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Masamune-Kun's Revenge is a whimsical tale about a formerly fat, now hot main character trying to "revenge body" his former childhood crush. While the premise is intriguing, Masamune does rely on many rom-com cliches that plague the genre as the main conflict is yet another tsundere in need of being won over by the protagonist, with many girls to distract him along the way. The art and character designs are worth mention, with excellent expressions and body language to visually convey the narrative, and while the story itself is not terribly revolutionary, it still makes for a fun read nonetheless.
The majority of the girls fill typical rom-com archetypes (tsundere rich girl, perfect-but-frail girl, brutally-honest-deadpan girl). Masamune himself, however, is a very refreshing protagonist, and I greatly enjoyed his duality of conceited confidence juxtaposing his hidden self-consciousness. Despite the cliches of the girls, the romances developed with them progress in smooth and surprising ways, in particular with Yoshino, whose gradual shift from advisor to romantic interest is coherent and heartfelt.
The main problem for Masamune is its tendency to distract the audience from the main romantic conflict by shoving in hackneyed romantic rivals like Kanetsugu and a throw away plot of appeasing a French mafia boss's otaku sister. These side characters contribute little to Masamune's final romantic conclusions, and come across more so as intruding diversions rather than entertaining conflicts. Masamune's most enjoyable moments are of his scheming to enact his revenge plot and his humorous internal struggles with playing the conniver. Luckily, the good fills more of the story than the various distractions.
Masamune-Kun's Revenge is a bit of a mixed bag. The story has some clever twists and turns with solid character relationship building, but is also disjointed at times, and muddled with too many distractions. All in all, Masamune is your typical romantic comedy (with more than a few passing similarities with fellow rom-com manga, Nisekoi, the absolute king of rom-com cliches), but its whimsical plot, fun protagonist and relationships certainly make for a satisfying guilty pleasure read if nothing else.
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