Kiss Him Not Me of course requires episode tallying: which guy is the focus of this episode?! I kind of miss when it was more or less about Kae’s obsessive love for things, but luckily that does always come up even when it is not the focus. The first episode, 9, focuses on my least favorite of the love interests: Shinomiya. I have never been a fan of shouta or even just the younger guy trope, and Shinomiya’s definitely done more to anger me than endear to me. Shinomiya’s episode does him a favor and focuses on the fact that he actually lacks in prowess in certain water sports and he’s not really someone with a beach bod. In the span of 7 minutes he becomes endearing, becomes jealous, and then once again falls into Serinuma’s chest. Given that the distance he went really suggests that he would actually hurt them both! I mean, he literally flew from a distance into her ribcage. No way his neck isn’t sore, her chest doesn’t hurt, and that she would really be sitting up so keenly. The science just doesn’t add up! Also, we get it, Shinomiya’s lucky and always falls into her chest. I had a problem with it before but this time everyone pulls him off and then he nosebleeds- once again not even asking Serinuma if she’s just okay, just enjoying the sexualization of her body. But at the very least this time he is genuinely apologetic and even begging her for forgiveness…touche Shinomiya, touche. Still, Serinuma is totally okay with it because it wasn’t on purpose. Uhm, delirium isn’t on purpose either yet Nana was definitely at fault before. Sure it was an accident, but it was his choice to nosebleed instead of care how she felt instead of later. Oh well, it’s Kae’s body and her choice what makes her uncomfortable.
It’s notable that even though Mutsumi is very subtle he has grown more reactive to everything in every episode. For the first time he makes a genuine scary effort when Kae and Nishina leave to get a volley ball- several drunks start commenting on their figures and Nana pours their beer on their heads while Igarashi threatens them. Right as this seems like it might become a fight, Mutsumi pulls out the scare factor. Shinomiya of course had noticed their behavior but he didn’t get it until it was a little too late. He feels guilty that even Nishina noticed and he didn’t, which further cements this as the ‘Shinomiya feels bad about himself’ episode but that isn’t to say it doesn’t work. It’s nice to have an episode where Shinomiya actually grows. The best thing this show does is show growth for characters. Shinomiya feels useless and like he can’t do anything right, so he runs off. However Serinuma is the one to find him…in a compromising position. In a way this kind of makes up for his falling in her cleavage twice now.
Serinuma and Shinomiya head to an abandoned hotel where the drunks from earlier play pranks on them. Shinomiya gets to make up for his pride by pretending to be weak and then kicking the leader in the gonads, which admittedly made me like him more! How can you not appreciate that? Ultimately Serinuma (and even Nishina) make it clear he’s doing just fine because he is a klutz and that is yet another yaoi trope. The next episode is the opposite and is a Mutsumi inspired field trip looking for hidden treasure. Everyone but Serinuma seems bored by the idea and suggests he just takes the history club with him, but once they realize Serinuma is in the club they change their minds so Mutsumi won’t simply be alone with her. (curse them!) The true question arises from Nishina: Does Mutsumi even romantically like Serinuma? They all start to think about it and realize he has tried to spend time with them all. They ask what his goal is to each other and I just have to ask. . . to be a decent person maybe??
Of course they confront him about it which was a terrible idea. This makes Mutsumi begin to think about it. If you can’t imagine, this probably means now he might realize he has feelings for her. These fools do not know the beast they have awakened. Nobody has cared more about Serinuma than Mutsumi has, even when she was chubby. Nobody has a better chance at appeasing her, always satisfying her, and challenging her as a person. He never belittles her, always tries to play into her fantasies because it’s what she likes, and has never been a jerk to anyone about her. Simply put, these fools are sealing their fate, upupupupup!
They manage to all find the treasure but not before Mutsumi gets the chance to pull her into an embrace. Yaaaaaaas. Yaaaaaaas. I am the shoujo shipper, she ships yaoi and I ship her with theeeeeeeeeeeeeem oh my goooodnesssssssssss!! The Mutsumi goodness doesn’t end there, however, as the one who set up the treasure map in the first place was actually his brother. . .who is now a teacher and shows up at their school. At first it seems like he might be a good brother until we learn he likes to torment Mutsumi, especially targeting Serinuma once Mutsumi has an outburst in order to protect her.
I am excited for the preview because there is a huge suggestion that the next episode will also be about Mutsumi’s affections. I can’t get over how much he easily solidifies his place as my favorite with what seems like much less time than everyone else so far. Igarashi and Nishina especially got a lot of spotlight, but now that Mutsumi is actively realizing his feelings I ship it. I ship it so hard. Ironically my placement of all the guys remains exactly where it was: but now I actively like every one of them at least for one thing or another. I am refreshed by these two episodes making me like every choice. . .something no shoujo has ever done for me before.
Next week, everyone stands up to Mutsumi’s creepy adult hitting on an underage girl shtick! Seriously, report this guy woah. . .