Synopsis: Lies are forbidden and love is doubly forbidden. In the near future, when young people in Japan turn sixteen, they are assigned a marriage partner by the government. People don’t have to go through the trouble of looking for someone, and everyone accepts that the country will find a compatible partner to make them happy. Yukari Nejima is fifteen years old. He lives in a small corner of the country, and just can’t seem to get ahead in life. Both academically and athletically he’s below average. But within him, he hides a heart burning with passion! In this world in which love is forbidden, what will happen to him when he falls in love?
Initially, the synopsis, while interesting wasn’t enough to attract my attention. In fact, it almost repelled me- I still see too many arranged marriage here for me to blindly dive into anything that has arranged marriage as its base.I watched four episodes in one go, and it helped me have a better impression of the anime than what I had with only the first episode.
The first episode introduces us two characters, our protagonist- Yukari Nejima, and Takasaki Misaki. Two people who have been in love with each other for a long time, but their assigned partners are different.
Yukari and Misaki’s feelings for each other, stemming from a sweet, awkward encounter in elementary school, is the only basis for their long lasting five years affection. They didn’t have a proper conversation until Yukari realized he doesn’t have enough time before his notice arrives, and chose to confess his feelings.
Can this be called love? Or is it the infatuation of people who don’t know better?
Yukari is a pretty average character, boring even. He is a shy, messy protagonist who apparently knows nothing, and I couldn’t really like him. He is described as a kind person, who acknowledges his mistake, which is a redeeming quality. At the same time, he is a person without conviction.
I don’t really have an opinion on Misaki’s character, other than she is torn between her own desires and what she believes is the right course of action. At the moment, Misaki is a blank note who is slowly showing all her facets, and the only constant thing about her is her emotions for Yukari.
Now the third main character, Sanada Ririna- Yukari’s assigned wife- is the one who made the entire show interesting. She is straightforward, a little socially awkward, and has her clothes undone without her consent because fanservice. Ririna’s encounter with love has been non existent till date, and while she is interested in the idea of romance, it manifests more as a desire to live through someone else than experience it herself. Ririna’s easy accceptance of Misaki and Yukari’s relationship, and her pushing them towards each other is what threw me off, since I expected her to be a generic character who would get possessive over Yukari for no reason.
Ririna refuses to accept the mechanics of “Red String of Science” or the government’s game of matchmaking, and she is willing to face it head on, no matter how much she doesn’t understand it. Unlike Yukari, whose love stops him from accepting his fate, Ririna’s refusal stems from genuine questions and critical thinking.
Suffice it to say, I found her to be an enjoyable character and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say she is carrying the whole series.
As Ririna question, the system of marriage choosing marriage partner is messed up. It is based on two people’s personal data since childhood, but shouldn’t something that decided their fate be available for public disclosure? Their is no scope for informed decision, and it is basically governments tyranny. Also, in a system that is placed with the birth rate in mind, are opinion of people who aren’t heterosexual not taken in?
Which brings me to the fourth character, Yuusuke Nisaka. He is Yukari’s best friend, but as Yukari states, no one knows what goes on in his mind. He is a good looking, on the cold side character, and if I’m not wrong, appears to harbor feelings for Yukari, if episode three is any indication. His almost hostility towards Misaki, and maybe it is a result of jealousy, but I’m going to take a wild guess, and say he is also Misaki’s chosen marriage partner. I’m curious about him, and if he is truly interested in Yukari, I want to know more about his thoughts on the system.
We have a really colorful art here, though the character design is generic with big eyes- too big, even for Shoujo. It’s got an almost cheerful opening, and a soothing ending song.
I’m sort of interested in what happens, mainly because of Ririna, however, I’m not expecting much.