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Shikimori's Not Just A Cutie - What We Know So Far

Part of enjoying a good romance anime is watching two characters who genuinely care for each other go the distance to keep each other safe and happy. A working relationship, after all, requires its participants to share the weight of their problems, and it always helps to have another level head and pair of hands on decks when the crap hits the fan. Seeing that kind of interdependence play out — whether it be on-screen or in real life — is satisfying in a way that not many other things are.

It's also at the heart of the upcoming anime from Doga Kobo ("The Helpful Fox Senko-San," "Sleepy princess in the Deon Castle"), "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie." Based on the original manga created by Keigo Maki and published by Kodansha, "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie" centers on one high schooler who always seems to become cool and capable when her unlucky boyfriend lands in hot water.

Neither Doga Kobo nor Kodansha have released much information regarding "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie," shrouding the show's release date, cast, and even plot in mystery. Even so, there's enough surrounding information from the source material and the studio itself that we can parse together some key details regarding this promising romance anime.

When will Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie be released?

So far, Doga Kobo and Kodansha have only shared the bare minimum of information regarding "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie." In other words, both companies have only confirmed, through an announcement made on Kodansha's "Magazine Pocket" Twitter account on January 1, that the anime is being produced. They have not released any trailers or other promotional materials that offer significant information. That being said, Doga Kobo's past works do offer a small window into the studio's production process, allowing us to take an educated guess at when "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie" might be complete.

One of Doga Kobo's largest successes in recent years has been "The Helpful Fox Senko-San," which was released back in 2019. According to Anime News Network, however, the show was announced less than a year prior in December 2018. Assuming "Shikimori's Nor Just a Cutie" follows even a remotely similar production process, it's possible that the show will debut sometime before the end of 2021, or as late as 2022.

Who are the core characters of Shikimori's not Just a Cutie?

While Doga Kobo and Kodansha have not revealed any cast members for "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie," we actually do know quite a bit about the characters from the original manga. We've already talked a bit about Shikimori herself, so perhaps it's time we take a look at the other half of this show's dynamic duo, her boyfriend.

For the most part, Izumi is a typical Japanese high school boy. He's socially awkward and dorky at times, but that comes with the territory. His only real issue is that he's terribly unlucky, and often ends the day bearing some new injury or suffering from an inconvenience. It makes sense, then, why he's also utterly in love with his cute girlfriend.

More intelligent and generally capable than Izumi, Shikimori is a good student and a successful athlete at their high school. She's also a genuinely kind person who tends to come off as cute when she's relaxed. When she gets serious, however, her all-too-cool alter-ego comes out. This is especially true when Izumi gets into trouble, which he often does. When in "cool mode," Shikimori always manages to solve whatever problems Izumi seems to be having at the time.

What is the plot of Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie?

"Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie" is also a slice-of-life series, meaning that it tends to avoid following any strong linear narrative between chapters or episodes. However, that doesn't mean there's no fun to be had and no story to be told. In total, "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie" is about the daily, small-world struggles of two kids who are genuinely in love and want the best for each other.

More often than not, the brief vignettes that make up the series also draw humor from the situation. Izumi's problems, though rarely major, always seem to interfere with his plans. Whether it's forgetting to wear gloves when taking his girlfriend out on a chilly Christmas night (Chapter 7) or getting too scared when he and Shikimori watch a scary movie (Chapter 4), Izumi almost always ends up seeming less cool and manly than he wants to appear in front of his girlfriend. However, he can't help but love her more when she immediately switches to "cool" mode and solves the problem, however minor, with a single gesture.

Thus, "Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie" is perfect for eliciting those "awww" reactions people get when they see something that's just too wholesome. This is ironic, considering that the whole point to Shikimori's character is that cuteness is just one facet of her personality. Despite this, cuteness may be the best reason to watch the show at all.