Koi To Uso OVA

April 20, 2019

Remember the anime that has the government selecting your future spouse based on complex calculations? Apparently matchmaking at the highest level of government intervention. You know the government can’t be wrong when they decide the best outcome of your happy married life, right? I know, a bunch of BS. But anyway, such setting gave Koi To Uso a premise for some sort of love triangle. However don’t get your hopes up in seeing this going anywhere in the OVAs.

The friends head to Ririna’s grandma’s home in the mountains. She owns a farm so they get to pick some nice fruits and vegetables. Ririna’s aunt talks about doing the kimodameshi by putting a red string on a mushroom as tribute because there’s a ghost lurking around and if you don’t do it, you die! Apparently a girl who turned down marriage and drowned herself. After that, there were rumours of ghostly voices of the girl being heard that she wants to fall in love. With Ririna introducing Nejima to grandma for the first time, she talks about her own arranged marriage. She was at first against marrying grandpa because she didn’t know him. Unfortunately he passed on 5 years ago. She views today’s system for marriage is much better than old times. That night, the friends go in pairs to do the kimodameshi. The girls head first as they casually talk about love. The guys go next and they talk about if the ghost ever exists. Then Nejima feels somebody is watching them. Something is moving in the bushes. Oh no. It attacks! Nejima screams the girliest scream ever! The girls return first and note they didn’t see any ghosts. Grandma reveals the ‘ghost’ is actually her. During the arranged marriage, she was really uncomfortable and abandoned it to go drown herself. At that point she started to feel afraid but soon loses consciousness. The next thing she knew, grandpa saved her and wants to give their marriage a chance. If it doesn’t work out, they can both die together then. And the rest is history. On grandpa’s deathbed, he confessed he loved her since he first laid eyes on her. Unfortunately he died after that and grandma couldn’t reply him. So she hopes to reply him in the afterlife when her time comes. The girls find it romantic when Nejima returns being ‘assaulted’ by a dog. Apparently this is grandpa’s dog who has been waiting for his return for 5 years. It isn’t friendly with strangers but grandma believes Nejima is a good person. On the way back, Misaki hopes to hear such lovely words of confession even if her feelings aren’t delivered.

Nejima’s mom wants to hold a Halloween party for kids next Wednesday and wants him to invite Nisaka. In return she’ll buy him this golden haniwa! Of course Nisaka refuses but will consider it if he makes him laugh. After a few lame haniwa impressions, Nisaka agrees to go out of pity… Nejima also invites Misaki and she asks for permission to bring her youngest brother, Itsuki. On that day, Nejima dresses up as a lame Freddy Krueger. At least Nisaka looks smoking hot as a vampire while Ririna is almost a sexy cat girl. Suddenly Kizuna (Nejima’s young sister) asks about love because she wants to fall in love. Must be the recent romance drama she watched. But of all times, why now? Why them? Because she saw Nejima smiled when he saw Ririna’s costume. Kizuna also wants to make others smile like that! Now, how to explain love to a little kid. Nisaka tries to and using ‘big words’ like pervert but gets pummelled with more curiosity questions. She even asks him back if he has experienced love and if he is a pervert! I don’t think Kizuna can wait till she is 44 for him to explain! How many times much she sleep and wake up to be 44?! You can’t beat this kid! With Kizuna being so impatient to fall in love, the rest are saved by the doorbell technically. Because Misaki is here and Ririna quickly ushers her to change into this almost sexy witch. Kizuna is still sulking as Misaki asks her reason why she wants to fall in love so badly. Because now it’s the time. She doesn’t want to wait for the official notification. Misaki tries to explain that sometimes love can be sad. But Kizuna thinks you live happily ever after when you fall in love. Can’t argue with that. Soon, Itsuki arrives and instantly Kizuna gets embarrassed and tries to hide. Is this love? Apparently she feels her heart beating fast and it is making her embarrassed. She doesn’t like it. Uhm, so it’s not love? With Misaki encouraging Itsuki to talk to her, Kizuna soon gets acquainted. Ah, first love. This has Nejima ponder the same. Which is it for him? Misaki? Ririna? Or both?

Love In Progress
What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more… I always want to say that whenever that question is asked… Anyway, the couple of OVAs were a nice little side story to the series. Although it didn’t significantly impact our main characters, it is interesting to see love playing its beautiful role in different ages. Yup, we have old grandparents love that would have literally been till death do us part but apparently that won’t stop grandma from continuing her love once she joins grandpa. Basically eternal love. A love that will go on forever. Then we have Kizuna who is already starting to wonder about love and wanting to experience it at her age. Yeah, love knows no bounds and it worked its magic once more right before our very eyes. What are the chances Kizuna and Itsuki are going to get matched? Unless the government screws up and then we have another version of Koi To Uso that basically repeats itself for Nejima and Misaki. Sibling version.

Those expecting to know something a bit more on that mysterious Igarashi girl would be disappointed because it’s like she doesn’t exist here. Heh. Heck, do we even remember her? You know, that girl who claims to want to protect Misaki for whatever reasons (lesbianism is the only thing I can think of). Her story could also probably shed some light on the notification system since it was her grandma who devised it. But I suppose we don’t want to complicate things and we rather have our lovely side romance for the OVAs. Leave all that technical drama for the next season. Wait. Is there really going to be another season or not?!

