「恋を強いる檻」 (Koi o Shiiru Ori)
“A Prison to Compel Love”

For once the preview does not lie: government girl definitely has the best tits this side of Misaki. Just look at that frame, those playful eyes, the hint of bashfulness. Plus big breasted best girl also offers a great personification of this week’s shenanigans where we not only learn of the birds and bees, but also receive a physical demonstration. It’s been mentioned before, but when KtU decides to hit the gas, it hits it hard.

Normally I would invoke shades of Brave New World after seeing KtU’s form of marriage “training”, but what we got this week, as with the general marriage system itself, fell into an interesting grey area. Not so subtle hints about doing it for babies and seemingly forcing unprepared teens into sexual relations (with rumoured consequences for failure to boot) are coupled with a voluntary sign up and some surprisingly realistic advice. Having sex for enjoyment, encouraging positive bodily exploration with one who loves you equally in return? Not often such ideas are openly emphasized in real life, let alone anime. The coercive elements keep remaining under wraps or bound to peer pressure, giving the entire marriage system an eerie degree of possibility that still surprises me. This is why I doubt the talk of secretive cameras and punishing kids for not sleeping together are anything more than urban tales, it wouldn’t mesh with what we’ve seen before (not to mention the “just kidding” line from best girl’s partner). No, if there’s underhandedness here it comes from the newly named Shuu and her involvement with the bureaucratic nitty gritty. Too early to jump to conclusions of course, but if she’s not involved with that corrupted text and Neji’s matchmaking (and is entirely unrelated to the Mr. White Hair), I’ll be shocked.

The real development here was Ririna though as her feelings start emerging. I’ve been harping on it like mad, but yes, this is entirely expected and fits with the general story, even her emphatic denial. The poor girl is crushing, but doesn’t want to accept it because that means going against Misaki and hurting Neji. It’s denial for a purpose, but Ririna is quickly running out of time to live the lie. Obviously cutie pie and beta boy won’t sleep together—that means Ririna wins immediately, cannot have that—but what happens in that room is still important. If Ririna keeps Neji at arms-length it only encourages him to continue pursuing Misaki—to his detriment socially—while opening up to Neji and accepting they have “something” means cutting off Misaki and ending that “perfect” romance. Neji too must come to a decision himself considering his realization that Ririna does indeed look best with her hair down is a legitimate match. Choose Ririna and lose the girl head over heels for him, or pick Misaki and suffer the wrath of society. Ironically forcing both kids together into a room for a night is probably the best way of resolving the issue. One way or another a decision will be made next week, and both Neji and Ririna will have decided upon their intended winner/loser in this battle of hearts.

Somehow I think it makes that cliffhanger just a little less annoying.



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  1. Just when I thought I had the government system thrown out they throw a curve ball.

    While they made no secret of their baby making agenda, I totally wasn’t expecting what amounts to thinly veiled government endorsed pimping of not-quite-adults.

    1. That sleepover idea all but came out of left field. I seriously doubt the parents are also fully aware of the night “component” of the course entails because most parents would not want their children encouraged to engage in sex. When they’re ready sure, but before then? That’s pushing it.

      1. Umm, in the dinner scene about 2 eps ago, pretty sure his parents asked them how far they’ve gone and mentioned they did it pretty early. I think both parents knew what they were sending them in to when they requested this.

      2. The idea of the goverment telling you who to love is already a nightmare to me but the way they are manipulating the couples to this degree it has the whole thing reaching sickening levels. The fact that if you don´t do as you´re told you get black listed in the future makes me think that people are like breeding animals more than actual couples for the goverment, this truly is a dystopian society they live in.

  2. I’m usually one of the first people to decry Chekhov’s gun as being something that belonged firmly in the 19th century just as much as the idea of hanging loaded rifles on a wall did, but all of a sudden we are looking down the barrel of that corrupted text message in the first episode and boy does that transform this story.

