Private security companies are in demand in Bayron City, but not to assist with common activities like guarding large sums of money or for bodyguard work. Instead, these firms bid on the right to fight and dispose of “D-Hazards,” demons who are able to call forth minions as they run amock and cause violence and damage. Perhaps the most peculiar of the security companies confronting these creatures is a tiny one run by the perpetually broke Shu, who doesn’t seem to have any great strengths either. But he does have an ace up his sleeve in the form of Kisara, a powerful companion who assists in the battle against D-Hazards. Her power, however, can only be activated, or engaged, by a particular means. Any guesses how? (Just take a peek at the title of the series.)
If you’ve ever wanted to watch a series in which the leads are in a heavily sexual relationship and fight demons together, well you’re in luck! But if you’re like the rest of us and find that combination a bit strange, you might feel as I did about Engage Kiss—that the mixture of comedy sci-fi action with some adult-leaning content is odd and icky. The anime begins with a cutesy vibe by portraying the hapless Shu and the sweet Kisara being in a typical “anime girl fawns over boy” relationship, before leading into a scene featuring a post-coitus selfie. Yeah, that came out of nowhere. Then the episode follows up with more comedic shonen scenes before dropping the revelation that high schooler Kisara, who is now revealed to be teaming up with Shu to fight demons, must graphically kiss him to bring out her strength. This relationship is made all the worse because Shu’s a bit of a loser, the type of character who is supposed to be irresponsible but loveable, but comes across more as the kind of man who uses women (for both money and sex) without taking any sort of responsibility. He’s an extremely unlikeable character. If there’s a saving grace to the episode, though, it’s that it features some stunning animation, particularly in intense, quick-moving action sequences. There were some interesting directorial choices, too, with sudden close-ups that helped emphasize jokes, adding some movement to what might typically be static scenes. The animation really is admirable. It’s too bad that the series is putting a man with some irredeemable qualities into harem+ mode, creating an experience that I’m not keen on revisiting again.
Engage Kiss is streaming on Crunchyroll.
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