Hardly headline news, but Romantic Killer isn’t either
by Bob Johnson
Anzu is a lady who doesn’t have any problems. Her folks take care of her, she loves her cat, she eats a fair bit of chocolate, and she plays dating sims, reasoning correctly that it’s cheaper than the real thing. Mendokusai!
However, a sitcom is defined by the hilarity that ensues from problems, and soon enough, Anzu’s problem is Riri, a flying fairy who shows up screeching nonsense about “Lie Back and Think of Japan” and an attitude toward consent that only a clickwrap corporate lawyer could love. Plus a magic wand to wave around! Suddenly, Anzu’s parents are inexplicably moving to America, chocolate and games have disappeared from the house, and Anzu’s treasured pet is nowhere to be found.
We are then introduced to a series of major and minor husbandos, each of whom offers Anzu an experience straight out of an Otome Game: the brooding hunk in need of healing, the childhood friend who grew up to be all big and muscly (or his trashy friend), the filthy rich brat who needs a tsundere to teach him real love (or his chauffeur, who knows what’s up).
Most romance shows rely on a suspension of disbelief to the tune of, “Sure, I’ll believe that all of these coincidences could happen randomly in real life and not according to some screenwriter’s guide on putting a plot thickener just before the second act…” Well, the show prevents you from forming those thoughts; just as things are getting particularly good, Riri pops in to drop an “All According To Plan MUAHAHA”, and then everyone remembers that this is a setup, particularly Anzu.
It is a gameplay loop that lasts until they run out of the most obvious scenarios and theeeeeen, well that’s when you learn that Anzu is *not* the title character. For those who don’t necessarily like having a psychological thriller bolted onto your fluffy romance show, you could literally skip Episode 10, 11, and the first three minutes of Episode 12 and not really miss anything. But even leaving them in, I’m not left with the usual Gonzo Ending aftertaste that has ruined other shows forever. They had to put some denouement in there to set up the sequel, after all!
It is a pretty solid show by Netflix standards (i.e. ‘average’), but nothing to rush through before the password checks go in. I would recommend Romantic Killer for fans of visual novels, and it’s fine for any other bored anime fan looking for something a little fun and flirty.
Maybe look it up: