LONG TIME NO SEE! KAZANOVA IS FINALLY BACK! HOW I MISSED YOU ALL! (TTvTT)
I apologize for my long absent. My laptop is broken and there were complications that led me to now using my office’s laptop both to do my work and to continue my blogging for the time being until my laptop is properly fixed. Before I start covering new series, I would finish the anime and game that I have yet to finish covering, which are Shikimori-san and Hakuoki Shinkai.
This episode finally focused on the last person of Izumi and Shikimori’s circle of friends, Hachimitsu, who before this episode has always been on the sideline. My first impression of Hachimitsu is she’s the typical comical supporting best friend type, and I immediately like her from the get-go. While this series focused on Izumi and Shikimori, there are times that it’s necessary for the main characters to step aside so the rest of the characters can shine. This is one of such episode.
Hachimitsu is always showing a singular expression no matter what her emotion is. Even when she’s angry or afraid, that vacuous smile never left her face. This provided comic reliefs throughout the series whenever she appears. In this episode, we finally could see Hachimitsu as someone beyond a comical relief character by the means of Sport Festival. When it comes to sport, unlike the athletic Shikimori, Nekozaki, and Inuzuka, Hachimitsu belongs to the same type as Izumi, where they’re suck at sport, specifically the relay event.
It is from here we got to see Hachimitsu’s feeling of distance from her friends and classmates. Compared to them, Hachimitsu perhaps could be considered more introverted. lacking the energetic part that the rest of her friends have, which gave Hachimitsu (and Izumi) an anxiety attack for fear of letting them down despite their assurance. This episode spectacularly delivered how even the least athletic person and sullen character has their own role and something they are good at. Hachimitsu accurately threw each of the sack into the hoop secured her team a second place. As she received praises from her friends for her achievement, Hachimitsu’s confidence and determination increased. In turn, Hachimitsu’s effort also inspired the rest of her team to do better.
Her contribution in the sack toss event and her friends’ support gave Hachimitsu a realization that competition is not always about winning, but the trials itself brings joy to all competitors as it pushes them to give their best shot and brings them together as they inspired each other. For the first time Hachimitsu actually aimed to win the sport festival and used her ability to the fullest. Hachimitsu’s efforts and determination didn’t go in vain as her friends, touched by her hard work, answered her feeling by winning the relay and gained the other teams’ acknowledgement.
The true reward for this Athletic Festival, however, is we finally see Hachimitsu smile so genuinely for the first time. Not the deadpan smile she usually has, but a sincere real happy smile. This is a truly satisfying Hachimitsu episode, giving the character depth and growth.
After 10 episodes, we finally learned some of Shikimori’s background and how she fell in love with Izumi. There’s still Izumi in this episode, but Izumi has already gained many focus in terms of background, so I’m going mainly going to talk about Shikimori and her brother, Fuji. At first glance, Shikimori and her bother has the typical brother-sister relationship in which they tease each other and can get annoyed by each other due to petty things like normal siblings are. Here, we saw how the both of them has a stronger bond than they actually showed.
The interaction between the two siblings is the highlight of this episode. It’s revealed that Shikimori was actually not as girly as she is in the present. Rather, she’s the type of girl who followed along with what people around her, specifically her older brother, did without ever paying attention to her own desire. Despite their regular back-and-forth argument, Shikimori seeks her brother’s approval and participate in many of his activities. Her brother realized his sister’s problem and encouraged her to do what she wants instead of just emulate and following other people’s footsteps. This gave Shikimori the push she needed to become the person she truly wants to become upon discovering Shoujo Manga, a cute and feminine girl who finds love. Seeing his younger sister finally found something she’s passionate about not because of someone else, Fuji is more than proud of his little sister.
In regards to Shikimori’s beginning of love, she met Izumi during the school entrance exam and helped her got his ticket that stuck on a tree. Shikimori was embarrassed for showing Izumi boorish action unbefitting of a lady. Shikimori had tried her best in her pursuit of femininity, but of course after years of joining karate and presented herself as tomboyish, she couldn’t completely threw away certain aspects as they already became a part of her. But to her surprise, Izumi is instead grateful and glad that she’s not injured despite his bad luck. The part that makes her cool gave Izumi the assurance that people around him won’t get hurt as much as he had feared.
Shikimori and Izumi are truly made for each other. In Izumi, Shikimori found someone who would love her for everything she is like she has always wished for. In Shikimori, Izumi found someone who would love him unconditionally despite his misfortune and without getting hurt by it. And thus, this is the beginning of the dynamic and recurring comedy between Shikimori and Izumi, where Shikimori is not just a cutie just as the title says.
As much as I enjoyed watching the episode overall, I found the execution lacking because instead of focusing more on Shikimori point of view, it’s still needs Fuji, Shikimori’s mother, and Izumi, to assist in bringing the pieces together.
Here it is, the final episode. This episode is a pure romantic joy. Everyone who loves romance without any the drama would love to watch this episode where Izumi and Shikimori spent their whole day going on a date. While in all stories of a couple having a date that I read so far would have an element of a drama, comedy, and suspense, the date between Izumi and Shikimori in this episode is just them being a lovey-dovey couple having heartwarming moments. We only see how much Izumi and Shikimori loves each other, openly showering one another their affections without reservations.
As opposed to their date in early episode, this date is truly one that I couldn’t take my eyes off even for a second. The couple is so very sweet that I inwardly squealing. I love every second of this episode where Izumi and Shikimori are having fun. Sure there are the usual cheesy lines and the setup of the episode was pretty generic, but who cares? This is how a true couple should be! I really don’t have much to say about this episode because it wonderfully delivers the brilliance of this finale through “show don’t tell” way.
Kawaii Dake Ja nai Shikimori-san is not by all means perfect show. Even though it’s supposed to be a romance-comedy, it relied too much on the running gag of Shikimori being cool while saving Izumi from his misfortune. As the result, it became repetitive that it’s boring, especially in the early episodes. Ironically for a supposedly romance-comedy genre anime, I actually found more enjoyment in the drama and friendship aspect of the show like how they did with the Kamiya episode and Hachimitsu episode. The characters are loveable, not a single one I dislike in the least, which is why I found some of them unfortunate for not being utilized to their fullest. Shikimori, the titular character, ironically suffered the in terms of character insight and depth, instead mostly shown for the regular running-gag of her being both cute and cool.
Overall, despite its repetitive comedy element, Shikimori still has a place in my heart. I hope this anime get a second season, because after reading the manga, I found many chapters that would be great to be animated and gave more opportunity for the characters who have yet to gain enough depth and development.