header by @ttosom58 Twitter
Love is in the air, maybe because spring already arrived just like the new anime in this season of 2021!
With Horimiya that we covered last time and just recently ended, let’s talk about another Romance-Comedy anime today: Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui! or for short Koikimo!
The title translated into english means: It’s too sick to call this love!
Unlike the series we covered before, this one is an Age gap romance, if this is not to your liking then maybe this series won’t be that interesting to you if Age gap is a no-go topic.
So let’s dive into the series: How sick is this love really?
As always we keep our breakfast animes cozy and spoiler-free, for you to enjoy the series afterwards too if you decide to watch it!
Like any other romance anime there is always an encounter leading up to the unfolding events, unlike other series the plot starts with the male lead Ryo Amakusa who seemed to have spent the night with another woman which’s name he doesn’t even remember anymore.
Leading a rather loose life concerning serious relationships, Ryo Amakusa’s encounter on that very same day changes the way he lived up until now.
After dizzily making his way to work from not sleeping at all and not eating, at the train station he almost sees his last seconds passing by when someone accidently pushed him as he still was unable to see what was going around him due to being dizzy.
That is – if it wasn’t for our female lead Ichika Arima who casually pulls him back and saves his life but disappears just as quickly as she came.
As Ryo wonders what that was all about it was already too late and he was only left with her lunchbox, at least he thought before he goes home for a while just to see the girl who saved his life being a highschooler and also the best friend of his younger sister Rio.
Trying his usual ways that work with women as he is an intelligent, sly yet handsome and charismatic businessman he offers Ichika something to show his gratitude thinking it would work out like usual – which didn’t on the contrary Ichika was completely creeped out and disgusted by his approach.
This is where their story starts, the story of an Otaku highschool girl who never thought about romance and an all-star seemingly perfect adult who falls head over heels and forces his love upon her.
Yet is this really love?
That’s the question the anime is coming up with in the whole series, since the age gap between Ichika and Ryo is about 10 years, something that not everyone can accept or rather is unimaginable being in Ichika’s position.
It also depicts the drastic changes of many lives that are involved due to their encounter not only Ryo’s but even Rio’s and other characters that appear later on.
As to not take too much away there will be several justified assumptions, questions and fears that come when considering that someone who is an adult falling for a girl that is much younger than him, not only the age plays a role but behaviour, trust and many other factors which are considerable talking about romantic interests here.
Also the question whether someone that is the same age would be better or how to decide who is better for oneself are a big role since next to romance and comedy, the other genre for this anime is Josei meaning despite our female lead being a highschooler the romance here is directed at girls or women of another age group late teens and higher.
Josei focuses more on realistic problems considering romance and we also see that in KoiKimo despite it still having some apparent cliches, but the idealistic version of romance as we know it from Shoujo is kept low or even missing in here.
In Koikimo the realistic problems of having someone older than you like you, as well as the struggles and thought processes most women could have while considering such a lover interest is relatable, while the comedy aspect of course plays it down a lot keeping the problems and struggles rather as a side note than an actual focus compared to other series.
She is our female lead, despite her unusual plain and ordinary features, interests, hobbies and mannerism she is nothing special – that’s how her best friend Rio also described her when people asked about the girl Ryo suddenly got a crush on.
Being especially bold and distanced towards Ryo is unlike her usual behaviour towards her peers which shows he is pretty much the only one who could trigger her to be so harsh towards a person.
Ryo being persistent, self-centered and pushy makes her confused and puzzled that he even reacts loving towards her disgusted and cold responses.
Any other than that, Ichika lives a quiet life, likes to read her favourite Light novels, Mangas and watching animes, she also states being an Otaku but doesn’t put any shame in it she rather openly talks about her interests and even reacts positively additionally happy when someone talks with her about the series she is following.
Showing that she can easily bond with others like her classmates over her interests she is also a bit clumsy and rather average when it comes to grades.
Yet she is someone who is there when there is a problem and doesn’t shy away from stating what she is feeling or thinking, also making her rush into situations before regarding the consequences.
One of them being the rescue of Ryo Amakusa which she deeply regrets, not saving him in general but the way she casually treated him on that day.
Unlike Ichika he is quite the opposite of ordinary, he is too perfect to compare with if one can say that,
Whether it’s about being athletic, being a high spec businessman, teaching subjects when needed, cooking and so on – Ryo is annoyingly extra in all of those things.
There is just one thing that is surely wrong- his personality.
As someone who is not committed and enjoys the young years and thrills of being a single man in his late twenties, he is living life to his fullest with no regard to other people’s feelings.
A self-centered man who is also charismatic to a degree that one could overlook the lacking considerate side of his, next to his handsome looks.
Trying to use the same charisma that worked with every other female Ryo utters his gratitude towards Ichika and tries to impress her – to get rejected and even reprimanded for it.
