More Than a Married Couple, but Not Lovers: A Romantic Broken Record

A truly good romance story is one with progress. Real life relationships aren’t something that sits still. They develop, they change. People grow closer or further apart. The best romcoms, stories like Kaguya-sama or Toradora or Horimiya, all understand this.

Then there are shows like this one. The shows that spin around and around in circles, leading the audience around by the nose with the vague promise that progress will ‘eventually’ happen. The kind that drives you crazy just by watching it.

You know. The kind with a title and premise so ridiculous that you just have to watch it anyways.

Japanese education has introduced a marriage simulation program to their schools. Lonely nerd Jirou hopes to be paired up with his crush, childhood friend Shiori. To his dismay, he’s instead paired up with the popular Akari. She has a crush on Minami, who ended up with Shiroi. Now the two must pass the course in order to swap to their desired partners.

This whole plot is literally something Chris-chan came up with. If you don’t understand that joke… don’t look it up. For the love of all that is holy, don’t.

Each episode boils down to a few basic plot beats on repeat. Some misunderstanding occurs between Jirou and Akari, the two start to panic that their not-marriage is falling apart, then they clear the air. Rinse and repeat over and over again. Sprinkle some lewd jokes on top of that and wham! You’ve got this show.

Safe to say, this gets old pretty quickly. But it would at least be passable if the characters are good. Which… they kind of are. Like, I’ve seen worse, but I’ve also seen much better.

As our lead, Jirou leaves a bit to be desired. He’s not an insufferable character, but he isn’t particularly likable or interesting. He’s a well-meaning nerd. Problem is, we never really understand why the girls fall for him. They just do because that’s what the plot demands happen.

Speaking of whom, the girls are… just okay. Akari is your typical tsundere with a secret innocent side; she’s enjoyable, if the slightest bit obnoxious at times. Shiori is the blandest ‘nice girl childhood friend’ I have ever seen.

Then there’s Minami. The most boring plank of wood popular guy character I’ve ever seen.

Now, it’s not all bad. Dull as they are, the characters are just likable enough to keep me from quitting the show immediately. And every now and then, it actually manages to land a somewhat funny joke. It’s not especially compelling, but it’s at least decently entertaining.

One positive of the show is its presentation. It all looks pretty good! It’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s a nice looking show on the eyes. Not to mention that the animation can be shockingly smooth in certain scenes. It’s not a bad looking show in the slightest.

Unfortunately, the music is kinda bland and forgettable. Although the OP and ED aren’t bad. Not amazing, but I never rushed to skip it. So that’s something.

This wasn’t a particularly exciting review, I’ll admit. But it wasn’t a particularly exciting show. It’s cute, it’s colorful, it’s occasionally entertaining, and it’s repetitive. It’s far from the worst romcom I’ve ever watched, but it’s not one I’ll think on for long after this article goes out.

Middling as it is, I’m still glad to have gotten around to it. Too many shows get swallowed up in the ever moving currents of seasonal anime. It’s worth remembering at least one or two that weren’t exceptional. How are you supposed to appreciation the great works of the world without remembering the less spectacular?

At least, that’s my ‘smart guy philosopher’ reason for reviewing a mediocre romance anime. The real reason is that I’m a slightly obsessive weirdo.

But you knew that already, didn’t you?

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