If you’ve been enjoying Kiss Him, Not Me as much as I have, there’s no doubt you’ve been thinking of where to go after the season has concluded. Is there anything out there that measures up? Is there an anime series out there that captures some of the hilarity and earnestness? You’re in luck, because the answer is yes.
I’ve put together a short list of anime series to seek out once this season has come to a conclusion. Whether you’re into the fact that Kae is a fujoshi and hardcore otaku or you like the ugly duckling story that’s a huge element of the show, one of these suggestions should tickle your fancy.
The Wallflower (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge)
The Wallflower is one of the closest cousins out there to Kiss Him, Not Me in that it features a protagonist who both has unorthodox preferences and hobbies and eventually becomes more conventionally attractive to a harem of male characters, but doesn’t lose what makes her special in the process.
Sunako is a girl who’s always thought of herself as ugly and undesirable ever since she revealed her true feelings to her first love as a child, and ever since then she’s shunned any form of beauty in her life. The bizarre part is, she’s absolutely gorgeous when she does clean up, and after her aunt sends her to live with four gorgeous high school students tasked with making her into a lady she begins to realize it herself. But the guys do have to drag her kicking and screaming during her “transformation” into the perfect lady, and it’s non-stop joke after joke every single episode. The gorgeous art style helps a lot, too. Sunako may be a very different person than Kae Serinuma, but the two series have a lot in common with each other.
Tomoko Kuroki is a fifteen-year-old girl who’s just entering high school for the first time. She’s lonely, desperate, and has crippling social anxiety, but she’s determined to make her first year in high school memorable. The only problem is she’s totally terrible at accomplishing any of that. WATAMOTE isn’t so much a positive story about how she overcomes any of those things either, but it’s hilarious to watch Tomoko deal with all of the strange situations she finds herself in.
She’s got terrible bags under her eyes, she’s downright creepy-looking, and she lives to insult others and blame them for her hardship while burying herself in her favorite video games, anime and manga. It might be how Kiss Him, Not Me’s Kae could have turned out if she didn’t have such a chipper attitude toward life. Each episode of WATAMOTE is filled with hilarious hijinks and ridiculous situations that really make you wonder how she ended up in them in the first place, and it’s definitely a show you should at least consider picking up if Kiss Him, Not Me is your thing.
Kimi no Todoke
Much like The Wallflower’s Sunako, Kimi no Todoke’s Sawako is very creepy-looking. Her classmates call her Sadako since she looks so much like the girl from The Ring, but in reality she couldn’t be a sweeter girl who likes to make others happy. Being misunderstood by her peers opens her up to a lot of ridicule and frustration, all because it’s assumed she’s a real creepshow. When the popular boy at school, Kazehaya, forms a friendship with her, not only does it blow the rest of her classmates away but her friendship soon blossoms into a romance that’s just as sweet as the love shown in Kiss Him, Not Me.
The world soon opens up to Sawako in a very real and touching way, much like it did for Kae, and it’s just a refreshing journey to watch unfold. There’s still plenty of silliness and awkwardness to be found as Sawako and Kazehaya open up to each other, however, and you’ll find yourself burning through each episode as quickly as possible.
Ouran High School Host Club
You’ve probably already heard of this series if you’re any sort of hardcore anime fan but, if you haven’t, you’re in for a real treat. Haruhi Fujioka is a student attending the prestigious Ouran Academy on scholarship, and on her first day there she accidentally knocks over a very expensive antique vase. In order to pay off her debts (and to avoid becoming a social outcast), she ends up becoming a part of the very exclusive Ouran High School Host Club, chartered by some very beautiful young male students.
However, Haruhi is a bit of a pauper, according to the club and must be glitzed up considerably if she’s to be a part of the Host Club, so what do Tamaki and crew do? They dress her as a man and keep up the charade even as Tamaki himself begins to fall in love with her. It’s a running joke about how “poor” Haruhi is and how she looks in uniform, and it’s full of both frantic romantic comedy plot lines and fun slice-of-life situations. This is one series you won’t want to pass up.
Skip Beat! may be a bit different from the rest of the shows on the list, but only because our heroine isn’t really looking for a relationship and she’s not poor or even “unattractive.” She’s looking for revenge–and her nemesis sees her as inferior. Kyoko Mogami is a 16-year-old girl who’s supported her childhood friend and first love Shotaro Fuwa ever since they were young. But when he grows up and becomes a famous idol and betrays her, she vows to one day get her revenge.
Though Kyoko knows nothing about show business or how to work up through the ranks, she makes it her business to outclass him in every way. Shotaro calls her boring and plain, and Kyoko knows she’s much more than that. She dedicates every single moment of her waking life to bettering herself and improving her craft so that one day she can exact her revenge face to face. She’s seen as “unattractive and undesirable” throughout most of her rise even after changing her initial image, so it’s extremely satisfying when she finds the success she’s been chasing for so long.
Do you have any suggestions for similar series? What are some of your absolute favorites?
Top Image Credit: Twitter