Just an ordinary teenager, Kobeni Yonomori receives quite the surprise on her 16th birthday—a fiancé and a sister-in-law she never even knew she had. As a result of an arrangement that her late grandfather made, Hakuya Mitsumine and his younger sister Mashiro have moved from their countryside home to the Yonomori household in order to deepen their relationship with their new family members.
Mikakunin de Shinkoukei follows Kobeni's "love life" with Hakuya as she tries her best to adjust to the abrupt changes forced upon her. However, as some extraordinary secrets regarding the siblings come to light, Kobeni will find her life changed forever.
Mikakunin de Shinkoukei originally premiered on Japan's ABC station, and also aired on Tokyo MX, BS11, and AT-X. The series was simulcast on Crunchyroll and several other websites outside of Japan. Sales for a six-volume DVD set of the series began March-August 2014.
Although the anime follows the manga closely, the final episode is original to the anime.
"Tomadoi→Recipe (とまどい→レシピ)" by Mikakuning! (みかくにんぐッ!) (eps 2-4, 6-12)
#1: "Tomadoi→Recipe (とまどい→レシピ)" by Mikakuning! (みかくにんぐッ!) (ep 1) #2: "Masshiro World (まっしろわーるど)" by Mikakuning! (みかくにんぐッ!) (eps 2-11) #3: "16-sai tte iu no wa Tokubetsu na Kanji da (16歳っていうのは特別な感じだ)" by Jun Ichikawa (ep 12)
"Dust in her eye? I'm gonna kill it!" - Hakuya Mitsumine.
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.
Mikakunin de shinkoukei is REALLY unpredictable. It drops the bomb on huge things like it's no big deal and makes a big deal
out of things that are of no importance. Not only that, the way it handles cliches is completely ridiculous. Almost all of the normal cliches are present in Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, just in a different way. It leads you into preparing yourself for the cliches, but the opposite happens instead ( I will refrain from giving an example not to ruin your enjoyment in this series. You will know EXACTLY what I mean when you watch it)
Speaking of enjoyment, the kind Mikakunin de Shinkoukei provides you with is the happy and refreshing kind. Mikakunin de Shinkoukei makes you have fun WITH the characters. It will take the weight of your shoulders and make you happy from watching the everyday life of Benio, Mashiro,Kobeni and Hakuya. You will laugh at their eccenticities of each of the cast members, and I assure you, you will get a lot of laughs out of them.
What about romance? Well, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei has plenty of offer on that matter too. Usually in a romance series, The main couple must overcome misunderstandings, difficulties, rivals, and all those annoying stuff. Mikakunin does none of that.(It will make you think otherwise though) Granted, it doesn't make you go "D'awww" out loud most of the time, but you surely feel fluffy inside from seeing the two innocent teenagers, Hakuya and Kobeni grow closer and closer.
In a Rom-com series, proper and strong characters are a must. How does Mikakunin fare in this area? VERY WELL. Benio and Mashiro are the ones that carry the humor in this series, and they do it very well. Say anything you want if Beino's ridculous sis-con antics don't make you laugh even once. Slap me through the internet if you don't laugh at Mashiro's eccentric actions.
Do the two main characters get overshadowed by those two then? Of course not. Hakuya seems like your average male lead. Dense, stupid, timid. Oh, how wrong you must be. Granted he's dense, but he's a billion times sharper than some *cough* Orimura Ichika *cough* idiots, and that's because he comes from the mountains. And believe me, looks can be deceiving, he's not the gloomy guy he seems to be. How happily he reacts to Kobeni's actions will make you see him in a new light (He sometimes shines when he's happy)
Of course, let's not forget, the main girl, Kobeni Yonomori. The sister of Benio, the sister in law of Mashiro and the bethrothed of Hakuya. It's obvious that this whole show revolves around her. Her role as a straight man to the antics of the rest of the cast works like a charm. And it's really nice to see how she slowly turns "dere dere" towards Hakuya.
The sound department of this anime deserves a mention too. Mashiro's voice acting is really good (even though this is her VA's first role). The same can be said for Benio's voice acting too, she wouldn't be as funny if the voice actor wasn't this good.
The OP and the ED of this anime is addicting. The OP, Tomadoi Recipie, is an upbeat song that will make you want to listen to the first parts again and again (a youtuber made a 10-hour loop of it) And the ED, Mashiro World is one of the cutest EDs of this season.
In short, Mikakunin is a must if you want a decent SOL-Rom-Com. Or rather, don't take my word, take your judgement. Go watch it. See if you like it.
Engaged to the Unidentified generated very little hype coming into its season, being an adaptation of a relatively unheard of manga. So how exactly did it catch my attention when one glance of the line-up for the season had other shows I could of better invest my time with? Was it the cover image of three adorable looking girls in seifuku which called to me? Possibly... Actually, that was most definitely the case. C'mon, let's be honest; what other reason could there be and please don't tell me the synopsis had you brimming with optimism. I'm willing to give anything a chance as long as
there's cute girls I can ogle at and I particularly wasn't looking for something to test my wits or to get me on the edge of my seat. Thus Engaged to the Unidentified was quite the inviting choice for somebody who just wanted to loosen up and let the calm sweep them away.
