Written by: Nicole Castro
Published on: November 26, 2021 at 17:00 PHT (GMT+8)
Disclaimer: Minor spoilers regarding the manga.
Miki Yoshikawa's romantic-comedy manga A Couple of Cuckoos (Romaji: Kakkou no Iinazuke) is finally getting a TV anime adaptation by Shin-Ei Animation and SynergySP, scheduled to air in 2022.
For those who have watched the third promotional video (PV) last November 17, we all know the core plot is summarized in the line "My brother isn't actually my brother" from Sachi Umino (CV: Konomi Kohara).
That's right, you guessed it. This is an arranged marriage anime. The protagonist is Nagi Umino (CV: Kaito Ishikawa), a second-year student at Meguro River Academy high school. One day, he discovers he was accidentally switched at birth, meaning the Uminos aren't his biological family but the Amanos. In an attempt to conveniently fix the mix-up, the parents of both families have agreed to arrange a marriage between Nagi and Erika Amano (CV: Akari Kitou), the child Nagi's biological parents raised. And as shown in the PV above, Sachi also struggles with the realization that she might be separated from her adoptive brother.
The plot can be summarized as the classic romantic-comedy + arranged marriage formula, and readers of the manga know that there are elements of love-hate here because Nagi and Erika start off at odds with each other after their parents force them to live together. In succeeding chapters, other female characters will be introduced to add complexity to the romance, making this series a harem and possibly a love triangle or square depending on how you look at it.
But if there are already other romantic-comedy/arranged marriage/love-hate-turning-to-love series such as Nisekoi, Ranma 1/2, and Love and Lies, then what will make A Couple of Cuckoos unique and therefore worth watching?
Without giving too much of the manga away, we'd like to say we're honestly excited because of how involved the families are in this arranged marriage.
No seriously, look at how involved Erika's mother is to get her daughter and Nagi together.
So, while many anime series have put together a male and female lead in crazy circumstances that force them to be engaged and live together in preparation for marriage, many of them like Nisekoi and Ranma ½ do so because there are odds at stake that affect the story's universe like the fate of the yakuza or of a martial arts school. The plot for A Couple of Cuckoos is refreshingly more down-to-earth and relatable, making it something more viewers can relate to in an age where arranged marriages are becoming less common.
Moreover, the original manga for A Couple of Cuckoos devotes time to flesh out the dynamics between the lead characters and their family members, such as between Erika and her mother. This makes for great plot potential that can balance out the hilarity of the series with some serious introspection about what it means for not just two people but even their families to become one.
While the elements of romcom, harem, love-hate relationships, etc. are not new to most anime viewers, the plot for A Couple of Cuckoos tackles the less often explored aspects of family in these kinds of arranged marriages. What it means not just for two people, but also their relatives, to get to know each other and adjust to the idea that they will be sharing lives from now on (and it goes without saying that the process isn't always smooth). We look forward to how the anime adaptation will be able to advance the plot while portraying the development of Nagi and Erika's relationship in an organic way.
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