Surprised by her reaction not being bold, but also disgusted and creeped out uttering harsh words towards him he immediately falls for her as the thrill of being rejected never occured in his 27 years. He sees her insults and disgusted expressions as signs of her way to show him love (which she doesn’t but he still insists it is) and keeps on being pushy trying to conquer her heart.
With all that is happening we also get to see that slowly Ryo is changing…
The younger sister of Ryo and also the best friend of Ichika.
Like her brother she seems to be very observant, intelligent and also has good looks, as people mention that she and her brother look very similar and both of them are beauties.
Unlike her brother she is much more quiet, does seem reserved but that is more due to her soaking in everything that is happening around her. She is also friends with two other girls that form the group of friends Ichika is in.
After seeing her brother falling head over heels for Ichika, she is adamant on helping him out as she gives him intel on her, advises him but also making clear that if he hurts Ichika she won’t forgive him.
She is very bold and doesn’t shy away from saying what she is really thinking but rarely talks about herself when it comes to her own life.
Being the biggest support for Ichika and Ryo she also makes sure that everything is going smoothly without anyone asking her too, often being complimented by Ryo that she is indeed a lifesaver.
Fully aware of her brother’s antics she still can’t hate him and wishes the best for him as well for Ichika who always kept her company.
Rio is very athletic like her brother and also very fond of her club.
She is rarely seen with an emotional expression and has more of a poker face besides when is with Ichika and especially around Ichika and her brother.
When her brother is busy she does the cooking and is mostly one step ahead of the helpless duo.
Like mentioned before- this post is spoiler-free – so to avoid any more information that could alter your experience with the anime, there will be no mention of the other upcoming characters.
Later on in the series there surely will be some interesting encounters which will make the question much more interesting: is this really love? It can’t be this is too sick for love…
Since Ichika and Ryo’s interactions are still questionable and Ichika is constantly wondering if what she is experiencing is really love and if Ryo is not only joking around, the other characters that will follow up will spice up the plot even more.
As well as characters that bring us more background information about our current main-cast.
One of the things that immediately sticks: The art of the Ending.
While the opening and ending songs are rather catchy, the artwork in the Ending is beautiful and matches the music, which is more melancholic, nostalgic and serene.
It looks like a collage of artworks that tell us the story and some artworks are added when new characters are introduced.
Generally the design of the Amakusa siblings is very interesting next to a character that appears later who seems much more ordinary but has handsome features, but in general the anime doesn’t have flashy hair colors like we know it from others.
The anime doesn’t stand out to the animation and art but the story and ways how frames are depicted with the sudden silences or sounds is much more interesting.
Another anime, another batch of familiar voices that always catch our hearts with their amazing performances.
Let’s start with Ichika Arima’s voice actress Yurie Kozakai who voiced Yoshikawa from Horimiya last season and is now a main cast role in this season, we can hear her energetic voice when Ichika is geeking out but also the calmness and maturity when she speaks in a normal tone.
Toyonaga Toshiyuki as Ryo Amakusa, maybe some of you recognize it or not but he also voiced the very stern Shirabu from Haikyuu!! While as Ryo we hear his more charismatic and flirty voice there are occasions when an aggressive Ryo makes you wonder if it is still the same voice… He also voiced Tanizaki from Bungou Stray dogs.
Other voice actors which are mostly in many animes we know are also Ryohei Kimura, Kana Hanazawa and Junya Enoki.
While they usually voice bigger roles and main characters this time they bestow their presence with some side characters, not lacking any charisma in that since their voices never fail to bring over the personality and emotions we want to see.
Koikimo can be an interesting anime and easily to watch next to your breakfast despite that many have been criticising the anime for some reasons: one of them being that Ryo is an adult and despite the attempt of wanting to conquer Ichika’s heart can be seen critically in the eyes of some viewers since some people mentioned that it is already stalking and harassment of minor.
For that of course it is not okay to stalk someone, yet considering this an age gap anime where the female and male lead have an age gap of 10 years and are not visiting the same environment on a daily-basis (like in Shoujo animes were usually the main cast is going to the same school therefore having much more interaction time).
In the end it is for you to decide whether you want to watch an anime fully knowing that the male lead is 27 years old and totally in love with a 17 years old highschooler, as he tries his best (which may seem toxic to some) to make her acknowledge his love or just simply not watch the show for the states reasons above.
It is a matter of culture and perspective since in some cultures a difference of 10 years is not a big deal while in others it is a no-go.
Ichika is still a minor which is typical for a highschool setting yet this story is mainly about the male lead changing due to his encounter with her, which would lead to a healthy and steady relationship much later on in the series if that would actually happen but we saw that in other age gap animes as well.
My personal opinion is that one could give this anime at least a try, especially due to the interesting characters that are appearing later making various possibilities of how the anime could turn out in the end and side stories which have an important message too.
In the end the anime tells us that we can be influenced by people whether you are the younger or older one and that there are many things that are there to be considered when we look at love in general, especially the aspect: Is this really love?
Here are some Trailers to get a first impression: