Masamune reads a lot of shoujo manga to come up with pick-up lines. Sadly, Aki often doesn't follow the traditional tropes, to the point where he skirts the line of becoming Wrong Genre Savvy.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Aki doesn't remember that Makabe is the same kid from her childhood, and he's intent on keeping it that way. However, as it later turns out in the manga, Aki did not reject Makabe those many years ago...
- Neko remembers Masamune, but he doesn't remember her. She first claims that it was because he gave her his jacket, then much later, after his rejection, claims that she just pulled his photo from a lottery of arranged marriage proposals. The real reason turns out to be that they had met at a wedding when they were younger, and she knew who he was the whole time.
- Formerly Fat: Masamune used to be quite pudgy. Thanks to his training, you wouldn't know it. Neko used to be one too.
- From a Certain Point of View: Masamune's initial plan was a success, all things considered. He wanted to make the girl who caused him so much grief fall in love with him and immediately break her heart when she confesses to him, and he got his wish... with Yoshino, not Aki. What's more, he never intended to be cruel about it, which also works with Yoshino because the rejection was the natural outcome of the revelations laid out in the final stages of the manga.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Yoshino, especially as a child. She's the one who disguised herself as Aki and rejected Makabe and called him Pig's Foot... because she was jealous of Masamune's friendship with Aki while she was always treated as just a servant.
- Inspirational Insult: Being called "Pig's Foot" in his childhood made Masamune begin to train long and hard to become a top-tier high school dreamboat, both out of revenge and for self improvement.
- "Just Joking" Justification: At the end of the series, Yoshino explains in frustration that she actually wasn't dating Masamune—just having a bit of fun at Aki's expense.
- Knight Templar Big Brother: Frank Besson, the older brother of Muriel and a French mob boss, is angered when Masamune refuses to help his sister with her romcom manga. He then has his minions coerce Masamune and Aki into taking up Muriel's offer.
- Lethal Chef: Makabe's mother. When Makabe feels sick during a test, he initially suspected it might have been a tainted drink Yoshino gave him before the test. In reality, it was bad eggs in his lunch made by his mother.
- Marilyn Maneuver: This is how Masamune and Aki find out that Neko has been Going Commando.
- Mom Looks Like a Sister: It's almost parodied with Makabe's mother; she looks young enough to be his kid sister. Surprisingly, she's in her forties.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Not only does Makabe's mother, Kinue, look young enough to be his little sister, it also runs in the family. Kinue's sister, Aunt Asae and her daughter, Haruka, are doppelgangers of each other.
- My Greatest Failure: In a moment of weakness, Yoshino disguised herself as Aki and was the one who actually rejected Makabe. She's deeply regretted it ever since and has been spending several years trying to fix her mistake.
- Named After Someone Famous: Several of the characters are named after a certain flashy Japanese feudal warlord and some individuals related to him back in the days.
- Necktie Leash: Aki does this to Makabe in Episode 1 when asking him about Akio's whereabouts. She does it to him again in Episode 4 when he attempts to run away from her questioning him about ignoring her.
- No Ending: In the anime at least, the series ends without any of the loose ends wrapping up and going back into the status quo.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: After Makabe rejects Neko, the next time they go to karaoke, Neko suddenly sings a song about heartbreak. Makabe is guilty the whole song through.
- Official Couple: Makabe and Aki finally get together, but even after this happens they have to sort out a lot of issues before the story ends.
- Older Than They Look: Masamune and Chinatsu's mother, Kinue, appears and acts like a tween girl, but is actually 42 years old.
- Out-Gambitted: Yoshino manages to outgambit Aki's fan club's idea of kidnapping Masamune before the play by doing the same thing. In addition, she manages to do it better as no one, save Masamune, realizes who it was until the middle of the next arc.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Chapter 39.7 had Aki's cruel tendencies dialed up to a whole other degree, in that she fakes a photo of one boy's dog and threatens him with the possibility of it getting raped.
- Panty Shot: Yoshino repeatedly falls down in Episode 2, flipping her skirt in the process.
- Rescue Romance: Masamune attempts to invoke this a couple times to get Aki to fall for him.
- The Reveal:
- Kanetsugu is a girl in disguise. She's engaged to Aki in order to obtain money for her sick sister, and doesn't love her that way.
- Yoshino was the one who called Makabe "Pig's Foot".
- Revenge: It's right there in the title.
- Revenge of the Nerd: Though less a nerd and more pudgy, the premise of the story is Masamune's quest to make Aki fall for him then dump her, making her feel the same pain he did as a child.
- Rule of Symbolism: Rather blatant with umbrellas. Aki has white, while Yoshino's is dark, signifying their placement as the one in the spotlight and the helper from the shadows. When Yoshino drops her umbrella, Aki offers hers instead, showing Aki to be willing to do the same that her maid has always done for her. What's more, the umbrella used was the very same one Makabe gave her earlier in the series.
- Yoshino generally gets a lot of Cinderella imagery, such as Aki and her silhouettes when she tends to Yoshino's foot resembling someone putting on a glass slipper for her.
- School Play: The romantic fairytale variant. Makabe and Aki are cast into the lead roles for the school production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but for different productions.
- Sealed with a Kiss: The final chapter ends with Makabe and Aki kissing in the hallway, but we cut away just before we get to see it.
- Ship Sinking: Kojuro/Neko goes down in the penultimate chapter, where Futaba informs the latter of the former's crush, but Neko comments that he isn't her type.
- Shirtless Scene: Makabe is often in his bedroom with his shirt off. The only thing stopping him from being a Walking Shirtless Scene is knowing that he couldn't get away with it most places, but the instant he gets to the beach, he rips his shirt off while internally yelling about how hot he is.
- Shout-Out: When Makabe and Aki go out, Yoshino gives her a Cure White cosplay for the occasion.
- Smug Snake: Collectively, Aki's fan club who gets schooled by Yoshino who single handedly wrecks their plans.
- So What Do We Do Now?: When he outs Kanetsugu and tells Aki to "date [him], the real one", it occurs to her that the whole thing read as a confession and accepts. Because he was the one who "confessed", she has the higher ground in that regard, denying him of any sense of victory in outing his impostor. When he gets back home, he's left lying on the ground in a confused daze, his goal in life now meaningless.
- Generally also the case for Makabe after The Reveal; Aki isn't the one who broke his heart all those years ago, but the one who was—Yoshino— is already remorseful and has been working to repair Aki and Makabe's relationship. Learning this, and taking into account his feelings on both girls, he doesn't know what to do and finds his whole revenge scheme for naught.
- Those Two Girls: There's a trio of three girls who seem to be Aki's friends, but rarely contribute anything useful to the plot.
- Traumatic Haircut: After being publicly humiliated by Aki, Akio attempts to give her one of these, but is prevented from doing so by Makabe.
- True Love Is Boring: Discussed in one chapter, where Makabe points out that a romcom's on the fast track to ending as soon as the main couple's love becomes mutual/when they start dating.
- What You Are in the Dark: When Neko and Masamune are alone in her apartment, Neko tries to make a move on him. Despite having her thrown at his feet, Makabe decides not to let anything happen between them and rejects her as kindly as he can.
- Will They or Won't They?: Makabe and Aki. They do, but they were still far and away from resolving all of their issues when they finally hooked up, and later chapters show that he's actually quite unsure if he likes her that way anymore. But now WTWT seems to be in full effect for Makabe and Yoshino. They don't. Aki and Masamune do.
- You Must Be Cold: According to Neko, Masamune did this to her three years ago, causing her to fall in love with him. Subverted in that she made the story up. Masamune was still fat and living somewhere in the mountains at the time.