The things we love about Izumi and Shikimori’s relationship

The following contains spoilers for Shikimori’s Not Just A Cutie, available to stream on Crunchyroll.

Shikimori is not just a cutiethe manga, was first published in February 2019 and continues due to its remarkable success. Shikimori is not just a cutie was eventually adapted into an anime, which premiered on Crunchyroll on April 10, 2022. Created by Keigo Maki, Shikimori is not just a cutie is a romantic comedy that follows Shikimori and Izumi, two teenagers struggling to navigate high school while exploring their romantic relationship.

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Yuu Izumi is a bright and friendly, if awkward, young teenager. On the other hand, his girlfriend Shikimori is the complete opposite: athletic, stubborn and assertive. But what makes this couple so perfect?


10 They are opposites

While Izumi is clumsy and generally unlucky, Shikimori is the opposite. She is outgoing, confident, sweet, strong and brave. In contrast, Izumi is awkward, shy, and always seems to get into trouble. He is also prone to losing his wallet and tripping over his feet.

On the contrary, unlike shikimori, izumi excels at cooking. For example, when Shikimori tries to cook shrimp for Izumi, she ruins the dish with a mess of spices. Through this scenario, the audience discovers that she can neither cook nor bake.

9 They balance each other out

With their differences, Izumi and Shikimori balance each other out. Izumi’s restraint and Shikimori’s confidence fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Izumi’s tendency to trip over his feet, drop things, and injure himself is offset by Shikimori’s protective and defensive nature. In the same way, Shikimori’s shy demeanor is offset by Izumi’s kindness and generosity to everyone he meets.

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Additionally, in Episode 10, “The Desire to Win,” the audience gets another glimpse of Izumi’s clumsiness when he is selected to compete in the “Boy and Girl Mixed Relay” for her school’s athletic festival. Izumi’s best friend, Inuzuka, reveals that while Izumi is not a slow runner, he falls often. This is very different from shikimori who is athletic by nature. Her participation in the boys’ and girls’ mixed relay (along with her friends) helps balance Izumi (and Hachimitsu), both of whom aren’t athletes at all.

8th They support each other

Izumi and Shikimori not only complement each other, but also constantly encourage and reassure the other person’s likes, goals, and preferences. For example, after Izumi supports his girlfriend’s failed attempt at cooking, Shikimori promises that she will improve and learn how to become a better cook. Fortunately, she keeps her promise and takes cooking classes with his mother.

When Izumi falls ill and stays home from school, Shikimori continues to support him by flooding him with text messages reminding him to take his medicine, stay warm, and eat hot food. Although she cannot see him, she is always thinking of him, which seems obvious based on the multiple messages she has sent him.

7 They are devoted to each other

Shikimori and Izumi’s devotion to one another is another sweet aspect of their relationship. One of her classmates, Kamiya, develops a crush on Izumi and is devastated to find that he is taken. However, the couple’s devotion to each other is so strong that it doesn’t fully phase them. Rather, Shikimori does her best to comfort her.

In another instance, Izumi asks his friend Inuzuka to take class notes for him while he is stuck at home resting. This further provokes jealousy on Shikimori’s side as she believes Inuzuka is out to steal her boyfriend. This one-sided feud between her and Izumi’s best friend shows how devoted she is to her boyfriend. The fear that Inuzuka would steal him away (which he wouldn’t) is indicative of a mixture of two things: a very new relationship in which both people who obviously like each other still feel shy and insecure.

6 They represent reversed gender roles

When the couple plans to see the fireworks in Episode 6 “Fireworks Come the End of Summer”, Izumi tries to win a prize for shikimori in the shooting game. Unfortunately, he misses the target several times and fails. However, when it’s Shikimori’s turn, she hits the bull’s eye several times and wins the prize, which she presents to Izumi. Of course, this surprises both the latter and the game operator.

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Also, in the next episode, “Cultural Festival,” Izumi sews with some of his classmates for his school’s cultural festival. In general, sewing is considered a “feminine” activity, and perhaps that’s why the anime chose to do izumi instead of shikimori. Regardless, the reversed gender roles work perfectly in their relationship, mostly because they are so comfortable with it.

5 They are shy with each other

Their shy demeanor early in the series reflects their sweet infatuation with each other. As they continue to get to know each other, that shy undertone lingers that emphasizes a sense of innocence and purity. Additionally, Shikimori and Izumi cultivate a sense of shyness towards one another throughout their relationship that can only be described as healing.

In Episode 4, “How They Feel at the Beginning of Summer”, Shikimori is understandably shy about wearing a new swimsuit in front of Izumi. However, seeing him staring at a poster of a woman modeling a bikini drives her to buy a nice swimsuit. Likewise, Izumi appears to be shy simply by catching his girlfriend’s gaze.

4 They make sacrifices to each other

Shikimori and Izumi’s relationship is sweet because not only do they respect each other, but they don’t think twice before making sacrifices for each other. For example, after Shikimori cooks for Izumi (and messes it up), her food makes him fall to his knees in nausea whenever he tries a bite.

However, he is undeterred by this as he continues to eat more to make his girlfriend feel better, shocking her and her friends.

3 The way they think about each other is perfect

Despite Izumi’s bad luck and clumsiness, Shikimori believes he is perfect. Similarly, Izumi considers Shikimori to be perfect, despite her tendency to save him. Many boys would find this trait emasculating.

However, Izumi believes otherwise. In fact, he believes that this is the perfect trait for a girl for him because it is what makes her shikimori.

2 The way they protect each other

There’s nothing cuter than the way Shikimori protects (and in some cases stands up for) Izumi, who is prone to accidents. Although Shikimori usually protects and avenges Izumi in most cases, she is not the only one in their relationship who is protective of her loved one.

For example, when Shikimori’s sandal breaks in episode 6, despite Shikimori’s protests, Izumi is determined to wear them to protect her bare, blistered feet from the rough ground. In his own way, Izumi protects Shikimori as much as she protects him.

1 They always make time for their friends

When two friends group members start a romantic relationship, it can become a challenge for the entire friendship group. However, Shikimori and Izumi manage to balance their relationship and friendships, even including them in many activities and outings.

Despite their infatuation with each other, Izumi and Shikimori always make time for their close friends.

Shikimori is not just a cutie is available on Crunchyroll.

MORE: Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie Episode 12 Recap – The Christmas Date Finale The things we love about Izumi and Shikimori’s relationship


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