In a society where high school students are matched with partners for “marriage training,” third-year Jirou Yakuin is assigned to Akari Watanabe, a “gyaru” who couldn’t be more different from him. However, the top ten performers are allowed to switch partners, so the disparate duo play the part of a perfect couple in an attempt to land their respective crushes.
Pretty interesting concept of a school arranging for students to have a "marriage" even though that seems problematic in some regards. The lead, Jirou, is okay. He initially wanted to be arranged with his childhood friend, but instead, he gets Akari Watanabe, a popular gyaru at the school who had her eyes set on Minami. I would admit that I had difficulty getting into the show primarily because of Watanabe. She starts as an insufferable brat who took jabs at Jirou's expense for no reason like repeatedly calling him a virgin or continually comparing him to Minami. The school has it that the students could change partners if they accumulated enough points, she would rather hang out with her friends, and one time jeopardized herself and Jirou where they were reverting back to zero points. It got to the point I legitimately did not care if she succeeded in getting together with Minami who is the most basic guy that I fail to see why she was that attracted to him. I will acknowledge that as she was slowly getting used to Jirou, she started to fall for him, but she still teases him in ways that are not funny but annoying. The other characters are hit-or-miss. Jirou's friend I can see is supposed to be the comic relief, but I find him annoying. The childhood friend is passable, but don't hold much stock with her since everyone knows the childhood friend loses in the end. The animation is fine. Some of the shots such as the fireworks at the summer festival are beautiful.
This anime is very good but the way they have drawn MC it's like some he's some slacker or a side character he's more attractive in manga.
I am enjoying More Than a Married Couple, more than I should. It's an interesting situation with the typical "I like her, but she doesn't like, but I also kinda like this girl, but all she does is tease me, but there's no way she could really be into me, right?" story. I guess because I went to school for Adolescent Psychology, I am very much intrigued by character dynamics in situations this story brings up. A lot of misunderstandings, bad timings, and emotional breakdowns that often plague normal high school aged teens who are experiencing "love" for the first time. The story overall is pretty average and that's fine.. it's an almost unbelievable social experiment of pairing students up as married couples with their grades for the experiment being based on how well they act as a married couple. It does shoehorn in the forced romance aspect by making two of the mains have such vastly different personalites that "there's no way these two would get along in real life", but that is what it is. Where More than a Married Couple kinda really shines is creating the dynamic of an awkward guy who is geniuenly a nice dude interact with the Hot Girl on campus. We know the hot girl IRL probably doesn't pay attention to the guy who is always playing mobile games and dorking out. We also know that typically everyone on campus ships her with the hot guy on campus because... uh... popularity I suppose... But the hot girl in this situation has a one sided crush on a guy whose focus on not on building a dating relationship because of reasons to be discovered later on (so it seems).. She doesn't know his true intentions, so she's starting to feel her chances with him are fading. Meanwhile, her married partner in this experienment has a long standing crush on a childhood friend, who tried to confess to him before moving away years ago.. now he's trying to confess to her, not knowing she feels the same way..both of those two characters are too shy for their on good. But MC Jiro also has a heart, so when he sees his Married Partner MC Akari in pain, he comforts her. This is something unexpected for Akari as she's most likely never had that connection with someone else. Akari begins to lean on Jiro more, often helping him try to achieve his goal of confessing to his friend Shiori.. this hurts Akari no matter how much she denies is because she's now feeling an attachment to Jiro, despite this just being class project.. She now knows what it's like to be cared about by a member of the opposite sex.. I don't want to dive too much into spoilers, but I do enjoy seeing characters change towards each other through geniune emotional situations.. it's a solid lesson for people who feel type casted into social situations.. Sometimes the quite nerd in the back of the room can be an geniune caring guy who is willing to be the rock someone needs in their darkest times. Of course this is personal bias coming from me, because I was that guy in high school myself.. I often was the friendzoned guy because I was too nice for own good, even got dumped for being too nice to everyone. More than a Married Couple, but Not Lovers is not a show for everyone.. for some it's cheesy, for someone like me it's a case study. It's more than a fun watch with some pretty annoying spots, but still great on the Character Development front..
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