Real Girl breaks with typical rom-com conventions by introducing multiple kisses between the main characters, adding emotional weight and depth to their relationship. The importance of kisses is amplified by the characters’ past interactions and their growth throughout the series. Showing these intimate moments allows for more nuanced storytelling and adds context to the characters’ emotions and conflicts.
A romantic anime that aired exclusively on HIDE, Real girl, is radically different from most romantic comedies from its first episode and continues to upset this long-established status quo over its two-season series. The lovers – an otaku named Hikari Tsutsui and the beautiful troublemaker Iroha Igarashi – actually kissed, and more than once.
Although there are many anime that go against this trend, most of these instances are tainted with various connotations that make one doubt whether they are important or significant, e.g. by a stroke of luck or accident, as in More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers.
This is not the case with the adaptation of Mao Nanami’s original manga. This twist may only appeal to casual viewers who are tired of series that drag them into highly anticipated moments that sometimes never happen, but romance fans just can’t understand The end of this story will greatly appreciate the nuances that follow.
Pretty girls are not afraid of kissing
Based on the manga series by Mao Nanami
When Iroha first kisses Hikari for the heroic actions he uncharacteristically performs on her behalf, the importance of this moment is only amplified by what happens before and after. Hikari’s heroism towards someone like Iroha was a huge turning point for his character based on their previous interactions. Meanwhile, Hikari’s initial coldness towards Iroha gives her kiss more emotional weight because the intimacy behind such an act more accurately demonstrates how moved she must have been by his heroism to the point of forgiving his past actions.
Incredibly, the kiss actually happened halfway through the first episode. Hikari initially rejects Iroha’s display of affection because its implications go against his views on life, so his eventual decision to return to her arms becomes the real highlight of the episode. The second kiss added much needed depth to their already time-limited relationship. The stakes wouldn’t be as high if they never connected as deeply as they do now.
Even if no intimate scenes occur, the knowledge that they did occur helps add context to moments when the two main characters have difficulty communicating or accidentally hurt each other. . If they have never kissed and only spent time wondering whether the other person likes them or not, any form of misunderstanding will only justify their fears., leading them to wallow in the realization that they will never get close to their lover, just like in Rent-A-Girlfriend. Instead, Hikari and Iroha may worry about how they are changing, possibly losing what they had, and succumbing to jealousy instead of just sadness.
While keeping the “kiss” out of reach can help build anticipation in romance anime, Real girl ABOVE HIDE have proven that showing them can amplify something as simple as a hug, add a sense of poignancy or additional context to other emotional moments, and allow characters to experience more emotions is to just wallow and see if their love is reciprocated or not.
Real girl is broadcasting HIDE