What’s it about? Clumsy boy Izumi loves his girlfriend Shikimori, but it’s not because she’s cute: actually, Shikimori is the opposite, and has a surprisingly tall, dark, and handsome side to her… when the time is right.
Normally, I’d do some sort of lead-in: something to give you a taste of my thoughts prior to getting into the nitty-gritty of an episode. But here’s where I’m at: Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie is… just okay, and honestly, that in and of itself is okay. So no cheeky, witty opener: let’s just get into the premiere right here, right now.
Episode 1, “My Girlfriend Is Super Cute,” is at most, table-setting: it’s introducing us to Shikimori and her friends, all of whom have some sort of surname-trait that definitely marks themes as being part of the main cast in a rather hilarious way. It’s also introducing us to Izumi and Shikimori, two dweebs in love who’s dynamic is basically cool girl meets clumsy guy. Only here, they’re already a couple, which is admittedly refreshing since most of the time, shows resolve with the couple being formed versus the couple being existent in episode 1.
And that’s… basically it. Viewers get to know Shikimori and… we get to see why she’s not just a cute girl but also a cool girl, which is… pretty okay. I wish I had more to say, but that’s really it: the show’s okay. The jokes are pretty okay, though the gag of Izumi being clumsy to the point of me questioning how he’s made it through life thus far is fairly tired by the end of the premiere. I haven’t read the source material so no telling if this stays consistent, but as is… it’s just pretty okay and unremarkable. I’ll remember it, but I fear that if I don’t stick with this show for the next few weeks, it’ll start to fade, which is a dang shame.
In truth, I’d actually been anticipating this premiere because Shikimori is super adorable, and I just really like her design and also: cool, pink-haired girls give me life. And by and large, it’s a pretty solid premiere: Shikimori is a compelling enough character that flips a bit of the script by table-flipping her pink-hair and softness into a girl who’s quite cool and much more “masculine” in terms of how a het romance often gets presented. That said, even with all of the gender play that seems to be happening, I’m not sure if that’ll be enough to elevate some of the jokes past one-note, already kinda tired stuff.
All of that isn’t to say this is bad: if anything, much like fellow romcom with a hook Love After World Domination, Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie is pretty good, offering up something for everyone who likes romcoms and is looking for a bit of a twist that, while not necessarily “fresh” still slaps to a degree. There’s definitely promise in “cool girlfriend/clumsy boyfriend” as a dynamic, but as things stand, it’s not necessarily compelling enough for me to gaze into the future That’s So Raven Style and foresee me enjoying this long term.
So ultimately, I leave you with this: do I think this will be one of Spring 2022’s best romcoms? I… don’t know. I’ll leave that judgment to the me of a month from now: maybe they’ll be hog wild for Izumi and Shikimori. For right now at the time of the premiere, I’m willing to stick with Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie to see the cast of characters (and hopefully the plot) grow as the season finds its stride.