Kiss Him, Not Me Series Review

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Overview:

Kae Serinuma is an overweight girl who likes pairing guys together but when her favourite anime character dies she gets depressed, loses weight, and then a whole bunch of guys want to date her. I reviewed this while it was airing and my week to week thoughts on this series can be found here.

Review:

Right from the start I had issues with this show because of its premise. Guys become attracted to a girl after she gets so sick she loses an implausible amount of weight in a single week (and somehow came out of that ordeal gorgeous rather than sickly). What makes it worse is that she plays the oblivious air-head wanting to pair them up and doesn’t question the fact that with one exception none of these guys gave her the time of day before. Instead she befriends them and spends the rest of the series hanging around them and all but ignoring the friend she had before, except when she is seeking advice.

Okay, I have issues with the premise and the characters. They are all horrible, self-absorbed people who are incredibly shallow and it drove me crazy (again there’s one kind of exception but even then he’s pretty oblivious and in his own little world most of the time). At least they are horrible in their own ways but even then the only real distinguishing characteristics of the guys are nice, angry, oblivious, and younger. And of course there’s the girl who also wants to date Kae and the oblvious guy’s older brother for some reason.

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So the question would be why I watched it at all and I’m still not sure what the answer is other than curiosity except that, no matter how much I hated what the characters were doing, I didn’t hate the show. Parts of it actually were kind of funny and the rest was kind of just easy viewing. But just when I started thinking the show wasn’t so bad or that I was reading too much into something that should be light hearted, one of the male characters forcibly came on to the girl and then she forgave him. Are you kidding me?

Clearly I was never the intended audience for this show. Between shallow attractions, obsessive almost stalkerish behaviour, sabotaging others relationships, near assault, and questionable student/student-teacher relations there’s more than enough reasons for me to not like this show.

I still won’t actually say it is garbage though because for what it is it is actually quite well put together, the pace works, music works, visually it is attractive, there’s some great references to other anime, and if you are into watching a harem revolve around its queen then this will probably work for you and be quite enjoyable. For me, I’m glad it is done and I’m never watching this again.


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Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 9

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Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 9 Review:

This episode of Kiss Him, Not Me at least avoided making me actively question how it is choosing to portray romance this week but that’s pretty much only because we first shifted the scene to a beach episode (because who doesn’t love those) and the focus this week shifted to Shinomiya who has so far been pretty much of a nothing character save for a few arguments with the other guys.

So the beach part of the episode (surfing, body boarding, suggestion of volleyball, BBQ, the forest at night, and a ghost scare) is all pretty standard and neither particularly good nor bad. It just kind of is. Shinomiya on the other hand is now the character I like second least in the series.

Apparently familiarity really doesn’t help in this case because amazingly enough the underclassman plagued by self-doubt and worried about his own inadequacies does not make for a compelling romantic lead nor a particularly interesting character and when the back drop for our focus on him is as generic as it comes there just isn’t any reason to like him at this point.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.


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Karandi James


Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 8

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Review:

Just when I think I’m over the basic faults in Kiss Him, Not Me’s premise we get an episode like this. Nanashima essentially assaults Kae because he has ‘a fever’ and then apologizes profusely but Kae is a little bit traumatized (from both the kiss and the realisation she couldn’t stop him from holding her down). And then at the end he ‘saves’ her by beating up some overzealous fans and she decides that boys can be scary but very dependable. Um, did I miss something there? What sort of rationalisation is that?

Once again,  I know that depicting realistic relationships is not actually the job of a story but could we at least not reinforce messages that allow culturally entrenched domestic abuse to be perpetuated. That would be nice.

Now, if I remove my personal distaste for this overall message this week, the episode is neither better nor worse than any other. That said, one more episode like this and I will finally toss this show into the dropped pile. There’s only so much air-headed girl getting pursued by guys who actually don’t know her as a person or particularly care about the person I can take and if we’re going to start excusing assault I think I’m going to have to pull the plug.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 5

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Review:

Kiss Him, Not Me had a Valentine episode. How sweet. Well, at least the objective wasn’t to make chocolate for the boys and it was to make it for a competition. That part of the episode was actually quite reasonable and I kind of liked Shima by the end of that section when she called the boys out on just liked Kae for her looks. Alas, we then get to the second part of the episode where, having consumed all the left over chocolate, Kae returns to her ‘fat’ self and ‘fat’ voice. While her gaining weight isn’t a particular drama the reaction of most of the guys is (thank goodness for the older one – still can’t remember his name because other than the fact that he’s actually nice I haven’t really remembered anything about him). But, you already know my thoughts on the problems with the premise of this show so moving on. Various weight loss plans ensue for the remainder of the episode. About the only good part of this was Igarashi finally realises he actually just likes Kae and it isn’t all about her looks. What a revelation for the boy. I did enjoy the point system the idiot pair of boys came up with as an incentive because it was obvious where that was going to go right from the start and I wonder why they didn’t think it through all the way.

