This is review number four hundred and fifty six. This anime is part of the Fall 2016 lineup, and it’s called Watashi ga Motete Dousunda or Kiss Him, Not Me. It’s a twelve episode anime about a fujoshi losing weight and attracting hot dudes. Let’s read on.
This anime follows Kae Serinuma as she lives her days surrounded by hot guys. As a fujoshi, she prefers them to make out with each other but these four hot guys want her instead. What’s a fujoshi to do?
Taking the Pants Off
This anime is a mess. I will be straight up with you guys. I only paid half attention to the anime, because the show didn’t really hook me in anyway. I’m a pretty impartial guy, so it really hurts to watch a show that doesn’t really work for me. I was honestly confused at what I was watching. I don’t understand this anime. If it wasn’t a patreon request. Gawd damn it, this one hurts. I will tell you though. It wasn’t support to hurt. This anime is a good example of a bad adaptation of a manga. I haven’t reviewed a lot of those, so it’s nice to actually explore the topic. If I ever get to any early Gonzo works, then I’m sure to dedicate paragraphs to the anime’s missed concepts. I will be talking about the manga liberally in this anime review, because something was honestly off. The show just wouldn’t click for me, but I still see some good spots here and there. The original source might’ve had something in mind that the adaptation didn’t capture, and that makes a bad adaptation. Bad adaptation! Go sit in a corner and reflect on what you’ve done. The damage has been done though. This is a pretty subpar anime, and I spent a majority of its episode playing Pokemon Go on the side. I randomly got this cool lizard pokemon, but I don’t know its name since I don’t really care for the newer generations. Things were simpler when there wasn’t a literal garbage pokemon. Speaking of garbage, let’s dive into this mess of a show.
Kiss HIM, NOT ME
First of all, I will point out that my initial expectations for the anime ruined the show for me. With a title about BL elements, I was hoping for some BL elements. The title kinda setup a love triangle where two dudes fight over a chick, but the girl is only interested on the two dudes slamming each other. I’d f*cking watch that. I was expecting episodes of the guys trying to convince the girl to like straight romance and maybe they’d make a move on her from time to time, but the girl would devise stupid plans that’ll produce BL moments for her to enjoy. It f*cking writes itself, so I was kinda bummed when there was no love triangle. It also has four dudes introduced haphazardly, and the BL was meek. If you know BL then you know it’s not meek. BL is f*cking life changing, and my life wasn’t change by this anime. Also, it’s apparently called Watamote and I call foul on that. Watamote is already claimed by an anime about a xenophobic high school girl trying to make friends but ends up making a lot of faux pas that the audience can relate to. I only recognize one Watamote. F*ck this anime, and f*ck me I’ll be swearing a lot in this review. This is really just to pad this review, since there’s not a lot to talk about in this show.
The first episode is honestly the worst episode of the anime. It just didn’t hook me and first impressions last. The show opened with a fat fujoshi who has a lot of handsome dudes in her life, but the guys doesn’t really care about her. One day, she loses the weight after not eating for a week and the dudes all fell head over heels for her. The rest of the episodes is the four guys going on a date with the girl, except they all went with her to the movies. This is f*cking stupid. The premise itself has no legs, because I can only suspend my disbelief so far. She lost weight in a week? Really? And four guys just randomly got attracted to her? Really?! I can forgive the fat fujoshi evolving into a swan pokemon, but the execution of the premise just didn’t feel right. Wouldn’t it be better if some of the guys already liked her, and they decide to white knight her once she turned into a hottie? I would watch that. Then maybe have some of them try to turn her fat again, because they’re chubby chasers. But then the girl, knowing she has guys fawning for her and still a disgusting fujoshi, would use the dudes’ emotions against them and have them do stuff to each other in exchange for her feelings. I would f*cking watch that. I had to f*cking flush away the disappointment I had with this anime before I could actually enjoy it. Honestly, it will only be tolerable when you come into the show with zero expectations. Don’t expect romance. Don’t expect BL. Don’t expect anything good. Even the f*cking voice acting was bad. This show had very little to redeem it.
I had to ask though. What was the main appeal of the manga this show was based on? Yeah, a few things.