Overall, like my usual answer in watching OVAs after a while the TV series has ended, nothing really special as I am guilty for almost forgetting the basic points of series. Thank goodness for my previous blog to refresh things. The only solution that our main characters are going to have a happy ending in love is for the government to approve polygamy! Nejima doesn’t have to fret over which girl to choose and can have them both (like how the ending of the TV series hinted). Misaki and Ririna can now marry him without having one losing out and secretly being depressed and feeling regret for the rest of her life. And yeah, if polygamy is approved, might as well allow same sex marriage with Nisaka joining the fray! It’s love, right?! What do you know about love?! It comes in all forms! Unfortunately, such happy unions are only imaginations and fantasies. To love is to lie. To lie is to love. That’s why status quo is such a good deal right now. How long will it last before you have to choose? Let’s hope not too long, like 44 years…

Koi To Uso

December 3, 2017

Imagine a future whereby your future spouse is decided by a few complex and sophisticated calculations by the government. That’s right. The government selects the person whom you will be marrying with. What the heck is this?! Is this some sort of marriage communism? Heck, it still feels like matchmaking of the olden days but at a government level and with all the ‘sophisticated’ variables to match your partner. While it may seem draconian, this plan is to enhance the quality of life and happiness for the married person’s life and family. But you know how love works in mysterious ways. Not everyone ‘accepts’ this law. So what happens when the person you totally love is totally different from the person the government has assigned you? Well, that’s what happened in Koi To Uso. A guy has liked a girl for a long time. Confesses it. Finds out girl likes him for a long time too. Wow. Super. Happy ending, right? Nope. Government technically shows middle finger to that and assigns him a more ‘suitable’ partner. So you accept this proposal or reject it but with consequences. But don’t worry and take you time because it’s not like we’re rushing you into marriage, right?

Episode 1
As narrated, to combat low birth rates, the Yukari Law was passed 40 years ago. It is a nationwide matchmaking scheme. You are not allowed to marry anybody else as recommended by the government. It is illegal to do so. But thanks to that, birth rates have increased and the average intelligence of the population has gone up. However Yukari Nejima doesn’t like this system. Apart from the fact he likes another girl, it’s embarrassing to know he is named after the law. When his friend, Daiki Takeda gets a notification of his future wife, he protests and vows never to get married. Nejima and a few of the other friends also make the pledge but they are shocked that Misaki Takasaki also joins in. Are girls not allowed in this oath? As you can tell, Nejima is in love with Misaki since elementary school. It started when he broke his eraser in half to give it to her since she forgot hers. She whispered thank you in his ear. That was the beginning of his love. As Nejima’s birthday is looming, he too will be getting a notification and his parents are very excited. Not Nejima himself. Thus he needs to confess to Misaki as soon as possible. He talks to her that he will wait at the park and to make matters worse, she doesn’t remember they were in the same class back at elementary school! So Nejima waits. And waits and waits. So he made some burial grounds from the sandpit to kill time? Maybe she isn’t going to turn up after all.

As he leaves, here comes Misaki catching him. She made it. Now she’s catching her breath. After that nervous long winded talk, Nejima finally confesses he likes her. Yatta! Oh wait. You made her cry! But here is the surprise. She shows him the broken half of the eraser she has always been keeping! Yes, she too likes him. Everything feels so weird but soon they hug. And then they upgrade to a kiss! And another kiss! Yahoo! End of story. Just kidding. Could have gone further had not it been ruined by Nejima’s handphone. His parents. The notification is here. Dang. As he reads the unclear message, it states his future wife is… Misaki!!! OMG! Is this for real?! He is literally hitting the jackpot. Why is it at such crucial times the handphone power has to die? Shortly, a couple from the ministry of health, labour and welfare, Kagetsu Ichijou and Motoi Yajima pop up to hand him an official notice for his future wife. Wait a minute… Who the f*ck is Ririna Sanada?! He tries to argue the notification on his handphone saying Misaki. However they point out it might be a mistake and the black and white makes it official. No doubts about it. Bye. So in all the confusion, Misaki wishes him happy birthday and thanks him for giving her the motivation to live on. Something feels strange. Her hands are cold and shaking. Now she’s crying and running away. He manages to catch up to her as they both embrace amidst the confusing tears.

Episode 2
Nejima is not pleased his parents already arranged for a marriage meeting. So when he ditches and goes to school (he got permission for leave of absence), everyone is shocked. They didn’t think he really believe their oath! He even got detention. Misaki talks to him and is appalled at what he is doing. What she was trying to tell him then was to keep this as memory. Nejima was in shock that he just went with his parents to the marriage meeting. The first time he sees Ririna, OMG he never knew she was this cute?! Anyway as the meeting gets underway, Nejima stays silent while the rest talks. This makes Ririna blow her top for being rude. She storms out and Nejima is forced to go look for her. He finds her alone in a room and looks like she is as nervous as him from it all. Still, he realizes he was running away unlike her who was facing this head on so he apologizes. For some reason, he has to tell her about the girl he likes and Ririna makes him spill everything! In fact, Ririna is very fascinated with their love story! Heck, she even volunteers to help him figure out how Misaki feels for him! They go back to their parents pretending to hold hands. At this point I wonder why Nejima had to point out her button is undone so he had a sneak peak of her bra. She slaps him in front of everyone.

In school, Nejima’s friends are admiring how cute his future wife is. Strangely, Yuusuke Nisaka goes over to Misaki and asks her if she would like to see Nejima’s future wife! She’s giving off that what-the-f*ck face. Nejima goes to Ririna’s all-girls school to meet as requested. He finds her sleeping in the infirmary. When he talks to her how he heard rumours people keep calling her tapeworm (sanadamushi), she starts panicking and then explains the whole damn thing without her skirt on. Really. Something about her being socially awkward since she always have a hard time talking to other girls. They realize they are talking normally but can’t help ponder their relationship. If they are not friends or lovers, what are they? Too late for Ririna to realize she is without her skirt. That’s the second slap for him this episode… On the way out, Ririna wants to know more about Misaki. Speaking of her, look here she is passing in front! I don’t know why Nejima has to point out it is her so Ririna approaches her and introduces herself as Nejima’s future wife! Strangely, the girls talk it over as Ririna asks what Misaki likes about Nejima. She explains a few weird things about him she likes. Even more surprising, Misaki wants to continue talking more about Nejima! See the glow in her eyes. At the end of the day when they part, it’s like they’ve become friends! Ririna is crying thinking she made her first friend! Oh wait. It could have gotten more confusing since Ririna thinks she likes Misaki! We’re not going down the lesbianism road yet!!! In his bid to calm her down, Nejima being the idiot he is somehow spills how he already kissed Misaki. Oh, tell her more about it. But Ririna isn’t mad. She has an idea. Go kiss Misaki one more time.

