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EP. REVIEW: More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers


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L'Imperatore



Joined: 24 Mar 2014
Posts: 633
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 6:47 am Reply with quote
To be honest, I clicked on the review expecting it to be a hatewatch, so... color me surprised.
STILL need to get used to Akari's uniform, though.
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 215
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 7:07 am Reply with quote
L'Imperatore wrote:
To be honest, I clicked on the review expecting it to be a hatewatch, so... color me surprised.
STILL need to get used to Akari's uniform, though.



Yeah that was my thought, when I saw it would be reviewed. I do agree with the review, though- the premise is stupid (and not the fun kind of "this is so stupid, it actually kind of works") but the character interactions are surprisingly solid.

I do think the 4th character needs to have a bit of spotlight- "Mr. Perfect" ought not remain such.
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pikrodafni



Joined: 11 Apr 2015
Posts: 120
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 9:09 am Reply with quote
Quote:
and it gets weirder when you realize that most of the fan service or romantically-charged moments in this show are likely being recorded on camera by what I can only assume is a group of teachers with a pen and clipboard.


What's even weirder is that they make a point in the manga telling us that this is NOT supervised by humans(I imagine to avoid privacy invasion criticisms) but that just makes it even more confusing imo,like what kind of automated computerized system is this that it can decide by itself what is supposed to a "good married couple" without any supervision??
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 6173
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 9:40 am Reply with quote
In a way this is a pretty conventional romcom, but I feel it's being executed very well. The animation, style, and the character interactions are all really fun to watch. I feel invested in seeing how Jiro and Akari's relationship develops because we already seem to be making solid progress.

(And the camera sure loves Akari...not that I blame them)

I do think the marriage classes are kind of dubious ethically and I'm not sure what the point even is, although for how many questions I have about how this works I really doubt we're going to get much answers.

Shiori is the classic childhood friend love interest who basically screwed herself by unintentionally friendzoning Jiro.
b-dragon wrote:
I do think the 4th character needs to have a bit of spotlight- "Mr. Perfect" ought not remain such.

Yeah, I feel like Minami is the biggest question mark in the show. He's barely in the Opening but he's also kind of the crux of the situation, although maybe he's only relevant in so far as Shiori is stuck with him and Akari has to move on from her crush because she's falling for Jiro.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 591
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 10:40 am Reply with quote
pikrodafni wrote:
Quote:
and it gets weirder when you realize that most of the fan service or romantically-charged moments in this show are likely being recorded on camera by what I can only assume is a group of teachers with a pen and clipboard.


What's even weirder is that they make a point in the manga telling us that this is NOT supervised by humans(I imagine to avoid privacy invasion criticisms) but that just makes it even more confusing imo,like what kind of automated computerized system is this that it can decide by itself what is supposed to a "good married couple" without any supervision??


This probably is more a question of "does a school have the money to dedicate to such a specialized project" more so than is is possible. There are stores in the US that have cameras at self-checkout that can tell if you skip-scan an item and will freeze the transaction until an associate comes to fix it. We known all about facial recognition software. We know all about Siri and Google and Alexa. Combining such technologies, its just a matter of programming the computer scoring when such actions are detected. While there may not be human supervision, there is likely some auditing process that involves humans so that no one starts gaming the system (repeating certain words out of context just to trigger point increases).

End of the day it's not really meant to be that much of a consideration. The system exists to establish the setup of the series, dubious a set as it may be.

I am a little worn on Jiro's character. This setup of the self-deprecating MC, the gyaru who is more down to earth and reserved than he baselessly thinks, the cute childhood friend of the MC who for no clear reason has avoided letting on she's interested, and the 4th wheel who is liked by the gyaru, has been very prevalent of late. "My Dress Up Darling" and "A Couple of Cuckoos" are just two recent examples that have adapted the general concept for their purposes. It's a bit more frustrating here, however, in that aside from a couple rather tame taunting jabs has been pretty level with him and hasn't talked down to him.

Yes, its self-serving because she wants the good score and the couple swap, but it would be too common for similar stories to have her still calling him out on petty stuff, ridiculing him constantly, and spending the fist half dozen episodes waiting for (usually the MC) to establish a cooperative relationship where they're at least pulling the same direction. As I say, it's just a little frustrating that she's putting in the effort, she's already that far ahead, but he is pining for more without actually putting forward any real effort. He's just bumbling along and happening to have it mostly work out for him thus far.
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moozooh



Joined: 30 Sep 2022
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 10:52 am Reply with quote
Quote:
There's just something about the presentation of the show and the purity of our three protagonists that feels surprisingly wholesome despite the fact that there are a plethora of camera angles that would make you think otherwise.