From the get go, this story was supposed to be stupid but the manga also knows that. It then spends a lot of time just owning its own booziness. Big panels of hot guys, stunning views of them teasing each other, and a sexualized pinup lead. Yes, the main point of the manga was to make the lead girl insanely hot. Like super attractive that even the readers will fall for her. She was a punch line. She was a gag. The fat girl turned into an insanely hot girl. The visuals of the anime failed to deliver this gag. The animation quality was so subpar that the joke flew over its head. After the initial setup of this stupid plot, the manga dedicates a lot of time just mocking shoujo tropes while still ensuring the readers are hooked with the hot guys and the hotter girl. Seriously, Serinuma has massive sex appeal in the manga that the anime didn’t capture. I actually f*cking hate Serinuma in the anime. She just didn’t look good. The way they color her lips was distracting, and the purple hair is off putting. Serinuma in the manga looks like a frail sheep that is inviting you to violate her. I kid you not, there was magic here that the anime didn’t capture. There were a lot of Shoujo elements the manga poked fun of, and the anime didn’t get the joke. It’s frustrating, because the anime followed the manga beat by beat and yet it failed to capture its intention.
Who f*cking directed this anime? Hiroshi Ishiodori. You suck. Who storyboarded this garbage? Michiko Yokote. You suck too. What studio made this? Brain’s Base. Wait, really this is Brain’s Base? Oh my gawd, how the mighty have fallen. I recently praised this studio for Hotarubi no Mori e, and they are clearly not the same powerhouse in 2016. Takahiro Omori’s departure clearly sucked this studio dry. Good gawd, this one hurts. They’re suddenly making shows with such low quality. It’s painful. I’d expect low quality visuals like this from a lesser studio. Gawd damn. Honestly, I kinda lost steam in my rant because I’m sad Brain’s Base just isn’t as good. They gave us Natsume’s Book of Friends for gawdsake. When your studio doesn’t have the energy to make a grand anime, then the director can’t really do much. This will just turn into a paycheck project for the rest of the staff. I bet Michiko just phoned it in for this one. This person is known for her series compositions, and she gave us this wonderful clunker. It’s not her fault, honestly. It’s no one’s fault. In terms of technical aspects, they made the show work but it was solely the visual that also killed this show’s potential. It should’ve been better. It should’ve been more eye-candy just like the manga, but there was just no way to capture the true spirit of the original source. This show failed the moment it was greenlit. I’m sad now.
Also, I’m done ranting so let’s actually review this show.
Yeah, this show is a club anime. It doesn’t literally have characters in a club but it functions like one. This means that we just have a group of people doing random sh*t for most episodes. The potential of romance and BL was always just a side dish, and the stupidity of the premise coupled with the visual eye candy was supposed to carry the story until the club anime elements were fully established. I think the show got good at around the fifth episode when we were introduced to the final member of the crew. One thing I hate about club anime though is that there is a status quo that is always maintained. That means that you cannot expect any of the guys to actually get the girl. They’ll be in perpetual limbo while they do random sh*t in most episodes. Club anime is very versatile though. Once you establish the characters, you are free to do whatever the f*ck you want, and this show went places. I still maintain that the best club anime I’ve seen is Invaders of the Rokojouma, and this show honestly had potential to be as good. If it was able to just carry the story to its club anime mold then there would’ve been ample time to introduce the characters, setup the potential comedy, tease a bit of romance and jab some BL at us. It could’ve worked, but the show will try to redeem itself once you reach the fifth episode. It got rough for a bit, but the anime was able to flow smoothly moving forward. I love how the club anime elements was used in this show. It really went places, and you often just have to admire how stupid they directed the ship at. I believe there was an episode about the characters fighting a zombie, and that’s the best appeal of a club anime. Everything that happens from here on out are all club activities, so they could go to the beach, attend Comiket, and even go spelunking in a cave. The randomness of it all just adds to the charm.
Now, I have to mention Invaders of the Rokojouma again because the anime featured some strong character work by dedicating some episodes to the different girls of the show. This anime did the same thing, but in a less impressive way. Some episodes are focused on the guys and how they fell in love with Serinuma. Honestly, the series composition was not the best, since character work wasn’t full utilized, but the individual episodes still had their charm. You often just aren’t prepared for them. One episode could be about going to the beach, and then it’ll randomly feature a guy flirting with Serinuma. I mean, it’s decent but it could’ve been better if the execution was tighter. Still, I kinda enjoyed the different moments where the guys fell in love with the girl. I bet it was better in the manga with all the eye candy appeal and the full use of the Shoujo elements. I bet we got a shoujo scope in the manga. I really can’t get over how much potential was wasted here, but I do have to reiterate that the anime is decent. It just could’ve been a whole lot better.