Episode 3
Apparently Ririna also told him to kiss Misaki once a day. Every day. Since when is she their love coach? Nejima is thinking too much about it that Nisaka remembers the first time they met at cram school. Nisaka was being harassed by a guy whose future wife couldn’t stop thinking about him because of his flirting. Then Nejima saw this harassment and called the cops! Nejima is invited to Ririna’s place. He didn’t count on Ririna inviting Misaki too! It’s really awkward for the 3 of them in there. Nejima might look out of place since the girls are having fun talking among themselves. Then Ririna changes topic and tells Nejima to quickly kiss Misaki. She doesn’t mind. Both of them awkwardly prepare to kiss as Ririna watches it eagerly like some TV romance. Just inches away from their mouths in contact with each other, Nejima pulls back. Misaki finds it funny but Ririna has this disappointed looks on her face. As Misaki leaves, she tells Ririna that she wants her to fall in love with Nejima as she might not be the right girl for him. She might not mind they kissed now but she will soon do. Ririna returns to her room breathing hard. She really wants Nejima to kiss Misaki once a day. Every day. When they are out in the streets, they stumble into Nisaka. Ririna immediately snarls like a cat? Shockingly, Nisaka points out Ririna is a virgin. Erm, aren’t all girls her age are supposed to be? Well, I can say they’re not going to like each other.

During PE, Nejima notices Nisaka and Misaki staring intensely like each other like as though they are rivals. The thought that the most attractive guy and girl in class as an item just worries him. Yeah, Nisaka has his own unofficial fan club in which girls swoon when he just as much walks passes them. When Misaki asks Nejima about Ririna after she left her place that day, he reveals about the daily kiss. So want to try? And here is today’s first kiss. Oh, a second one. And another one! Each time it gets more passionate! Man, they’ve filled up a week’s worth of kisses! Nisaka passing by, is shocked to see this. Later Nejima wants to ask Nisaka something but since the latter has club activities, he has to wait. He must have waited so long that he fell asleep. When Nisaka arrives, he sleeps his sleeping face… Those delicious lips… HE KISSED THEM!!! OMFG!!! DIDN’T SEE THIS GAY THINGY COMING!!! Now I understand why about Nisaka… By the time the idiot wakes up, he asks if Nisaka has someone he likes like Misaki. He brushes it off. The simpleton feels relieved. We all know why and where his true heart lies, right?

Episode 4
You know it is awkward when Nejima’s parents ask the lovebirds if they have kissed. Not only Ririna spilled the entire mayonnaise on her food, she even asks why they kissed! Not that they’re too shy but rather eager to tell them how they’re still so in love with each other. I guess it’s good but it’s just awkward in front of the kids… Ririna enters Nejima’s room. Messy as hell! Glad she cleaned it up. Good future wife. Looking at his old photos she starts asking this thought provoking question if he likes Misaki when he gave her the eraser or because he liked her he gave it to her. Yeah, need to be specific when he fell in love with her. Nejima asks if she has her first love. Yes. An anatomy model. Bear with me. The doctor told her the anatomy model came in a set, a mother and ‘son’. Since the children’s wing opened, they were ‘separated’. So the ‘son’ is alone. Just like her. They clicked. It made her heart beat faster. Yeah… Ririna asks about Nejima’s kiss with Misaki. Sure, he did it. She goes into analytical mode. Conclusion? Kiss her more! Ichijou and Yajima are here to explain about the Science of Red String. It is determined via many surveys and tests they have taken throughout their childhood. So they compile all that data for the best matchmaking. Studies also show that marrying one based on physical looks tend to fail. Therefore the scientific conclusion is that people don’t fall in love with outward appearance. They ask them about their feelings for each other. Of course they’re still confused. More awkwardness when Ichijou says it is fine to even start having sex because they’re going to get married after all so why not make a head start? So pre-marital sex is okay this instance?

As they leave, Ichijou asks for directions to Misaki’s house but refuses to divulge any more information. That’s privacy. It makes Nejima go blank that she too has received a notification. Ririna tries to snap him out of it by asking if this is how far his love for her. Otherwise she threatens she won’t help him anymore. Nejima feels he doesn’t want to kiss Misaki anymore just because Ririna asks him. It just feels weird. She notes it is even weirder for a world to forbid you from kissing the person you like. At school, Nejima is really curious to ask about Misaki’s notification. So he waits for a chance after school to do some errands together. She does confirm a couple of people from the ministry did come to her house but they were dealing with her parents. Big relief? This prompts Nejima to wonder what kind of future husband she’ll get. She replies it doesn’t matter because they’ll all be the same. Nejima will only be the special one. Wow. Before you know it, they start kissing. Today’s quota automatically fulfilled. Back home, Ririna calls Nejima about his family camping trip. As she was invited to join, what shocked Nejima most is that Ririna also invited Misaki to come! Panicking, he wants to bring a friend. Okay. Too bad Nisaka outright rejects him! Oh please, don’t start begging… Eventually Nisaka relents but finds out too late that Ririna and Misaki or on this trip too.

