Kiss Him, Not Me
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Kiss Him, Not Me ?
There's trouble in paradise in this week's Kiss Him, Not Me, as Kae and Shima engage in a no-holds-barred shipping war. Very rarely have we seen one of Kae's suitors outright defy their beloved, and it makes perfect sense for Shima to be the one to do so. Not only is she more open about her feelings than the boys, she's also every bit as passionate about bishonen as Kae. Chock-full of clever gags and fun character moments, episode 7 is this series' outright funniest episode to date.
Following a heated disagreement over the sexual positions of their current favorite pairing, Shima and Kae stop speaking to one another, prompting the boys to take action. Unfortunately, their attempt at bringing the girls back together only drives them further apart, as Kae and Shima resolve to engage in an erotic fanfiction contest in which the person whose story receives the most likes will be declared the winner. Unsurprisingly, the doujinshi-savvy Shima attains an easy victory, but the win gives her little satisfaction. In the end, both girls acknowledge that they jumped the gun and decide that their current cartoon crushes can be versatile in the bedroom.
Nearly every character managed to surprise me this week. Even though we've see her go into full-on fujoshi mode on a weekly basis, it's a little surprising to see the normally good-natured Kae temporarily cut ties with Shima over such an inconsequential argument. (Granted, that's the joke.) Once again, the lack of bitterness between the various suitors is jarring, albeit refreshing. When the boys see a rift forming between Kae and Shima, they set a make-up plan into motion without a second thought. Even though having Shima out of the picture would work to their benefit, they clearly don't want her out of Kae's life entirely. Igarashi and Shima also continue to build a rapport this week. Although he was fully in favor of making the girls friends again, he tells Shima straight-up that her continued absence from the group would help him and the other boys. As Nanashima points out, Igarashi is more cunning than his “boy next door” demeanor would suggest, and it looks like Shima has helped bring that out.
For the first time since the series began, the boys' efforts at wooing Kae are not the central focus. As entertaining as that has proven in the past, it's interesting to see the show explore new methods of creating conflict and raising the stakes. Such an outlandish disagreement causing a massive rift between close friends is amusing enough—the boys' outsider reactions to the otaku spat are the icing on the cake.
Kiss Him, Not Me is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Amy is a YA fantasy author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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