Hello, hello, my friends. As some of you may know, I’m the self-proclaimed rom-com guru of the anime blogging sphere. Like seriously, half of my top 10 are rom-coms, and it’s the genre I try to stay on top of more than any other because I like cute things that make me feel happy. Also, having a niche is important.
I thought it’d be fun to do a new series (I actually did it once) where I talk about a light novel or manga that’s about to get an anime adaptation. Tell you what it’s about, what I think about it, and what problems I think it may face. What to Expect, basically. See the Komi post a while ago as the precursor to this.
What to Expect?
Today, we’ll be taking a look at the wonderfully cute (and cool) rom-com manga that is Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie, with its adaption coming on April 9th. Really soon now. I’ve had my eyes on this one ever since I saw the trailer for the anime, and people already seem to be in love with the series, notably the titular Shikimori-san.
That makes sense, though, since it is by design. Shikimori is, of course, cute, but as the title suggests, she’s not just a cutie but also an all-around badass. Think every typically badass, smooth guy in romance stories, then make them an adorable girl with pink hair that blushes easy, and you have Shikimori. It’s no surprise the internet is already starting to lose it over her, really. That’s exactly what she wants!
The story, if you can really call it that, is very simple. In fact, the Wikipedia article is just two sentences. Basically, Izumi is very unlucky and happens to fall into dangerous situations a lot, and his girlfriend Shikimori isn’t only cute but also cooly saves him all the damn time. That’s it. The manga is about those interactions.
If I had to compare to another series, I would use the one right on the back of the box…er, book, in this case. It has a very similar feel to Komi Can’t Communicate. Extremely similar. So much so that they both have very similar length short chapters focusing on a single event.
It also claims to be for Nagatoro fans, but that’s not something I buy. It’s Nagatoro in the way that the characters tease each other a lot, but it’s two-sided in Shikimori, and the whole thing is far more wholesome. No bullying involved. That makes it closer to Teasing Master Takagi-san, if anything.
This means that Shikimori also suffers from the same things Komi does. Its short chapters don’t allow for much depth. It’s very formulaic, to an almost crippling extent. Every chapter follows the same steps. Izumi says Shikimori is cute, something happens, she saves him, she makes a cool face, he says she’s cool, done. That’s all that ever happens.
Do I fear that could get repetitive after a bit? Sure. More so than Komi. I honestly found myself getting a little bored of the formula just one volume in, but the saving grace is that they’re such short chapters that you can get through to the next pretty quickly, so the volumes feel quick even if they are a bit repetitive.
What About the Adaptation?
Since Shikimori is very similar to Komi in execution, I feel like it will have to overcome many of the same problems. It will need to somehow figure out how to turn a bunch of short chapters of various subject matter into coherent episodes.
Shikimori is actually going to have a bit harder of a time with the beginning since the chapters get right into things. There’s not really an introductory phase like in Komi, which might require some rearranging things or witchcraft on the anime’s part.
Shikimori will also suffer from having to skip over a lot of things to keep things coherent, but regardless of how it’s handled it will likely feel a little disjointed and all over the place, just as Komi did.
Shikimori can definitely turn out good, but it isn’t going to have the easiest time doing that. It’s also very important they nail Shikimori’s “cool faces” as they’re very important in the manga. The problem is that if they adapt too many chapters per episode, the faces might be overdone, and still images matter much more in manga than anime form, so it may not have the same impact anyway.
Honestly, I feel like the only real way to make the adaptation work will be to cut out quite a lot and alter the pacing pretty drastically. I don’t think Shikimori is the type of manga that will translate well to anime form right away. It will take some work.
But we’ll find out on April 9th when Shikimori’s is More Than Just a Cutie airs!
Thank you very much for reading
I can’t wait to find out.