Episode 5
The young ones meet up at the train station. Ririna can’t stop complaining to learn Nisaka is the friend he has brought along while Misaki and Nisaka have this intense rivalry look at each other again, prompting Nejima to really think they like each other. At the camp, the guys make curry. Nejima goes to call the girls but gets super embarrassed to see them in their swimsuit by the river. So he goes to hide and peek?! Ririna spots him but as she approaches him, she slips. She twisted her ankle. Nejima carries her like a princess since she doesn’t want to spread open her legs and touch his body via piggyback. I think this is even more awkward since his hands are touching her skin so I’m not sure if that face is orgasmic or pain. Either way, she looks like she is struggling to hold in her composure. And all the thanks he got for carrying her back is being called baka. Thanks a lot. Nejima sees Misaki and Nisaka chatting together again. Ririna’s dad puts ice on her foot as he learns Nejima has a great interest in burial grounds and hopes to pursue a course in college related to that. That night, Nejima is still bugged about Nisaka liking Misaki. So he goes up to him to ask if he is keeping a secret. Nisaka thinks it is that gay kiss. It is hard for him to keep his composure when his face is so close like that. Nisaka looks nervous and when he is about to confess, Ririna calls them to go do kimodameshi. On purpose she pairs Nejima and Misaki together. So the duo take the chance to hold hands but while being distracted by a light, Misaki slips down a cliff. Nejima tries to catch her but she pulls him down instead. Thank goodness the cliff was just a few feet high. But the fall leaves them in a compromising position. In fact, Misaki wants to stay this way for a while.

While Ririna is lecturing Nisaka to stay a metre from her, he asks why is she so desperate in trying to make Nejima and Misaki a pair. Although she isn’t doing anything that is breaking the law, how does she fit into this relationship? If Nejima chooses Misaki, the arrangement is cancelled and she will be an outsider. She can still be their friend but can she stay so once they get married? Ririna might get a man who is much worse than Nejima. Even if Nejima rejects this arrangement, Ririna will be fine but Nejima will have a penalty to pay. It will be on his permanent records that he rejected the matchmaking and thus it will be some sort of ‘handicap’ if he is out looking for a job, etc. So all Ririna is doing is leading him to a disaster. Ririna starts to feel scared. She is doing this because she loves them both. She just wants them to be happy. Sorry girl. That only happens in fairytales. They see Nejima and Misaki down the cliff. Caught in the act? If Nejima’s guilt look and robot act didn’t give him away… They stumble into a firefly sanctuary. Nisaka is really afraid of bugs. Afraid of one laying eggs on his face?! The quartet enjoy the beautiful scene, forgetting the world of marriage and love for that moment. When they are back in town, Nisaka seems apologetic about the thing he tried to hide and this only makes Nejima worry more that he does like Misaki. Ririna tries to be nice to Nejima by asking him to take her to some burial grounds. That guy is so happy that he can’t stop talking about it… In fact he wants to bring her there as soon as possible. Well, school comes first.

Episode 6
Nejima is aggressive and bold in making out with Ririna. Oh wait. That was just Ririna’s dream?! So she does more research on French kissing and doesn’t like what she finds… Yeah, exchange of millions of germs… She is called by Arisa Mimasaka who wants to be friends with her. Wait. Who the f*ck is she? She is the sister of the intern doctor who looked after Ririna 6 years ago when she was undergoing treatment. Arisa heard stories about her and is amazed. So she wants to hear more? Sorry, Ririna rejects her. It’s not like they have anything to talk about. Heck, she doesn’t even know what friends are supposed to do! Well, you had Misaki, right? Nejima attends the special government programme for the newly paired couples. He thought he spotted his old classmate from middle school, Shuu Igarashi. Takeda is also here as he introduces his future wife, Haruka Yoshiki. Wow. She’s a cutie. But not as cute as Ririna, right? When she arrives, she gives him a haniwa keychain as a gift. He gets excited like a nerd! In return, he also gives her a haniwa keychain but with cat features. It’s cringey looking at them but hey, it’s love, right? For some reason, Ririna is still embarrassed about that kissing dream but why she had to be a tsundere and tell him she has never dreamt of it?

The lecture starts out normally. Till they start passing out condoms. Woah! Are they really trying to shoot some gangbang here?! Naturally Ririna doesn’t know what it is but Nejima had dig his own grave and says he doesn’t too? It gets awkward when the speaker talks about the benefits of having sex. It’s a feel good factor. She’s saying like it’s nothing! Then they even show clips of sex! What is this?! Training for future porn stars?! Nejima feels so weird out he has to start thinking about something else or he’ll start fantasizing about making out with Misaki. Then he looks around. Ririna looks like she is clutching her haniwa and praying to God (huh?). Everyone else looks uneasy too. But Takeda and Haruka are already making out?! WTF?! It gets weirder when Yajima talks to Nejima about the dilemma if he would choose the one the government chose or the one he loves. Did he troll him about watching them in the next room? Super weird. Even more awkward when Nejima heard others saying that if you don’t bang, you get penalized. Woah! If only reality was this easy! And now for the main show. Nejima and Ririna alone in the room. Better look out for hidden cameras and devices. Hope they’re not shooting illegal teen porn. But Nejima decides to screw all that baseless anxiety. Because now he is going to screw Ririna and pushes her over the bed. Well, nothing changes if you don’t take the first step.

