×
  • remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more

The Summer 2024 Anime Preview Guide
Love Is Indivisible by Twins

How would you rate episode 1 of
Love Is Indivisible by Twins ?
Community score: 3.3



What is this?

rhs-twins-cap-1

Jun Shirosaki's love life takes a wild turn when he finds himself caught between the Jinguji twins—his childhood friends who are as different as night and day. Rumi, the older sister, pairs a boyish charm with a maiden's heart, while Naori combines girlish looks with her deep love for otaku culture. As feelings grow and confusion mounts, Jun must navigate this unexpected love triangle next door.

Love Is Indivisible by Twins is based on the Koi wa Futago de Warikirenai light novel series written by Shihon Takamura with illustrations by Almic. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Wednesdays.


How was the first episode?

caitlin-moore_twins.png
Caitlin Moore
Rating:

I know this has come up before, but I am a twin. That means I am extraordinarily choosy about media that includes twins, which tend to either parrot myths, recycle the same story beats over and over, or treat us as a matched set. Am I going to be persnickety about all the things that annoy me about Love Is Indivisible by Twins? Absolutely, as is my god-given right as a member of a poorly understood demographic.

Now, in fairness, there are things that the premiere does right. Naori and Ruri define themselves partially in opposition to one another; when one has an interest, the other tends to avoid it. They don't want to be treated as a matched set, and that's how you end up with one having short hair and one keeping it long; one being nerdy and one being sporty; and so on. When the world treats you as a unit, you do everything in your power to differentiate yourselves. If you follow the same pursuits, you'll automatically be grouped together or, even worse, compared to one another. This is supported by research!

That's also why the moment Jun said, “I think you're plenty similar,” my suspension of disbelief snapped in half and did not recover. It already seemed unlikely that Ruri and Naori would fall for the same guy but if someone said that to me and my sister, that would be a potential friendship ruiner. Someone who couldn't see all the ways we were obviously different? Unthinkable! The fact that there are some similarities between our personalities and mannerisms is immaterial; comparison is anathema. It was a throwaway line, said under narration, but it rankled me so hard that even if the story did everything else right, I would not have accepted it.

Plus, it doesn't do a whole lot right! The characterization is fine but it's all done through introspective narration, which is a drag for an audiovisual medium. It also looks awful. Everything is washed out and fuzzy, so everyone looks like they're walking through a Persona 4-esque haze at all times. Lens flare appears at random times, including while the girls are hanging out in their bedrooms. The brightness is outright eye-smarting at times. I had just been thinking this season is low on glow-filter abuse; I guess it ALL went to Love Is Indivisible by Twins.


gshwoozauayzxsc
Richard Eisenbeis
Rating:

Would you look at that? A serious romance anime with an actual love triangle—as in one where all three people involved love each other. It's honestly been a while since I've seen one of these. It's clear that Jun cares for both Rumi and Naori, with each connecting well with a different part of his personality. Likewise, it's easy to see that the sisters love each other, enough that they keep putting aside their personal happiness for the other's sake. This is a perfect recipe for drama. There are no villains, just people with complex feelings. Everyone is sympathetic—even when the things they do are wrong.

This first episode is especially interesting when taken as a whole. I wouldn't say that it feels rushed but it does feel like we get a story that could have easily been stretched out over several episodes. I mean, not only do we see several stories from their shared childhood but we see Rumi and Jun's time dating from two different points of view. It's a lot, to say the least.

At this point, I am genuinely interested to see where things go from here. Everything is set up for Jun and Naori to start dating, however, it's not like Jun's feelings for Rumi have gone away. The breakup completely blindsided Jun. After all, it happened not because of incompatibility but because of Rumi's guilt over taking the man her sister loved. Due to their ages, physical proximity at both home and school and the utter lack of closure in their relationship, something tells me that this is not going to be a clean breakup in any sense of the word.

