Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible

Alt title: Kubo-san wa Mob wo Yurusanai

TV (12 eps)
3.826 out of 5 from 1,733 votes
Rank #1,958

First year high schooler Junta Shiraishi is a mob character who goes unnoticed even when he's standing right next to you. But his classmate, "heroine-level beauty" Kubo, always notices him and is there to tease him. Anyone can become special to someone, but it might be a little too early to call these feelings "love." Perhaps this story is still two-steps from being a romantic comedy--let's call it a sweet comedy where a background character becomes visible!

Source: MANGA Plus

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Pine Jam’s 2023 school romcom features and unusual male protagonist (Junta Shiraishi) who possesses the near-supernatural ability to be invisible to other people. This social invisibility is meant to be more metaphorical than real yet this show depicts it to humorous effect as being a genuine affliction the poor boy suffers. He sits in the back of the class at school and nobody – not even the teacher – seem to realise he is there. Everybody except super-cute yet mischievous classmate Nagisa Kubo. She seems fascinated by the boy and gently teases him to get his attention. Initially she seems curious about him yet as the season progresses the curiosity grows into a crush. Junta is at first baffled by her attention and remains typically oblivious to the romantic overtones afflicted upon him by the girl. The show by no means has a large cast of characters yet the few it has are used effectively by the story telling. Nagisa’s friends and sister have cottoned on to her obsession with little Junta and watch the story unfold with fascination to see what will develop. The show is gentle and fun. (Its flow was broken up a little by the inordinately long delay between the studio release of episodes 6 and 7 (apparently caused by Covid). If you are watching long after the event this won’t impact you of course but it was a pain at the time.) The show’s popularity grew and grew through the spring and summer 2023. Not hard to see why. It is immensely likeable and very similar to “The Dangers in My Heart” that ran in parallel during that season. The two anime both feature a clueless boy increasingly being pursued romantically by a girl who should really be quite out of their league. Still, it is a fantasy. Yet the boys act in such an awkward and uninterested fashion you seriously have to wonder just how deranged these girls are to want them so badly? In fact, we simply do not see these shows from the girl’s perspective. The boy is just pursued for no good reason whatsoever. It doesn’t matter how socially inept or how utterly lacking in charm he may be, the girls love them all the same. It is a mystery. What does this tell us about these sort of shows? Well, we all love an underdog and it is nice to see nice guys coming first. However, none of it really rings quite true with my recollection of adolescence. Good guys don’t get nice girls like this. A girl would have to be seriously deranged to be attracted to these weirdos. What gives? Fun but baffling. It works because the girls is cute and the boy equally irritating. It has a certain mysterious magic beyond description. You just yearn for the young man to grow a pair and take a bit more control of his life. Yet he fails, again and again. Depressing. Yet still… We loved this show. It seems so beautifully understated yet so well drawn and animated. I exudes quality and makes it look so effortlessly easy. It is the kind of opposite-attract romance that draws you in and keeps you fascinated despite its obvious slow pace. Adorable.

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