A Glorious Mess
This anime promised BL, romance and it instead gave us a reverse harem club anime. It also gave us a lot of random bullsh*t. It tried to delve onto the world of a fujoshi, but it didn’t really go all out. There are just some episodes dedicated to the stupidity of being a fangirl. Don’t kid yourselves too. You all look stupid. I do love it when the show focuses on it from time to time. There was this pilgrimage in a historic sight, and a lot of fujoshi flocked the place with a confused local wondering why many young girls are attending the ceremony. I love that episode, because it was just an extra level of stupid that I can honestly relate to. It gives us this refreshing insight into the world of female otakus, and I honestly wanted more of that. I wished they focused more on it, and I was expecting Serinuma to behave like one all the time. She doesn’t. She’s a normal chick most of the time, but I do love when she gets triggered by the dudes unintentionally being gay with each other. Yes, there is BL here but it’s not a strong flavor. It’s mild, since a lot of things are mixed into this show. It was supposed to make it better, but I don’t think it did. I do love the small servings of fujoshi madness we got here. The pilgrimage, the shipping wars, and even this extensive talk between two fujoshi then the anime eventually just showed a picture of a cat over the conversation. It was brilliant.
The fujoshi elements was a bit muddled, because I think there was also a hint of otome games in the mix. The story was poking fun of some otome stereotypes from time to time as well, and it honestly just makes the entire experience confusing. I didn’t read far in the manga, and I had to stop since my opinion is being ruined by the glorious original source. It may or may not appear in the manga, but the whole setup of a reverse harem with one dimensional characters was a direct otome game gag. The first episode was one big otome gag of hot guys just bum rushing our main character. The lack of character development for the cast was intentional too, since they were supposed to be generic routes Serinuma was supposed to take. This is really an element of the anime that I think it didn’t need. It was already flexible with its club anime format, so it didn’t need to cram more stuff in. It just becomes a big mess in the end, and it doesn’t really add much to the overall appeal of the show. There was already the promise of Boys Love. We should focus on that. Focus on the dudes slamming each other. Let them bang. Oh, speaking of gags, there is also a strong element of comedy in this anime.
I’m not talking about the typical routine of the show poking fun of various tropes. There were some straight up funny moments in this anime, and the jokes really landed well. It doesn’t happen that much, and the comedy kinda muddled the show some more, but it is a welcome distraction. There was one random fight scene where one of the guys just straight up suffocated their enemy with a plastic bag, and it just caught me off guard. I love how random it was. The way the show used its BL promise to deliver some gay panic is really the best use of the comedy though. I can’t explain it properly. You have to see it for yourself. My favorite one is this random mess of a moment.
Yeah, I’ll be expanding on this moment for my favorite moment list for patreon.
The best part of the anime for me though is when all the ingredients come together, and a big mess of stupidity just ensues. I mentioned the fifth episode as the show hitting its stride, and it’s mainly because of a new character just shaking up the status quo. There was another dude trying to claim Serinuma, and the rest of the cast spring into action making sure the new dude doesn’t prevail. This is where all the elements kinda had a chance to work with each other. The comedy is implemented, the BL promise is utilized, the character showcase is featured, the club anime format is used to great effect, and there was some decent eye candy here. Everything that makes up the show just comes together here, and I really like that. I believe two new characters are introduced, and they stir the pot each time. These episodes are the highlight of the anime, and I think it saved the show for me. I was willing to write this show off as another failure, but I realized there was potential here. It just didn’t really come to boil properly.
I had a bit of rant about the studio, but I do know they still did great work after Takahiro Omori left. They still release great shows on a consistent basis, and I think this one just wasn’t a big priority project for the studio. As I said before, it was a pay check project for everyone. I do think the manga deserved better, but what the hell can you do? The director and the series composer also doesn’t suck. Hiroshi Ishiodori is a veteran storyboarder, but he is an awkward director. His timing is off, his pacing is weird and he lazily relied on the manga as a storyboard. It kinda hurts when a well-known storyboarder directs an anime by tracing over the manga. He clearly didn’t have an overall vision for the adaptation. I take it back. He does suck. Michiko Yokote, on the other hand, seems to be a perfect fit for this anime. She scripted some parts of Junjou Romantica and Love Stage. These are two BL anime that are just exquisite. She tried to stay true to the original source, but you can clearly tell you need a good director to pull off a good script. You also need the studio to care about the project, and yeah, it didn’t happen here. Let’s talk extensively about the visuals now.
