Title: Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Summary: The comedy revolves around Kobeni Yonomori, who on her 16th birthday suddenly has a young man with little presence named Hakuya Mitsumine and his younger sister Mashiro appear in front of her. It turns out that Hakuya is her fiancee, and Mashiro is her future sister-in-law. The three (and Konbeni’s older sister Benio) start living together underneath the same roof, and hilarious happenings occur.
Review: It’s rather rare for me to like a romance anime nowadays. I’ve become jaded in my old age and find most high school romances to be childish and annoying. Then this little gem came along. It wasn’t anything complex, and it definitely wasn’t the best romance story I’ve seen, but every episode made me smile. I’ve learned that it isn’t always about how intense a romance can be, but rather how the characters interact with one another. Mikakunin de Shinkoukei was a nice change of pace from drama filled romances you see nowadays because it wasn’t trying to be anything more than a sweet tale about two strangers learning about one another and dealing with the news of engagement.
The art style of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei really illustrated that the anime was more about the romance and less about the drama. The soft colors and light shading gave it a very childlike innocence. It left things very open to comedic facial expressions and flowery backgrounds, perfect for a romcom. The body motions were fluid offering a whole new level of entertainment. I was also very pleased with the unique camera angles the anime took, like switching to first person view when Kobeni was sick. However, I can’t say that it took an artistic prize because it lacked a lot in variety. While the backgrounds were nice to look at they were basically the same things over and over again but with a slightly different color palette. It wasn’t very satisfying during the rare times we saw the characters in street clothes . The outfits were simplistic, changing mostly in colors rather than actual style. The sceneries were pretty but rarely strayed away from the home or school. While I can appreciate beauty in simplicity, I found myself unsatisfied in the lack of scenery. Thankfully the anime didn’t need to rely on it’s art to be enjoyable.
The thing that makes a romance comedy worth watching are the characters. If you don’t relate, sympathize, or care for the characters you’ll find yourself annoyed at their daily drivel. Although I can’t say that Kobeni was my favorite heroine, I was very happy with her gradual change of heart toward Hakuya. Especially as an adult I find the “love at first sight” a bit overplayed in anime. I actually liked that she was against the engagement but didn’t completely throw Hakuya out the door. She wasn’t fighting his existence, she was only thinking how marrying a complete stranger was ridiculous. Now of course the anime was far from realistic, it is supernatural after all, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have some great messages. It isn’t always about the dramatics or the miracles that make a relationship special. Sometimes the casual day to day activities like cooking, walking to school, or studying for an exam are the most memorable. Mikakunin de Shinkoukei gave a sprinkle of everything that I never expected to enjoy; yet week after week I couldn’t wait for the next episode to be released. However, the anime wasn’t completely without flaws. It suffered from three main things: 1) Predictable story, 2) poor support characters, and 3) a lack luster ending. While I very much enjoyed the interaction between the main characters I can’t say the same for the support. Most of them were either pointlessly added or downright annoying. The minor subplots didn’t really go with the flow of the anime and I found myself wishing things would hurry along. Toward the end of the series I felt like the plots were really stretching for a hook. Although I still enjoyed each episode, I definitely felt my attention slipping. Some may argue that this means it was the perfect time to end the series, but to me it was a sign of divergence from what made the anime enjoyable.
The last thing that wasn’t to my tastes but found very fitting was the soundtrack. The opening and ending specifically anyone can tell you are very cute with fast pace beats and high pitch voices. However, I’m always a fan of the voice actresses singing the opening and endings of the anime they star in and the soundtrack was very fitting. I didn’t expect a beautiful ballad because it wouldn’t make sense in the context of the series. Also I’m sure anyone can tell you that the opening was highly addictive, so addictive that people have made 10 hour remixes of it. Now the background music was pleasant and did improve the anime which is ultimately what the music is there for. One particular song, Saitte Iu no wa Tokubetsu na Kanji da, deserves a listen from everyone.
Final statements: The anime wasn’t perfect and it did have some noticeable flaws so I couldn’t give it a must see. This high priority watch is a short and simple tale that I would definitely pick up again for any OVA or season releases. Sometimes all a good romance needs is the beauty of everyday life.