In more ways than one, the Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie anime series has some controversial points, but are they justified? Or are the critics just slamming hot air? In this segment of "Overrated, Underrated, or Properly Rated?", we'll breakdown everything from the first season of Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie, including the plot, the production, and all the way to the poll numbers and fan-site ratings, as we did recently with Engag
Plot: Shikimori Isn't Just a Cutie
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie is nothing to write home about. Others might attribute it to its genre—slice-of-life with romance and comedy sub-genres. No. It's simply a bunch of friends going camping together, which is one of the best-rated anime of the year. It's about how Shikimori and Izumi live their everyday lives together, yet have the most tight-knit connection out of anyone in the series.
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie isn't a box office series that gives us an athletic and pretty female protagonist and a clumsy and geeky male protagonist just because it can. On the contrary, their connection is solid throughout the first season in a way that fit the series' mood and, most importantly, never felt forced on us.
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie's appeal has been criticized for simply being the one who wears the pants in the relationship. It's a breath of fresh air in a genre that is defined by the same old tropes day in and day out. The series also gives the side characters their own time as well.
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie isn't a groundbreaking film in any sense. And the anime's script isn't necessarily the finest in the genre. But are the plot, characters, and production solid enough to maintain a certain consistency from the beginning until the season's conclusion? Absolutely.
Main Characters of Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie
The characters in Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie are what make the series so enjoyable in the first place. It's not something that feels forced; it's something that's real. Izumi isn't some sluggish, sloppy guy who's boring to watch after the first episode.
Izumi is a different character, rather than the overly generous and outgoing guy who makes friends with everyone he meets. That's why Shikimori fell for him in the first place. And that different persona that goes in the opposite direction of the genre's tropes ultimately ends up being the most beautiful and athletic girl in the series.
Shikimori herself is a solid main character, and I'd go as far as to call her one of the best in the genre in recent years. Sure she has the athleticism, the looks, and even the hidden shy personality at times, but it's her down-to-earth and tell-it-like-it-is nature that goes against the grain of female characters of the same attractive/smart/athletic nature in other series who usually have inflated egos and treat the main character with border
Shikimori has a better-told back story on many levels in the first season than most main characters in the genre, both male and female, develop over the course of multiple seasons. Regardless, the first season did a decent job of ensuring you realize that Shikimori, at the core of it all, is a normal high school student.
Yui, Shu, Kamiya, and Kyou all do their job of supporting the main characters in Shikimori and Izumi as characters in a story. Nothing more, nothing less. They all have their big moments, particularly Yui and Kamiya, and they’re interesting for the most part. On the other hand, maybe that might be seen as a positive thing.
Shikimori Isn't Just a Cutie - Production
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie has two sides. One side is superb artwork, designs, animation, and compositing, but the other is the COVID-19 delays that the production crew faced causing episodes to be rescheduled for the next season. That's understandable. Back in Winter 2022, Tokyo 24th Ward was just the same, destroying a lot of the story's momentum.
If you return to the series now and skip the recaps/special episodes, you'll still have that consistency and can't even tell a difference in the production values—and to that end, Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie deserves more recognition than criticism, especially with the staff's issues and how it also provided one of the best openings of the year.
Shikimori Isn't Just a Cutie – Polls and Rankings
This is how everything stacks up when we examine the numbers for Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie.
- Anime Corner Polls: Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie placed at #8 twice during weeks 2 and 3 of the Spring 2022 season. The series failed to reach the top 10 the other 10 weeks, falling as far down as 17th in both weeks 10 and week 12. So most of the time, the series wasn’t even ranked. And for the end-of-the-season rankings, the series placed 15th, even behind series like A Couple of Cuckoos and the heavily criticized The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2.
- MyAnimeList: Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie currently holds a 6.96/10 rating with over 106k viewers, making it the 29th highest rated of the series despite being the 5th most popular series of Spring 2022. But the most shocking statistic is that over 40,000 people dropped the series, making it by far and large the most dropped series on the site not just for the Spring 2022 season, but the entire year so far (The Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 was second with just over 28,000).
- Anilist: Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie has a 69% score on Anilist with over 52k viewers, making it the 24th highest-rated anime and 4th most popular of the season. But, much like Engage Kiss, the more people that watched it, the lower the rating is received. Shikimori is also the most dropped series of the entire year on Anilist with over 10,000 people dropping the series (again, Shield Hero Season 2 was second with just over 6,000). For comparison, more people dropped Shikimori than people watched Birdie Wing -Golf Girls’ Story- which announced a second season as soon as the first ended.
In the end...
Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie is an underrated anime that breathes new life into its genre. Its low ratings and severe lack of poll success are almost uncalled for. The series isn't one of those "You need to see this series right now!" types that you refer to your friends. However, it isn't nearly worthy of the criticism it has received.
Because there is no reason to believe Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie is being overrated, an argument would take three sentences or less. Properly rated is also an option, because the series excelled above many other series in the genre in many ways, yet it's still significantly lower than them.
The series is by far the most dropped out of every anime that has aired this year, it never saw consistent poll success, and having extremely low ratings compared to other series that should be lower, is a good indication that this series is painfully underrated.
Explained: Overrated, Underrated, and Properly Rated
Underrated is the absence of recognition or recognition. One Piece, for example, is not an underrated series. It is the most successful-selling manga of all time, and is considered by many to be the greatest series in both anime and manga outright.
Overrated is simply defined as “rated or valued too high.” While debates on series that are overrated become more complicated than underrated, there are still points an argument must consider to be overrated.
Properly rated implies that any awards the series has acquired, or lack thereof, should be for the series. Nothing more. Nothing less. It's where it should be.
CrunchyrollKeigo Maki, Kodansha/Shikimori-san Production Committee