Waifu Wednesday: Kaguya (Kaguya-sama: Love is War)

Waifu Wednesday

One of the biggest anime hits in the past few years has been Kaguya-sama: Love is War. It has everything you could ask for – romance, comedy, a student council with unparalleled power, and needless drama on Twitter. At the centre of all the action is the titular Kaguya Shinomiya, who is simultaneously the smartest and the dumbest character in the show. In the most adorable way possible.

To celebrate the end of the third season of the Kaguya-sama: Love is War anime, subtitled Ultra Romantic, we’re taking a closer look at Kaguya Shinomiya herself for this week’s Waifu Wednesday.

Who is Kaguya Shinomiya?

Kaguya Shinomiya in cat ears

The central premise of Kaguya-sama: Love is War is simple. Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya serve as President and Vice-President of the student council of Shuchiin Academy. They are at the top of the social food chain among students and, because this is an anime, rank higher than many of the teachers as well. They appear, in almost every way, to be the perfect romantic pair, yet each is too proud to admit their feelings. Love is a battle for these two and whoever admits their feelings first is the loser.

To most of the student body, Kaguya is a serious, intellectual titan who ranks among the top of the students at the prestigious academy. She is cool and dispassionate, knowledgeable about all things, and helpful even if she is a little bit scary. Kaguya’s family is rich and powerful beyond most people’s wildest dreams, so she has all the grace and sophistication you could ask for. From the outside, it seems as though there is nothing she can’t do.

Why we love her

All the money in the world can’t stop someone from being an overbearing goofball when they’re in love. Kaguya is a teenage girl in love with one of her best friends, a fact that becomes the central conflict of the show and grows into one of the most endearing romantic arcs in recent anime. For all her intelligence and cunning, Kaguya is a high school girl who is still figuring out who she is and, more importantly, who she wants to be in the world.

At times, she displays an intensely manipulative side which she uses for the good of her friends. Intimidating election opponents, using her family’s vast resources to sway conflicts in her favour, and even using her formidable mind to cheat at board games are all well within the realm of possibility for her. Kaguya is also almost criminally naïve when it comes to sex and relationships and is often reduced to a puddle of angsty goop every time Miyuki is within a few feet of her. She is attentive and kind to those she cares for, even if her version of “caring” involves strapping someone to a desk to ensure they study.

Why we love her

Neither side is the “real” Kaguya Shinomiya and, at the same time, both sides are real. The thing that makes her such a fascinating protagonist is the fact that she has multiple parts of her personality. Like all of us, there are masks that she wears when dealing with certain people, dropping one after another until, around those she truly trusts and connects with, she is free to just be herself. There is incredible writing at play here, creating one of the most interesting characters in recent anime history.

If you haven’t been following Kaguya-sama: Love is War, you’re honestly missing out on one of the best comedy anime around. You can stream every episode on Crunchyroll or, if you want to zoom ahead of the anime, read almost every chapter on the Shonen Jump app.

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