Manga / Kiss Him, Not Me

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Our unlikely heroine and her four suitors. Clockwise, starting top left: Mutsumi, Igarashi, Nanashima and Shinomiya. Center: Kae. Not pictured: Nishina.

Kae Serinuma is a chubby second-year high schooler, avid otaku and Yaoi Fangirl who has accepted that she will never be one of the popular kids at school. She secretly ships two of her male classmates, and is perfectly comfortable with her life.

However, when her favourite anime character is killed off, she locks herself in her room for seven straight days and rapidly loses weight from grief and starvation. When she finally emerges, Kae discovers that her body has transformed into that of a conventionally attractive young woman, drawing the sudden attention of five classmates: the sporty Yuusuke, the surly Nozomu, the timid Hayato, the laid-back Asuma and Bifauxnen geek-girl Shima.

The bewildered girl finds herself in a new and unfamiliar daily routine as these suitors try to capture her heart while putting up with her weird hobbies, despite the fact that she'd rather see them all paired up with each other. Yes, this is a Reverse Harem series.

Watashi ga Motete Dousunda (lit. What Should I do if I'm Popular), also known as "Boys, Kiss Him Instead of Me", is the first shoujo manga by the popular BL mangaka Junko. It's been serialized on Bessatsu Friend since April 2013, and ended with 14 volumes in 2018. It's been licensed in the USA by Kodansha Comics USA under the title Kiss Him, Not Me.

The series has been greenlighted for an anime adaptation by Brains Base and Group Zen. Crunchyroll streamed the subtitled version as it aired in Japan as part of the Fall 2016 Anime season, while Funimation created a SimulDub (formerly known as Broadcast dubs) for the series during the same simulcast season.

Not to be confused with Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui, which stems from both series sharing a similar shorthand name (Watamote).

Now has a Character Page! Go check it out for more info on the characters!

Tropes:

