May 26, 2022
Are you fans of slice-of-life or romance anime? Then maybe the romantic comedy Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie (Japanese Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san ) is an amusing diversion for you. In a classic high school setting, we accompany the chronically unlucky Izumi and his friends through a school year full of strange accidents, joint ventures and the challenge of a rather atypical young relationship. Since April 9, 2022, the episodes can be followed in a simulcast on Crunchyroll , both in the original subtitles and with a German soundtrack. Arlene Schaefer
ATTENTION: Any statements in this PReview only reflect the personal opinion of the author and not (!) those of ITweakIT and its partners.
My girlfriend is really cute!
In high school, in addition to good grades, two things are particularly important in young life: the social status among the students and a good circle of friends. A pretty, sweet girlfriend is the absolute bonus that probably every male high school student dreams of. Accordingly, Izumi has hit the jackpot, because his girlfriend Shikimori is a real eye-catcher and anything but just "kawaii". Shikimori is intelligent, talented, in love with him head over heels and, in addition, in certain situations almost outrageously cool. It is precisely this dream combination that troubles the high school student, because he is an absolute unlucky person despite winning the main prize.
Strange accidents happen to him all the time – from stumbling over stones, newspaper in his face to sudden rain showers. Shikimori therefore hardly leaves his side and averts every misfortune with sheer supernatural skill and saves him from every everyday danger. She seems to be the only one able to avert his clumsiness and bad luck unscathed. Thanks to her, Izumi can get through his everyday life almost unscathed and spend time with mutual friends without them being involved in or deterred by his misfortune. It's not surprising that Izumi wonders more than once if Shikimori isn't getting tired of her constant protective role and resents the fact that he seems rather unassuming next to her. However, the anime makes one thing clear: the unwavering love between the two is undeniable.
image and animation
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie is the adaptation of the manga series of the same name, which has been published by Kodansha since February 2019. The anime production takes over the studio Dōga Kōbō, where Ryota Itoh acts as director. While Yoshimi Narita is doing the script, Ai Kikuchi is doing the character design. It has been broadcast on Japanese television since April 9, 2022, with Crunchyroll showing the RomCom series in simulcast and SimulDub in this country.
The anime adaptation of Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie is quite impressive and relies on a high color intensity and aesthetics, especially for the eyes of the protagonists. Shikimori's eyes in particular reflect her change from sweet to cool character in an expressive way. This in turn is reinforced by an action-packed dynamic. The animation is pleasantly fluid and is accompanied very well by lighting and music, which above all accurately emphasizes the comedic scenes. In keeping with the setting of the series, we mainly see the characters in school uniform.
Through various extracurricular activities of the friends, we also see various other outfits that fit the characters very well and ideally underline their personalities visually. Here, too, Shikimori stands out, who, despite her good taste, is often unsure about her choice of clothes. This insecure trait again underscores her sweet qualities, while her clothing style ideally complements her cool, confident side.
dubbing and music
While Crunchyroll is showing Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie in the Japanese original version with German subtitles simultaneously with the premiere on Japanese TV, the streaming provider is also releasing the episodes with German dubbing. TNT Media GmbH in Berlin is responsible for the German implementation, for which Daniela Molina is writing the dialogue book and Dana Friedrich is directing the dialogue.
The Japanese cast consists of a rather young team, whereas in the German version well-known speakers such as Jodie Blank (voice of Elle Fanning in Maleficent ), Vincent Borko (voice of Rico Rodriguez in Modern Family ) and Sebastian Kluckert (Casey Jones appearing in Nickelodeon 's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ). Both teams manage to give the characters an authentic voice and, in particular, to implement the comedic scenes in an amusing way. Although the German voices make the characters seem a little younger than the original voice actors do, the German dubbing proves very appropriate and lip-synched.
Musically, the opening ( Honey Jet Coaster by Nasuo☆) and the ending (Route Blue by singer Yuki Nakashima ) stand out. They manage to hit the mood of the anime perfectly with the animation, the music and the lyrics. Nevertheless, the musical accompaniment by composer Hiroaki Tsutsumi can also ensure a very successful overall impression. Overall, the music can be described as very happy and fits very well with an anime of the spring season. The musical change in the various scenes is also excellent and manages to bring the dialogues and the music into a harmonious relationship.
The original manga took fifth place at the Tsugi ni Kuru Web Manga Awards in 2020, and Keigo Maki's series took ninth place at the fourth Tsutaya Comic Awards , so the template can be considered quite successful.
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie manages very well to create a fusion of comedy and romance, with a touch of humor that has something to do with Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto (Jap. Sakamoto desu ga? ) from 2016. Weaknesses of the anime adaptation so far are the humorous scenes, some of which are very predictable and others seem out of place. What is particularly noteworthy, however, is the dynamic between the protagonists Izumi and Shikimori, as their roles in the relationship are reversed.
First episode in German:
While Shikimori in her protective scenes is reminiscent of classic cool guys through her facial expressions and statements and thus appears masculine, Izumi's bad luck and clumsiness ensure a more feminine portrayal of the character as a helpless and naive "cute boy". This dynamic is cleverly used in a satirical way through clichéd stagings and thus also strongly questions the socio-cultural gender roles in Japan.
These atypical roles in turn give the story an interesting charm. Interestingly, this romantic comedy is aimed at a male audience, although Shikimori appears as the leading protagonist and Izumi takes on a more passive lead role. Shikimori is also a female character who has authentic depth and manages to draw the anime the most.
Another plus is the simple fact that we already have a couple whose development and dynamics we follow rather than witnessing back and forth emotions and crushes first. All in all , Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie looks very promising and is recommended even for those who don't like other romance animes.
Humorous, charming and with fresh potential, Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie offers a wonderfully harmonious mixture of romance and comedy. The particular strength of the series is the reversal of clichéd role relationships, which gives the anime a truly unique character.
Images: ©Keigo Maki, KODANSHA / Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie Production Committee