Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie
Izumi is extremely unlucky. For someone who's life is a never ending struggle of misfortune, it's surprising he's got such a positive attitude and easy going personality. He does have one thing going for him though: his super cute girlfriend Shikimori. Instead of being inconvenienced by Izumi's bad luck, she takes it upon herself to protect him from it.
Most anime have a gimmick to sell themselves on, but Shikimori's Not Just A Cutie left me puzzled. So there's this cute girl who's sometimes a cool badass? What?!? Considering the times we live in, I was grateful for a change of pace from yet another anime were someone is transported in another world (90% of anime these days), to a high school romantic comedy (90% of anime a few years ago). Variety? Is that the thing where you don't watch anime?
Anyway this anime won me over with it's fun and cuteness, but this requires the viewer to buy into these things right off the bat. If it doesn't grab you in two episodes, don't bother.
The biggest flaw for me lay with the side characters. Shikimori and Izumi both have close friends, but they're kind of the same character - extroverted, brash etc. The third wheel friend is a spaced out girl who's just there. While I liked the chemistry between Shikimori and Izumi, it's like some of the others existed to exist. Conversely I thought other characters were a strong point in the show, as both main characters have actual families. Izumi inherits his bad luck and whimsical attitude from his mother, with his father defending her much like Shikikomori defends him. Shikimori has a relationship with her brother in that they actually interact with each other like regular siblings.
The beginning of the show is simple standard romantic comedy fair, playing into the theme of the show. Another girl takes an interest in Izumi, leading to a somewhat complicated relationship between her and Shikimori. An unexpected treat lay with the Shikimori's back story. As a little girl she picked up karate and became quite good at it. In fact that's basically all she focused on. Once her brother quit karate, she found she didn't really have a reason to be in it either. Graduating to a higher grade and new school, Shikimori decides to reinvent herself as super cute and girly. Stuff happens, she meets Izumi, etc. For some reason I really liked that the silly concept actually had a background story to it.
I liked Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie a lot. It doesn't deliver much more expected, but it's good enough for what it is.
Shikimori: Maybe the truth is that I don't know what I want to be. It's okay if I'm not the real me. I'll become the me I want to be.
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reviewed by archen in 2023