Kiss Him, Not Me is a slice-of-life romance shojo manga series by Junko. I am by no means a harem fan, but the comedic twist really made this story enjoyable.
Kiss Him, Not Me 1 (Kodansha Comics)
First we start off with a heroine who is an otaku and fujoshi. If you are unfamiliar with the term, it basically means that said female gets excitement from seeing guys together (they can be gay or straight). It’s a really weird thing, but I assure you it exists. I had crazy high school friends that were obsessed with yaoi and just hot guys doing shit together. Don’t ask me, I am clueless about all that. I do think that it’s a great idea to bring that situation into a shojo manga, because it’s so refreshing when the heroine is more in favor of other men than herself.
The main character is pretty chubby…okay, she’s definitely on the overweight side. All these hot guys are friends with her but obviously want nothing but friendship because she’s “unattractive.” Then, one day her favorite character in a show dies. DUN DUN DUN! She mourns for a week and loses a crap ton of weight; suddenly she’s a smokin’ gal. Now, all these guys are either shocked or in denial before they finally pounce like a bunch of lions. Yes, this all sounds a typical cliched harem, but I want to say that the twist is worth it.
I mean, she actually likes the idea of the guys liking each other rather than herself. Bring in a few more rivals to show “brotherly love” and even yuri action…then you get a crazy love fest where basically everyone is in love with her and she isn’t really romantically interested in one particular person. In fact, she’s loves 2D characters more (sounds familiar to preferring a book boyfriend over a real one). There are a lot of comedic elements at play here.
I can see how some women can be offended that these guys are only after her when she “turns pretty” but give it a chance. I read much further on and if anything it’s proving that the inside matters more. And honestly, if you read on, she actually goes through chubby phases. She started off as a fat chick, lost weight, gained weight, and it’s pretty much a running gag throughout the series at this point. I really think it’s more focused on making things funny rather than focusing on the idea of beauty.
I think that this is definitely a super cute reverse harem with a twist that any shojo lover can enjoy, if they don’t look too deep into it.