Yeah, be glad you aren't reading the manga, because it sure goes full-in creep with camera angles and whatnot right off the bat. I'm surprised just how decent the anime made it look in comparison.
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b-dragon



Joined: 21 Apr 2021
Posts: 215
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2022 8:50 am Reply with quote
It's almost absurd how good the characterization is in contrast to how bad the premise still is. Almost like a good writer took a bad idea on a dare and decided to run with it.

It's also addressed one of the biggest issues I typically have with romcoms- a lack of narrative progress. Each episode, thus far anyway, has felt substantive to characters and their development. That may change, of course, but its nice to see for now.

I still do want to know more about Minami, and what his thoughts on all of this are. I'm assuming he'll be a big part of the next episode, given the title, but that could just be wishful thinking.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 6173
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2022 9:16 am Reply with quote
Take a shot every time the camera focuses on Akari's boobs. I'm not sure if you'll make it midway through the episode. Granted, she barely wears any clothes most of the time so that helps too.

I want more Sadaharu. His on-point meta-commentary is hilarious. I want to see who he's been paired with too.

I think they handled the couch scene with Jiro and Akari surprisingly well. Akari is vulnerable and depressed at the one thing she thought she had in the bag as a woman being invalidated by Shiori and Jiro being Jiro puts his foot in his mouth and tried to comfort her by telling her point-blank that guys mostly see her as an easy lay or sex object. So she comes on to Jiro and tries to initiate sex, despite it being clear this would be as much her first time as it is Jiro's, because she saw it as the only thing of value she still had. They really felt like genuine teenagers in that moment, and it's not something you see often in romcoms.

I take that moment between Jiro and Akari on the couch to indicate this school doesn't have any 100% secure way to prevent the kids from having sex unless the monitoring system goes overdrive on the intimacy level when they do the deed. Maybe it's an unspoken expectation of the program to help with Japan's birthrate problems...

Jiro and Akari are starting from zero as a married couple but not in their feelings for each other, especially when Akari finally calls him by his first name (which he fantasized about) and basically confesses to him. It'll be interesting to see where they go from here.
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moozooh



Joined: 30 Sep 2022
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2022 12:16 pm Reply with quote
b-dragon wrote:
It's almost absurd how good the characterization is in contrast to how bad the premise still is.

For me, the "good characterization" ends with Akari dressing and behaving in public like a consequence of a drinking party gone horribly wrong, yet being a pure and innocent maiden in private at the same time. In the real world, girls like her pop their cherry at 16–17 at the latest because the dressing style comes from being confident in their sexuality (it's impossible to feel comfortable showing so much skin otherwise), which Akari clearly isn't, so she's sending mixed signals both in-universe and to the audience.

I can't really sympathize with Jirou, either, because he's blunt and to the point in one scene and completely unwilling to sort out a misunderstanding in another; chivalrous in one scene and an objectifying scumbag in another. The inconsistencies of his character are just as frustrating as Akari's, if not more so.

This isn't the first time Japanese authors fundamentally misunderstand sexual behavior and choose to prop up their lack of knowledge with stale tropes, but since the bulk of their audience is socially inept and doesn't know any better, this is given a go-ahead every time.
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Ationvin



Joined: 26 Oct 2022
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2022 2:07 pm Reply with quote
To be honest, I am not particularly impressed with this story, the idea is very interesting but the implementation and choice of behavior of the main characters disappointed me. As for me it's just a repetition of similar stories with a rag and someone powerful. In short, it is clearly not mine.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 6173
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2022 11:09 pm Reply with quote
So Akari is torn between her crush on Minami and her growing love of Jiro (which is deepening episode by episode), Jiro is torn between his attraction and growing feelings for Akari versus his old love for Shiori, Shiori still loves Jiro and is working to become his marriage partner, and Minami...just does whatever Shiori wants.

Sadaharu and the Yu-Gi-Oh! jokes were a riot. Especially because they were so on-point.

That boyfriend shirt twirl was too cute. Also, is Akari the female lead this season flashing her panties the most...?
moozooh wrote:
b-dragon wrote:
It's almost absurd how good the characterization is in contrast to how bad the premise still is.

For me, the "good characterization" ends with Akari dressing and behaving in public like a consequence of a drinking party gone horribly wrong, yet being a pure and innocent maiden in private at the same time. In the real world, girls like her pop their cherry at 16–17 at the latest because the dressing style comes from being confident in their sexuality (it's impossible to feel comfortable showing so much skin otherwise), which Akari clearly isn't, so she's sending mixed signals both in-universe and to the audience.

I can't really sympathize with Jirou, either, because he's blunt and to the point in one scene and completely unwilling to sort out a misunderstanding in another; chivalrous in one scene and an objectifying scumbag in another. The inconsistencies of his character are just as frustrating as Akari's, if not more so.

This isn't the first time Japanese authors fundamentally misunderstand sexual behavior and choose to prop up their lack of knowledge with stale tropes, but since the bulk of their audience is socially inept and doesn't know any better, this is given a go-ahead every time.