Anyway, this is still much the same as always so if you’ve been enjoying it you’ll enjoy it or otherwise there are probably better things to pick up this season.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 4

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Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 4 Review:

I have to wonder at this point how long the boys are going to just allow themselves to be dragged around. No matter how cute Kae is after losing weight (an issue in and of itself), the fact that these boys will apparently put up with anything in order to stay around her is getting just a little bit old.

That said, this episode probably brought out the first real sense of a friendship forming between the group of boys and with Kae. That was probably the best thing about the episode.

The introduction of the obvious girl who they think is a guy worked well enough but hasn’t added anything other than a yuri element, which I guess might broaden the appeal of the show but overall it wasn’t a particularly interesting development.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.


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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 3

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Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 3 Review:

Let’s have a school festival and embrace all the clichés on the planet.

Maid cafe. Check.

No, a cosplay cafe. Check.

Class doing a play. Check.

Guy having to dress like a girl. Check.

Hand holding freak out. Check.

Sharing a meal freak out. Check.

Haunted house freak out. Check.

Girl getting unwanted attention from guys. Check.

Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s use a lot of heavy references to other anime and hope it passes for a punch line this week. I mean, we already have our characters dressed in some cosplay so we might as well. My personal favourite came from No Game, No Life when Kae declared that “Real life is just a shitty game”.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m being a little sarcastic. Even if I ignore the fact that I don’t much like the premise of this show, this episode gave me nothing else to hold onto, except a really cool Attack on Titan cosplay, but given it’s drawn rather than someone actually wearing the costume it kind of loses the impact.

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The guys still don’t get the girl and she’s just going along with them even though she has no interest. I still haven’t worked out why she just doesn’t tell them she’s not interested.

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The previous two episodes had moments of humour and kind of worked as episodes even with my criticisms of the overall setup. This episode feels longer than it is. The few jokes and amusing references to other material aside, there’s just not substance here at all.

Despite all of that criticism, I’m still going to keep watching this. Part of me wants to see if Kae can actually develop something resembling a spine and the other part of me wants to see if the guys in this can ever rise above being designated plot points. I’m not holding out much hope of that happening, but if it did that would be kind of cool.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.


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Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 2

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Kiss Him, Not Me Review:

I’m not going to bother levelling my overall criticism of the premise of this show every single week so if you want to hear that check out my thoughts on episode 1.

Episode 2 brings us more of the guys pursuing the girl and it becomes even clearer that only one of them has any interesting in Kae as a person and that is the third year who is part of the history club (yep, I still don’t know the guys’ names except for Nana which stuck for some reason during the early part of this episode). I started to look it up and then realised it will be more fun if I just let myself get surprised when I finally remember their names.

That said, the guys continue to pursue her even though they regularly find things about her that they do not like. Then she smiles and they just keep going after her. I’m not sure if this is more offensive to the girl or to the guys.

Probably my criticism of this episode is that it seems to go on for a very long time. We have the boys reacting to being given anime key-rings, Kae’s ridiculous attempt to learn soccer in a week, the soccer game, planning summer vacation, cramming for an exam, the study session, and then the summer vacation beginning and yet none of this seems to have any pace.

It just seems to go on and on and on. Individual moments and lines and some reactions are funny or cute or sweet (or annoying because while they might be setting up Nana as a bad boy type mostly he’s just coming off as a complete jerk who ought to be cut loose if Kae had any backbone as a human being), but these individual moments aren’t enough to really overcome the general feeling that while stuff is happening it isn’t amounting to much.

But on a positive:

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Lots of sparkles.

So clearly still watching this despite my misgivings and while it isn’t amazing it is perfectly watchable. Part of me kind of wants to go back to Momokuri though.

Alright, well and truly over my 100 words so done.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James