Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
Based on the four panel manga “未確認で進行形” by Cherry-Arai, romantic comedy “Mikakunin de Shinkoukei” is all about young school girl Kobeni. On her sixteenth birthday she finds out that not only is she set up for an arranged marriage, but her fiancee Hakuya and his sister Mashiro will now be living together with her family.
Dictated by her influential late grandfather, Kobeni is unsure what to do since both her and Hkuya’s family seem all too willing to accept the arrangement. Throw in Kobeni’s older sister Benio and Hakuya’s younger sister Mashiro who are both oddball characters, the whole school finding out about everything, and hijinks ensue.
If I were to fault “Mikakunin de Shinkoukei”, besides the usual issues most anime of this genre may of course have, is that main female lead and centerpiece of the romantic plot Kobeni is a rather typical Yamato Nadeshiko character.
Although the show tries to camouflage this partly by making her older sister Benoi have an aura of the inspiring, perfect student council president at school, Kobeni’s shapely body, perfect housewife skills, selflessness, polite and willing demeanor are a dead giveaway.
Must confess I do not particularly lament Kobeni being a Yamato Nadeshiko type character, since it does fit this type of romantic comedy quite well. However, it would be nice to have another romantic comedy drama like “Toradora!” with a more flawed female lead, without resulting to the incredulous extremes of Kaga from “Golden Time”.
Animation by studio Dogakobo is rather good, definitely notice some improvement from their previously works “Yuru Yuri” and even “Love Lab”, so far it feels as if the overall style and level are equal to “GJ-bu”.
Most studios tend to pull out all the stops for the opening and ending animation, was rather impressed with the opening of “Mikakunin de Shinkoukei” right up to the title sequence. Perfectly tuned to the opening track ‘Tomadoi→Recipe’, it features a montage of what seem fleeting moments in time of the three girls’ lives followed by them dancing to the energetic music.
A shame the animation transitions into a more typical anime opening after the title sequence. Do wish the entire opening sequence would have kept the style of photo captures used before the title sequence.
With the story centered around Kobeni’s romance, it should come as no surprise the images shown of Kobeni in the opening sequence have various rather candid gravure type shots in them. Considering that she is a cutie, we shall not complain.
In comparison to “D-Frag!” which features veteran voice talents, the main cast of “Mikakunin de Shinkoukei” seems to be voiced mostly by voice actresses that seem new or not yet well known.
Although her voice sounds familiar, Kobeni is voiced by Terui Haruka, a voice talent who doesn’t seem to have any other major roles credited to her name yet. The same is true for characters Mashiro and Benio, with the cute loli voiced by Yoshida Yuri and the student council president voiced by Matsui Eriko, they too have no other major roles credited to them.
Student council vice president Nadeshiko is voiced by Sakura Ayane, she previously voiced Akane in “Vividred Operation”, Merry in “Yumekui Merry”, Miyabi in “Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!” and Natsumi in “Non Non Biyori”.
Blonde Konoha is voiced by Fujita Saki, she’s tackled riles like Mahiru in “Working!!”, Ayano in “Yuru Yuri”, Ymir in “Shingeki no Kyojin”, Hyuga in “Arpeggio of Blue Steel – Ars Nova” and she also voices Mitsuki in this season’s “Sakura Trick”.
So far, “Mikakunin de Shinkoukei” has been a very nice series that provides good entertainment. While it doesn’t particularly shine or even excel in being novel or daring, it does stand out among its peers by being a normal and enjoyable romantic comedy, a genre where many shows try to be different but often fail at doing so in a positive way.