- Mangaka : Maki, Keigo
- Publisher : Kodansha Comics
- Genre : Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
- Published : October 2020 - Ongoing
Shikimori is almost like the perfect girl anyone would always want to be; she is cute, fun to hang out with and sweet. However, there are some circumstances where she displays a cool dark side. Her boyfriend, a high-school sweetheart, Izumi, loves to be around for that occasion. This is the story of a fun, and fuzzy high school romance, perfect for fans of Nagatoro-san and Komi Can’t Communicate!
We are almost at the end of 2020, and what better way to spend some time to read a romance manga that has a lot of short chapters? Let us delve into Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san (Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie)! This isn’t the kind of story where people expect male should be manly, or a female has to be feminine.
You probably will see there is a slight confusion, in the right way, that both characters sometimes switch positions as a boyfriend or girlfriend material. The character design, the clothing, and the environment brings a story of its own and describes their intention well. The comedy element is used to bring out the wholesome romance through interactions and situations. Without further ado, let us get into the pros and cons.
1. Not the Kind of Positions You Would Expect
The manga depicts what most people may not understand in their perspective is that everyone has their own set of personalities and preferences. In this manga, you get to experience a different kind of relationship where Izumi is the girlfriend and Shikimori is the boyfriend in their relationship, which encourages readers to be themselves, in the right way.
The story started with the characters made their way to school, and Izumi was about to experience a dangerous moment, but Shikimori saved him. In this context, Izumi possessed terrible luck of his own, and his girlfriend is like a bodyguard with a sharp reflex and instinct. To Izumi, he doesn’t love Shikimori because she is cute, but he likes to see her cool expressions whenever she swore to protect him. You probably won’t be laughing much when you see her expressions because they might go through your heart.
2. Short and Meaningful Chapters with a hint of Mystery
Don’t worry, the chapters may be short, but there are seventeen chapters, and every one of them focuses on special moments where both characters get to see each other’s sides not many people know. Remember, dating someone you love requires mutual romantic feelings and getting to know each other’s personalities, hobbies, and preferences. It is not about looks. Got it?
The way the characters interact with each other is cute and warm in our hearts. It is fun to see and read how they don’t have anything to hide from each other and be straight forward as they can be, which is almost an ideal relationship.
Although the mystery is not listed in the genre, for now, it is a minor for this manga. As the story progress, you probably start to think about how the main characters got to be together and the reason behind Izumi’s constant bad luck. Those were nothing compared to the scene where Izumi’s mother requested Shikimori during her visit to Izumi’s household.
Now, this is where you might recognize the art style of this manga. It is similar to a manga series called Komi Can’t Communicate! Surprisingly, Keigo Maki went all-in on the beta, and the insane amount of details displayed on their expressions, environment and, most importantly, the diverse ensembles they wore in certain occasions were terrific in their own.
As a bonus, during the transitions of chapters, there will be character illustrations or a piece of a manga scene to appreciate their ensembles and moments that acted as an epilogue for the chapters.
1. How It All Began?
This may not apply to some readers, but it can be frustrating when it comes to lack of context. There are some scenes that sort of filled in those gaps for us to understand the history between Shikimori and Izumi. We hoped the later volumes would explain them.
2. Not the Kind Where There Is a Smooth Transition
The volume is filled with short chapters, but the transition between chapters was like skipping a few weeks or months. So the manga is not suitable for people who prefer slow story progression of romance between lovers.
Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san (Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie) is a wholesome and enjoyable manga. The manga is filled with short and wholesome chapters that bring the couple closer together bit by bit, reminded readers to be themselves in the right way, and the artwork brings both intense and immersion to readers to appreciate these unforgettable memories the characters created. But there wasn’t much context to what happened that brings Izumi and Shikimori together as a couple, including Izumi’s bad luck, from the start which raises many questions to some readers.
If you are interested in experiencing wholesome high-school romance and disregard the lack of context of how the characters got together and the mystery element of the story, you might want to give this manga a read. Let us know which chapter or moments do you like the most, in this volume, down in the comment below!