Serinuma is kicking soccer balls and hitting the books in this week’s episode of Kiss Him Not Me! After Serinuma becomes more nimble after her weight loss, the soccer team asks her for a favor when they’re in a bind. Later, Serinuma must pass the latest test if she wants to enjoy summer otaku events! Will the boys come to her aid?
Massive Weight Loss ≠ Super Athlete in Kiss Him Not Me
In the first half of this episode of Kiss Him Not Me, Serinuma realizes that she can move a lot quicker since the weight loss. It shows when she dominants the court in volleyball. She’s able to jump and leap a lot faster. Nana points out that she’s always been rather good dashing side to side. The soccer team takes notice and asks for her help when their down a player. Serinuma is confident in her soccer knowledge, thanks to anime.
Nanashima takes offense to this since he used to be a member of the soccer team. Serinuma says she’ll be find if she practices and befriends the ball. After one day of practice though, she realizes she has zero muscles to keep up with the team. It’s comforting to see the anime is being somewhat realistic. Even if a heavy person becomes skinny, it doesn’t mean they have the stamina or strength to play any sport. Being able to leap and bound is one thing, but long period running and push-ups takes a different kind of strength.
Of course, Nanashima softens up when he hears her teammates talking about how bad she is behind her back, and decides to help her out. This also gives Nanashima a chance to admire Serinuma’s fighting spirit when she refuses to give up. When the games does come around, she manages to win the game last minute with her reverse curve ball, a technique she made up by accident when practicing. It’s better for her to win with a strength she had in the beginning, and didn’t just win from one night of tutoring from Nanashima.
Flirty Tutoring & Otaku Gender Challenged?
The second storyline of the episode follows the boys trying to tutor Serinuma so that she can enjoy summer break. Obviously, they’re only doing it so they can have potential dates with her. Mutsumi, being the sweet and helpful boy he is naturally, just asks if he can help. The other three boys insist they want him to tutor them too and Mutsumi just takes it as a fan study group. For now, Mutsumi is just a really good friend to Serinuma, which the three boys take it as a challenge for them.
They get thrown out of the school library and a restaurant for being too loud (because of Nanashima and Shinomiya fighting constantly) and decide to study at Serinuma’s house. After she hides all her sinful BL books and other merchandise, they get down to studying.
When Serinuma’s brother returns home, his mother tells him about the four boys in her sisters room. Naturally, he storms in and tries to expose her. Of course, the boys already know her fujoshi lifestyle and aren’t fazed by it.
This had me wondering if this story worked of the genders were switched. What if a otaku boy became hot one day, and three girls were after his affection? No matter how hot an otaku boy could be, if he said he liked his waifu more than his close female friends, I can’t imagine the girls still wanting to pursue him. Anime has taught me that anime girls are less likely to be attracted to otaku boys.
The Reasoning + Kiss Him Not Me’s Esthetic
Obviously it isn’t right to generalize and judge a culture based off of prior anime. Liking anime or being an otaku still has a stigma in the general public, no matter where you’re from. What makes Serinuma different though is how she carries herself. She doesn’t flaunt her otaku interests to unwilling parties, she can socialize with regular people, and she’s respectful to peoples space and needs.
I mentioned before, Kiss Him Not Me manga source material was written by mangaka Junko, who has only written yaoi manga & doushinji up until now. In the manga, you can see how the boys are drawn in the style of a boys love story. They have slender figures, stylish hair, sweet faces, and charm their male love interests off the page. In this anime so far, the candy color theme is reminiscent of her BL work along with the character design being accurate to the manga. Even Serinuma’s shiny lips carry over from the manga to the anime!
It’ll be interesting to see the more active stories from the manga be translated over to the anime. The tone and theming is comedic while still having it’s heartfelt moments sprinkled in that make the story more emotional. The BL esthetic definitely shows when the boys are being paired up by Serinuma in her head.
Kiss Him Not Me does beg the question, do otaku need to be beautiful to be accepted?? Or at most keep their hobbies to themselves? It’s hard to say two episodes in. Either way, get geared up for the school festival episode next week!