I’ll be honest, Engage Kiss has got to be one of the more disappointing ‘originals’ I’ve seen in a long while. As someone who has been a big fan of the studio A-1 Pictures, they for sure fumbled the bag with Engage Kiss. For me anyway, the anime itself felt very sloppy and very unrefined. It is because of this feeling, that I found myself wishing that Engage Kiss had finished sooner rather than later.
Bayron City, a pioneering metropolis built on a newly discovered energy source, promises every citizen a luxurious and comfortable lifestyle. In reality, young demon exterminator Shuu Ogata’s life is far from extravagant. Despite running a private military business, he often struggles to make ends meet due to reckless expenses. Fortunately, Kisara, his demon partner, is more than eager to help Shuu with household matters—albeit a little too forcefully for his comfort.
The two work side by side, taking countermeasures against demon hazards, which stand as the biggest threats to the city. With danger lurking in the shadows, Shuu and Kisara strive to grant the town’s safety; however, exterminating the possessed comes with a price unbeknownst to others.
At first glance, the synopsis of the anime seems to be interesting. That is what I thought. Little did I know I’d be watching an anime with a terrible story to tell. Shuu fighting and seeking revenge on whoever killed his family all those years ago. It should have been a story about revenge, however, as time went on, the more clouded things became for Shuu. I say this because, Shuu always thought that it was a demon who killed his family, but yet, here he is having signed his soul to a demon in order to exact his revenge.
On top of that, this demon, by the name of Kisara, is someone who wants to be Shuu’s ‘last girl’. Talking about a Yandere, a poor one at best. The only way for Kisara to active her full powers is through taking Shuu’s memories. How? Through a kiss with him. I’ll be the first to say that this is probably the cringiest thing I’ve seen in awhile. What makes it even more weird is that Kisara only takes the ‘good’ memories Shuu has had with other women. NOT TO MENTION, it seems as though episode eleven indicates that somehow, Kisara and Shuu are related through blood.
As time goes on and as more memories are taken from Shuu. This yearning for revenge slowly fades and his sacrifices more and more of his memories for what? Nothing, to be completely frank.
Shuu as a male protagonist is also a terrible one. He is lazy and incapable of doing anything himself. He is someone who keeps making promises to achieve what he wants, but never holds up his end of the deal whenever his wish is fulfilled. He is someone who would rather have other people do the work for him, rather than doing it all himself. Not to mention, he’s a serious womanizer. As per episode eleven, did Shuu get all his memories back? Yeah, I would assume so. However, all the memories that were returned to him were ones where he’s had adult fun times with two other prominent characters of the anime. Talk about unnecessary.
What bothers me most about Engage Kiss as a whole is that everything is left until the last few episodes. If it weren’t for Kisara taking Miles memories prior to his death during episode nine. We wouldn’t have known that Shuu’s ‘mother’ was a demon. We also wouldn’t have known that if it wasn’t for Shuu’s father sacrificing himself in that cave all those years ago, that something more dramatic would have happened had Shuu’s ‘mother’ had walked free.
Then during episode ten we finally see that Kanna, Shuu’s little sister. Who Shuu has been fighting to find and save for the longest time has now fully realized their demon side (as she’s half human, half demon). We also find out that the city’s own government covered up Shuu’s father’s death and the real truth of the family because they themselves were basically in on it and knew everything about it. Talk about a government coverup! They even tried their best to stop Shuu and company from reaching that place where Shuu’s father had sacrificed himself in.
To top it all off, during episode eleven, we get the backstory between Shuu and Kisara we should have gotten closer to the beginning of the anime. Instead they decided to leave it towards the end and I’ll be honest, the flashback itself isn’t even that good. The only significant thing that resulted from that episode in particular was that Shuu regained his memories, but Kisara lost all of her own.
Which means, the final episode will be all about Shuu fighting his little sister to help Kisara regain the memories that she had lost. Which I don’t think will be something worth watching or will be something that will be overly significant. I say this because the latter half of the anime has been so unentertaining that no matter how good the final boss fight is in the end, I do not think it’ll make up for the poor story telling and characters that are in Engage Kiss.
Overall I’d say that Engage Kiss was a fairly poor ‘original’ from A-1 Pictures. I definitely expected better from them. This definitely will not be an anime I’ll be revisiting any time soon, that’s for sure.