Spring 2021 has a great variety of anime and two of the most controversial are the two anime, Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui (Koikimo) and Hige wo Soru, Soshite Joshikosei wo Hirou (Higehiro). Koikimo is the story of Ryo Amakusa, the 27-year old playboy who has the looks, who is saved by 17-year-old Ichika Arima one day. Enamored by this selfless act, Ryo falls head over heels in love with her at first sight. As fate would have it, they meet again because Ichika is the best friend of Ryo’s sister. Ecstatic at this reunion, Ryo confesses his love for her and she downright calls it creepy and disgusting. But Ryo is not discouraged and so starts their story together!
With over 3 episodes out at the time of writing, this anime has received mixed reactions. Some have really loved the anime and the comedy in it while some are really put off by it. Read on to find out what we at Honey’s Anime think about Koikimo!
Let’s Talk About the Age Gap
A lot of the controversy that surrounds Koikimo is the age gap. Age gap is not new in anime but the fact that Ryo is a whole 10 years older than Ichika really shocked the anime community especially in this day and age. However, we at Honey’s Anime had faith that Ryo would be an upstanding gentleman. Well...he was and wasn’t an upstanding gentleman at first glance. While Ichika explicitly said no from the very beginning, it was off-putting to see Ryo push on despite that. However, with the last 3 episodes, there is much evidence to suggest that Ichika is also slowly falling for Ryo which makes things more tolerable. After all, many tsunderes need a lot of time to really warm up to their possible significant others as we’ve seen in different anime and it is up to the male protagonist to push through those initial barriers and get closer. We at Honey’s Anime think that the situation of Ryo and Ichika is similar.
Moreover, Ryo’s character is being fleshed out slowly and our doubts are slowly dying away with it. When he realizes that Ichika thinks that he’s only playing around with her because she is a teenager, he is genuinely hurt. Ichika, on the other hand, also slowly understands more about Ryo and starts to think about him. The initial misunderstandings in the anime are slowly being undone and it’s great to watch it come alive.
The Romance and the Comedy
It’s been rare to really see both romance and comedy stand out in an anime that advertises itself as rom-com. However, with Koikimo we’re laughing from episode 1. The comedy is simplistic yet effective and the romance tone is subtle with a lot of potential. With every episode, you get new jokes to laugh at and the plot progresses in such a way that the romance effectively develops with each episode consistently as well. The slow relationship that is budding between Ichika and Ryo is realistically slow yet every new progression makes our hearts go doki-doki. The storytelling is very well rounded and once you get past the initial shock of the unique tropes incorporated, you feel right at home!
The Characters are the Best
Even though Ryo is older than Ichika, he is really a great character. While it is slightly creepy at first when he goes behind Ichika without listening to her, he genuinely cares for her and loves her. So far in the anime, he has never done anything that would really make her uncomfortable and hate him. This just shows how much he cares what she thinks and wants to protect her to the best of his ability. There is some mystery surrounding his true nature but we’re choosing to stay hopeful that he will prove himself to be a great character till the very end. Ichika, on the other hand, is the very definition of what a normal school girl is and she loves it. She genuinely cares for her friends and to some extent, even Ryo. It was hilarious to watch her indirectly say that she wants a normal boyfriend who is nothing like Ryo. The other characters in the show like Ryo’s sister, Rio, and Masuda are great additions who carry the comedy and the emotional aspects of the show very well.
Koikimo has so far been really promising and we’re excited to see where this anime goes! The simple and light colors are reminiscent of Spring and the opening and ending songs are memorable. Even though it was a little off-putting at first, we’re choosing to stick with this anime because we think it’s headed in a good direction. What were your first reactions to Koikimo? Are you planning on continuing or dropping it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!