Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san: Episode Review
A Unique Perspective on Gender Roles in Anime
As an avid anime enthusiast, the latest episode of Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san resonated with me, offering a refreshing and thought-provoking take on gender dynamics. It presents a unique blend of a gender-flipped shoujo series from a bygone era, coupled with elements of a BL (Boys’ Love) series featuring a female seme. Delving deeper, the series also falls into the ever-growing category of “giant robot series with a girl as the giant robot” trend, as cleverly pointed out by renowned mangaka Ueshiba Riichi of Nazo no Kanojo X fame.
Objectification in Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san
Intriguingly, the character Izumi, in his own way, assumes a role akin to that of a giant robot. However, what sets him apart is the extent to which he is objectified. If Izumi were a female character, there would certainly be backlash directed towards the series for its overt objectification. From his adorable features, delicate physique, to the emphasis on his long eyelashes and affectionate shots of him sleeping, the objectification of Izumi becomes quite excessive. He is presented more as an object to be handled with utmost care and protection, rather than a fully-developed character. This approach may be overwhelming for some viewers.
The Fine Line of Endearing Condescension
Surprisingly, despite the excessive objectification, Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san manages to strike a delicate balance by avoiding any mean-spiritedness. In fact, it tends to lean more towards being overly nice, with characters constantly smiling—an aspect that personally doesn’t resonate with me. Nevertheless, the portrayal of Izumi, though condescending, is counterbalanced by the fact that every character comes across as genuinely nice. As for the underlying purpose of this premise, if there even is one, it may simply be the incorporation of fanservice catering to various demographic interests. And if that is the case, there is nothing inherently wrong with it as long as it proves entertaining.
Charming Innocence and Clever Parodies
A Genuine Connection Through Innocent Moments
This week’s episode takes a positive turn, providing an encouraging and genuinely delightful experience. The movie date between Izumi and Shikimori exudes innocence and showcases some humorous moments. Izumi’s attempts to disaster-proof himself by overstuffing his backpack only to face inevitable failure, served as an amusing highlight. Additionally, the brilliant parody of the “It” movie cleverly infuses wit into the story, as clowns are undeniably terrifying. The stark contrast between Izumi’s fear and Shikimori’s peculiar interest creates an engaging dynamic, which has become a defining characteristic of this series.
Realistic Portrayal of Parents
The episode further stands out by providing a well-rounded portrayal of Izumi’s parents. It is not often that parents are depicted as fully-fledged individuals in anime, making this representation a noteworthy aspect. The role reversal between Izumi’s mother and father adds an interesting twist to their dynamic. The visit to their house is heartwarming, although it does exhibit the same condescension towards Izumi. It is worth mentioning that an anime like Tonikaku Kawaii, despite being a different series, managed to convey a similar interaction with significantly more emotional impact in its eighth episode.
Looking Towards the Future
A Lack of Relationship Drama
Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san impresses by steering clear of typical relationship tropes that often involve hidden feelings and tsundere (initially aloof, later affectionate) behavior. Instead, it opts for the refreshing approach of showcasing genuinely nice characters expressing their admiration for one another openly. Watching the lives of kind-hearted individuals unfold can be enjoyable, but for the premise to maintain long-term appeal, it will require additional elements beyond pure sincerity. At its current stage, Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san greatly embodies a typical “bubble series,” and the next few episodes will determine its fate.
In conclusion, Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san delivers an intriguing exploration of gender roles in anime with its unique blend of shoujo and BL elements, alongside the popular theme of female protagonists in giant robot series. While the excessive objectification of Izumi can be overwhelming, the series manages to maintain a level of endearing condescension without crossing into mean-spirited territory. The innocent charm and clever parodies in this episode add depth and entertainment, while the portrayal of Izumi’s parents adds a fresh layer to the narrative. Looking ahead, the absence of relationship drama provides a refreshing change, but the premise will require further development to sustain lasting appeal. Only time will tell if Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san can distinguish itself amidst the ever-expanding world of anime.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san based on a manga?
No, Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san is an original anime series and does not have a manga adaptation.
2. Where can I watch Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san?
Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san is available for streaming on various online platforms, including Crunchyroll and Funimation.
3. How many episodes are there in the series?
As of now, the number of episodes planned for Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san has not been officially announced. However, it is expected to consist of a typical anime season with around 12-13 episodes.
4. Will there be a second season of Kawaii Dake ja Nai Shikimori-san?
While it is too early to confirm, the possibility of a second season will largely depend on the popularity and reception of the current season.
5. Is there a romantic progression between Shikimori and Izumi?
Yes, the series explores the blossoming romance between Shikimori and Izumi. Over the course of the episodes, their relationship develops, offering glimpses into their growing affection for one another.