Written by Bananaowns
Images courtesy of Brain’s Base
I was initially introduced to this series while I was perusing a Barnes and Noble with a friend. Most of the time, we end up gravitating toward the manga section and checking out what’s on display there. I initially found Kiss Him Not Me solely because of its ridiculous name. At first glance, it looked like a trashy manga. One Google search later, I found out that the anime would be premiering soon after this manga discovery. I was surprised to find out that after watching the first episode, I was absolutely in love with the series. I am Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.
Story and Characters
Kiss Him Not Me stars Kae Serinuma, a female otaku who loves reading yaoi material. One day, her favorite anime character is killed off and she goes into shock. A week later she finally emerges from her room and finds out that she has lost a lot of weight, becoming gorgeous in the eyes of her classmates. On her first day back to school, she catches the eye of four of her classmates: Igarashi, Nanashima, Shinomiya and Mutsumi. The series then turns into a reverse harem of sorts with each guy attempting to charm Serinuma and win her heart.
The series is an absolutely perfect comedy. Much of the initial comedy comes from the boys learning about Serinuma’s otaku ways. For instance, the first episode alone ends with Serinuma proudly proclaiming her love for her favorite anime character while carrying a body pillow with his image on it. Serinuma is a proud otaku and it is hilarious to see how much the boys will put up with in order to get closer to her. Another portion of the comedy also comes from the competition between the characters for Serinuma’s love. The characters get in all kinds of wacky situations that end up turning competitive. For instance, one episode features the characters going to a convention to assist Serinuma in acquiring all sorts of merchandise. They end up being overshadowed by another character who seems to be the perfect match for Serinuma. Another episode features a shipping war that could only be settled by a fan fiction competition. The situations that the characters are placed in lend itself well for a variety comedic moments, a significant amount of which will please any fan of anime.
As for the characters themselves, the series boasts an impressive display of likeable characters. Igarashi is relatively athletic with a good nature. Nanashima is the classic tsundere with an adorable relationship with his younger sister. Shinomiya is the youngest of the bunch, with an effeminate, but tsundere attitude. Mutsumi AKA senpai is my personal favorite of the bunch. He is obsessed with history and is the most genuinely nice character of the entire series. Of course, there are a variety of other characters, some of which also attempt to woo Serinuma. I won’t spoil these interactions, but the fourth episode introduces a new harem member that was absolutely genius in retrospect. Overall, this series is a perfect comedy with an impressive batch of characters.
Animation and Sound Design
The animation for this series carries a bright aesthetic. As a comedy, this bright animation style perfectly fits the tone. As for the actual movement, the animation quality is decent. This is not a series that requires excellent animation though as it is solely focused on character interaction and not on displays of animation. At certain points, the characters are heavily stylized in order to showcase character reactions. These moments perfectly fit in with the series.
The strength in the animation lies with the character design. Every character is unique, with a variety of outfits. Each character also has their mannerisms perfectly captured by the animation. My personal favorite examples of this involve any moment where Serinuma goes into an otaku reaction mode, usually when the guys are interacting with each other.
As for the sound design, the series features some impressive voice acting. The main cast is perfectly captured by the voice actors. Again, I like the use of two separate voices for Serinuma. Her normal appearance has a very cute and girly voice while her otaku mode possesses a deeper tone. Little details like this add significantly to the comedy of the series. As for the music, nothing here stands out besides the opening. I think Please Princess will be stuck in my head until the end of time. Overall, the animation and sound design perfectly fit the tone of the series.
I did not expect to fall in love with this series. It ended up being a genuinely hilarious comedy with likeable characters. Watching it as it aired ended up being my high point of every week. I give Kiss Him Not Me my Bananaowns’ stamp of approval. It was my favorite show of the season. Thanks for checking this piece out and I’ll be back next week for another review.