Sight and Sound
It cannot be stated enough, but Junko’s manga is pretty amazing. I love her character design because it is just blatant eye candy. The design is generic, but that was purpose. It’s supposed to be familiar to setup the shoujo stereotypes, but Junko doesn’t slack off. She dedicate a lot of panels to the beautiful characters. It’s kinda hard to explain, but I particularly love the way the guys look. The way Junko draw their hair, their face and even their neck, you can tell each character apart. You can tell their personalities just from the way they look, and I especially like when they are bunched together. They each standout on their own. It’s pretty adorable. Serinuma in the manga is pretty divine. She has these thick lips, thick eyes, strong hair design and a really good body. She screams shoujo in such an exaggerated way that I really like it. Junko gives a lot of detail in her design though. The eyes are soulful, the face is expressive and the fashion is top notch. Whenever two characters interact, Junko makes sure these beautiful bodies standout in their own way and together as a couple. It’s pretty insane how much detail is put into just poking fun of the shoujo genre. Again, this is something the anime horribly botched.
I don’t like Serinuma in the anime. I do understand her colored design in the manga is pretty off putting too, but the anime just robbed her of everything that makes her cool. Her soulful eyes are gone, her wonderful facial expressions are left generic, and the hair design are now muddled. She isn’t the eye candy she was set out to be in the manga, and I don’t really think the director ever got it. Junko’s character are all made for fanservice, even Serinuma. They are meant to look good in the eyes. I have never hated a character so much, because a lot of potential was drained out of this one person. It’s honestly the visual work. The animation quality is so generic. Even just a softer color palette for the anime would’ve done wonders. It could’ve made Serinuma a lot better looking with a lighter shade of purple. I’ve seen Brain’s Base deliver stellar anime like D-Frag and Kawaii Complex. These are two shows that has incredible animation quality despite being club anime as well. There was just no love given to this particular title.
Animation is awful. It’s passable, but it’s really bad. A lot of scenes are done through chibi, which is a cheat when it comes to animating these hot characters. Most of the time, the characters even devolve in just stick figures. It happens in the manga as well, but it looks pretty lazy in the anime. Since the show goes by the manga’s panels, a lot of still shots does look good but majority of scenes just lack detail and care. Given how much detail is poured into Junko’s work, the anime could’ve at least tried to capture her intentions. This is why adaptations aren’t just literally animating the scenes of the manga. You have to understand why the author made the story as it is. In terms of visual eye candy, I don’t really think the show delivered. Sure, it had good scenes here and there but nothing that really stood out. There was nothing that could’ve impressed me, and I’m an easy guy to impress.
The anime’s OP is “Prince×Prince” by From4to7 [Yuusuke Igarashi (CV: Yuuki Ono), Nozomu Nanashima (CV: Keisuke Koumoto), Hayato Shinomiya (CV: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka), Asuma Mutsumi (CV: Nobunaga Shimazaki)]. This might be the only time I felt the anime got the joke that it was supposed to make fun of the various tropes in the story. This is a f*cking otome game opening, and it was pretty well done. It’s a pretty catchy song as well. I especially love the stupid lines the character utters during the song. I’m super proud someone got the joke. The OP sequence is pretty subpar, like most of the anime, but it was able to deliver the joke as well. It gave us some slight BL and some exaggerated romance. It’s a shame the anime isn’t as smart as the OP.
The anime’s ED is “Dokidoki no Kaze” by Rie Murakawa. I didn’t mention this before, but the voice actor also killed Serinuma’s potential. She overacts in such a brute way that it kills the character for me. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think Rie’s portrayal of Serinuma worked at all. In fact, all the things I don’t like about her acting is featured in this song. The way she delivers the lines, the way she powers through a dialogue, and her overall acting just didn’t connect with me. I listened to one line of this song, and I always skip it. It’s a decent song, but generic at best, and the ED sequence just features Serinuma with the hot guys. It’s nothing special.
6/10 “It’s underwhelming at best, and disappointing at most.”
It’s a harmless anime, but it’s also not a really good one. It has some good moments, and it delivered some good scenes but the overall product is just inconsistent. The animation is lackluster, the narrative is subpar and the entire execution is just disappointing. It just could’ve been better. For what it is, I don’t really think there’s a lot to like here. It’s passable, but I don’t recommend it.
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