After finishing the review series for the epic and delicious anime Food Wars, it’s time to review a new Fall anime, Kiss Him Not Me! What do you get when a fujoshi girl looses a ton of weight and wins the affection of all the hot boys? A lot of questions from a fellow fujoshi, that’s who.
In case there are people who aren’t familiar with the term, fujoshi is a Japanese term translated as “rotten girl.” Like the work “otaku,” it isn’t a term of endearment in the Japanese community. Fujoshi are not only anime and manga fanatics, but also are fans of boys love material typically. Serinuma is her own brand of fujoshi though. So what sets our main female lead Kae Serinuma apart?
Bring in the boys of Kiss Him Not Me!
Kae Serinuma is the typical cartoon fujoshi at the start of Kiss Him Not Me! She’s cartoonishly fat, wears glasses, and fades into the background. She is passive to rude remarks about herself, and only concentrates on the pairings she makes up in head. Serinuma even go as far as pairing the boys in her class together that seem close. Two boys in particular are Yuusuke Igarashi and Nozomu Nanashima. Both of these boys don’t much attention to Serinuma, which is fine because she likes to watch their close “friendship” on the sidelines.
There’s also Asuma Mutsumi who is a upperclassmen Kae knows from the history club that she attends. Mutsumi is a naturally sweet guy, and is kind to Kae from the get go. He almost reminds me of a boy version of Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket personality wise. He’s just sweet and charming naturally, but is kind of an airhead. Lastly there’s Hayato Shinomiya, who is an underclassmen. It’s mentioned in the episode that Serinuma and Shinomiya know each other because they’re both in the Health Committee. He’s the short, pretty boy that gets hot-tempered but gets embarrassed easily.
The hook of Kiss Him Not Me! is that one day, Serinuma sheds all her weight in the course of a week of not eating. This is because her favorite anime character Shion dies in the latest episode. Not only does she loose weight, but her eyes get bigger, she stops wearing glasses, her hair is a lighter hue of purple, and her voice gets higher. It’s like they put a beauty filter on her, lost the glasses, and just made her the perfect anime girl in over a week. For an anime about the fujoshi experience, I found this sudden change kind of insulting. Although this is probably just played up like this for laughs, and not meant to be taken seriously.
Not only that, but the minute this change happens, the three boys who didn’t notice her suddenly have crushes on her. Honestly, this isn’t very surprising considering these are anime high school boys. There isn’t an anime that I know of that celebrates being heavy as beautiful to teens. It’s nice that they have a character like Mutsumi who doesn’t even care about the change. He says he notices her being thinner, but knows that she is still the same sweet girl to him. Meanwhile, Shinomiya, Igarashi and Nanashima all ask Serinuma out on a date at the end of the day. Serinuma is overwhelmed, but accepts the offer thinking they just want to hang out.
Serinuma changes the cliché in Kiss Him, Not Me!
After going on a date and failing to being a lady in front of these guys, Serinuma embraces her otaku lifestyle. She wasn’t hiding it because she was ashamed, but taking her friends advice to hide it from them. Serinuma wanted this friend date to be pleasant and thought her otaku ways would make them uncomfortable. Serinuma is a people pleaser, but isn’t about changing what she likes ever for someone else. She’s so true to the otaku way, she doesn’t have the desire to date these guys, or most guys. It’s interesting to see the guys make an effort and watch how far they are willing to go for a crush.
Great Production and Animation!
After reading most of the manga for Kiss Him Not Me! and seeing it come to life, I’m happy with what it’s become so far. The colors are pleasing, the seiyuu chosen are top notch, and it has stayed true to the source material thus far. I like the purple and green contrast with Serinuma and all the bright colors of the animation. Yuu Kobayashi, the seiyuu for Serinuma, is a favorite of mine. She does a good job sounding both like a hyper fan girl while also sounding sincere and sweet. Though I wish she sung the opening theme like she did in Maria-Holic.
Directed by Hiroshi Ishiodori (Peach Girl), this anime does have aesthetic similarities. It has bright, feminine colors with the manga illustrations making appearances in the anime like in Peach Girl. Not to mention it’s about a non-conventionally beautiful and strong-headed high school girl who has more than one boy after her. Needless to say, it’s nice to see these qualities of a shoujo anime updated since ten years prior.
I have faith in this series because the mangaka for the source material, Junko, has written many boys love manga. She even inserts her pairings as background characters in the first episode! Junko knows fujoshi culture very well.