Episode 7
Nejima thinks of pretending to make out with Ririna. Don’t worry. Just remember it like the movies. First kiss… Oh no. She’s crying. Screw that. More kisses… Oh sh*t. She’s crying more. It killed the mood. So when Nejima explains that surveillance thingy and his pretending, Ririna shoots it down because it is illegal and the people will lose faith in the system. Nejima must be feeling stupid right now. Because of that, Ririna now feels uneasy around him and is scared to have him touch her so she wants them to keep their distance for a while. For the rest of the demonstration, it’s just awkward that nothing else happened between them. Nejima then confronts Yajima for lying. His reply is that this proves he would have done it with the other girl. Nejima returns to his class. They’re practising a Romeo and Juliet play for the cultural festival. Only, genders swapped. And Misaki and Nisaka are playing them. A minor accident has Nejima got his hand hammered by a classmate making the props. Misaki rushes down to the infirmary to talk to him. She can tell something has happened. He tries to change the subject like how she has gotten more popular without him around. Huh? Misaki says she banned herself from him. What? Eventually she makes him spit out the truth. He believes he has hurt Ririna and he looks very shaken about it. Hence Misaki calls Ririna to hang out and talk things over.

Nejima sees Yajima at his school (since this was his alma mater). He tries to help out with this story of a guy he knows (that’s himself, right?). That guy once dated a girl before. Then she got a notice and told him she will reject the assignment if he loved her. Though he loved her, he did not have the confidence to marry and make her happy. Then he got his own notice and realized she was precious to him. In the end, they broke up. There was only one truth to it all: He should have been honest to his feelings. So for Nejima’s case, he shouldn’t think so much and just act. This motivates him to text Ririna to hang out next time. However she never replied. But one morning he receives a handwritten letter from her. Her feelings are still confused and that’s why she couldn’t answer him yet. But this letter is okay? There are lots of words of encouragement for him especially for him to do best at the cultural festival. That made his day. But it’s not so for Misaki. She remembers Ririna telling her how she didn’t want to see Nejima but felt lonely. That is what love is, Misaki said. She fears she has become selfish because on one hand she is glad Ririna is Nejima’s chosen partner but on one hand she hates it. He might even be in love with her by now. Why is it such a cruel thing loving someone?

Episode 8
The sketch for the dresses of Romeo and Juliet play is ready. While everyone loves it, it seems Nisaka doesn’t and wants to quit. So Nejima tries to convince him to do it for the class, do it for him but that’s not going to cut it. When Nejima tries to touch him, he swats his hand away. A guy pops up before them. Nejima tries to run but is caught. Who is he? Nisaka’s dad! OMG! I thought he was his brother! At the sushi restaurant, dad tells his son not to hit his friend. Nejima thought he could justify that by saying Nisaka has good looks and hitting him may rub some on him. So hit him more. Wait. Seriously? No wonder dad’s laughing. Dad adds that Nisaka doesn’t talk much about school and must have his reasons for building a wall around himself. He hopes Nejima could continue to be his friend. Later when the friends walk back, Nisaka explains he dislikes being the centre of attraction. Nejima argues he really want to see him play Juliet. When Nisaka likens the old play as idiots in love who don’t give any thought about their social position, they fall in love and then they die, Romeo and Juliet are just like them. Others are trying to deny their love but only to them their feelings are the truth. Well, I’m sure Nejima hasn’t got the slightest idea on the dark truth. Nejima likes the old story because it is as old as burial grounds? Let’s not go there… I guess with Nejima convincing him that much, Nisaka is going to play Juliet after all.

We see the double standards when both the lead players take their size measurements .The boys are not allowed to peek when Misaki is getting measured (although they can still hear what’s going on) but the girls can come in and see Nisaka getting his. Some even thinking of putting pads for his chest for the play. Later when Nejima and Misaki talk, he asks her opinion of Nisaka. Trying to paint him as a cool guy, she then asks him has he fallen for Ririna. He can say Misaki is the one he loves but what makes of Ririna then? This makes him ask the question: What is love? No, not that Haddaway song. And so Misaki explains her growing love experience from staring at him in elementary school to thinking about kissing him in middle school and wanting to go to the same school as him. It looked like everything went her way and even the guy she loves also loves her back. This is the best dream. However she wants to end it here. Because in the end, she was not picked to be his wife despite how much she loves him. The more she falls for him, the more she realizes there is no hope for them. As the notice is your destined partner, any other love will seem like a lie. She doesn’t know if he loves her but her love for him continues to grow stronger. With the steady flow of tears running, Nejima hugs her as she continues. She knows she is happy having him touch her but those feelings will one day hurt her and yet she can’t throw them away. So she asks him back: What is love? Why you want to make me sing that Haddaway song so badly?!

Episode 9
Nejima is handing out fliers for the play. He can’t help notice how beautiful Misaki is in her Romeo outfit. No wonder all the females flock to her. He then remembers what she told him the other day after crying about what is love. She still likes Ririna and doesn’t want to see her sad. Nejima sees his old middle school classmate, Mina Koyanagi talking to Misaki. They don’t get along so he tries to tiptoe away. However Misaki’s other friends soon spot him creeping out of here. Nejima talks to Yajima about the investigation about his notice that popped up Misaki’s name. Although there isn’t anything wrong, he did notice some sort of interference. However there is no evidence of that either. Then what made him think there was interference in the first place? Eventually, Ririna is his assigned wife and he checked the calculations again. There were no mistakes. He asks him what he is going to do if the notice is wrong. Knowing he can’t answer, he just tells him to make up with Ririna. Nejima knows Ririna would be coming here. But does he have to look this surprised when they bump into each other? Didn’t know she could be this cute, huh? Anyway she just takes his flier and runs away. Nejima thinks she still isn’t talking to him. So he goes to talk to Nisaka about his fight with Ririna. He is sure she didn’t come all the way here to be mad at him. He worked hard at this and she came to see that. So Nejima tries to make himself useful by helping around but it isn’t like urgent help is needed everywhere. I guess he needs to seek more ‘advice’ from Nisaka. After everything they have done together, Nisaka doesn’t want him to have regrets. Just watch the play. He is going to blow his regrets away and show him proof that this love wasn’t meaningless. The play begins. It is wonderful and amazing that the crowd gives a standing ovation in the end. Nejima is so glad he watched it because true enough he forgot all his regrets. Well, that won’t last long. Because soon he bumps into Igarashi. She asks him what happened to the notice that paired him with Misaki. He is shocked to hear this. She further asks him about the play. Does Misaki look cool as Romeo? She could predict what Nejima would say word for word about her being a beautiful mirage vanishing into thin air. She concludes Misaki is his true partner. Apparently this talk is also overheard by Ririna. Another person in disbelief.

