We really aren’t surprised anymore with the direction anime can take. A harem anime could be like To Love Ru where it has alien girls or be like Monster Musume and be filled with women who are half-female and half-monster. Then you have a series like Engage Kiss which is clearly a harem—we have three girls who literally love our main boy—but is focused on action, drama, and a surprising story that starts a bit slow but picks up by the end. Needless to say, Engage Kiss might not be the next best anime of the century but we enjoyed it, and obviously it's time we convince you why you should check this series out. Here’s our review of Engage Kiss!
A Kiss Leads to Some Great…Memories…
Engage Kiss’ name sounds like a cute way to be silly but ironically the main theme of Engage Kiss kind of stems from what a particular kiss can do. Our main character, Shu Ogata, lives in a world full of demons and those who harness their powers for their own desires. Shu himself has a cute girl who also just so happens to be a demon, Kisara, who is able to use a substantial amount of power but must kiss Shu to activate her more powerful form. The catch? Shu loses his memories each time they kiss and that leads to some thought-provoking questions. Is utilizing a demon who literally steals your memories worth it and what is one willing to lose for answers to a mystery they can’t solve on their own? Engage Kiss has a surprising amount of depth and while the first several episodes won’t blow you away, we start learning about Shu’s family and their strange “death”, Engage Kiss really begins to get intriguing.
Three Girls…Sounds Like a Wild Night of Kisses
Now calling Engage Kiss a harem seems kind of strange if we’re being completely honest. Yes, Kisara, Ayano Yugiri, and Sharon Holygrail—one of the scariest but coolest nuns we’ve ever laid eyes on—all clearly have or had feelings for our Shu but this story only uses the harem theme as a kind of sub-genre. More often than not, Engage Kiss is a drama/action series that is mostly focused on one main mystery and the battle to stop a possible demon uprising from taking hold of the main city. Yet, all of these genres aren’t prioritized over each other. The harem theme is needed to show Shu’s choice of women and his motives, likewise, the mystery helps the narrative continue when the action dies down and Shu/Kisara/Ayano aren’t shooting/slashing their way through various enemies. Engage Kiss isn’t suffering an identity crisis but relies heavily on keeping viewers guessing which genre is going to be used next and how it ironically impacts the story.
A Missed Kiss
Engage Kiss might sound extremely exciting after you hear it has a great theme and many genres that work together, there is just something unsatisfying about Engage Kiss. At first, we thought it could be the way the series ends on a rather goofy note or maybe the fact that the story seems to speed up a bit here and there. Then it hit us, Engage Kiss really falters because it feels too short for the grand tale being told. Shu and his bevy of friends/allies/enemies aren’t given enough time to really be fleshed out. Yes, we understand Shu’s reasons for sacrificing his memories and why Ayano has a love/hate relationship with him but a lot of the other characters are just quickly introduced and aren’t given proper introductions. Our butt-kicking nun is the prime character as she is apparently Shu’s ex but what made them fall in love? Was it all because he wanted to use her church connections and/or why wasn’t she angrier at Shu for his deception? Engage Kiss feels like it needed at least 24 episodes to really dive into the story, world, and characters a bit more but all we got was 13… Not enough, sadly.
At Least The Kiss Was Beautiful
Despite our mixed feelings about Engage Kiss, we can’t deny…it’s a pretty gorgeous anime. Action scenes look stellar, character models have a surprising amount of detail to them and we loved the color pallets that give the series more visual pop. Engage Kiss isn’t THE best animation of 2022 but we can’t deny that A-1 Pictures did a fantastic job.
Engage Kiss feels like it can be best described as a first lover. Yes, the memories can be kind of heartbreaking if the love went south but, the experience was nice and there were a lot of tender moments. Engage Kiss isn’t a bad series by any means and we enjoyed what we were presented but we do feel this is proof that not all anime can do 13 episodes and present a flawless product.
Did you, readers, feel differently about Engage Kiss? You should let us know via the comment section below! We are still delivering tons of anime reviews for the summer 2022 season—before fall hits—so be sure to keep stuck to our kissable hive here at Honey’s Anime!