Shikimori Is More Than a Cute CutieThis anime was one of the most anticipated for Spring 2022, based on the popular manga series. The anime has been met with mixed reviews and criticisms from its fans, who feel it is not living up to expectations. Although opinions vary depending on who you are, one thing is certain: Shikimori is not loved by everyone as Izumi.
Are the characters too flat? Does there not seem to be enough conflict? Is Shikimori herself just plain too perfect? There are many reasons why Shikimori is perfect. Shikimori Is More Than a Cute CutieIt has been so divisive that we are listing a few of the most important.
Shikimori’s Just Too Perfect
A lot of the anime’s running gags come from Shikimori’s perfection, which tends to reach inhuman levels. She’s strong, good-looking, athletic, and has razor-sharp reflexes that really come in handy when it comes time to protect her boyfriend Izumi from anything and everything. For many, however, this gag is over. Shikimori has been long in need of character depth beyond being the perfect girlfriend.
Shikimori will be introduced as the series progresses. Is revealed to have a few flaws here and there, although they aren’t anything major. She’s bad at singing, and while she isn’t dumb, Izumi typically tends to get higher grades. He is also known to be a better cook which emphasizes the role-reversal nature of their relationship. It is implied that Shikimori’s character growth was done before the story began. She’s now a well-rounded character.
Izumi’s Not a Great Leading Man
Izumi has received just as much, if not more, criticism from reviewers and fans alike. Most tend to complain that he’s “wimpy” or pathetic” due to his bad luck and having to be constantly protected by his girlfriend. But once again, this all stems from a westerner’s views of what a “manly man” should be like. But Izumi isn’t that type, and that’s the whole point of his character.
He’s cute, clumsy, and excels in hobbies that are traditionally attributed to girls, like cooking. Izumi is strong in many other ways, contrary to what his critics think. He’s emotionally mature and able to open up easily to his friends and family, which saves him from getting into ridiculous misunderstandings that so many others get themselves into due to their own emotional immaturity. His constant bad luck has also led him to build up an incredibly high pain tolerance, to the point that his head bleeding out doesn’t even garner a reaction anymore.
Izumi is shamelessly moe in a way that isn’t often seen in male leads, even within shojo titles. However, he is still independent enough to not be labeled a “plain old moe blob”. Izumi is ultimately meant to play the role of cute shojo heroine to Shikimori’s cool ikemen hero, and that’s what makes them such a fun, complementary pair.
There’s No Conflict to Get Invested in
As a sweet, slice-of-life rom-com, there isn’t much conflict to be had as Shikimori and Izumi are already established as a couple from the get-go. There’s no lead-up to a confession, no “will they’s” or “won’t they’s”, and no awkward first dates.
Even as a couple, there’s not much conflict between them. Shikimori gets a little jealous sometimes while Izumi can get a little insecure, but by the end of the day, they’re always able to reassure each other of their love for one another so those moments of weakness never get the better of them. For some, that just makes them seem boring and static as a couple, but for others — particularly those who are burned out from all the usual drama found in teenage romances — Shikimori and Izumi’s wholesome relationship is a welcome breath of fresh air.
The closest thing Shikimori Is More Than a Cute Cutie has gotten to a “big conflict” was a love triangle sub-plot that gets quickly resolved. The two parties eventually become close friends. While there is some heartbreak, there are new bonds created. No further romantic rivals make themselves present despite Shikimori’s popularity among her peers.
At this point, a lot of the “hype” centered around Shikimori Is More Than a Cute Cutie seems to stem from how much the manga’s established fanbase loved the source material. It really comes down to individual opinions and personal interests. If it’s feminine boys and cool girls, then this show’s leading couple perfectly embodies that. If not, then those viewers are probably not part of this show’s intended target audience.