Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done my last anime review! This review may come across as a bit random, but yesterday my boyfriend and I spontaneously decided to watch Kaguya-sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends in theatres (on its opening day!) for Valentine’s Day. To be completely honest, neither of us even knew there was a Love is War film playing in theatres, let alone that they were even making this film to begin with. But since we both enjoyed the anime quite a bit, we thought it’d be a fun (and maybe even romantic?) watch. I mean, it was also either this or Magic Mike’s Last Dance (2023) and I wasn’t exactly in a Magic Mike kind of mood. If you happen to be a fan who’s interested in checking this one out in theatres, I just want to give you a heads up because this film is only in theatres for a very limited amount of time – so watch it soon before it’s gone!

Shirogane looking down at Little Kaguya

For those of you that don’t know, Kaguya-sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends continues immediately after the events of the Kaguya-sama: Love is War – Ultra Romantic (season 3 of the anime) season finale. So yes, if you want to watch this film, you should already have finished all three seasons of the show so you can fully understand what’s going on.

While I wasn’t sure what to expect heading in (we literally only found out the night before that this movie was a thing), I found the movie to be a surprisingly good time filled with lots of laughter and innocent romance. It was definitely funny, but it felt very warm and sweet too. So for a Valentine’s Day movie, honestly not bad, it felt pretty fitting for the holiday! Because if you’re looking for something low maintenance where you can share a couple of laughs, this movie is right up your alley; it’s all about dealing with first loves, first relationships, and how to deal with the fear that exists around all these “firsts”. The creators definitely got a lot of humour out of the characters’ inexperience with these types of feelings, but they also managed to make it relatable and absolutely adorable.

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

And with a runtime of 1h 30m, I personally felt Kaguya-sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends was an appropriate length that didn’t feel too long or too short. There was certainly a lot going on in this movie (what will all the bright and flashy animations), and by having a decently interesting plot, I was never bored. In a way, it kind of just felt like I binged five episodes of the anime back to back all mushed together, but let’s be real, we do that all the time anyway. In terms of how the movie flowed though, I’d say it felt very similar to the show itself where the characters and perspectives seemed to move around very frequently – every scene kept jumping from one to the next. It tends to feel like a bunch of “mini stories” with an overarching plot rather than just one storyline.

But did I feel like this anime needed to be made into a movie? No, not really. I think it would’ve worked just as well as the fourth season of the show to be honest (maybe it would have been even better this way?). I’ve read a couple comments where people said the movie skipped a lot of beloved scenes from the manga, so there was definitely some disappointment there. It did feel kind of cool to watch a Japanese animated film on the big screen though because it’s always been something I usually only watch at home. But if this isn’t something you’re particularly interested in, you could definitely watch Kaguya-sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends at home and get the same experience. There isn’t really anything special about this film that makes it a “must watch” in theatres.

Little Shirogane (President/Kaichou) trying to communicate with Little Kaguya

I also think that depending on what it is that you like about the show, that might determine how much you’ll enjoy the film itself. What I mean by that is, Kaguya-sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends focuses almost entirely on the romance between Kaguya Shinomiya (voiced by Aoi Koga) and Miyuki Shirogane (voiced by Makoto Furukawa) and not much else. So if you love the side characters and side plots from the show, chances are you may leave feeling a bit disappointed they didn’t get enough screen time. But hey, if you’re a big fan of the Shinomiya x Shirogane love story, I can tell you that you will for sure enjoy this film because we get SO much progression in their relationship. If you’ve been waiting to finally see the two openly discuss their feelings, the wait is over.

If there’s one thing about this movie that I enjoyed more than the show, it would definitely have to be Shinomiya’s character and the development she gets within such a short time frame. I don’t know about you but I’m not a fan of her character because I find her frustratingly annoying and too whiny at times. While she sort of still is in this movie (during certain scenes anyway), I appreciated that we got to see a much more thoughtful and mature side to her character. Some of her actions were very relatable and I felt like I finally got a glimpse of connecting with her character. Shirogane on the other hand was as lovable and charmingly clumsy as usual. He’s got this unusually awkward vibe to him, but something about it always has me rooting for him.

Fujiwara with heart eyes

Considering that this was a completely last minute plan and I had no idea this movie ever existed, I’d say that all in all, I don’t regret watching Kaguya-sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends in theatres. Though there were only say, 7 or 8 other people in my theatre watching with us, hearing their laughter and giggles added to my experience of the film. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll definitely appreciate the familiar wackiness which you can now experience on the big screen. For what it’s worth, Kaguya-sama: Love is War – The First Kiss That Never Ends is an entertaining watch that I will give a rating of 7/10. Now if you’re not a fan of anime or you’ve never watched a Japanese animated show or film before, chances are this movie will be way too confusing and outrageous for you too handle (this is definitely one of the more crazy and exaggerated animes out there). But if you’re looking to try something completely new, I’d recommend trying season 1 of the show first. If you like it, you’ve got 2 more seasons and a movie to enjoy!