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Kiss Him, Not Me has consistently delivered in terms of comedy and body positivity, as well as proving that a “conventionally” beautiful girl being an otaku and fujoshi isn’t all that strange. And then this week’s episode took a potentially worrying turn–one that might ultimately change the way some of the characters perceive Kae Serinuma.

Luckily, the show steered away from what could have been a disastrous series of events by subverting them with comedy and keeping things rolling along, proving it, like Magical Girl Raising Project, isn’t particularly interested in remaining predictable.

Magical Girl Raising Project Keeps Subverting Expectations

NOTE: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode and beyond of Kiss Him, Not Me

The latest episode finds Kae hard at work creating chocolates and candies for a Valentine’s Day contest. She makes several mistakes during the course of her cooking craze–and because she doesn’t want to waste the food she spent so long working on, she just goes ahead and eats all of the extra chocolate. This leads her to gain all of her weight back, ridiculously, in a mere number of days.

The Kae we met at the beginning of the series with a deeper, hilarious voice and some of the slapstick comedy returns, but Kae is essentially still herself…just bigger.

Now, the series could have had everyone on board with Kae losing weight from the get-go, but instead only a couple of her potential suitors, the same ones who have been pining over her since she lost weight (and some even before then), are insistent upon her getting in shape. That’s Nanashima and Shinomiya, as you’d expect, the more shallow of the group.

However, neither Mutsumi or Shima really care if Kae is big, small, or an alien at the end of the day–and Igarashi doesn’t seem to be bothered at all.

It proves that there’s merit to Kae even if she doesn’t look like the adorable waif of a girl she had grown into after her weight loss–even if it does make a bit of mockery of how weight gain and weight loss actually work in the real world. It’s enough of a comedy to laugh off this silliness. But what makes it so worthwhile is the fact that these characters all have very real reactions to her.

You might have expected all of them to be disinterested once she gained weight back to add “drama” to the show as a whole. Having characters all do an about-face, even the ones you wouldn’t expect to do so, would have been taking the easy way out.

But once again Kiss Him, Not Me changes things up and has only a couple of the characters behave in such a manner. But they don’t write Kae off completely. Instead, they work to help her lose weight and offer a reward that makes total sense: taking part in some really raunchy behavior to motivate Kae. In the end it’s the same otaku-like silliness that permeates every bit of the show, and we laugh at all of the characters rather than pointing at Kae and making fun of her for being overweight.

It’s refreshing to see characters that learn, react to situations, and grow together like regular people even though the anime series itself is wrought with some particularly ridiculous notions. I’m hoping the show continues down this path, because it’s definitely one that fans will look to as exemplary at a later date.

Kiss Him, Not Me can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.

Top Image Credit: Twitter

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