Kiss Him, Not Me! Volume 11
I was disappointed with Kiss Him, Not Me! volume 11 because it didn’t have enough of what I read the series for. I like the fan behavior and the various goofy activities the cast engages in for their love of anime and related pop culture. This installment, instead, is all ridiculous action sequences.
When this storyline began in the last book, Kae had met again her childhood friend Takeru, now an established voice actor for her favorite anime series. There were hints his motivations were less than pure, but here, all subtlety (although this series never had much) is right out the window.
Takeru has kidnapped Kae, fattened her up so she looks more like the girl he remembers, and is forcing her to marry him. Her friends are trying to save her, because the idea she herself could say “no” and anyone would listen is apparently impossible.
Kae is drawn throughout this book as a human-shaped blimp, which makes her less expressive and able to show feeling. That’s ok, because she doesn’t seem to have any. There’s a comedy attempt at escape, while all her friends are running around trying to find her, encountering transit delays, and being kidnapped themselves. (How this voice actor knows so many thugs is an question that may hint at his troubled background, but exploring characterization isn’t the point of this supposed comedy.) Otherwise, she’s a prop more than a person, following along without resistance so the author can get pieces in place for plot sequences.
She does finally tell him off, in the last of the three story chapters here, but it reads as mere setup to another cliffhanger, in which one of her several other suitors has to risk his life to demonstrate his purity of character. The last quarter of the book is a bonus story, a set of three short chapters in which various characters swap bodies with each other.
Kiss Him, Not Me! has reached the point where I don’t dislike it enough to give it up, but I’d like for the next volume to be the last, so I can finish it up and move on. However, with an anime series running, there may be more to come.