  • The Ace: Igarashi at sports.
    • Nishina is beautiful, popular, an ojou (despite not looking like one) and a very talented artist with her own doujin circle.
  • All Take and No Give: Kae and Mutsumi's relationship in a nutshell. Where Kae frequently tries his patience and compromises time for their relationship in order to go to her various events, Mutsumi lets her do what she wants because he'd rather see her happy doing the things she loved, at the expense of his own feelings on the subject. Igarashi makes it clear that he thinks their relationship problems are both their faults because of the active ignorance of the former and the passive wishy-washiness of the latter.
  • Almost Kiss: Kae's had one with almost all of her suitors, but the only one to successfully kiss her is Nishina. No longer true as she eventually shares one with Nanashima and Igarashi. Both Nanashima and Igarashi kiss as well, on two occasions.
  • Always Someone Better: How Nana actually feels about Igarashi in regards to soccer.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: First Mutsumi and then Igarashi. Both remain unanswered, however.
    • Not anymore, at least not as far as the audience is concerned.
  • Animation Bump: A (rather jarring) one occurs in episode 4 when Kae gives the boys their Comiket guides.
  • Artistic License: Kae's transformation becomes more absurd the more you think about it.
    • She goes through an entire week without the most basic human needs and this only has positive effects on her body. Most people who go through what Kae did would require rehabilitation... If they survived it.
    • Stretch marks are an aftermath of rapid weight change. People who experience a massive weight loss will cause their skin to become greatly scarred as consequence and there's no clear useful treatment. Kae's sudden weight loss gave her flawless skin instead.
      • Rapid weight loss - or the loss of large amounts of weight - can also create areas of very saggy or loose skin that can only really be corrected with surgery. Of course she manages to avoid this as well.
    • Not only does Kae fail to realize she has a new physique until she looked at herself in a mirror, but she also fails to notice her body becoming lighter and thinner through the week despite losing almost half the weight she used to have.
    • Kae's glasses are missing afterwards with no explanation as to why she no longer needs them (though it's implied she never needed them entirely).
  • Babies Ever After: At the very end of the series, we find that A-chan has a husband and child, while Kae and Mutsumi have a little boy named Shion.
  • Beauty Mark: Kazuma has one under his left eye.
  • Berserk Button: Mutsumi is extremely kindhearted and polite, but if you pose any kind of threat to Kae he will put the fear of god in you.
  • Bifauxnen: Nishina.
  • Big Brother Bully: Kazuma once trapped Mutsumi inside a storehouse just because he pissed him off. At the present, he makes advances on Kae despite being aware of Mutsumi's feelings for her... and later traps him in a locker.
    • Serinuma's own brother is very harsh to her, insulting her for being fat and generally making fun of her.
  • Bishounen: Shinomiya.
  • Bi the Way: Kazuma claims that "gender it's not a big deal" and assumes one of the members of Kae's group must be Mutsumi's partner, regardless of their gender, and claims he wants to hit on all of them.
  • Balanced Harem: At the start anyway. Once the halfway mark came, the series makes it very clear that the main love candidates are Igarashi and Mutsumi, with everyone else in a secondary role.
  • Beautiful All Along: Serinuma after losing weight, kickstarting the plot.
  • Bland-Name Product: Kae often makes trips to Anime Ito, a phonetic romanization of the name of the store Animate. Also, the love interests often hang out at "Donny's."
  • Brutal Honesty: Mutsumi's first decision after realizing he likes Kae is outright telling her... and she considers everyone else should tell her too.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Shinomiya's mother is Norwegian, which explains his ash-brown hair and fair skin.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: They are around Kae from the start, but they only notice her once she loses weight. Later, the bifauxnen Nishina and Mutsumi's older brother Kazuma join the cast.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: In-universe example. Nanashima looks a lot like Shion, so Kae becomes obsessed with him whenever he does cosplay or acts like he's Shion.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Mitsuboshi was friends with Kae when they were younger, and is specifically trying to invoke this trope by kidnapping her and marrying her against her will.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: When Mutsumi falls unconscious, Kae spends a few moments every day out in the hospital's rooftop gathering "spirit balls" from everyone's prayers to revive him.
  • Cosplay: Igarashi and A-chan dress as Attack on Titan soldiers and Nanashima as Shion (Kae's favourite character) for the class' cosplay café. Kae gets a meido outfit.
    • When Kae first meets Nishina, she's cosplaying as Black Butler's Sebastian.
  • Damsel in Distress: Kae after she gets kidnapped by Mitsuboshi.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Mutsumi manages to chase away the ghost of Sametora and his army with a charm he bought from the shrine. The entire event turned out to be a hallucination, but still.
  • Distant Finale: The final chapter features Kae's wedding seven years after Mutsumi graduates, then goes further to see her future child.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening theme is performed by the voice actors of the four main male characters.
  • Dragged into Drag: Shinomiya is forced to act as the princess for his class' play on the cultural festival.
    • Later, he has to dress up as Princess Usamimi when trying to get a job at a theme park. The fact that Nishina, a girl, works at the butler cafe makes this even funnier.
  • Dude, He's Like, in a Coma!: Following Kae's rescue from her kidnapping and Mutsumi getting critically injured, she visits him in the hospital while he's unconscious. Tearfully asking him to wake up, she kisses him.
  • Excuse Plot: Kae turning out to be Beautiful All Along after locking herself in her room for an entire week. After this, it's mostly just a regular harem romcom.
  • Family Theme Naming: The Mutsumi brothers are called Kazuma and Asuma.
  • First Kiss: Kae's is with Nishina, though she says it "doesn't count" because Nishina's a girl.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Kae with Nishina, who first met each other before Kae's weight loss at Nishina's debut as a doujin artist at Comiket.
  • Freaky Friday: An extra chapter features Kazuma and Asuma (and their cat) colliding into each other while falling in the stairs, which causes Kazuma to enter Asuma's body, Asuma to enter their cat's body and the cat to enter Asuma's body. Same happens to Igarashi and Kae, as well as Nanashima and Nishina. They finally switch back, but when Shinomiya goes home, tired, Thor crashes into him and they swap bodies.
  • Friendless Background: Shinomiya was bullied in the past for his half-blood and girlish looks, and his poor immune system. This explains why he's touchy about being called 'cute' - that was exactly the thing he was bullied for.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Subverted. Nanashima fell through the stairs before an important soccer match in middle school, but he quit because he felt frustrated for the automatic loss rather than being unable to play.
  • Gay Option: Non-gaming example - Nishina Shima is a female and part of Kae's otherwise-male harem.
  • Gender Flip: Volume 9's special focuses on the premise of the series had everyone's genders be switched.
  • Genre Savvy: A-chan often makes remarks about how many situations of Kae's life (like becoming beautiful after losing weight or getting four suitors at one) seem to be taken out of a manga or an otome game.
    • Later in the story, Nanashima is angry at the fact that all of Kae's suitors except him have had special moments with her, and that now that she's found something else to obsess with she doesn't care anymore that he looks like Shion.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Serinuma and Nishina have one in Episode 6.
  • Heavy Voice: Inverted in the anime, Kae's voice is significantly higher after losing a substantial amount of weight. Averted in the English dub and the CD dramas.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Igarashi and Nana have shades of this.
  • Hollywood Nerd: What Kae becomes after losing weight, and Nishina on a daily basis.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Kae constantly notices it between Igarashi and Nanashima, as well as Shinomiya and Mutsumi.
    • Kae gets her own with Nishina.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: (In-Universe) The Nanashima/Igarashi ship is known as 7/5 (after the numbers in their names) to Kae and A-chan.
  • Indirect Kiss: Kae takes food from Mutsumi's chopsticks and realizes this is what happened.
  • Irony: Kae loves BL more than she loves life itself, being a fujoshi. It's quite funny and somewhat upsetting to see that the one thing she loves the most actually brought over in real life— that is, a classic BL setup with a friend in love with his other friend is in the one place where she doesn't want it happening— that is, in between her relationship with Mutsumi. Even more so that she previously shipped all the boys around with each other.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nanashima is the only one to express his disgust towards Kae's otaku hobbies, and to consider Kae's efforts to do well on soccer to be futile. However, he ends up helping her and not minding her rambles.
  • Last-Name Basis: Kae with everyone except A-chan, to the point that pretty much no-one in the fandom actually knows that it's their last names.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Mitsuboshi kidnaps Kae, he mentions that he takes fault in the other boys because they only seemed to fall in love with Kae after she lost weight— a complaint more than one reader had about the premise.
  • Local Hangout: The five Love Interests often meet at Donny's after school to discuss things.
  • Love You and Everybody: Mutsumi, initially.
  • Lovable Jock: Igarashi.
  • Mushroom Samba: When the group visits the small island where Sametora's severed head was buried, they all begin hallucinating ghosts chasing them. It turns out to be because the boxed lunches they ate before boarding the swan boats were cooked with poisonous mushrooms.
  • New Old Flame: Igarashi meets once again his middle school classmate Kotoha, just as he's confessing to Kae. He used to have a crush on her.
  • Nose Bleed: Kae gets one when she sees something erotic. Shinomiya got two, too, after he crashed on Kae's breasts. Mutsumi does get these as well, but only when he gets nervous or stressed.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Mutsumi catches his friend and Kae walking together during a Kachuu Ranbu event in Chapter 47. While they do explain the situation (they just happened to meet at the event), it does stress him out enough to bleed.
    • And then again in Chapter 49, where Mutsumi and his friend on on the roof and Kae catches them in a pose that makes it look like they're kissing.
  • Numerical Theme Naming: Kae's suitors have numbers in their last names. Nanashima (七島) is 7, Igarashi (五十嵐) is 5, Shinomiya (四ノ宮) is 4, Mutsumi (六見) is 6 and Nishina (二科) is 2. In addition, Mitsuboshi (三星) is 3.
    • Kazuma (一馬) is 1, although it's his first name, not his last.
