Over the last few years, rom-coms have become stale; the violent tsundere, a harem, the childhood friend, unrequited love, all of the shows seem to have these itsy-bitsy things. As such, the comedy becomes stale, they become increasingly dull to watch and you automatically know what is going to come next. But not with Mikakunin de Shinkoukei. I repeat, you will not be able to predict what will be coming next in this little anime. It seems that ‘16’ is a magic number for most girls, as in a special moment where something must happen that makes their birthday to be unforgettable. Most times anyways, it’s just any normal day for people. But in this show, that’s not exactly the case when Yonomori Kobeni finds out that she is to be engaged with her arranged fiance Mitsumine Hakuya . As a little bonus, Hakuya also brings his younger sister Mashiro to spice up the family.
The concept no doubt comes firsthand as being cliché. We have the golden trio of the show that plays on the norms of the normal, popular,and cute girl. Then, there’s the main male protagonist Hakuya with an apathetic outlook on life. Taken for granted, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei (Engaged to the Unidentified) comes off as a show that isn’t particular outstanding judging from its outer shell. Yet, the story itself is crafted with a clever way of delivery. In retrospect, it’s a romantic comedy with a simple premise involving an arranged marriage. There’s certain degrees of development between the characters as we learn about their true origins. By their origins, it’s noticeable to point out that some aren’t actually humans. More importantly however is how they fit into society and demonstrates human behavior.
Development comes from the foundation of its characters. The character cast is small yet colorful. The core of the show involves Kobeni and her new circumstances as a young girl. She just turned sixteen, which by most law sets the standards for a working girl in society. Yet, her circumstance skips that phase and goes towards marriage, an abrupt event that can change most people’s lives. After all, marriage calls for responsibilities for young women like never before. Yet, Kobeni is able to still continue life thanks to the support of others. One of them is her older sister Benio. Coming off as an elegant lady on the outside, she is viewed as an idol at school. Yet at home, she has a bizarre attraction towards the youngest in the household, Mashiro.
Being only nine years old, Mashiro often wants to be noticed and demands others to see her not as a child, but as an authoritative figure. Finally, our main male protagonist Hakuya is the aloof young man without much words but holds some wisdom for the family. There’s an odd degree of mixture with these characters since none of them really are compatible with each other. Yet, they hold the show together in a laudable way with their influence. Despite not even noticing it, their actions leads to results and often bring together episodes of embellishment. This can either be in the way of drama, comedy, or story development. In essence, the characters can be quite easily to get attached to thanks to their diverse personalities. Hell, even the parents make their memorable moments despite their relatively short time on the show.
Surprisingly, the art is very attractive. The animations for each character are smooth and slick and fits very well with the show’s direction. It isn’t short of cute or funny moments that would send you on a GIF making binge. Extremely pleasant to the eye and has a certain charm about it that causes you to break into a wide smile. Nothing to really complain but nothing to really highlight as being revolutionary or rousing though. With the atmosphere of what the show was going for, keeping it light and cute was the right direction.
A mostly unknown cast of seiyuu but fulfilled each of their roles nicely. Personally, I’m not too picky when it comes to this so I wasn’t dejected when peeking at the list. Soundtrack has a casual tone with its OST. It’s easy to take notice of the slice of life tone with director Yoshiyuki Fujiwara, previously involved with GJ-Club. Hence, experience some of the lighthearted background music that is coordinated with various scenes. It’s also noticeable that on many occasions, there is no OST playing in the background at all in order to illustrate a sense of realism. Characters’ voice mannerisms fits well on some parts, although Mashiro’s voice can come as both cute yet fluffy at times.
Mikakunin de Shinkoukei is more of a show for one’s self-indulgence. It will take a little time to get used to but the pleasure of enjoying this show is worth it for its characters. Even the story comes together with unusual gags despite the quasi-like clichés. The show does have some frivolous comedy and moments where it does seem repetitive. Additionally, some characters might also might strike a few nerves with their personification. In fact, to enjoy this show will take patience but in the end will be a fun ride if your mind is up for it.