Kei Serinuma is a seemingly simple girl who knows what she wants, and boy does this show make it a point to drive this across — She loves boys. I mean, sure, that in itself is normal… right? No, what I’m saying is — she REALLY, REALLY loves boys. You see, Kei Serinuma is a self-proclaimed ‘Fujoshi’ (a self-mocking term used to describe girls who really love manga and novels with boy love) who is content with her vantage point at the sidelines, scouting for any signs of contact between her male classmates to get her creepy fandom juices flowing.
This is to her own detriment as one of her maniacal boy pairing episodes leaves her in a daze during gym class, allowing her to get knocked into a wall and sent to the infirmary. But it’s all fine with Serinuma — It’s all for the sake of seeing cute boys interact with one another.
From the get-go, we’re introduced to a myriad of the cardboard archetype of aloof pretty boys. Strangely enough, they all seem to care about her (with the exception of Nana, who teases her right before he’s forced to apologize for injuring her) asking her if she’s alright. One would think that someone who is often turned to a pile of mush at the sight of boys interacting is enough to scare them away. The first half of the episode is a bit tedious to get through, with much of the focus being primarily to drive across just how much she fantasizes about the pretty boys pairings. While most of the comedy is redundant and over-the-top, I must admit the first episode gave me more than a few hearty chuckles.
The show is ridiculous, but that seems to be its strong point. After Serinuma watches the finale of one of her favorite shows, she is sent into a weeklong post-traumatic vegetable state after seeing her favorite pretty boy, Shion(who reminds her of Nana), die. This in turn leads to her transformation sequence from ugly duckling to beautiful swan where she sheds all her weight off.
This is where the show gets interesting as suddenly upon her return to school the situation takes a 180 for her with all the boys lusting after her — except not really because she’s still that same girl at heart who loves her boys. Suddenly, we have a show that could be categorized as a reverse-harem centered around an awkward girl and her boy love fantasies (or as the title depicts — a real life Otome game). It’s hilarious to see how clueless all of the boys are to her fantasies. All of the boys have changed their attitudes towards her after she lost weight with all of them asking her out.
In all, the first episode peaked my interest enough as the reversal of the stereotypical Romantic Comedy harem and silly characters are entertaining enough to actually want to see more. I do hope that the cast of pretty boys do get fleshed out and distinguished more, but for now they all seem to be disappointingly similar in personality. I’m following this series with the idea in mind that I will probably end up dropping it as these sorts of stories usually result in open endings where no one is really satisfied. I’m not really expecting a masterpiece that changes the way I perceive the world, but rather a lighthearted fluff piece that leaves me feeling good for days to come.