The finale of Kiss Him Not Me is genuinely one that occurs over episode 11 and 12 – with Asuma realizing his feelings for Serinuma. This begins with Mutsumi’s brother declaring he wants to seriously take Serinuma from him. All of the other love interests are desperate to stop his brother from winning which leads them to fail miserably. . .the only one who can truly stop him is Mutsumi. But can he bring himself to actually stand up to his brother? This begins a very serious arc for Asuma and we get more backstory between himself and his brother. Also, they duel with a knockoff YugiOh game.
The focus of the finale is centered squarely on what Mutsumi decides and what he causes. This becomes a real dilemma for everyone else as it means Mutsumi, the guy they all secretly fear, has to realize his emotions in order to stop Serinuma from being seduced by someone else. But this finale has a true question that becomes the major point about this anime: the guys may have all proven themselves to be interesting and lovable, but is Serinuma capable of choosing anyone at all?
Mutsumi has never stood up to his brother when he wanted things, and so he seemed willing to finally stand up for something. This meant his brother was trying to get him to acknowledge his own feelings for Serinuma. Thanks to his, as well as the other rivals in Serinuma’s love, intervention he knows realizes how he feels. Unlike everyone else he declares he wants to tell Serinuma how he feels and he invites everyone else to do the same if they feel that way. Everyone suddenly realizes they ‘never told her how they felt’ even though Igarashi caused a conflict by forcing his feelings on Serinuma and refusing to hang out with everyone else. . .so no, he made it clear, but no one else did more than that.
First off, everyone else goes down a peg from Mutsumi because of this. They all conspire to sabotage Mutsumi in his attempts to tell Serinuma. They basically acknowledge out of everyone he is the biggest fish and simultaneously do not want to deal with that: but holy crap. They go so far as to block him on Serinuma’s phone and sabotage their attempts to hang out with each other. I lost a lot of respect for them until they just finally went, okay, we’ll all tell her how we feel. Honestly this arc just feels like repeating everything for everyone except Nishina and Mutsumi, the former playing off her affections as cosplay and playfulness while the other just realized his feelings, as we already experienced her going on mini dates with all the boys before.
Here is the worst thing about that as well as the best: the dates are the exact same to Serinuma, but not to us. All of us have grown to love them in certain ways because of his interactions with Serinuma and each other. We have grown to love them more but has Serinuma? At the end of the episode when she is supposed to tell everyone how she feels, she basically rejects them for Shion and announces Mirage Saga has a second season and even outright states to herself she doesn’t get that special feeling for them that she does about her anime characters.
This floored me. How am I supposed to react? I can’t fault Serinuma for not having feelings for people I want her to, but I can fault her a little bit for seeming to detach herself from reality. I’ve simultaneously been in love and loved my obsessions beyond comprehension. If Serinuma just genuinely does not feel emotionally ready to be in a relationship, does not have the emotions she needs for any of the guys, and just doesn’t feel the need to be in a relationship then I begrudgingly understand. However it feels more or less like Serinuma even admitted she just hasn’t bothered to stop objectifying them or even thinking about them that way when they’ve made their feelings more than clear.
I’m glad this isn’t the end of the series but it left me feelings kind of down. While everyone else grew for Serinuma she herself has not grown enough to love or accept any of them romantically. This series really can’t be completed for me and Serinuma herself won’t keep appealing to me unless she begins to show a sign of growth. I definitely don’t want her to stop being an otaku but I’d love for her to at least seem to grow enough to consistently care about someone in the show. Is she simply aromantic, only feeling love for video game characters and anime characters? If this wasn’t a shoujo that would be fine, but this show was designed to make us root for these characters and couples no matter which ones in particular they were.
If she does however someday grow out of these habits and grow, this ending will not bother me as much. Until then, though, I’m a bit saddened. I feel as cheated out of an ending as if she was oblivious- It’s just another mechanic of keeping the love harem going until the manga artist feels the need to end the series. That being said. . .it is probably my favorite ever mechanic of keeping the love harem going. In fact, the fact that she has rejected everyone because she loves anime characters too much is so fucking genius given that this is an anime that I can’t do anything but applaud the author. So, I might be salty, but Kiss Him Not Me stays genuine to the end.
But seriously, I need a second season now.
Overall Impression: I am left with the shoujo blue balls. But watch it because the animation is lovely and the characters grow. . .at least most of them.