Episode 10
Ririna spams lots of questions so Igarashi says Misaki has something she wants to protect even if she has to break through her lies to do it. Hence Igarashi is going to protect her. Nejima and Ririna are confused as they have more questions than ever about the pairings. But since they are officially paired, they decide to call a truce for now. They thought of asking Misaki but looks like she is busy attending to the swarm of fans. Ririna didn’t know it is Nisaka playing Juliet. She praises such a beautiful person till she learns who he really is. Awkward. Not as awkward as Nisaka’s brother who is here to tease him and can still laugh while Nisaka is choking him! See what I mean when Nisaka’s dad looks young enough to be his brother because I couldn’t tell him apart and thought he is his brother! To thank Nejima for the other camping day, he wants to invite him and his friends to a family wedding next week since some of his other relatives can’t come. Nejima tries to be friends with Igarashi on the social site. Instant rejection! So he is complaining about it to Ririna like the end of the world?! Well, sulk more because Igarashi accepted Ririna’s friendship instead and they’re already messaging each other. They are invited to come to her school where they will talk things out. Ririna asks right off the bat if Misaki is Nejima’s destined partner. Igarashi doesn’t want to discuss so openly and changes the place. A cat café?

Igarashi remains steadfast about protecting Misaki. She learns about Ririna’s reason of supporting the duo, it feels like some sort of stimulation. She wants her to stop being selfish and impulsive because it is hurting Misaki. In that case, why did Igarashi said Misaki is Nejima’s partner if she is not going to support them? She notices a bond between them that is more than just on paper. Igarashi used to hate Misaki as she is popular and cheerful. One day she saw her trying to buy class trip photos of another class and realized she likes a boy named Nejima. Igarashi offered to help buy it for her since Misaki didn’t have the courage. Misaki smiled and thanked her. It was the first time she saw the real her. They soon became friends as Igarashi tries to find out more why she likes this plain if not useless guy. Misaki felt her own feelings are important but they might not be together in the future and wants his assigned wife to understand that he has some good points. Igarashi asked what if she is his assigned wife then. She’ll cry. Ririna and Nejima find out that Igarashi’s grandma is the one who created this notification system. Igarashi isn’t sure about this system of matching people with their love of a lifetime. She wants to know such feelings and Misaki’s feelings shone so brightly she wants to protect her. The talk is interrupted when Yajima is here to stop Igarashi from confusing the kids. The calculations on Nejima’s assigned partner is correct and that’s it. Igarashi ‘agrees’ she shouldn’t have said all this for someone who has no plans to choose Misaki. She will be the sole protector of Misaki. To keep quiet about this, Igarashi has Yajima pay for their bill. Now Nejima and Ririna are even more confused. She wonders if she was wrong in supporting them and if he is going to choose Misaki. Nejima says her being straightforward is one of the things what he likes about her. He takes her hand as they walk along.

Episode 11
Nisaka and his friends head over to his brother’s wedding reception. In the hallway, an event coordinator is searching for couples to be models for a pamphlet. So how does the idea of 2 lovely ladies putting on mock wedding dresses for a photo shoot? Why you asking Misaki for permission, Ririna? She wants to try out. So will you? Nisaka’s brother and his bride enter the hall. Their supervisor plays their life story ever since matching them 4 years ago. This has Nejima wonder if this will happen to him to. It’ll be embarrassing to dig out his love for another girl. Everything in the wedding seems so wonderful so Misaki hopes Ririna would invite her to her wedding when she gets married. After the group photo, Nejima realizes he forgot to take his handphone at the table. There, he sees Misaki overwhelmed by emotions. She is sorry she lied but can’t tell him. He wants to do anything for her. She wants him to say he loves her even if it is a lie. Quickly he takes and kisses her. Ririna happen to walk by and sees this. When they depart for home, Nejima thought it was a careless thing to do and regretted it. He starts thinking he must have been always hurting her when he didn’t need to. Ririna and Nejima’s family head to the hotspring together for a vacation. Ririna tries to act normal but she can’t help think about that kiss. The parents set them up to spend time together and even have them stay in their own private room. This only reminds them of that awkward ‘sex’ scene during the special government programme. Although still technically on a truce, so much has happened since so they just forget about it and start enjoying their stay. When they soak in the outdoor hotspring (separated by a wall of course), they discuss about Igarashi’s words on destined love. Nejima doesn’t understand it but he explains why everything he has done up till now is because of Misaki. She made things fun. It felt like a goddess was directing his fate. That night they can’t sleep as they lie awkwardly facing away from each other. Then Ririna wants to talk. She looks serious. She wants him to choose Misaki over her.

