Anzu Being Stuck in a Dating Sim Has Some Benefits


Warning: This article contains spoilers for Romantic Killer Episodes 1-6.

With the release of Netflix‘s most recent anime Romantic Killer, fans cheer for the main character Anzu as she survives the plague of romantic clichés. The atypical heroine finds herself stuck in a reality where she’s forced to interact with attractive boys her age to strike up a romance. While the challenge might sound horrific to some, especially Anzu, it could prove to help her with her biggest flaws.

The first episode of the series establishes Anzu as an avid gamer who makes zero time for relationships, though there’s nothing wrong with her avoidance of romance in particular. Anzu’s problem is revealed after she’s forced into her dating sim reality. Once her normal life is taken away, it becomes clear that Anzu has been missing out. Although Anzu’s rejection of romance is refreshing, her normal life didn’t appear to be very healthy for a teenager. She surrounded herself with her favorite three things — her cat, chocolate and video games — which she also considers her basic needs. When she’s forced into the dating sim reality by the hands of the Wizard Riri, these things are taken away from her, which appears to leave her with nothing.

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Anzu Is Given a Wider Perspective

Though Anzu has her best friend Saki at school, she doesn’t seem to know anyone else or build up other relationships until after Riri turns her life upside down. Anzu realizes quickly that she hasn’t been paying attention to her surroundings at all. Her first love interest, Tsukasa, appears to come out of nowhere, supposedly from Riri’s meddling, but Anzu learns that not only is he the most popular boy at her school, but he also lives remarkably close to her home. This could certainly be argued as the same massive coincidences that happen in typical romance anime, or it could honestly be that Anzu was distracted by the small world she created for herself.

As for Anzu’s two other love interests, Junta and Hijiri, their existence in the series is much more convoluted, and the best assumption midway through the anime is that Riri is manipulating them. Whether they existed in the real world before or solely in Riri’s dating sim reality, the fact remains that Anzu never paid attention to her social surroundings. Either way, they didn’t exist in Anzu’s small world.

Anzu’s Budding Relationships (of Friendship)

As she becomes surrounded by her love interests, Anzu’s social life expands. She grows to have an impact on her friends, like how she protects Tsukasa from stalkers. In turn, her friends have an impact on her, like how Junta is one of the few people that Anzu can freely talk with about video games. One of the key details in this series is that, despite Riri’s manipulations, Anzu’s relationships don’t have to be romantic. She shows little romantic interest in any of the boys around her and is more focused on treating them like people rather than objects of affection. On top of that, as a tomboy, it isn’t a surprise to see Anzu with multiple guy friends.

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Throughout the series, Anzu’s social circles expand. She makes friends with multiple characters, and not only guys. After seeing the changes in Anzu’s life, a couple of female classmates reach out to become her friend. Granted, they strike up a friendship mainly because of the attractive boys surrounding Anzu and appear to relish in her situation, but the anime proves that they don’t have any malicious intent behind their actions.

With all the experiences Anzu is having in the dating sim reality, she’s living a more balanced life as a high schooler. This is the time for her to experience new things, become acquainted with all kinds of people, and learn about herself as a growing person. It’s mainly because of Riri’s manipulation that Anzu is meeting all these people and challenging her identity against social norms — primarily against romantic stereotypes. Since she isn’t playing video games, eating chocolate and cuddling with her cat all day after school, she’s instead doing things like watching a show with her new friends, shopping for clothes she didn’t think she’d ever wear and building work experience in her first job. Though the whole ordeal has been an overwhelming challenge, Anzu makes the best of it. When Anzu is eventually brought back to the familiar world of her favorite things, she’ll hopefully remember that relationships, romantic or not, aren’t so bad to have.

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