Kiss Him, Not Me Series Review

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 12

Review:

This one I am happy to see to see finish. I’m going to take the positive from this series. She didn’t change. Her fundamental character stayed completely stagnant so at least it isn’t one of those stories where the girl utterly transforms herself because of the guy/s in her life. Of course, that means we watched 12 episodes with absolutely no character development from our fairly one dimensional protagonist while the other characters around her at times looked like they were making progress before they also regressed to their basic natures’. Oh well. This final episode at least has all the characters confess and they all get to go on a date before Serinuma turns the lot of them down because she realises her true love is the anime character she liked before any of this happened. Great. Done. Just need to review the series now and I can move on.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 11

Review:

Same as last week, other than a general issue with a student teacher attempting to pick up a student and using generally questionable methods, the episode was kind of fun.  I really enjoyed the interactions between the brothers and how they solved their conflict through a card match. This episode also ended with an actual confession which was kind of refreshing given we’ve been dancing around that this whole time. A final point from this episode, the eye-catches in the middle were kind of awesome.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 10

Review:

Leaving aside the creepy student/teacher relations issue that I regularly have with anime in general, Kiss Him, Not Me actually delivered a somewhat sweet episode this week. Not surprisingly that was because the focus shifted to Matsumi who has so far been the only reasonable choice of all the guys in the show. The early part of the episode where Serinuma helped Matsumi in the cave was just adorable, and other than the creep factor I actually really liked Matsumi’s brother being introduced into the story so the second half was kind of fun. They did leave us hanging without seeing Serinuma’s reaction to Matsumi’s final statement so it will be interesting to see what happens next week and I think that is the first time I’ve said that about this series.

Kiss Him, Not Me is available on Crunchyroll.

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.

Kiss Him, Not Me Episode 8

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.

Autumn 2016 Week 8

Well, the end of week 8 and that week sure was something. Not really sure what I expected but some of these episodes really didn’t deliver (in both good and bad ways). Some shows clearly demonstrated they were ramping things up while others feel a little bit lost. All and all though, I’m still enjoying the season.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on the season below.

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I Must Keep Watching

  • Yuri on Ice (Ep 8)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Go (Ep 7)
  • March Comes in Like a Lion (Ep 7)
  • Bungo Stray Dogs (Ep 20)

Yuri on Ice delivered a fine episode 8. It wasn’t as breathtaking as 7 (few things are), but it was a good follow on and since episode 7 finally sold me on the characters I was happy to watch them going back to ice skating while noticing the changes that have occurred and stuck with Yuri. I think that is what I will remember the most about this series. That Yuri’s character transformation has happened in small, logical steps over the course of the whole series.

Natsume Yuujinchou Go gave us a new episode and it works well enough but it wasn’t a particularly exciting episode. All and all, this show has maintained consistent quality since season 1 and it still is delivering great stories but if you’ve watched all 5 seasons up to this point there isn’t anything in this episode that is going to stand out as particularly noteworthy.

March Comes in Like a Lion remains consistently good and we’re now starting to see Rei change in response to the people who have entered his life. While there isn’t much plot to speak of, the characters and visuals are definitely carrying this show and what plot there is supports the characters and their development.

Alright, by slightly more rational standards, Bungo should have moved back down to the On My Radar list, but I can’t help myself. I love a good bit of mayhem in a story and while it makes no sense at all and this series is clearly being written by the process of ‘and then this happened’ I’ve actually really enjoyed season 2. That said, it still has a few episodes to disappoint me in and maybe I’ll come back to my senses on this one.

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Still On My Radar

  • Iron Blooded Orphans (Ep 31)
  • Days (Ep 20)
  • Flip Flappers (Ep 8)
  • Lostorage Incited WIXOSS (Ep 7)
  • Izetta: the Last Witch (Ep 8)

Iron Blooded Orphans finally climbed above Days because it finally resolved this ongoing wait and see that we’d been sitting through for weeks and it made it feel worth it. This is the problem with episodic reviewing. The lull in this show would never have felt so long if you’d just been watching episodes back to back and then this pay off would have taken the edge off of any impatience. Week to week though, it has taken this long for it to feel like we are getting anywhere.

Days continues to be what it is and this episode didn’t really change my impression of it at this point. Wondering what they will do for the series final though.

Flip Flappers continues to be an intriguing bit of viewing but I still don’t think I’m sold on the series for the simple reason that I still don’t know what the point of it is. Someone asked me this week what Flip Flappers was about and literally all I had was some girls can travel to some other reality (that changes based on when and where they travel to it) and they are collecting shards. Why? Don’t know. What do the shard do? Don’t really know, something about a wish. Is that it? No, some other group is also trying to collect them. Why? Don’t know. None of that makes this a bad show, but it does make it one that is impossible to judge at this point.

Lostorage Incited WIXOSS just didn’t hit the right notes this week and with it already suffering from story issues (due to no end game and no real explanations of the game), it really couldn’t afford to let its atmosphere and tension slip because that was almost all that was holding the show afloat. Hopefully this is a minor set back and we’ll be back on track next week.

Izetta: the Last Witch gave us some fairly interesting plot developments but it may be a case of too little too late as I found myself rather disengaged this week. The up and down tone of the show has really caused me to disconnect from the characters and the plot so even when they are doing something potentially interesting I’m just not that interested anymore. Mostly, just watching this through to see the end and maybe it will manage to re-engage me but this episode did not.

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Not Dropped But Not Sold On These

  • Trickster (Ep 8)
  • Kiss Him, Not Me (Ep 7)
  • Bloodivores (Ep 8)
  • Nazotokine (Ep 8)

Trickster just can’t make me care about the characters. It’s a shame because I really like certain ideas in it but the show itself is kind of blah. I keep hoping it will improve or find its rhythm but its just not exciting and there’s not enough else going on to really sell me on this show.

I get that Kiss Him, Not Me is supposed to be a comedy so we aren’t supposed to take events all that seriously but this week felt more like an episode of Scooby Doo than anything else. Given my general lacklustre impression of the series this didn’t really help its standings.

The only reason Bloodivores is not the bottom of the list is because I haven’t dropped Nazotokine when I really should have. Everytime you think maybe this show is going to get moving and actually do something with its premise it goes out of its way to disappoint and continues to make survival in a prison that is probably a parallel dimension (with vampires – though the fact that they are Bloodivores is said a lot but plays very little role in any of the actions) boring.

Nazotokine continues to be a bland bit of nothing each week and doesn’t look to be changing that formula anytime soon.

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Dropped

  • Cheating Craft (Ep 4 – Dropped)
  • Girlish Number (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Nanbaka (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Magical Girl Raising Project (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Matoi the Sacred Slayer (Ep 2 – Dropped)
  • Touken Ranbu – Hanmaru (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • To Be Hero (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Occult;Nine (Ep 1 – Dropped)
  • Dream Festival (Ep 1 – Dropped)

And the question this week is the opposite of last week due to my sudden disdain for Chinatsu in WIXOSS: Which character are you hating the most this season?