Koi to Uso: Episodes 1-3 First Thoughts!

You know, romance is kind of a luxury, when you think about it.

For the majority of human history, marriage has been decided by outside factors, disregarding “compatibility.”  Status, power, family–all these factors were infinitely more important than “love.”  But recently, compatibility, love, and romance have reigned supreme, the desires of the heart put forth as the most important value.  But even then, it can be hard to know, for certain, whether you and your partner are truly compatible.

So, what if you could know, from the very beginning, that you were with paired with your perfect soulmate?  What if you were automatically paired with the person who, in personality, goals, intelligence, and more, was perfect for you?

Well.  You might be surprised at the problems that arise.


The Premise

2017-08-06_13-43-20Koi to Uso is a Summer 2017 anime that takes place in the near future, in a reality where Japan has decided to confront its need for increased population growth in an…interesting way.

By deciding the most compatible marriage partners for its citizens, starting from the age of 16, the Japanese government has been able to achieve its goals with a resounding success!  The system has worked so well, that the citizens of Japan, for the most, part have whole-heartedly accepted it.  After all, there’s no need to take a risk, when the government’s “Red Strings of Fate” can choose the best partner for you.

 

 

2017-08-06_11-57-21.pngEnter the 15, going on 16 year old youth, Yukari Nejima.  A kid who makes it very clear that the government has no sway on him, that he won’t get married, no matter what!  After all, with the truest of loves for his childhood crush, Misaka Takazaki, what could stand up to the passion he has?  When he finds out that Misaka loves him as well, his faith seems very much rewarded, his defiance against the government given meaning.

2017-08-07_22-10-46However, once he receives his notice, telling him of his designated partner, Lilina Sanada, the world turns on its head, as he struggles to keep his feelings for Misaka alive.  Understandably, he’s stuck in a very strange, very unwanted position, being with a complete stranger, while also trying to foster his love for Misaka.  And, surprisingly, Lilina…wants him to as well?

 

2017-08-07_21-27-23 In a world where these designated partners don’t want to be together anyways, the three youths struggle with their feelings of love and romance, in contrast to the world that aims to decide them in their place.  But of course, love in this world, isn’t exactly the easiest thing to keep alive.

It’s interesting, ain’t it?

 


First Impressions

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You don’t say?

Right off the bat, the plot of the show gets moving.  With a clean, rom-com animation style that is rather pleasing to the eye, Koi to Uso hops right into the comedy, characters, and of course, the drama.  It’s bright, it’s happy, and knows how to exaggerate certain moments for more emotional, powerful scenes.

What stands out to me, however, is the sheer potential this story has to grow, in future episodes.

With a premise such as this, it’s hard not to be excited for what this anime may bring.  It showcases a unique twist on the standard love triangle that is actually rather interesting, and also, has shown that it’s not adverse to presenting multiple sides of an argument, which I personally love.  There’s a LOT of plot points to keep in mind, just by the end of the third episode, and so, there’s a LOT of room for Koi to Uso to grow into a memorable, dramatic, or heck, even a fun story.

But of course, that’s just potential.  We’ll see where that leads.

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Huh. Perhaps so?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of the first three episodes, the series manages to be rather entertaining, carving out its own unique sense of humor that is rather fun to see.  It’s not the best of anime comedy, to be sure, utilizing some very, very overdone tropes, but at the very least, the character dynamic makes these situations rather…interesting.

However, at this point, I must admit: the first three episodes…have left me wanting more, and not in a very good way.

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Not that I’m complaining.  But I know you know, we’ve all seen a scene like this.

 

From a sheer plot perspective, the situation of our main characters is extremely intriguing.  Their unique relationship is what draws me to the series, but at the same time…it’s not exactly the best-developed character relationship in anime, at least so far.

I bring up character dynamic to say this–I wish that they were, immediately speaking, a bit more memorable.  Their personalities tend to fade into each other, defined very quickly by simple stereotypes.  Yukari is the wimpy, yet determined and kind guy, while Lilina is the brash tsundere character, and Misaka is the intelligent, reserved, yet loving type.  Not to say that they don’t have their own personalities, but as of now, they’ve yet to truly distinguish themselves.

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Very dramatic, very strong, yes, but…I just don’t care about the characters enough to get invested.

That’s actually an apt way to describe my impressions of Koi to Uso so far: it hasn’t distinguished itself yet.  The animation is solid, but nothing truly exceptional has happened.  The music is nice, but I don’t know if I will remember it at all by the end.  And of course, the characters are alright, but right now, I can very easily imagine either disliking them, or liking them.

