- Genre: Slice of life, romance, comedy
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Brain’s Base
Kae Serinuma is a kind and friendly high school girl with some type of glandular issues and a disarmingly positive attitude. She also happens to be a massive otaku and fujoshi. After suddenly and unexpectedly dropping an alarming amount of weight, she naturally finds herself in the center of a real life otome but she would much rather see her suitors pair off with each other instead of pursuing her.
After the pleasant surprise which was the Royal Tutor, I decided to give this show a try expecting some mildly amusing fluff with generous amounts of questionable ho yay fanservice. What I got instead was a mixed bag that left me ultimately disappointed but I’m not quite sure in what…
Overall, I would say this anime is thoroughly average. It has decent art and ok animation. It features usual suspects you would expect to find in basic otome, i.e. the smooth playah, the blonde tsundere, the insecure shota, the reliable megane senpai, and the androgynous prince. These are pretty much textbook archetypes with nothing new to add, so, it’s up to the plot to provide us with something interesting to sink our teeth into, and while some storylines were genuinely amusing, others were…problematic.
The first and very obvious issue is that the entire show essentially rests on the premise that Fat=Ugly and Thin=Pretty. Although the show does make some attempts to downplay this by having one of the guys like her all along and another realize that he is more attracted to her “personality” than her appearance, both of these are completely undercut by first having the boys only show even the least bit of interest, in some cases going from downright mean to her to completely smitten, only once she’s thin and second (and most important) having the show itself tell us that she is prettier thin. When Kae loses weight, which she tends to do miraculously fast by the way, she doesn’t just become thinner. Her hair suddenly gets longer, fuller, magically styled and highlighted. She no longer needs glasses (because reasons) and her eyes, which she doesn’t seem to be able to quite open when chubbier, get enormous and strikingly blue. Bizarrely, her chest seems to get bigger and her lips plumper. Even her voice becomes clearer and slightly higher pitch sounding overall cuter and more feminine Now, I’m not saying these things make a person prettier, but the show clearly is.
The really sad part though, is that she also becomes much much less interesting. When we are introduced to “fat” Kae, she is a very pleasant self-aware and surprisingly confident girl. She knows what she likes and embraces her quirks. As a result, people gravitate towards her. Her friend even remarks that she has a way with hot guys. They aren’t all particularly nice to her, but she can interact with all of them as an equal without getting flustered. We see that she is also very efficient and accomplished in many different fields. In short, she’s a great female lead and then… as she loses fat, she also seems to loose grey matter. She suddenly becomes clumsy, shy and unsure of herself. She starts crying all the time… She does that annoying romance heroine thing where she’s oblivious to the feelings of those around her to the point of retardation (fat Kae was soooo much keener) and she is suddenly helpless in everyday situations. Basically she turns into that girl, you know the one: her entire persona can be summed up as nice, cheerful and pretty. That’s it. It’s so boring that the show itself stops really paying much attention to her and follows the various suitors instead. The only remaining remarkable thing about her at that point, is that she is still a huge otaku and unabashed BL lover, which is a nice twist but the joke can only go so far and the show seems to acknowledge it by pushing her to the side. Is this because we actually believe pretty people, let’s face it – especially girls, can’t be otherwise interesting? That’s kind of sad.
Also troubling is how this show seems to assume that we all agree that guys are basically complete idiots and to a lesser degree, potential rapists. The show takes it for granted that the boys will immediately latch onto any pretty girl, no matter how vapid, and just drop everything else. They’ll also never ever lose interest in her, as long as she remains thin, despite admittedly having nothing in common and finding her hobbies and interests alternatively boring or disturbing. Of course, a girl can never ever be alone for too long with a boy since apparently, they have absolutely no self-control. Kids, assault is a crime, not a personality trait. This trend of animes showing a character losing control because of desire as something romantic, is troubling to me. The fact that 90% of the time it’s male characters seems unfair and potentially damaging. Do better animes! – For the record, I went on a tangent there — this particular show is actually not too bad in this regard but since it is still hinted at it, I figured I’ d throw in a little rant.
The annoying part is that there are things that worked. The frequent references to other animes were fun. Nishina was a generally harmless suitor and mostly avoided the above problems. Kae’s unabashed embrace of both her otakuness and her fujoshi side was actually quite enjoyable to me. We don’t see many girl characters letting their freak flag fly and being accepted for it. The slash fic baffle for instance was a good episode with a great premise, and there are a few more throughout the series. Sadly, these moments mostly serve to pull the rest of the show up from just bad to average. Although the ending does endeavor at some redemption by having Kae stay surprisingly true to herself, it’s too little and far too late.
What this anime taught me about myself: I am insufficiently hardcore in my fandoms
“I don’t get drunk, I just get less classy and more fun.”
Suggested drink: Dirty Rotten
- Every time we see the shadow puppets – watch Utena
- Every time Kae has rape face – take a drink
- Every time someone sparkles – take a drink
- Every time someone blushes – take a drink
- Every time Sempai is actually a nice guy – breathe a sigh of relief
- Every time the boys have an art fail – take a drink
- Every time there’s a cross over – be plesantly surpried
- Every time Kae cries – just sigh
- Every time Mutsum has his glasses – take a drink
- Every time Shion is mentions – take a drink…of water