Japanese Otome Games have been selling off the market for a long time now. They are also quite popular as mobile games too. “Romantic Killer,” directed by Kazuya Ichikawa and authored by Wataru Momose, is one such popular Otome game-type storyline that has been the theme for a lot of ongoing mangas following the high success that the games have had. Usually, the traditional archetypes of the characters in these stories are very one-dimensional. There’s a heroine who is being wooed by several other stereotypical good, bad, and quirky boys. They are differentiated by their character traits and united by their love for the heroine. However, the trend has now shifted to quirky characters who are either integrated into the setting or just don’t want romance but cannot help falling in love with one of the male characters. There are also the premises of villains turned heroines who go through the same storyline and are liked because they’re different. In “My Next Life as a Villainess,” the quintessential villainess, Katarina Claes, would be an illustrious example of this villainess turned heroine genre. It’s a good read too. She’s pretty oblivious and does whatever she wants.
My point is that this series, like many others of its genre supporting a quirky, enigmatic heroine, has been a hit with the audience, and I bet a lot of the audience base has binge-watched this series in one setting. It is a major shift from the traditional damsel in distress and Ditsy Clutz that Japanese Otome games have going on. Like various predictable plotlines of the Otome genre, the male leads fall in love with the heroine here too, but, unlike its traditional genre, they have switched up their personalities of the female leads to garner more interest. Japanese media has recently found out that the audience does prefer a female lead with strong opinions and a backbone, who is not damsel in distress needing to be saved, to their own surprise. They do, however, bank on the archetype of the typical ‘tomboy.’ But she has her priorities straight and doesn’t relent on them.
‘Romantic Killer’ Season 1: Plotline – What Is The Series About?
Anzu, the main protagonist of the series, meets a quirky wizard who goes by the name of Riri. Riri is assigned to Anzu to make sure she finds her true love among the potential boyfriends. Riri makes Anzu give up three of her favorite possessions: games, chocolate, and her cat Mimihiko, in order to persuade her to participate in this game of love. Mimihiko is whisked away abroad by her newly promoted family as Anzu is left behind to get the plot going. She meets Kazuki, Junta, and Hijiri due to Riri’s antics and makes new friends in the process. She goes on to help Kazuki out and officially recruits him to join the bandwagon of suitors. Junta turns out to be her long-lost childhood friend, whom she had forgotten, and she is reunited with him. Hijiri goes through a subtle personality change and becomes more down-to-earth than he was before. Riri changes her identity to Rio to become another love interest for Anzu. It’s a chaotic plotline.
What Happened to Kazuki? Why Did He Live Alone?
Kazuki had a traumatic experience that resulted in him living alone where nobody knew him. He was a cheerful boy who had just helped the wrong person out of kindness. The person then latched on to him and destroyed his personal and school life. He was also drugged and assaulted by the person. It didn’t help that his own father blamed him instead of the stalker and continuously berated him for something that was out of his control. This left him traumatized, and he had to switch schools as well as districts. He was left with a disdain for crowded areas and felt claustrophobic whenever a girl approached him because of his looks. After meeting Anzu, things finally began to look up for Kazuki. He could finally deal with his fear of women and crowded spaces due to a friend like her.
‘Romantic Killer’ Season 1: Ending Explained – What Happened To Riri?
The stalker had somehow gotten the new address of Kazuki, and she arrived at Anzu’s house, where Kazuki had taken temporary refuge, too to petrify the poor boy. She almost killed Anzu because Kazuki kept hanging out with her, and she would have harmed her worse if Anzu’s friends had not reached the police on time. The stalker was then arrested and jailed with little to no remorse. The incident left Kazuki regretting helping her. But because Anzu was hurt badly, Hijiri and Riri stepped in to help with the situation. Hijiri used her connections to deal a lasting punishment to the stalker, and Riri used their magic to wipe out the memories she had had of Kazuki and his friends and family. She was then transferred to a psych hospital because she ended up forgetting everything due to Riri. This imparted a punishment on Riri from their company. They were sent to the basement to slave off for life. However, after Anzu discovers the reason behind Riri’s disappearance from Kate, another wizard, she insists on making them a love interest as well. This way, Rio (the male form of Riri) could continue to stay on and enjoy his life among his friends.
Will There Be A ‘Romantic Killer’ Season 2?
At the end of “Romantic Killer” Season 1, Kate, another wizard like Riri, is seen leaving the hospital where a person similar to the stalker is sitting. She could very well be the stalker herself, and Kate has to find love for her because that’s the job and life moves on. However, “Romantic Killer” Season 2 might just continue with the premise of Anzu’s love life because we all want to know who she ends up with. There’s a high chance she’ll end up with Kazuki because he just gives off that vibe, was an early player in the game, and has had more moments with Anzu than the rest. Junta will end up as the second male lead, leaving the audience with the second-lead syndrome. Hijiri, too, will probably become just a supporting character along with Riri. There definitely will be a second season, and there’s always the manga if anybody wants to spoil it for themselves.
“Romantic Killer” is lighthearted and has a sense of reality as well. The incident that Kazuki faced with the stalker is something a lot of people face in real life. Although it is more common with women, it is equally concerning when men face it too. It is also the truth that when men face it, it’s brushed under the rug and is not given such importance. Although every gender is usually blamed for the incident that they had no control over equally. In Korea, stalkerish behavior and people who partake in it are usually known as Sasaeng fans, and this actually causes anguish and trauma for the victim. Another event in the series was when Saki was defamed by an egoistic Senpai because she said no. Everybody in her class started misbehaving with her due to the rumors spread by the senior, who is well-liked. It goes to show that appearance and personality do not hide a person’s nature but do play a huge part in them getting away with the act. These acts still happen in society, and usually, the ones blamed are the victims. It is pretty disturbing, but reality hits harder.
On a lighter note, the series does have some cringeworthy moments, but who am I kidding? It’s entertaining. It’s a fun watch and, coming from a person who is hugely invested in the current trend of manhwas, mangas, and manhuas inspired by this genre, it’s pretty good. Although the romance part is relatively chill, the plot is fun and entertaining. The characters are lovable and relatable, so that’s a plus point. I might be biased, but I find Anzu’s character refreshing because she loves cats. But yes, it’s a fun series, and I recommend it for sure.
“Romantic Killer” is a 2022 Animated Drama series directed by Kazuya Ichikawa.