I guess it doesn't read as off to me as Akari's style and outgoingness (both in personality and style) just stems from gyaru culture. Like, I don't think she dresses that differently from Marin in My Dress Up Darling.

I don't think they're meant to be seen as inconsistencies so much as layers to the characters.
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moozooh



Joined: 30 Sep 2022
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2022 1:37 am Reply with quote
MFrontier wrote:
I guess it doesn't read as off to me as Akari's style and outgoingness (both in personality and style) just stems from gyaru culture. Like, I don't think she dresses that differently from Marin in My Dress Up Darling.

The culture doesn't explain why a girl who's so flustered by a kiss (among the other maidenly aspects of her behavior) would be comfortable dressing so provocatively. It's crucial not to confuse the cause and effect here: dressing style reflects personality, not the other way around.

So it's one of the two: either she's a maiden at heart and would feel more at home with a more subdued look, or she's a gyaru through and through and would have plenty of romantic and sexual experience because provocative look is an aspect of proactive sexual behavior. It makes her stand out, leading to no shortage of potential suitors, and we know she's social and outgoing, so it doesn't compute that she wouldn't at least try to date anyone by then.

Marin is slightly more realistic in this respect: she's notably more confident in her sexuality, doesn't think twice about showing skin, and is very comfortable around opposite sex. So her dressing style reflects that personality correctly. She's also intensely charismatic and cheerful unlike Akari. But she's still more of a fantasy girl in principle: an unlikely combination of a social butterfly and a hardcore anime/VN otaku who's somehow also still a virgin without any hands-on romantic experience. I could forgive her for being too good in the role, but she's just another symptom of the general problem with romance anime.
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JustMonika



Joined: 17 Jan 2022
Posts: 366
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2022 5:52 am Reply with quote
L'Imperatore wrote:
To be honest, I clicked on the review expecting it to be a hatewatch, so... color me surprised.
STILL need to get used to Akari's uniform, though.


Why would AOTS be a hate watch? Lol
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 6173
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2022 11:45 pm Reply with quote
I've been listening to some clips of the English dub and while I think the voices fit, the script is one of those that feels like they have to "punch up" the dialogue and make it more exaggerated than it already was. Which I think is a disservice because I feel like the show's humor and character interactions are more intimate and natural than the dub give off, and Akari comes off more extreme by comparison. But it seems like people enjoy those kinds of dubs.

Just my two cents.
moozooh wrote:
MFrontier wrote:
I guess it doesn't read as off to me as Akari's style and outgoingness (both in personality and style) just stems from gyaru culture. Like, I don't think she dresses that differently from Marin in My Dress Up Darling.

The culture doesn't explain why a girl who's so flustered by a kiss (among the other maidenly aspects of her behavior) would be comfortable dressing so provocatively. It's crucial not to confuse the cause and effect here: dressing style reflects personality, not the other way around.

So it's one of the two: either she's a maiden at heart and would feel more at home with a more subdued look, or she's a gyaru through and through and would have plenty of romantic and sexual experience because provocative look is an aspect of proactive sexual behavior. It makes her stand out, leading to no shortage of potential suitors, and we know she's social and outgoing, so it doesn't compute that she wouldn't at least try to date anyone by then.

Marin is slightly more realistic in this respect: she's notably more confident in her sexuality, doesn't think twice about showing skin, and is very comfortable around opposite sex. So her dressing style reflects that personality correctly. She's also intensely charismatic and cheerful unlike Akari. But she's still more of a fantasy girl in principle: an unlikely combination of a social butterfly and a hardcore anime/VN otaku who's somehow also still a virgin without any hands-on romantic experience. I could forgive her for being too good in the role, but she's just another symptom of the general problem with romance anime.

I don't think it's that complicated.

Akari dresses in a way she's comfortable with and is fine with showing off her looks because she's very forward and aggressive, but that doesn't mean she's trying to come off as "easy" or that she has any actual romantic experience. And she was still pursuing Minami even though it's Jiro that she's getting actual romantic moments with, hence the main relationship driver of the series.

Even Marin, confident and self-assured as she is, could get awkward or thrown off because she's never been in love before like she is with Gojo, and that's when her one-track mind about fashion/cosplay wears off.
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moozooh



Joined: 30 Sep 2022
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2022 12:03 am Reply with quote
MFrontier wrote:
I don't think it's that complicated.

Akari dresses in a way she's comfortable with and is fine with showing off her looks because she's very forward and aggressive, but that doesn't mean she's trying to come off as "easy" or that she has any actual romantic experience. And she was still pursuing Minami even though it's Jiro that she's getting actual romantic moments with, hence the main relationship driver of the series.

There's nothing complicated about looks reflecting one's personality. It's common sense.

Yet Akari regularly fails to be forward and aggressive with both her love interest Minami and even Jiro who she, at least for now, doesn't care about as much. So... what gives?
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