OP: Monochro City「モノクロシティ」by Ace Collection
「悪い人では」 (Kare wa kanzen ni warui wakede wa arimasen.)
“He’s not Entirely Bad”
The kimochi certainly is warui for Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui? and its brand of romantic comedy. While the anime tries to hide the creepier undertones of Ryo’s stalker behavior around Ichika under the veneer of its bubbly rom-com aesthetic, it’s hard to scrub off the stink that comes from Ichika constantly trying to avoid and slip away from an older man who keeps attempting to come onto her until she’s worn down.
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that the series revels in the unsettling imagery of an adult man constantly pursuing a high school girl. As the episode progresses further and further, Ryo accumulates as much information as he can on her, even if it means probing his sister Rio about the personal, intimate details that she’s shared with her friend. Because he knows full-well that Ichika doesn’t like it, it makes him even more excited to push her buttons and get reprimanded by him. It’s the same thought process that’s linked towards why flashers get off on exposing themselves; the more disgusted you look, the more arousal they get.
Unfortunately, Ichika ends up getting trapped in this relationship she never wanted (and still doesn’t want) in the first place. She spends most of the episode disgusted with how creepy this grown adult is for his gross infatuation with her. Ichika is also surprisingly still friends with Rio, who pretty much pimped her out to her brother and gave him enough of Ichika’s personal information that he could easily reenact scenes from the movie Fear if he wasn’t a womanizing loner that would probably just sulk and continue making booty-calls if Ichika moved to a new city and changed her identity.
Ichika’s natural response to Ryo’s grossness is the only positive thing about this first episode as it diffused some of the grooming vibes that this all gives off. But while Ichika isn’t falling for any of the creepy air that Ryo gives off, the series looks like it’s heading into the trajectory of having her slowly grow fonder of him. Her gravest mistake in defending him in front of one of Ryo’s friends-with-benefits might lend to the idea that we’re supposed to see Ichika eventually start to develop feelings for him. I don’t see much of a reason to want to see this series through any further, but if the chemistry between a disgusted high school girl and a smitten adult is what tickles your fancy, then Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui? might just be your cup of tea.
ED: Rinaria 「 リナリア」 by Maruri to Ryuuga