Aka Akasaka’s 2015 series “Kaguya-Sama: Love is War” turns the simple love confession into the ultimate duel of wit.

Many wealthy heirs and bright minds attend Shuchiin Academy. Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane lead the student body as vice president and the president of the student council. A rumor of them dating floats around after seeing them walk the halls together. The truth is that the two high schoolers do have feeling for each other but are not willing to be the first to confess. Their stubborn egos prevent them from developing their relationship into a romantic one and instead they challenge themselves to silly matches. They may be at the top of the academy standing but nothing will prepare for their own resistance to love.

Akasaka takes courtship to a new level by having Kaguya and Miyuki sabotage their chances of becoming a couple. The artist used to be an assistant to “Deadman Wonderland” and “Smokin’ Parade” creators Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou. His illustrations show good use of movement and expressive lines, giving more emphasis and emotion to the pair’s dark plotting. However, Akasaka shows the knowledge of when to tone down the mind games and show that these elites are still teenagers. He also uses the student council secretary Chika as someone who breaks the tension, giving both characters and readers a moment to catch their breath. This rom-com is perfect for those looking for something that packs a bit of a punch.

Volume Three of “Kaguya-sama: Love is War” will be available in July 2018. For more information and to check out free previews, check out VIZ Media’s webpage.

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