I just finished watching Kiss Him Not Me, and it’s possibly one of the few reverse harem anime done right. It’s also the first time I’ve seen the lead be an overweight otaku. As always, I’ll try to be spoiler free, but no promises.
Now on to the plot. Kae Serinuma is an overweight otaku who loves shipping her classmates. Not just any classmates, but her male classmates. She’s called fat, weird, and a freak, but doesn’t care. One night, she stays up late watching her favorite anime when tragedy strikes in her show and she mourns for a week in her room, in which time she refuses to leave, even to eat. When she finally returns to school, her weight takes a dive and she rapidly loses all her extra pounds. Suddenly the boys she’s spent her time shipping on the sidelines are wanting to date her. Slowly but surely, the boys learn to love her for her beautiful personality instead of just her body.
Like most harems, the plot is short and simple, especially since this is a short 12 episode show. However, it still allows the viewer to know the characters.
Kae is a great lead heroine. Unlike other harem leads, she isn’t oblivious to the other’s feelings. She flat out says “I’m the main character of a dating sim”, so she knows all the boys are trying to earn her affections. However, in her own way, she tries to tell them that she’s not ready for a relationship, claiming that her anime characters take the first 16 spots in line for her heart before real guys even come in. To any girl who’s had an anime crush, while also juggling a real relationship, Kae is a good character to have that feeling of “I know that feeling!”.
Nozomu Nanashima is a really funny character in the same way that Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club is. He is cold at first, making fun of Kae like the rest of the school for her weight. However, after he learns more about Kae, he really tries, to win her heart (it doesn’t hurt that he looks just like her #1 anime crush). Nana is also a total goofball, not afraid to crack jokes and look ridiculous once his shell is broken.
Yusuke Igarashi is the shallow one of the group. He only likes Kae for her looks at first, even though he was one of the few in the school who never participated in bullying her for her weight. As time passes, he learns that he loves Kae for her inner beauty rather than her body. He also goes to great lengths just to impress her.
Hayato Shinomiya is the most childish of the boys. Though at first, he is mean and cold, he makes a complete 180 after Kae’s transformation and becomes the “little brother” type. Cowardice, childish, and self-conscious of his masculinity, Shi goes from the one I despised to the one I thought was just adorable and perfect for a fun time, even if the two of them do something neither of them are good at.
Asuma Mutsumi is the most mature, and why shouldn’t he be? He is the senpai of the group. Cool, kind, and collected, Mutsumi is the only one to be on friendly terms with Kae before her sudden weight loss, recognize her when she had her drastic weight loss, the only one to not see as much of a problem with her weight gain, last to admit his feelings to himself, and the first to admit them to Kae. He honestly reminds me of Soshi Mikitsukami from InuxBoku Secret Service; he’s normally the one to settle feuds calmly and approach problems logically, example, four boys want to date one girl, so split the day into four separate time slots so each boy gets their own alone time with the girl. However, if he’s angry, he gets really scary really quickly.
You thought that was all the main characters; the lead heroine and her male options? On the contrary, there is still Shima Nishina, the only female with her hat in the ring. Yes, she is a woman, however, this is actually handled very seriously. It would’ve been all too easy for Shima to just be a running joke, but no. She’s treated like a true rival and legit competition to the boys, and there’s no reason why not. Not only is Shima rich, which is enough for the boys to feel horrible about themselves and feel less of men, but she also does cosplay, attend anime conventions, avidly watch anime, and is also the author of one of Kae’s favorite book sagas. On top of all that, Shima views Kae as her guardian angel and loves her no matter what she looks like.
Final thoughts, I really like this one and recommend it to anyone looking for a short, sweet anime where you could just sit down, shut down, and enjoy. Those who are homophobic, however, be warned. There is a lot of positive encouragement for bisexual or homosexual acts through teasing dialogue and vivid fantasy animation when placed in the POV of Kae. Though I wasn’t bothered by it, in fact, I enjoyed that aspect of the characters, I can see how a homophobic person could be triggered by the dialogue and animation, even if it’s just teasing and fantasy of a high school girl.
Don’t take my word for it! Watch it yourself and make your own opinion, or, if you’ve already seen it, leave your opinion in the comments and have a beautiful rest of your day~!