Originally posted to Anime Amino on Dec. 24
I feel like I could offer a unique perspective on this series since I’m not a fujoshi or a female, I’m a dude. I started this series on a whim and found it to be very enjoyable, more than I expected. I’m going to briefly touch on what I thought about this series and some things I didn’t necessarily like.
I’ve always found meta-comedy to be my favorite type of comedy in anime. This style of comedy relies heavily on the viewer to understand the inside jokes of the medium and are able to be critical of their own hobby. An example of this can be seen in Daru from Steins;Gate. This also semi-relates to chuunibyou anime or anime with characters that have chuunibyou. Besides the obvious show, on of my favorite eamples of of a chuunibyou character is Yoshiteru Zaimokuza from Oregairu. One of the reasons I like this style of comedy in anime is because I can completely understand the gags and jokes because I personally can relate to the subject matter. Anyways, “Kiss Him, Not Me” relied heavily on meta-humor which is one of the reasons I loved this show so much. Hearing Kae overreact over various anime related announcements was quite enjoyable because as an anime fan watching the show, I could feel a connection between me and Kae because I could understand what she must’ve been feeling at that given moment. These moments were my favorite part about the show and what made me come back, week after week, to watch another episode.
Along with the meta-humor that filled this anime, there was also various references to other well known anime such as Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and One Piece to name a few. I always find it enjoyable to see anime reference other anime because it enhances the show by making it seem more ‘real’
Despite my high praise for the meta-humor, I believe that they started to become overused towards the conclusion of the series. It felt like the jokes were the very structure of the series and when they started to become stale, my interest in the series fell. What made the humor work at the beginning of the series were the other characters reactions to them, which made it seem like an inside joke between the viewer and Kae. This intimate connection made the series feel special. But overusing the same jokes made the connection fade and the other characters started to catch onto them. This is a common problem many comedy driven shows suffer from- overusing their own jokes. It’s difficult on the writers to be able to use the same style of humor for the entirety of a series while keeping the attention of the viewer.
I spent a lot of time on the comedy appeal of this series, but at heart “Kiss Him, Not Me” is a reverse harem with classic romantic comedy tropes and shenanigans in it. But with the use of common tropes comes common problems. I had some issues with the progression more than anything, but should have been expected before even starting the series. It is common in shoujo anime that there is little to no progression in the romance. With this show however, it takes one step forward and then two steps back. There seems like Kae might choose one guy/girl, but we end up with her avoiding the question which most likely sets up another season due to the source material not being finished. Just a warning, don’t expect much progress or a satisfying conclusion, just expect a open-ended conclusion that (ironically) allows for fan fiction of doujinshi to be made.
I’ll briefly touch on the technical side of the show. The voice acting was quite good and probably one of the better aspects of the show. The voice acting from the love interests specifically. The sound and music was forgettable but does its job and isn’t completely abysmal. Animation was average at best but nothing standout, but I’d like to give credit to the character designer for making such beautiful characters that clearly standout from the side characters.
Overall, “Kiss Him, Not Me” is not the best of 2016, not even the best of the season, but it is a unique reverse harem show that is filled to the brim with meta-humor that appeals to its target audience. As a person who did not fall into that demographic, I still found it enjoyable to a certain extent. I recommend this show to anyone who is into BL series (ironically or not), or enjoys shows that are make jokes based on things that you can relate to as an anime fan. Kiss Him Not Me isn’t really worth your time if you didn’t catch it airing, but is still a fun little series if you like this type of humor.