In other words, I sense an incoming trash fire of teenage angst. So if you're looking for a messy teen romance with the drama turned up to 11, this will probably be the show for you.


twins-nd2.png
Nicholas Dupree
Rating:

There have been far worse premieres this season, but I don't think any have felt like more of a slog than this one. Like Days With My Stepsister, this show wants to take its very played-out romcom setup – two twin girls in love with the same boy – and turn it into a grounded, emotionally intense drama. Unfortunately, it cannot write romance to save its life, so we're left with a plodding premiere where we're trapped in the characters' heads for what feels like an eternity as they pine over tepid relationship drama.

Seriously, the vast majority of spoken lines in this premiere are either Rumi or Naori narrating their feelings to the audience through internal monologue, constantly telling us they're both in love with Jun, but never elaborating on why either feels such a powerful attraction to him. It's not even that I don't buy it – I straight up don't know anything meaningful about Jun's personality by the end of this episode. I know he likes to read books and does well in school. He once convinced Naori's elementary school bully to apologize, none of which makes sense to inspire such life-long infatuation, even for kids. I couldn't tell you if he's charming, funny, clever, or supportive, and certainly couldn't explain why these sisters have imprinted on him as their one true love.

The sisters, meanwhile, are defined solely by their love for him. Rumi's entire story through this episode is pining for him through their entire childhood, asking him out, feeling guilty about it for several weeks because she knows her sister also loves Jun, and then breaking up with him, presumably for that guilt. We're told she's sporty and "cares about appearances," but none of that actually factors into her character. Naori has slightly more personality, with her penchant for quoting books and movies and being slightly more caustic in her monologue, but she also doesn't do anything but stew in jealousy through her half of this premiere. Together they make for a totally inert, character-devoid love story that insists it's about intense personal conflict and powerful romantic interest.

The biggest annoyance, however, is how insistent the soundtrack is. The entire episode is smothered with plinking pianos, delicate harp strings, and all the kind of soft musical sounds you think of when you hear "quiet, contemplative anime romance" to the point where it's unbearable. It's the audio equivalent of making an entire episode in slow-motion and burying the footage behind a washed-out pink filter, constantly insisting that the characters are experiencing profound yet universal emotions that are changing their interior worlds forever. The music would be trying too hard even if this were a world-changing romance for the ages, so when it's paired with such staid, sparkless material, it feels like total overcompensation. At one point I just started watching on mute because the constant, overbearing soundtrack was putting me on edge.

It all combines for a premiere that is the exact opposite of compelling. I don't want to see what happens with these characters, or learn more about them, and I certainly don't want to hear more synthesized piano music while they pine for a love interest with the force of a thousand suns because he reads books.


rhs-twins-cap-2
Rebecca Silverman
Rating:

I wasn't thrilled with this episode for entirely different reasons than I thought I might not like it: I felt really badly for Jun. That's actually sort of a backwards compliment; my fear for this was that it would be about how insanely desirable a very average male lead was, but instead, this first episode looks at the way twin sisters inadvertently use him. Rumi and Naori have crushes on their childhood friend, and both know the other's feelings. Rumi goes ahead and asks Jun out anyway but then is overcome with guilt about it and dumps him, while poor Jun (who looked quite happy dating Rumi) is left, not understanding what happened. We don't know much about Naori's reaction to it, but the implication is that she herself isn't sure what to think, leaving all three of them unhappy.

There's something very familiar about the situation, and not just because Naori and Jun keep name-dropping the kinds of books a lot of us "smart kids" thought we ought to read in order to look good. (Not that I didn't enjoy them – well, okay, I didn't love H. Rider Haggard's SHE, but I appreciate it being name-dropped in the episode.) How the girls react and interact with both Jun and each other, skirting around and acknowledging each other's emotions out loud, feels like a realistic depiction of being in the ninth grade: not yet sure how to navigate things but unable to hold back from trying. It's an interesting approach, largely because it risks making all of the characters look unlikable, although in all fairness, we don't know anything about Jun from his perspective right now.