Is this still your generic SoL rom-com you see rolling in every season? For the majority it is. Nothing screams mundane more than the synopsis of this show so as you can imagine, expectations were pretty low at the point of starting. The first few episodes are mostly spent building characters and observing Kobeni after saying farewell to living peacefully as a normal highschool girl when the Mitsumines join the household. For 1/2 of the show, it's standard fare in terms of a SoL rom-com; a large chunk of comedy of the moe kind but a pea sized amount of romance. The latter half is where the show begins to peak when we learn the Mitsumines are far from ordinary folk and the connection with Kobeni linked to a long forgotten accident, leading to the reason behind this engagement. Personally, I thought the new turn of events were weird for this show (not shocking) but even so, it still never strayed far from being a normal SoL rom-com. From what I gathered, it was only a means to advance a stagnating relationship so don't go hoping to have your mind-blown expecting a massive change when you learn of this new revelation. To conclude; a simple premise of girl forced to betroth boy with an innocent yet unusual twist half way that sets the romance into motion.
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. However, I was very surprised to see this was a first time role for Mashiro's seiyuu who did a standout performance you wouldn't anticipate. The OP and ED are very upbeat and catchy; I don't think I ever skipped past them before or after an episode yet felt it was a little dishonest because whilst watching this show, I noticed there was a startling lack of BG music which is very rare for this genre. I'm not usually somebody who pays close attention to it but having noticed myself, it may disappoint other people who do care. I do think this may of been a choice of direction rather than negligence as it emphasised the down to earth nature of this anime.
A generic story can be carried by a strong cast of characters. In this case, i'm not sure which department wins. There was nothing wrong with them; more like there was nothing special about them that would convince me to add them onto my favourite characters list. Kobeni, the main female of the story, is indeed pretty, considerate and candidate for perfect waifu but wasn't strong enough to really shine above the others and felt somewhat muted. Hakuya, the main male (and the only one) of the story, I even forget existed in the first half of the show. However, both are as meek as eachother so there is a balance in the relationship that I enjoyed. Mashiro, the impulsive and immature chibi (likely will have the most fans), and Benio, the severe siscon honour student, provide most of the comedy and steal the show. Altogether, a charming but unoriginal cast which could of been better if the central leads held a stronger presence.
Now for the main question; is it enjoyable? If you're a big fan of this genre then certainly yes. If you aren't then you'll most definitely feel that time was wasted. Engaged to the Unidentified does not offer anything new or exciting but still delivers well for its kind. One complaint i'm sure many people have voiced is the pacing. For the first half, almost nothing happens in regards to advancing the story. Confusing it for a cute girls doing cute things anime wouldn't be confound at all. As for the romance, it hints here and there as the show progresses and doesn't really blossom until very late. It's cute, awkward and pure but it won't get your heart racing. People who have seen plenty of SoL will be accustomed to the turtle like pacing but those who are romance veterans that delight in more passionate relationships will probably find themselves bored stiff.
Engaged to the Unidentified is a very solid series. If you're not looking for anything serious and just want to chill out to something cute (did I forget to mention that?) and dainty then absolutely give this a try. Compared to other shows of this type, there wasn't much about it that stood out apart from the twist half way but that couldn't save this series from being just a regular SoL rom-com.
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 Kobeni Yonomori finds out that she is to be engaged with her arranged fiance Hakuya Mitsumine. 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.
As the story progresses, we learn more about what happened in the past with clever usage of flashbacks. They give clues with foreshadowing details relating to the main premise of the story. More importantly is how our characters responds to them, especially in the case for Kobeni. Developments takes unusual turns with romance angles and characterization. In fact, we learn more about the characters through their interactions. The story also deals with supernatural elements, another unusual gag used for such a lighthearted story. While lacking the shounen action one might hope for, it makes it up with its energy. Mashiro in particular is like a light bulb that shines with ebullience. Similarly, her interaction with Benio will evoke amusing reactions given their complete opposite characteristics.
Being a romantic comedy, there’s a presence of romance developing. Unfortunately, Hakuya tends to be a character that lacks any exquisite attributes. He’s not the bachelor type or someone people see as a hero or sex idol. Instead, Hakuya is a quiet young man that often keeps words to himself. Yet when the situation calls for it, he is able to enter a conflict and tries to formulate a civil solution to bring peace. Of course, his past is a big point to the story involving him and Kobeni during their childhood. A love triangle also develops in later episodes involving a supporting character that causes trouble. She brings not only drama but some nuisance for the family because of her obsession with Benio, minor feelings for Hakuya, and rivalry with Mashiro. But as far as romance goes, most parts is still lighthearted and somewhat realistic. However at the same time, it’s predictable judging by Kobeni’s interactions with Hakuya. We also get unusual responses from Benio, the oldest sister of the family. She breaks out of her usual comfort zone and displays of annoyance towards their engagement. Hakuya also shows more of his character as he becomes more and more involved with his decisions rather than just being a standard yes man.
