7 Times Anime Doubled (or tripled) the Romance
by Lynzee Loveridge,
If you want to experience a distinct type of terror, become an expecting parent in a family where multiples are the norm. I am personally only the mother of singletons but going into the whole motherhood thing with twins on both sides of my family (and no recent twins born) gave me more than a few moments of panic. I have fraternal boy-girl twins just two generations back on my mother's side and my great grandmother on my father's side was an identical twin. Everyone rallied around saying "Lynzee, it could be twins!" as if the idea was really cute.
You know who else thinks twins are really cute? Anime. Anime thinks the prospect of twins (or triplets, or more!) just ups the romantic ante instead of introducing some kind of nightmare scenario where your girlfriend's sister LOATHES you for rejecting her. These protagonists have their work cut out for them if they ever make a choice, but who could blame them if they didn't?
This season's romantic comedy stars Futaro Uesugi, a poor high school student who thinks he's getting a great tutoring job only to find out he has to put up with five sisters on the verge of dropping out. The audience is teased with a flashforward revealing that Futaro will marry one of the sisters, but not which one. The girls have a number-associated name scheme that reveals their birth order: Ichika, Nino, Miku, Yotsuba, and Itsuki. Their personalities are all very different and but complimentary. They all get along quite well and regard with Futaro with suspicion at first start to warm up to him when they realize he genuinely wants to help them with their studies.
Yui's life takes a turn for the absolute worst when she's shipped off to live with the Sakamaki brothers. Six handsome undead dudes manipulate, bite, and claw their way for the opportunity to feast on her innocent blood. This visual novel adaptation is more interested in feeding viewers' appetites for dominate/sadistic scenarios, so don't expect any of these vamps to sparkle. Three of the brothers are triplets and they couldn't be any more different from each other. Laito, Kanato, and Ayato are sadistic in their own ways but the similarities stop there. Laito is an out and out pervert
with a dumb hat who might be remembered best by anime viewers for calling Yui "Bitch-chan". Ayato is framed as the central love interest in the first and second season and is more of your typical delinquent type. Then there's Kanato who always looks like he just spent the previous night on a bender. He's a complete yandere with initially appeals to Yui's maternal extincts but his backstory (and teddy bear) are big ol' NOPE.
Rito's house hides a lot of strange residents. In one pocket dimension lives Momo and Nana, the twin little sisters of the alien princess Lala Deviluke. The original To Love-Ru anime series focused on a love triangle between Rito, Lala, and the human girl Haruna but Darkness expands Rito's options to practically every female character appearing the series. This includes Momo and Nana with Momo taking the lead in hopes of convincing Rito to just have an actual harem. She's got an active sex drive and is quite vocal about her wants whereas Nana is more reserved and finds herself drawn Rito as a result of his emotional guidance.
Will they or won't they? Please Twins follows the sci-fi romantic drama Please Teacher! but instead of centering on an alien-romance plot, the audience is left wondering if two siblings might make out. The plot hinges on a photograph that all three characters possess: Maiku (male), Karen, and Miina. The picture shows a boy and a girl with the same eye color standing in front of a house. Since the kids' eye color is unusual, the three characters believe that they must be siblings. All three characters possess this same eye color and both girls grow to have affectionate feelings towards Maiku. But he might be their brother, leaving them in the predicament of willfully not finding out so they can pursue a mostly guilt-free relationship with him or discovering the truth and squashing a potential romance.
No anime has more twins than Futakoi. There's at least six different pairs (12 girls total) all vying for the affection of the hapless Nozomu Futami. While twins are statistically rare (1 in 250 births), Nozomu's home town has an abundance due to an ancient artifact. The different pairs each fill out typical harem niche; the Ichijō twins are Nozomu's childhood friends, the Sakurazuki twins are wealthy ojō-samas , the Hinagiku twins are lolis with a pet goat, etc. With the exception of starring a ton of twins, it's otherwise a pretty light rom-com. It managed to inspire its own spin-off that narrows the twin count to just fewer pairs and replaces the harem aspect with a detective agency plot (featuring yakuza!)
The central romantic triangle (or quadrangle) of D.N.Angel involves 14-year-old Daisuke, his alternate (and sexier) persona 'Dark Mousy' and twin sisters Riku and Risa. Daisuke is initially interested in the feminine Risa, a friend of his. Risa rejects him outright for being a "too normal" and instead falls for his alter-ego. Her twin sister Riku, on the other hand, is less concerned with "girly" pursuits and excels in sports. She's more straightforward and outspoken than her sister and begins pursuing a relationship with Daisuke after his rejection. Things get pretty mixed up when Risa begins chasing after Dark Mousey and Riku pursues Daisuke. Turning 14 looks like hell!
Tsubaki, Azusa, and Natsume are triplets but Azusa and Tsubaki are identical while Natsume is fraternal. Azusa and Tsubaki both work as voice actors. Like most of the Ema's newfound step-siblings, the triplets find themselves interested in her romantically and the anime focuses primarily on whether she will choose Tsubaki, Natsume, or Subaru (with a side of Yūsuke and Fūto). Tsubaki is certainly the more hot-headed of the triplets and makes his feelings known without any room for misunderstanding. However, this also leads him to put his own wants and desires ahead of Ema and can be forceful with his affection. Natsume, on the other hand, adores his cats, has his own apartment, and by all accounts seems to be a a well-established adult. He doesn't make for as dramatic entertainment as his brothers but I can't help but give props to the guy who respects his potential girlfriend.
Lynzee made it out of both pregnancies with no twins. Her sister-in-law was not so fortunate. (Twitter.)
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