OP: 「誰彼スクランブル」 (Darekare Scramble) by halca
「欲望に浮かぶ島」 (Yokubou ni Ukabu Shima)
“The Island of Desire”
Although we’re only two episodes in, I dare say we all have a very good idea about just where Engage Kiss is heading – and not that it’s a bad thing at all. For all the grumbling every season about “seen it all before”, there’s always comfort in series which know exactly what they are and play to it in the fullest, and this one looks to be a prime example of that in action. After all, it’s hard denying what’s coming when such scenery is front and centre.
Considering Engage Kiss’ premise and the crew at work on it, the additional information and characters revealed this week should not prove too surprising. Beside’s Shuu’s backstory of family death and adoption (culminating in his current job), we also have some additional tidbits on Bayron City’s government, the usual array of shady international interests (as represented by its mayor’s children – from different wives) involved in it, and its effective foundation on a magical resource you know full well does more than simply generate money hand over fist. The demonic presence for example is almost certainly tied to that very resource, the refusal to reveal said demons a way to ensure mining can continue unimpeded. It’s effectively the Indexverse with a more centralized threat at play, something which given Kisara’s origins is bound to yield some interesting developments sooner rather than later. In these stories brakes are always more a suggestion than a reality.
Of course, story isn’t really Engage Kiss’ main selling point – that would be its cast, and no shocker this aspect is going to be fun. If last week’s opener wasn’t proof enough, the in your face OP and ED and Kisara’s marking of territory does enough to show Shuu’s problem will be less demonic and more, well, demonic (don’t deny Shuu, you know exactly why Ayano follows Kisara’s social media). And that’s before dealing with the recurring jokes of money and domestic violence. While such character chemistry and on-point comedy was always Maruto Fumiaki’s wheelhouse, seeing it played up to this degree is a welcome sign because it gives some depth to Engage Kiss’ otherwise paint-by-numbers plot. Far too often these types of series crash and burn because of rushing or overtly cookie cutter characters; giving some depth via humour and harem-esque shenanigans smoothens over the wrinkles and keeps things enjoyable.
Mind you it’s no guarantee Engage Kiss won’t find a way to fall on its face (because paint-by-numbers), but so far at least I’m liking where this one is going. All we have to see now is who the big bad of this series will wind up being.
Full-length images: 22.
ED: 「恋愛脳」 (Renai Nou) by Akari Nanawo