Still, there's something intensely melodramatic about this episode. In part that's because it's from the perspective of two teenagers, but realistic as that may be, it's also a lot. The color choices seem to be indicative of an attempt to capture a hazy dreamlike feel, a nostalgia for a time and place that only exists in the characters' minds. It feels a little forced, and the softly spoken narration only compounds that as it seeks to capitalize on that nostalgic dream of what being in middle and high school was like. It's so calculated to be a bit unpleasant, right down to the ubiquitous swing set at the neighborhood playground and how Rumi wants to keep her relationship with Jun secret while they're dating. Everything is planned to garner the maximum emotional reaction, and the obviousness of it is annoying.

If you like your romance dramas melo, this may be a safe bet. Honestly, I'm not sure where the show is going from here – it may make a major change in episode two, given the down note this one ends on. I do hope it gets a little less obvious in its aspirations, but either way, even with all of the fun literary mentions, I feel bad enough for Jun that I don't want to see anymore.


jbpgsum24-34-love-indivisible-by-twins-preview-b.png
James Beckett
Rating:

The title for this anime is so funny to me because it makes it sound as if all twins everywhere have been cursed by fate to fall in love with the same person. I get that this isn't a silly trope that is exclusive to anime; I'm pretty sure soap-operas have been doing the "But I love both of these twins!" thing since before television even existed. Still, it is amusing to me that a show like this would be so earnest and unironically sentimental about its extremely ridiculous premise. I think I prefer my fraught sibling love triangles to be a little more unabashedly trashy. At least Please Twins was considerate enough to indulge in stupid alien nonsense and hacky 90s comedy bits. I think that difference is my biggest problem with Love Is Indivisible by Twins: It just takes itself so damned seriously. The premiere is burdened with this ponderous pacing and a score that feels more appropriate for something like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind than a cartoon about two twin sisters who both desperately want to lay the anime doppelganger of Mid-2000s-Era Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who lacks all of the real version's boyish charm and smoldering sex appeal). Granted, the fact that it is even trying to take the lives and feelings of Rumi and Naori seriously should probably be commended. This show could have easily gone the route of having both sisters falling tits-first into Jun's face from minute one, but it is showing some restraint in the name of building a more believable romance. I can respect that.

Unfortunately, all of that effort is being stymied by that most elusive but critical of elements that every romance ever written has lived and died by: Chemistry. Especially for a story about two twins loving the same guy, the success of the love triangle hinges entirely on whether I can feel that tragic but undeniable love that these characters share in my gut. Love Is Indivisible by Twins even goes the extra mile by having Jun and Rumi actually start the anime as a couple — they even have some saucy make-outs in the very first episode! To that end, I can kind of buy their relationship, at least enough to meet the anime where it is at right now. The same can't be said for Naori, though. Don't get me wrong, she's a cute gal, and she's got a little more personality than a lot of love interests get in this industry, but the whole second half of the premiere is focused on establishing her ennui over letting the man of her dreams go to her sister, and I just… didn't feel it. It's a completely personal reaction, but my response to the end of the episode was, "Welp, Jun and Rumi seem like a good match. Hopefully Naori can move on and find someone else!" That's not exactly what you want your audience to be getting from the first episode of your melodramatic romantic drama.

I will end by saying that I didn't have a terrible time watching this episode despite how cold Love Is Indivisible by Twins left me. The literary references that seem to be the running theme between Jun and Naori's friendship were bound to get my attention, and just the fact that the show name dropped Gabriel García Márquez is enough to get me to award an extra half-star out of pity. This show is bound to be right up a lot of viewers' alleys. It's almost certainly not for me, though.



Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

discuss this in the forum (422 posts) |
bookmark/share with: short url

this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history

back to The Summer 2024 Anime Preview Guide
Season Preview Guide homepage / archives