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.