This kind of face is pretty common in this show
|It’s a story as old as time: A girl who sees two boys and imagines them in a relationship… and then argues with her friend about which one’s the top. Or is the old story “A girl gets pretty and then all the boys want to date her”?|
Who’s Reviewing This?
“Hey everyone, thanks for coming to Winter Comiket with me and helping me buy all the things on my list
(and sorry that they’re all BL…)!”
The Crab Walk of Misunderstanding
So the byline here might be a bit of a surprise, after anaaga started the Fall season off with her impressions of this “reverse” harem (really, it’s just a harem show, why is there a ‘normal’ direction and a ‘reverse’ direction?) starring a fujoshi who gets pretty and then attracts all the boys. But I’ll tell you something that’s not a secret: this show is hilarious. And while a lot of people would write it off because they think it’s a lot of BL, well too bad for them. Besides being wrong that there’s a lot of boys getting together with other boys (not that there’s anything wrong with that), the funniest bits of the show are the ones that the audience can see coming from half-an-episode away that are going to put these boys, particularly Igarashi and Nanashima, into a situation where Kae (and later Shima) are going to get starry-eyed and nosebleedy. The audience knows that this is coming, and that it’s going to get there, and at least for the first half of the series, it repeatedly blindsides the guys when it gets there to hilarious effect.
She knows what she likes
But before I get more into that, a quick recap of what the show is about. Kae Serinuma is a complete fujoshi who only wants to watch her prince be with another prince while she watches from the sidelines. She starts off the series as an overweight girl, but after her favorite character in an anime is killed, she doesn’t eat or leave her room for a week and emerges as a bishoujo who immediately gets the attention of a whole group of guys. anaaga went over the reality of the situation where these guys are only interested in Kae now because she’s hot, when before they barely even noticed her, with the exception of Asuma Mutsumi (and every time there’s a generalization of the boys’ bad behaviore in this review, you can add “with the exception of Mutsumi” to it). And yeah, it’s a realistic thing, but it does kinda suck. But I don’t know that it’s a bad thing that the show doesn’t dwell on it. One thing about the situation that kind of worried me at the beginning was the show’s portrayal of “fat” Kae, as someone with beady eyes and a grandmotherly speech affectation. That kinda felt like it was piling on a little too much. But they didn’t make too big a deal of it, and even with Kae’s bit of a relapse later in the show, they didn’t go into making fat jokes, as they used that instead to get the boys to understand that Kae was still a person that they liked, even if she wasn’t still thin. Of course, she goes back to being thin within the same episode, but all-in-all, they did a lot better with the issue of Kae being chubby than I feared.
Could have done with a little better portrayal, but it’s really the only complaint
Best Guys and Worst Guy
Despite stealing Kae’s first kiss, Shima isn’t my favorite
So the whole premise of the show is that 5 people are interested in Kae romantically. And perhaps the best part of the show is that Kae is not interested in ANY of them romantically. At all, at any point in the show. Ever! Even at the end when they finally all confess and spend the time on individual dates for everyone, Kae’s big reveal is that she’s WAAAAAY too much of a fujoshi to be interested in any of the guys. And yes this is giving it away, but come on: it’s a harem show. I think the number of harem shows that end with a couple could be counted on one hand with a couple fingers left over, especially as the crass marketing point of view has evolved to make sure that there’s someone for everyone to like in a harem, and not make any particular pairing canon at the expense of the other ones. So they can set it up to look like Mutsumi-senpai is going to ‘win’ or that Igarashi is OTP, but in the end, it’s going to not make any commitment.
Finishing Order From Right-to-Left: First, Third, Distant Fourth, Second, Minus Infinity
But since it’s set up for us as viewers to debate, I’ll chime in with my rankings, from best to worst: Asuma, Shima, Igarashi, Nanashima a few laps behind, the entire rest of the world, and then Shinomiya in last. If we’re talking about personal growth, Asuma actually doesn’t grow that much, because he’s really a great guy from the beginning. He’s not even chasing Kae to date her throughout ¾ of the show, he’s just doing stuff with friends, and it’s only after his brother tries to charm her that he realizes that he likes her that way. And he’s not playing the stupid “nobody gets ahead” game that everyone else has agreed on (because they’re all afraid they’d lose). He’s gonna go for what he wants, and pushes everyone else into doing something. Shima and Igarashi are pretty much tied, and I really think that Igarashi is a well-realized character. He’s not above a little subterfuge to get an advantage, he’s not above self-reflection, and he’s got a good balance of interest in Kae. Nanashima’s a bit too stuck on himself, but the bits with his sister really help to broaden his character. And Shinomiya is just horrible throughout. Shallow (he’s the one who is most uninterested in fat Kae, and exerts the most pressure for her to get pretty again) and useless, his place in the show is to be the one who is actually weaker than Kae, the “little brother” character that she can be the onee-sama to. But in this show, that just doesn’t work. He comes off as whiny and awful, and the one most interested in pulling other people down so that he doesn’t look as bad as he really is.
Mutsumi gives the girls more of a thrill
Nanashima and Shinomiya should just date each other
so that noone else has to put up with Shinomiya.
I didn’t start watching this show until 2/3 through the season, but it was really easy and fun to catch up with. I will say that it felt like the comedy kind of wore down a little bit past halfway, as the boys caught on to the “suddenly BL!” nature of the setups so the show went away from that source of comedy. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the Mutsumi brothers storyline, and if there were other arcs they cut out in favor of that one, then maybe those would have been better, although it kind of needed Asuma to take that first step and confess to get the final bit together. But I think the best part, in the end, was the way that Kae was still herself throughout the whole show. Sure, she got pretty, but she didn’t turn into a princess. She didn’t want to be the princess. She only tried to suppress her fujoshi and otaku interests for the shortest time, and after that just said “No, this is who I am, and who I’m going to be.” She didn’t change who she was for the guys, they learned to like who she was. I think that’s a good message as well. And while I don’t think that “Don’t eat anything for a week” is a good diet plan, the way the show handled Kae’s weight and the perceptions of her about it actually wasn’t bad. I just wish they hadn’t had the piggy eyes and voice change. So I’d definitely recommend this show for anyone who likes a funny show. Very enjoyable.
The real winner is the viewer when Kae gets like this