Of course, there’s a lot of potential.  But we’ll see how that goes.


Final Thoughts

2017-08-07_21-16-52
 Good advice, actually.

I’m very hopeful for this anime, as something that could be a really solid watch, as far as rom-com anime are concerned.  However, at this point, I err on the side of caution, as it appears that the series could very easily suffer from a lack of focus.

There are a LOT of dramatic points that can be built upon, from specific plot elements, to character relationships, development, and even world building.  What worries me then, is whether or not the series has the ability to focus on the story it’s aiming to build, without getting caught up in trying to do too many things at once.  Will it mostly focus on the relationship between our main trio?  Will it try and carry out a theme of love in a loveless world, or will it continue to try and add new plot elements with every episode?

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Nice job, Yukari.  What’s next?

In the end, I just hope the story develops a sense of personality.  Characters I can grow to enjoy as individuals, rather than stereotypes, and a story that is confident in what it tries to tell.

And hey, maybe this tale of Love and Lies will be one worth writing home about.


Regardless, I’ll still look forward to the next episodes–what do you think about Koi to Uso?  Leave a comment down below!

My Top Ten Favorite Stories: 3-2

So, we’ve into my top three- the stories that have inspired me the most to write, to talk, to keep experiencing more and more new things.

For the most part, I acknowledge that these stories have their flaws, but for whatever reason, they’ve certainly hit home for me.  Of course, there’s DEFINITELY quality behind these works in some way, or else they wouldn’t be up here, but, overall, you guys are getting personal over objective judgment here.

Let get back into it!

Continue reading “My Top Ten Favorite Stories: 3-2”

To The Moon: A Look at Gaming’s Greatest Romance

You know, earlier this week, I was considering doing a gaming related countdown in regards to romance.  Maybe top five romances in gaming?  Top five online dating sims?  You know the ones.  Stupid Newgrounds.  But the thing is, romance in gaming, let’s be honest here, hasn’t been done very well, the focus in Western Games is primarily on the action.  It’s all about the fun that can be had, with first person shooters, third person shooters, figthing games, and even in the case of RPGs, the focus is normally on the complexity of the story, or the depth of the gameplay.

Basically, true romance rarely serves any major role in a Western game.  This is where the 2011 indie game, To The Moon comes in, providing a story that creates in my opinion, the greatest love story of any video game thus far.

Continue reading “To The Moon: A Look at Gaming’s Greatest Romance”

Katawa Shoujo: a VN Underdog Story

Before we start off, Happy Valentine’s Day!  May Cupid bring you a good romantic anime to watch, a sweet manga to read, or a nice Romance VN to play!

That being said, however.

To my knowledge, Visual Novels are the least-acknowledged Japanese medium.  It’s an interesting concept, mixing pictures with text, yet, for some reason, I feel it’s much more common to see people into anime, even manga compared to Visual Novels.  Perhaps they’re harder to get into?

Well, that being said, there’s one visual novel I came across, just a few years ago, that made quite a stir on the internet.  Supposedly a wonderful experience that emerged from the depths of 4chan, many skeptics downloaded the game expecting perverse trash, leaving instead with shattered hearts.  Being a skeptic myself, I decided to try it, as it was apparently a good first experience in the world of Visual Novels.  Lo and behold, I’m here now, as are many others, still unable to forget about the experience of Katawa Shoujo.

Continue reading “Katawa Shoujo: a VN Underdog Story”

Some of My Favorites: Five Great Couples in Anime!

Ah, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us.  Love is in the air, couples are doing their couple thing, and it’s time for those of us without relationships to stay inside and watch romantic anime.  Because.  Ya know.  That’s obviously the correct thing to do.

Romance in anime is everywhere.  It’s kind of inescapable, and you KNOW that any anime ever conceived has had some sort of character pairing, official or unofficial.  Of course, among these romances, there are some that stand out.  A pairing of two characters that bring the best out of each other, help each other when the other person is down, and are just freaking adorable together.

I’ll admit that romance is not my forte when it comes to anime, but at the same time, when I see a good one, I can’t help but just absolutely enjoy what I see.  This list will basically consist of the couples in anime that I consider to be the best.  They were good for each other, made each other happy, and their time on-screen together made my heart that much warmer.  Let’s get to it!

Continue reading “Some of My Favorites: Five Great Couples in Anime!”