Episode 12
As she explains, her life is one big bore. Nothing but studying and studying until she met him and Misaki. Life has become more fun. She made new friends in her own class. She changed. Their love had the power to change her. Ririna has also researched on a way to get this official assignment dissolved without him getting black marked. Something about keeping up the lie that they’re not compatible and the fastest it would take would be 6 months. But Nejima starts crying and says no. Don’t want what? No to Ririna or Misaki? Yes Nejima, we know you’re in love with Misaki for a long time. Ririna says she loves Misaki’s smile. The smile that looks like she is in love. She wants to protect that smile. Nejima then confesses about that kiss he had with Misaki at the wedding. Just so you know. Good, she’s not bothered. She mentions she would like to fall in love with the next person she is assigned to. So she wants to practice kissing with him. Wait. What?! Whatever. I thought a goodbye kiss was a better reason. Anyway, he kisses her. Once isn’t enough. Another time. And then it descends to a great kissing session. Strange to see 2 sad people making out like that. At this point they’re both confused what love is (cue Haddaway song…) but they decide to ignore it because there is someone more important whom they want to protect.

A week later, today is supposed to be the day Misaki and Ririna attend the bridal shoot. Nejima doesn’t want to go and holes up in his room. Nisaka visits and hears about him being confused over his choice. He finds him pathetic that he is feeling guilty to see either one of them for fear of hurting either one of them. Nisaka tells him it isn’t his problem if someone falls in love with him and gets hurt over it. If they really you, you can make them happy as easy as you can hurt them. This is love. He doesn’t need to be fair. They just want him to acknowledge them. And with that, Nejima suddenly changes his mind and puts on his running shoes. Nisaka remembers Nejima asking him if he had ever lied. At times like these. Misaki and Ririna and getting into the bridal gowns as they talk about the love and lies. Misaki is willing to make the lie the truth just to protect this love. The duo are stiff during the photo shoot. So the cameraman tells them to relax, think of the guy they like. Oops. Even stiffer. And then here comes Nejima. Their face lights up. The moment he says how pretty they both look, Misaki starts crying. Ririna notes she is a bad liar. They also invite him to take a picture with them. Wow. It looks like the most ideal perfect ending if it was real, Nejima flanked by 2 girls he love and marrying them. If only monogamy wasn’t the law…

Nisekoi: Seikatsu Wa Kimi No Uso
Uhm… So did they decide to dissolve the official notification or not? So after a long deliberation in the final episode, they still can’t decide whether to dissolve it or maintain? Can we make it an exception that he marries both of them? Hey, if you can’t choose, choose them both! After all, if their official union is dissolved and they are assigned new partners, assuming they are worst off and they repeat this whole dissolving process again, wouldn’t that take another long time? It would be kingdom come before they get what they want. They’ll be dead! Who knows what algorithms the government used for the matchmaking so Nejima and Misaki may never end up together.

The concept of this sophisticated government level matchmaking seems interesting at first because it potentially sets up love triangles and misunderstandings. You know, the kind of ‘ingredients’ such romantic love comedies and dramas need. However along the way, it starts to get a little boring. Because you see, the entire plot of the series mainly revolves around the main trio who are just confused as f*ck about their own feelings. So they’re like playing the wait and see game to see if there is anything that would change their minds or something. And that is where the drama drags out and the entire series starts to become mundane. Personally if you ask me, had Ririna not been such a cute and technically a nice girl, Nejima would have outright rejected her. Screw whatever punishment he will get because I’m not going to spend the rest of my life with an ugly b*tch. Assuming that she has a not so spectacular personality too. I mean, you have got to admit that Ririna is on the same level of cuteness as Misaki, right? But Misaki has bigger boobs… Whoops! But you get the idea that he has to choose between 2 angels, it is going to be a tough choice, right?

So this system brings up a few questions like for example, what if you are gay or lesbians. I believe Japan is still predominantly a traditional culture so they’re not going to let this western culture seep into it. Too bad Nisaka will never be paired with Nejima, that’s for sure. But what if you’re a minority like gays and lesbians, do you have a say in this too even if straight young people don’t? Also, what if you don’t want to get married and stay single? Or even if you have been assigned but both never get married? Will there be a penalty. Hey, can’t get penalized if you never reject the marriage in the first place. Just keep delaying it till kingdom come. It also brings about the thought of how perfect the system is. We are shown in this anime that the success rate is very high but that doesn’t mean it is 100% perfect. The initial plan for a happy family is good but if the government starts taking control on who you should marry, what’s next? Telling you what kind of job you should have and the way you should live your life? The freedom of the ordinary people is soon being taken away. Therefore sometimes people only put up with this so as to look good in the eyes of the government.

But let’s not stray too far and remain within this Yukari Law system context. By having this system itself, does it show that the government doesn’t trust its people to make their own decisions and hence decide for them? Or is it the people are not smart enough to decide their own future and therefore the government had to step in with this some sort of programme. Either way, it is a good thing that we see many people who have been paired off in this anime to marry happily and give their thanks to the system. But it feels like they’ve been brainwashed… It’s like saying without the system, they would never have met their destined partner, etc. Well, it depends on how you look at it. There is always that question that if they could have met a better person or one that is far worse. And I guess that because of the high success rate of this law, nobody is particularly complaining. That is why they allow this to happen. Wow. The government got something right for once?

The most WTF and mind boggling event for this is the special government programme whereby young kids who are still in high school are being taught about love making. Wait a minute. Are kids too dumb to figure out about sex and go with instincts?! That was my first thought when that episode played out. Of course for plot purposes, it is meant to ‘bring in some excitement’. Too bad no sex scenes ever happened. What about porn? Kids their age in this era would have been experts in using the internet to find out about porn. Therefore the make-out session during the programme doesn’t really make any sense and my Spidey senses are tingling it could be one big scam to film some unsolicited high school porn and sell them to horny gaijin overseas. Or it could be just one big collateral. You know, you made out with me then, now you have to marry me. That sounds more like blackmail…

The main characters aren’t anything special. Like I’ve said, they’re just confused with the entire thing because what your heart wants isn’t necessarily the same as what the government wants you to have. Like Nejima who is just a pretty normal guy with nothing eventful going on his life. They make him have this bizarre fetish of burial grounds so as to give him some sort of character but more than that, there isn’t anything more. Misaki and Ririna are trying to be so considerate by playing the nice girl that they go so far as to hide their feelings. All for the sake of Nejima’s happiness and the other girl. Well, it made Misaki into some sort of walking emotional time bomb. Ririna trying to be some sort of freak interested to watch the ‘illicit’ romance between Nejima and Misaki I feel is somewhat a way to suppress her feelings. Because if Nejima really goes for Misaki then she wouldn’t have to feel so bad that he never loved her before in the first place. I guess if it is a smile that they want to protect and in makes them happy, so be it.