    But what actually does it transform it into? The slightly creepy government agents and their control rooms full of CCTV monitors now start to look far more sinister. And my comment from two weeks ago about how a hugely complex matchmaking system that should be able to work out someone is gay may have been programmed not to care is starting to look even more on the mark. Except that perhaps it’s been programmed not to care in one specific case.

    So is this goodbye Romeo and Juliet and hello The Truman Show?

      1. This is true. It’s a little sad that the nature of Anime means we likely wouldn’t see another series set in the world taking a different angle like that. I truly want to learn more about this government and what’s going on with the citizenry in general. I’d love to see a sort of non-violent resistance group and their efforts in this country.

        Even if this series does well enough to warrant a sequel, I’d almost bet it’d just be more of the same however. Not that that’s inherently bad. I’m enjoying the series for what it is, but there is surprisingly a lot of interesting things you could mine from this premise.

      2. There are a lot of other stories about dystopian civilizations focusing in the political and cultural shenanigans of them, I’m not interested since reality is more interesting in that matter. There are far less about human relationships in those setups, that’s why I like this story.

      3. And I’ll try to say this without spoiling: in this story the goverment is no some kind of shady totalitarian tiranny, everyone is very free to choose their path and it will show. What is really interesing is: Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Best idea I’ve seen so far is Neji serving as a guinea pig for the whole marriage system. Misaki was his intended partner, but the bureaucrats (Shuu) changed it to someone else (Ririna) to see if one’s free choice can prove better than the system’s selection. Basically a feedback loop to better perfect the marriage system’s matchmaking.

      And building off cvb’s comment, I’d be surprised if the show ever ventured far beyond romance. The premise is wholly for drama generation, beyond providing meat for the drama the marriage system probably won’t be elaborated on.

      1. That wouldn’t make the most sense unless it was the other way around. If Misaki was his match, and he fell in love with her wouldn’t that be proving their system right even if he was told something different?

        Ririna actually being his match but someone meddling with the system trying to give him false hope for Misaki to test the system makes a bit more sense, but is fairly convoluted.

        If I had to guess, that text message was either a figment of his imagination (the government workers seemed confused about it like text messages weren’t the normal way to inform someone. I mean, they did deliver his packet by hand, and everything so far has shown that to be the normal way of things) or maybe even a prank?

        But then, why deliver his packet at midnight at the park when everyone else seems to get theres sometime during the day… There is something weird going on here, Neji is in some way special but I wonder if it’s going to be a real in universe special? Or just “he’s the primary character so of course his is special”.

      2. The only thing I can suggest is read the manga. It’s translated up to chapter 139 and just 10 pages per chapter. It can go in circles sometimes but you get points of view of different characters. I recommend it, is not the typical dystopian story, it’s a romantic story with a concrete setup and how the story builds around it.

  3. Government assigned marriage partners, viewing sex ed/porno videos, enforced nights together in a bedroom – WHERE WAS THIS WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL?

    That speech from Mr. White Hair to Neji was totally weird. I’m starting to suspect that Neji is part of a secret government study where they find someone that has self-matched with their perfect partner and then deliberately pair them with their second best match (who they are still 99% compatible with) in order to test whether they will insist on the correct partner or blindly follow orders.

    1. It could be argued this reinforces rape though. Forcing young couple into a situation where “no” may have huge negatives associated with it. These girls and guys may feel forced to agree even if they don’t want to.

  4. Well, I’m bailing out. And maybe not because of the fact that it’s also expected or whatever (but imagine the cameras, man) but how the show portrays the government. Yeah, I really hate the idea of cameras treading all over you on anything (especially this) and similar to Kuzu no Honkai, I can’t watch disturbing scenes. They are just… disturbing.

    I guess I’ll be missing out on the lies and the love from here on. Ciao!

  5. This episode made me very uncomfortable. At first glance it was funny that the lecture was far more concrete than everybody has expected. But then the government crossed the line and violated the autonomy of the youngsters. Many people are not able to accept their sexuality. For them this lectures must be a nightmare.


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