  • Oblivious to Love: Serinuma still doesn't recognize the boys' feelings after multiple dates and plenty of flirting. She often chucks it up to her imagination. Mutsumi too doesn't acknowledge his feelings until the other push him on the issue.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Kae's friend "A-chan".
    • Some girls call her Nakano-san in chapter 6.
      • Chapter 19 reveals her full name to be Amane Nakano.
  • Relationship Sabotage: Yashiro is this. He wants what's best for Mutsumi and desires to see him happy, but he doesn't think that Kae's a good enough fit for him. With this in mind, he deliberately sets out to test her love and drives a wedge between the couple behind Mutsumi's back.
  • Relax-o-Vision: When Kae and Nishina discover they can't agree on who tops in their favorite pairing, their argument is censored by a picture of a cute kitten.
  • Satellite Character: A-chan doesn't do much outside being Kae's Genre Savvy best friend.
  • Second Year Protagonist: Kae.
  • Secret Test of Character: Yashiro reeals in Chapter 49 that he brought Kae over to the Kacchu Ranbu event in order to test out her loyalty to Mutsumi. Given that she accepted and went of her own accord, she failed the test.
  • Senpai Kouhai: Mutsumi is Kae's senpai, and Shinomiya is her kouhai. She enjoys shipping both using this dynamic.
    • Nishina is Kae's kouhai and treats her with respect.
  • Shipper on Deck: Serinuma's interests extend to shipping her love interests together. As the series progresses, she becomes more and more open about it, to the point where one of her rewards for losing weight is having Igarashi and Nana kiss.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Shinomiya and Nanashima get a lot of BL teasing across the series, but the biggest tease goes to the epilogue, where they arrive at Kae's wedding holding hands and live together. Even Nishina and A-chan think there's something going on between the two, though they're wearing their BL goggles.
    • Igarashi and Nishina are together as well, as editor and mangaka. They get teased as being very similar to each other, and bicker Like an Old Married Couple.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Happens in-universe when Kae and Nishina butt heads over their preferred couple from Kacchu Ranbu. Unlike most variations of this trope, both Kae and Nishina ship the same couple, but don't agree on which character wears the pants in the relationship.
  • Shout-Out: Due to Serinuma being an Otaku, she often talks about real life animes such as Inazuma Eleven, One Piece, Attack on Titan, The Irregular at Magic High School, etc.
    • When Kae gets asked what personification is, she gives a few examples of what can be personified:
    Kae: Things like prefectures, or warships, or swords, or anniversaries, or trains, or...
    • Kacchu Ranbu seems to be a thinly veiled shout-out to Touken Ranbu, right down to the "[X] Love" nickname and shrine visits.
    • Episode 3, where Kae's class does a cosplay cafe, has several characters wearing the uniforms of the Survey Corps. Kae herself is seen in the uniform during an eyecatch holding on to a potato. This is in reference to Sasha who shares the same seiyuu.
    • Kae tells Kotoha that she's had crushes on Sanji, Sasuke, and Levi.
    • Chapter 47 has Kae's grandfather do a Serval cosplay.
    • Kae tries to draw a human transmutation circle around Mutsumi's hospital bed after the latter fell unconscious.
    • At Kae's wedding, her friends and family clap and say "Congratulations!", in a parody of the infamous scene.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Mirage Saga, a high fantasy Shonen anime. It should qualify as a Type 2, but due to having the notable distinction of kickstarting the plot after her favorite character's death, it's become a Type 3.
    • Kacchu Ranbu, a Sengoku-era series about anthropomorphic armor.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Following Kae and Mutsumi getting together, they spent practically every waking moment together like a newlywed couple, much to the dismay of the rest of the harem....at least at first.
  • Stout Strength: After regaining her weight, Serinuma runs into Shinomiya and manages to slam him into a wall and leave a huge dent in it.
  • Straight Gay: Yashiro, Mutsumi's friend, turns out to be this.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Kazuma starts developing a crush on Kae after he rejoins the school as a practice teacher.
  • Thanks for the Mammary: Shinomiya accidentally ends up with a face full of Kae's breasts twice.
  • Their First Time: Kae and Mutsumi make love first time after they propose to each other.
  • Unwanted Harem: On one hand, Serinuma feels overwhelmed by all the male attention she's getting all of a sudden. On the other, she would rather see the boys flirt with each other than with her.
  • Wham Episode: In-Universe; the Mirage Saga episode where Kae's favorite anime character Shion died is this for her. It and Kae's reaction to it are what sparks the main plot.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Not all the way, but you do hear what happens to the cast after they finish high school.
    • Kae starts making anime and manga merchandise, joins Mutsumi in college, and gets married. Mutsumi has one child by her and becomes a teacher.
    • Nishina becomes a mangaka, with Igarashi abandoning his economics idea to become her assistant. The manga ends up a hit.
    • A-chan gets married offscreen with child.
    • Nanashima and Shinomiya room together. The former becomes a cook, and the latter a model.
    • Kazuma quits his job and becomes a backpacker.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Serinuma, A-chan and Nishina.

Alternative Title(s): Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda

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