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Koi to Uso – 12 (END) »« Koi to Uso – 10

Koi to Uso – 11

「嘘でもいいから」 (Usodemoiikara)
“I Don’t Care if It’s a Lie”

You know what’s better than the obligatory hot springs episode? Why the hot springs episode paired with a wedding of course! KtU has largely gone around in circles the past few weeks, but it seems we will finally get something tangible for all the trouble. Neji has been called out, the girls are pushing, and with only one episode left something has to give. It may not be the most perfect of endings, but KtU has left Neji with no more room for manoeuvre.

Given how most romance shows go, I’m not all that surprised Ririna stumbled across Neji’s little lip locking. Shocked Neji actually initiated yes, but not that it was witnessed. These moments are the prime method for jolting the romantic competition into action, and no matter how contrived and convenient a situation (it’s a running theme in KtU at this point), it was necessary for force Ririna’s hand. This love triangle has been a little too stable for a while now, between the girls remaining friends and Neji never really encountering any pushback. Ririna’s encouragement to Neji to pursue Misaki is just the logical conclusion for the situation, particularly given Misaki remains (in the show’s mind at least) Neji’s “destined” lover. It doesn’t really tilt Neji’s choice in any specific direction, but it does create some sense of consequence which is always needed for proper emotional bloodletting. Neji’s pick will hurt one of the girls, no doubt about it.

What makes this humorous for me is that Neji is finally (finally) starting to realize this. He knows he’s hurting Misaki and wants to do something about it, but hasn’t yet accepted breaking it off is his only real option. Comforting Misaki only delays the inevitable when adult responsibility and societal demands start factoring into personal choices. Neji can either have the love of his life, or a normal life with a different lover, he cannot have both. KtU slyly points this out too, between having a commissar matchmaking agent preside over a wedding, encouraging teenage weddings by showing the “glamour” of the ceremonies, and the ever subtle parental involvement. Every facet of society is devoted to making the pairings work, from the bottom up showcasing of successful pairings to the top down enforcement of the system. We have not seen this aspect featured much in prior episodes (except maybe the sex ed one), but the consequences are made very clear here: take what you’re given, or lose everything and everyone you ever knew.

With the chips more or less on the table, it all now falls to Neji to make his choice. Normally I’d expect Misaki to win hands down, but thanks to the matchmaking system (and the Hanazawa curse), I only really see two choices: Neji chooses Ririna, or Neji further kicks the can down the road by ambivalently agreeing with Ririna. With KtU’s manga still ongoing it’s unlikely we will see a proper conclusion (which hints to the latter option), but hey you never know—we could easily wind up with an anime original ending and a choice Ririna-Neji kiss. Given KtU’s earlier imaginative use of romance tropes, I wouldn’t bet on a shocker finale being entirely out of the question.

 

Preview

End Card

September 11, 2017 at 11:58 pm
5 comments »
  • September 12, 2017 at 12:18 amReal Xero

    Quite frankly, I personally think there’s no inherently right or wrong, good or bad/better or worse choices in this current state of affair. Both two girls are equally good, yet yields equally bad consequences. I mean, I’m seeing those three as prisoners of the system been thrown into the spiral of confusion & misery.

    While accepting the Yukari System’s offer, everything seems & feels perfect for the future in the long run, and most of all, doing mankind a “favor”. But still, while everything is so amazing, yet not everyone is happy about it. For me, it feels too perfect that it don’t quite sit well with me sometimes, especially with the notion of doing it for the sake of humanity.

    On the other hand, if he choose Misaki, the dream of happiness fulfills. Which, frankly, Misaki really deserves the happiness she needs. Though life in the future may not be perfect, but that’s okay as long as one choose to follow his heart. I just can’t bear myself to see her suffer like that forever. Shuu probably has more than one good reason to back her with her family privilege in the Ministry.

    • September 12, 2017 at 12:33 amPancakes

      No worries you’re definitely right, KtU has taken great pains to make both girls worthy and have consequences for choosing one over the other. I’m personally leaning Ririna as Neji’s choice mostly considering she’s the more developed (Misaki hasn’t really seen much beyond a flashback) and it fits with the matchmaking system (i.e. avoids needing to consider all the messy details). It also generates the most drama as Misaki is continually emphasized as Neji’s inevitable choice and the one he should pick.

      The perfection too is something I think we are meant to feel uneasy about because this system, no matter its success, takes away a significant part of your free will. It’s effectively soft totalitarianism, complete with the claims of doing it for the betterment of the state. KtU is asking (if imperfectly) what we want for our love lives. Do we want a guaranteed “perfect” match at the expense of choice, or the joy of falling in love and risking rejection/loneliness? It’s a heavy question everyone will have a different answer for.

      • September 12, 2017 at 6:57 amReal Xero

        There’s more, though. I managed to catch up with the series for a short amount of time, and I found out that the story has more in-depth background, especially with the government’s intervention in someone’s life. As you noticed, we saw the families of Yukari’s, Ririna’s & Nisaka’s. But we yet to see Misaki’s. She barely talked about her own family either. Of course, it’s obvious that it don’t feel right about her even from the start. And that probably be one of the more reasons for Shuu be her guardian other than supporting her to fulfill her wish to the end.

        That comes to a suspicion that Misaki’s family either came from an “underprivileged minorities”, or had done something “harmful & unhelpful” to the Ministry’s matchmaking system that resulted to a complicated case that the Ministry don’t dare to make it public that could potentially damage its publicity or both of the two.

        Regarding “underprivileged minorities” & Motoi’s past (Warning – potentially strong spoilers “Read it at your own discretion”):
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Noticed the “Three Wise Monkeys” reference? It actually reflects the characters’ perspectives (get ready to be redpilled… soon in the future):
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Keep in mind, even Shuu has placed herself at a dangerous position as Misaki’s guardian, politically. Worst case scenario: If she’s caught red-handed for her possible interference on the Yukari System, not only herself got banished, but also would taint her family’s legacy & ultimately leads to the downfall of the Yukari System. Thus, that also in turn lead to the political shit-show in Japan when the population beginning to question the Yukari System.

      • September 14, 2017 at 9:43 amKoji

        The thing I’ve noticed though is throughout Ririna feels like an actual match in the TV series (haven’t read the manga yet, I will once the threat of spoilers is removed by reading the manga) where as Misaki seems to be an ideal. She’s puppy love. She doesn’t seem to show any interest in Neji’s interests where as Ririna does even if on the surface level. Ririna encourages Neji in the parts that make Neji Neji. What does Misaki do in the series? She makes out with him and they talk about how much they loved each other secretly in Elementary school and…. well that’s pretty much been it.

        Misaki and Neji don’t seem to be in love with each other, they seem to be in love with the FEELING of each other. I find this a very hard thing to root for as an adult who’s been in both types of relationships and knowing how they both are most likely to end up.

  • September 15, 2017 at 7:06 amKling_Klang

    One thing that occurred to me is that if the government has enough information about you to match you up with your ideal spouse then selecting your educational options, career, employment, and housing should be easy. We can invent an entire culture where no one has to be stressed about making important decisions.

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