Comedy exists throughout the series in a variety of ways. They can come with mixed bags depending on how one perceives its execution. However on most parts, I find the comedy to be cleverly executed. Thanks to our main characters, there’s a fun mood in the show despite the tense premise. Mashiro is the mascot with her attempt to act like an adult despite being a kid. She can yell, wear adorable outfits, has a huge sweet tooth, and can dance melodiously in front of a television. Her fear for Benio is what really brings out the humor of the show. Yet, this can also become drawback for viewers who sees Benio’s tactics to get Mashiro’s attention to be repetitive. It’s hard to not see Benio going full lolicon on Mashiro. Also, fan service is minimal and there’s not much of it with even the absence of a beach or onsen episode. Camera angles aren’t suggestive and neither does skin show for any of the girls except in perhaps the main opening sequences. Rather, the series brings together more of an unusual romance comedy rather than an asinine sweet 16.
Despite the bizarreness of the presentation, there are some parts that can be dull. Hakuya in particular is a character that is hard to get used to or be relatable mostly because of his little presence. The love angle between him and Kobeni can also come off quasi with lack of sensation. Even with development, the duo doesn’t stand out much mostly because of their silent personalities. Most supporting characters only play minor parts with only one girl that makes quite the drama. Additionally, most episodes doesn’t take itself outside the home or school setting. It lacks a degree in diversity as to other locations being explored in their neighborhood. And even so, neither is their home or school distinctive in any way.
There’s also interesting aspects to the artwork style. Characters are designed with cuteness and simplicity. Mashiro in particular is a girl that stands out with her short stature and hair that seems to almost have a life of its own. Kobeni’s innocence is also portrayed well for a young girl that doesn’t go with social conformity such as putting on heavy makeup or spending hours in the bathroom doing their hair. The backgrounds are also aesthetic and comedic scenes adapts itself with clever usage of its visuals.
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. Yuri Yoshida voices her character who is a rather fresh face in the VA industry that may take some time to get used to. Otherwise, Hakuya’s voice is hardly outstanding and some of his dialogues come off as monotonous as if he’s reading off some textbook. On the other hand, embrace the OP and ED song for its catchy tone and bouncy sequences.
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.
This is, perhaps, the first slice of life anime series to finish in this winter season. And Dogakobo had, yet again, brought out another good anime for us to watch.
When I watched the first episode of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, I thought that it would have a great story and I felt that it would be the best romcom anime for the season. But unfortunately, I wasn’t finding that expectation I wanted. Here’s why.
The story revolved around the Yonomori sisters, Kobeni and Benio, and the Mitsumine siblings, Hakuya and Mashiro. Akane, who is the Yonomori sisters’ mom, announced that Kobeni was somewhat engaged to Hakuya by
her grandpa during her 16th birthday. Apparently, Kobeni had met Hakuya before during childhood, but it seemed that she forgot who he was.
So why did my expectation failed? It can be summed up in one word, which is “tropes”. They are everywhere in the anime, mainly the story and the characters. It made the story a bit clichéd, and the characters similar to others.
However, it didn’t really matter much, because there are some points in the story which made the story more interesting. Indeed, there is a small surprise that developed it from a few characters. There is also a backstory between Kobeni and Hakuya as well. The romance, although not bringing enough impact to me, is cute. There are times when Kobeni showed her “dere” side sometimes to Hakuya, while there are other times when she wanted Hakuya to stop acting “cutesy-lovely” to her. Eventually, the relationship actually developed.
The ending is a bit satisfactory, as it ended the story where the characters continued to carry out their lives.
The anime has characters with the typical tropes. Benio is a student council president who excels in academics and sports and is adored by many students. Mashiro is a child who acts like a teenager. Hakuya is a quiet guy who is always emotionless. Kobeni has great figures, mentioned by some characters, and is great at housework and cooking. There are other characters, such as Konoha, a member in the student council, who has feelings for Benio, and Shirayuki, mom of the Mitsumine siblings, who looked like a loli.
I feel that there’s isn’t much character development in all except Hakuya and Kobebi, but it is a slice of life anyway. But all these characters are interesting. Some of them showed their emotions well to execute something.
The opening is totally superb. It has a great upbeat and is sung by the seiyuus of the three main girls in the anime. They also sang the ending, which is more relaxed but still enjoyable. The art style is awesome, although not really important at all. The scenery is just spectacular. The character designs have the moe feel, and the facial expressions do exaggerate, all of this to make a great comedy.
Although the story and characters are the anime’s weakest points, I still enjoyed the anime nevertheless. It may not be the best romcom of the season, but it is good enough. Sweet cute romance is enjoyable for me already.
I heard that the anime’s first volume sale was great so far. I hoped that this continues onwards with the other volumes, and maybe we might expect a second season. There are two OVAs, where one of them is already released but not subbed. It’s just typical scenes of the onsen and night-walk.