Kaguya-sama: Love is War - The First Kiss Never Ends

Alt title: Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: First Kiss wa Owaranai

Movie (1 ep x 90 min)
4.372 out of 5 from 1,739 votes
Rank #79
Kaguya-sama: Love is War - The First Kiss Never Ends

Shuchiin Academy’s student council room – the place where Vice President Kaguya Shinomiya and Student Council President Miyuki Shirogane met. After a long battle in love, these two geniuses communicated their feelings and, at the Hoshin Festival, had their very first kiss. However, there was no clear confession. The relationship between these two, who assumed they would be a couple, remains ambiguous. Now, overly conscious of their feelings, they must face the biggest challenge yet – Christmas.

Source: Aniplex

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After 3 phenomenal seasons, this charming, entertaining, yet thrilling story reaches its biggest, most crucial moment ever in Kaguya-sama: Love is War - The First Kiss Never Ends. If you're going to see this movie, then you know what you can expect after having seen the previous 3 seasons, and to get it out of the way, the visuals, sound design, and storytelling all come together beautifully in this movie. The comedy delivers, the drama will leave you silent in anticipation, and the same level of quality demonstrated with the TV series is maintained in this movie. The TL;DR is: Kaguya good, so Kaguya movie also good. However, the biggest point of contention lies with not only what it adapts, but how much it adapts as well. Regardless of that much, if all you want to know is if you should watch it, then I believe you absolutely should! It might sound exaggerated, but I really did have a blast watching it in theaters, and it was worth the $15 ticket it took per person. I have loved reading the Kaguya manga for years. Not to let that scare off any potential anime-only viewers, because I do believe that this movie was tailor-made for your experience. As a 1 hour and 30 minute movie, this movie did a fantastic job at showcasing one of the most pivotal points in Kaguya and Shirogane's relationship after the events of the 3rd season. And for those that have read the manga, the movie's interpretation of events can prove to be quite interesting. They were certainly different than the way me and my friends had perceived it, which had made us appreciate this arc even more. That said, and with a BIG SPOILER WARNING AHEAD, Kaguya and Shirogane being the main focus of this movie meant that the other cast didn't get the prime screentime you might have wanted… for now. Regardless, do watch and enjoy the movie! Hopefully it will be available for streaming soon (but who knows). If you have read the manga and want to know more specific thoughts, then feel free to keep reading! SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE So, I was lucky to watch this movie on the Valentine's Day release with four close friends who all love this series. However, we all have different backgrounds in our completion of it. One friend is an anime-only, who was the last to jump on board the Kaguya hype train, and began watching towards the end of Season 3's seasonal release, leaving her with a couple months of waiting to see where the story continued. The rest of us have all read the manga, but to varying points, and one of us had not even seen the 3rd season despite having read past it already. Despite us all stopping at various points, those of us who have read the manga have all read past the Christmas arc that this movie covers, and much unlike the trailer had led us to believe, Tsubame and Ishigami's story was NOT shown. This led to a very interesting discussion, where the four of us who already knew where the story was going, had taken away very different experiences, despite us all having watched it at the same time. We all agreed that the Christmas party was one of the best points of the manga. The tension that develops between all the amazing side characters makes them even more amazing, and gives the story a purpose to continue past the start of Kaguya and Miyuki's relationship. However, we could not agree on whether cutting this important story was a good direction for the movie overall. On one hand, we were all devastated that such a beautifully written story was cut out from the long awaited film experience. Not being able to see things play out between Tsubame, Ishigami, and Miko on the big screen was rough, but I personally thought that this decision was for the greater good. This way, the focus was never diverted from Kaguya and Shirogane, the clear center this movie revolved around. By omitting this scene, I do think it would allow for it to be done with more care in what I would hope to be an upcoming season, and would not get rushed to make the movie shorter and more palatable. The anime-only fans will be able to get the idea that something occurred during Ishigami's Christmas outing, but aren't too bothered by what, and I believe that by omitting it out, their emotions from watching the sporadic Christmas week for Kaguya and Shirogane WON'T affect how they will view the Tsubame and Ishigame arc once it becomes animated. However, it is still such a shame that it wasn't kept in the film. That part was truly an amazing point in the story, that realizing it wasn't going to get covered felt almost like a betrayal, one that could not be made up for by the rest of the movie. As for that movie, I actually quite liked it's interpretation for the pacing of it. I personally wasn't that big of a fan of Ice Kaguya's arc. I knew why it was important, but I just didn't find it to be presented in a super enjoyable way. BUT, this movie changed that for me. I personally felt like it had put such a captivating emphasis on the idea of personas, that suddenly, I was on-board. Seeing the key moments come to life with color, motion, voice acting, and other visual storytelling elements sold this arc for me in a way that I personally didn't experience during my reading. It's for that reason, that even if you've read the manga, I think you should give the movie a try. Even though the two-day theater release has been extremely limiting, hopefully it won't take too long for it to release on streaming platforms, and once it does, just know you are in for a treat. To make the storyline piece together well for anime-only fans, they did rearrange the order of certain scenes (the date at the mall got unfortunately cut short), but the overall uniqueness of the interpretation was enough to make this movie, for me, another fantastic experience in the trove of good memories Kaguya has brought to me.

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