More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers
How would you rate episode 7 of
More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers ?
Community score: 4.4
Dammit, every time I think that the show is about to do something stupid or when it introduces a contrived plot device or misunderstanding, I can't bring myself to hate it because of how well it's portraying these mirroring character arcs between our main characters. I don't get it sometimes. How can a show with this stupid of a premise be this good at portraying character insecurities and making that fear of potential change so engaging? While the show has primarily focused on Akari's growing affection towards Jiro to the point where even her best friends fully acknowledge that fact, it's nice that the show is still able to have these two more or less be on the same page without knowing it.
The only credit I will give this premise is that the show acknowledges that it is ultimately a setup that can only be temporary. These two are only allowed to be as close as they are and pretend to have this relationship because it is a required course for their school. There will come the point where they will either switch partners or the course will end, and the lingering question in both of their minds is, “what will our relationship be like after that?'' It's interesting to see these two fully acknowledge that they have a real sense of comfort and happiness with each other, even if it's not explicitly stated. But they also recognize that those growing feelings are flying in the face of the status quo they set up for themselves. Akari is worried that she eventually won't be in love with Minami anymore. Still, you get the sense that part of the reason for that is because if she continues to fall for Jiro, it will hurt more when they're not allowed to be a married couple anymore. Weirdly, she's seeing the popular pretty boy as the safer option to love because she's already been used to admiring him from afar. That scene where she felt relieved that Minami didn't show up was notable, but it also felt like the show punished her for that relief by showing her the one thing that she did not want to see: Minami passing by the festival with Shiori.
On the other hand, Jiro is wrestling with more prideful feelings of control. His biggest issue is that he gives up too quickly. He's not going to pursue something that he feels isn't going to work itself out, which is part of why he hasn't confessed to Shiori yet because he already feels like he knows what her answer will be. In many ways, Akari is the perfect foil because her confusing signals brought upon by her mixed emotions make it almost impossible for him to believe whether or not she's just teasing him or being genuine. That scene where he's by himself and very clearly jealous over the fact that Akari is trying to show off for another person is something he progressively can't deny anymore. He even hates himself a little bit because he knows it's not his place to own another person or feel entitled to Akari. I love the episode's payoff where Akari teases Jiro about whether or not he's feeling jealous, and instead of denying it like he's done up until this point, he says, “I don't know.” The status quo is changing, and these two are entirely unequipped to deal with it, making it a fascinating journey to watch. I cannot stop watching, and I cannot stop smiling from ear to ear.
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.
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