Nisaka was a surprise because I never thought he really liked Nejima on this sort of gay level. There were faint signs but I never gave it much thought. I believe he doesn’t want to lose the status quo of being his friend and staying close to him. When your friend is a straight person and suddenly you confess that you like him as a gay. Super awkward. I mean, Nisaka don’t mind being next to him but how will Nejima react the next time? The guys are always together and knowing the simpleton Nejima is, he is going to freak out and avoid him more than he is nervous to Misaki or Ririna. Hey, at least Nisaka is good looking too. Why does the plain guy like him always get the attraction of hot people?! It’s a good thing Nejima is too dumb and dense to realize this. Arisa might be a very minor character and I feel that she is very much wasted and pretty ‘useless’. I don’t know why they need to introduce her in the first place as the girl who makes friends with Ririna. I guess it’s to tell us that she too has a friend. Isn’t Misaki one? It isn’t like Arisa became her friend before she knew Misaki. Heck, it was after.

Igarashi is being one big mystery because I still don’t get it why she is trying to do it all for Misaki. Heck, I believe she is partially responsible for all this mess and messing with Nejima’s head about that fake notification. Had it not been sent, I believe Nejima won’t be this confused and devastated at first. Like how Nisaka is being gay for Nejima, perhaps Igarashi is being lesbian for Misaki. After all, you can see that she doesn’t like Nejima very much. Yeah, this was all to screw with him but it also ultimately screwed with Misaki. So I don’t really get it why she sent that fake notification assuming if it was really from her. It just made everyone darn confused. Maybe it did some good and maybe it did not but for sure it was one of the weirdest way to mess around.

One of the things that kept ‘bugging’ me throughout the series is the art style. Everything seems simple and plain and for a romantic comedy like this one it is acceptable. However the thing that stands out a lot is how big the characters’ eyes are! I’m not kidding you. Not to say that they are monstrosity big but they are obviously big enough to make you notice that they are. If you thought 12-sai: Chicchana Mune No Tokimeki had big eyes too, but that series covered it up with all the moe and kawaii cuteness. Hence a show which looks like it is technically for kids and it wasn’t that distracting.

However as for this series, it gives the characters this very strange look. Even if Ririna and Misaki are cuties, because of big eye art style, they look cute in the strange sense. Like life-like dolls… Kinda reminds me of that Cyclops girl in Monster Musume No Iru Nichijou. Oh heck. Wait a minute. Doesn’t she look very close to Misaki?! Just take away and eye and you get this… And here is another odd freaky fact I noticed: Doesn’t Misaki look a bit like Kana Hanazawa, the one who voiced the character? Must be the hairstyle… Animated by Lidenfilms who did Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches, Rokudenashi Majutsu Koushi To Akashic Records and Terra Formars.

Aside Kana Hanazawa as Misaki, I only recognized Akira Ishida as Nisaka’s dad. I didn’t realize it was Eri Kitamura behind Igarashi’s voice since the last few animes I watched with her in it, she was voicing haughty characters. So this very quiet and mysterious character didn’t really make me think it was he behind it. I also mistakenly thought it was Tetsuya Kakihara behind Nisaka’s voice but it turns out to be Shinnosuke Tachibana (Tomoe of Kamisama Hajimemashita). He other casts are Ryota Ohsaka as Nejima (Marco in Shingeki No Kyojin), Yui Makino as Ririna (Sakura in Tsubasa Chronicle series) and Kishiou Taniyama as Yajima (Jean in Shingeki No Kyojin).

Surprisingly, the opening theme, Kanashii Ureshii by Frederic is quite catchy. At least at the beginning. It has this very playful and prankish tune to it when the song starts off. Quite fun. And then as the song progresses, it gets really monotonous and weird. Maybe it was the drum beats in the background which felt like it was banging something else. Somewhat a reflection of what this series feels like? Starting out great and then it went slightly downhill. At least the overall for the ending theme isn’t that bad, Can’t You Say by Roys. The hip hop beat of this song makes it quite likeable. There are also quite a few nice BGMs to listen. My favourite in particular is the ubiquitous Confession which I believe is the main theme song and overplayed several times in every episode. Because of that, I believe there are a few variations and versions of this.

Overall, this series started out interesting and with an interesting concept too. But unless you are a hardcore fan of shoujo manga type of drama and romance, it will soon turn into a drag with the young ones pondering about their love as they stumble along what is truth, what is lies. Yeah, expect lots of blushing moments here as they stare deeply into each other. After all, they have only one future and have to make it right. If not now, then when? Sometimes it feels like love and lies go hand in hand. You keep lying to yourself you love that person or vice versa and at the same time love is so irrational it makes you do and say crazy stupid things. Yeah, love and lies are like accomplices to mess with the humans’ heart. No wonder men always fail to say “I do” at the right part. No, not the part where the minister tells him to take him as his lawfully wedded wife but the part where he should object by speaking now or forever hold your peace! Haha! Sorry, bad marriage joke. Is it love? Is it a lie? Well, it’s just life.

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