A ton of promising shows dropped at the start of this fall season, but one that continues to fly under the radar due to its Netflix release late in the season is Romantic Killer, an eye-catching romcom with a defiant heroine. On the surface, this show looks to be a modern Cinderella; we have Anzu Hoshino, a girl whose life revolves around three greats: video games, her cat, and chocolate. When Riri the fairy pops into her life with a mission to add some romance into Anzu’s life à la otome game tropes, we start the roller coaster that is our lead’s attempts to survive the onslaught of handsome young men and compromising scenarios. What started as a seemingly structured storyline with a predictable ending turned rapidly into one of my favorites of the fall that may very well be among the most entertaining romantic comedies of surprising depth in recent anime seasons.
While Netflix provides the smoothest streaming experience of all the available services, I still firmly believe that anime released through the platform suffer overall in terms of popularity. When I first started talking about this show, most people in my immediate circles had no clue about its existence. With hardly any hype prior to its drop as well as the release a month into the fall schedule, other anime simply eclipsed Romantic Killer. Never mind the fact that true to the usual Netflix model viewers can binge the entire season all in one sitting, the hype and discussion surrounding each week’s releases on platforms like Crunchyroll and HIDIVE lend further exposure to currently airing anime. I can only hope that through professional reviews and blog plots, entertaining works like Romantic Killer won’t just disappear into the yearly pile of anime offerings.
On the surface, genre categories like romance, comedy, fantasy, and parody bring with them their usual slew of expectations, though it’s the last item on this list that is tantamount to understanding the tone of this work. Anzu is not your typical romantic heroine, and the harem into which she’s thrown is far from her dream come true. They are instead the result of a meddling love fairy named Riri–even more concerning is that fact that she’s their first human test project. This is all uncharted territory, and she’s not an easy case. Her interests are nothing odd to me given my own twist on the hobbies: video games, chocolate to my preferred savory snacks, and cats instead of my love for dogs, but I suppose for the usual otome heroine, these priorities are problematic. Her three great passions are taken hostage until the the time she finds true love. Pretty par for the course in Cinderella stories, right?
This is where one of the best parts of this anime come into play: the characters, particularly Anzu. She is stubborn beyond all imagination, unforgiving in her passions, and wholly uninterested in playing into Riri’s schemes. She wears whatever she wants, usually some variation of feline-patterned lounge wear, pines after her missing pet cat and any and all cat paraphernalia, and avoids as best she can any obvious romantic subplots. Unfortunately for her, Riri has magic to bolster their aims to create the most contrived scenarios possible. I actually found Romantic Killer far too over the top and cheesy in the beginning, and considered dropping it after the first episode. Riri played their part terrifying well and I hated the unfairness of Anzu’s situation, especially taking her young age and lack of interest into consideration. But I gave the series another episode, and then a third, and then I found myself marathoning through to the end actually invested in all the characters and even laughing at and with Riri.
True to the otome backbone of Riri’s mission, Anzu meets multiple romantic suitors each with their own unique backstories and personalities. While they initially each fit easily into a known stereotype, they proceed to subvert expectations. The cool guy hides from a very real and terrifying trauma because of his good looks and former open friendliness–this ends up part of a larger, overarching plot. The childhood friend found inspiration and purpose in his early friendship with Anzu and surprises her upon their reunion with a completely different appearance while still maintaining his original kindness. The pampered young heir finds himself drawn to the seemingly mundane everyday lives of the other characters and starts to interact more outside of his comfort zone to better understand them. Even the fairy, who transforms into a human girl or a boy as the situation dictates, can’t help but leave professionalism behind in their increased care for Anzu’s wellbeing. While Anzu might have zero interest in romance right now, she makes for the best kind of friend anyone could ask for–receptive as a listener and relentlessly loyal. She’s always there when needed, and they return that back to her tenfold. I unabashedly fell for her while watching this show.
Since the warm up to the cast was slow at the start, I place full props towards the show’s art and animation for my initial investment. Even in the first episode alone, I was impressed with the different art styles playing up the comedy to maximum effect. Goofiness paired with crazy expressions, and the sheer amount of animation in a single episode had me wondering about the budget allotted for this anime that jumped at me from nowhere. The original manga is only four volumes in total, but its completed status might be the reason behind the strong writing and satisfying ending. While I can imagine a sequel, there definitely isn’t any need for one given the gem we already have with this single-cours series.
Rating: 1 dango
Watch on Netflix.
- 0 dango – average and forgettable.
- 1 dango – very good in its category.
- 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
- 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.
4 thoughts on “[Review] Romantic Killer is the RomCom You Can’t Help but Love”
Because of this review, I went to Netflix. Its hardly on anyone’s radar. Unfortunately it seems like Netflix is the Elephant Burial burial ground where anime goes to die. Netflix just caters to a standard movie crowd, but they do have some good anime which no one ever hears about. Kinda like Amazon. Romantic Killer is a killer RomCom with heavy emphasis on the COM. This thing really makes me laugh. Kinda like Bocchi only Anzu is in your face blunt and does not follow the crowd. Her only loves are video games, Chocolate, and her cat. She cares nothing about appearance. In a way she is like Marin from Dress-up darling, someone who marches to her own drummer and ignores what other girls think is hot and cool. She also is blunt like Yukino Yukinoshita. This is the kind of female MC that I really respect and just love to pieces. If anyone is looking for a very funny anime about love and falling in love and friendship, Romantic Killer will serve double portions for your Christmas Dinner.
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See, this is another reason why I keep up with writing about the shows I watch and especially love. I’m thrilled you were able to go and watch Romantic Killer and enjoy it. It’s going to get buried and forgotten by most anime fans, but hopefully now and then someone else will come across it and discover what a treasure the show is.
Merry Christmas ^.^
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Merry Christmas to you also.
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I loved it as well. Such a shame it’s stuck in the Netflix void and didn’t get any attention.