Koi to Uso – 3-5 – METANORN

Koi to Uso 03 – 05

There aren’t many sight gags in this show, but this was well done.

winter15-highw Koi to Uso continues to fascinate me both with the implications of the Yukari System and the growing intrigue between the characters. So I’m going to go with a little bit different kind of update here: Let’s examine how each of the characters has been acting with an isolated look. Starting with…

Yukari

Speaking of current…

The way I see it so far, Yukari is the one who’s mostly being pulled along by the current. He has an interesting push-pull between his attraction to Misaki and his duty and responsibility to Ririna. And it’s pretty obvious that he likes Ririna, and if he hadn’t had this pre-existing attraction to Misaki, I think he would be completely focused on her and their future life together, much like their parents are trying to encourage. I also think he works well as a general audience stand-in, navigating through this process and finding himself really only reacting to the things that happen to him.

Kisses…

Yukari also has to work out how he really feels. That tension between his feelings for Misaki and the person that even he thinks he will marry is driving him to second-guess his feelings and his future. They’ve mentioned that there’s a significant taboo against being in love with someone besides your officially chosen future spouse, but the characters seem to feel that it makes a difference whether you’ve gotten your notice from the government or not. And since Misaki “hasn’t gotten” her notice, that makes it somehow not terrible for him to continue to have feelings for her. But at this point I don’t know if Yukari actually wants to have feelings for Misaki. I think there’s a part of him that kind of wants to get over Misaki and focus on Ririna, but…

When the two of them actually engage each other, it really shows how well-suited they are.

Ririna

I really thought the coloring on this cut was great

Ririna is really not ready for that. It’s a lot harder to analyze the way Ririna is thinking in this show because we don’t get a lot of time with Ririna’s thoughts. Her actions telling Yukari to go kiss Misaki help to put him into a tough spot. She’s the reason that he can’t just relegate his thoughts for Misaki to his past, something to have a happy memory about and move on with his life with Ririna. The more that happens, the more that I think Ririna is really just not sure about what she thinks. I love her personality of being straightforward, and think that that personality has led to being a loner and not really understanding what love is or what it feels like to engage with another person. So she’s gone into this whole thing with a detachment like it’s a TV drama, and almost like she can direct Yukari and Misaki for entertainment. So when she brings the two of them over to her house and wants them to kiss in front of her, I think there’s some of that kind of “entertainment” aspect, but she wasn’t ready for the reality.

She wants to watch, but…

Like it or not, she has an attachment to Yukari, and she’s probably bonded with him as much or more than anyone in her cohort in her life in the conversations they’ve had. So as she gets more involved with him, that detachment from the situation goes away, and maybe part of her wants Yukari to be occupied with Misaki so that she doesn’t have to actually face her own feelings. That’s certainly what it seems when she tries to bring them together in her room and also when she urges him to continue caring about Misaki. But as her feelings for Yukari grow, will she be able to continue to push them off to the side? And now that Nisaka has blatantly told her what the consequences would be if Misaki and Yukari married, including that she’d be playing the lottery again with her assigned partner, as well as possibly not being friends with Yukari and Misaki anymore, it seems like she’s thinking a little bit more for herself.

Faced with the realities she hadn’t thought of

Nisaka

Here’s the standard “He Saved Me!” trope

I threw him in here because Yukari keeps involving him in the plot, and because we’ve seen what maybe his feelings are toward Yukari. We’ve also seen that he doesn’t get along with the women in Yukari’s life. There’s active hostility between him and Misaki, with Misaki clearly glaring at him any time she encounters him and Nisaka openly baiting her regarding Yukari’s intended match, even as much as Yukari thinks that they would be suitable in that “two best-looking people in the class” way. But then during the camping trip he and Misaki actually seem to show that they have more of a background relationship than we thought. Does Misaki know about Nisaka’s attraction to Yukari? I kind of thought she did, asking if he was a masochist for coming on the trip, but it’s not super clear.

Maybe they’re less antagonistic than they let on

It’s like a scary dream having him this close

Because kisses everywhere

Misaki

What made her come back so fast?

Misaki is the real mystery to me here, because while it’s not that she’s giving Yukari mixed signals, it seems like there are mixed signals coming from around her to the show’s audience. She’s a willing participant in Yukari and Ririna’s relationship, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s because she is in love with Yukari, or wants to be friends with Ririna (I really doubt that Misaki is after Ririna the way that Nisaka may be after Yukari). But overall, we don’t know what Misaki is thinking, with her statement of “it would be easier if it were just a lie” in the tub. And that leads to the last entity that I wanted to talk about:

Ririna is trying to hold on to people she’s come to love

The Government

What? We weren’t doing anything!!!

Almost everything about the government role in this specific relationship drama is feeling off. I wondered in the FI post why those two agents hand delivered a notice to Yukari after midnight in the park, but Ririna just got a text (like Yukari’s weird disappearing text). Then those same two agents come to visit Yukari and Ririna, and give them (and us) more information about the government’s decision-making algorithms. That they use personality tests and information gathering. That they want to pair people before their personalities have fully developed. That they don’t factor in physical appearance or attraction. But to me, the important part is that they admitted that they have data that shows physical attraction results in higher numbers of failure in pairings.

Suspicious name dropping

And that’s what got me thinking, 3 days after watching episode 4, that maybe what we’re seeing is part of an experimental data set. Why would the government agents name-drop Misaki and say they’re going to her house next? It’s a rather ridiculous idea that they don’t know how to find her house. And Misaki’s actions also make me wonder about this. When Ririna wants them to kiss in her room, she leaves, but then comes back relatively quickly, ready to do it. And in all of her interactions with Yukari, she’s been the one to initiate kissing, from his first confession in the park to working after school to cutting class. And with Misaki’s tub statement and given what the agents said, I am wondering if Misaki has been told by the government to continue to try to be involved with Yukari, to test his intentions with Ririna, to test their feelings, or just to see what happens. And maybe Agent Ichijou gives that much background information to confuse things further, and make Yukari feel more tension between the different forces pulling on him. But those forces are going to ramp up a bit, with their “Special Training for couples” coming up. Perhaps the government folks know about the “Kiss Misaki Every Day” shenanigans?

I also think that it’s an interesting confounding factor in the government’s system if they in fact do not acknowledge that some people just aren’t heterosexual. And given the amount of data that the government claims to know about someone, what is the real truth in that situation. Is it “marry this person and have kids anyway, because it’s your duty”? Or is there an implicit “We’ll look the other way about what your real relationships are, as long as you don’t interfere with the system.” Or is Nisaka even involved in whatever government experiment? That last seems doubtful given that he hasn’t made Yukari aware of what he did. And then we get the white-haired girl at the end of episode 4, who is obviously someone who knows more about what Misaki is doing.

Totally someone to not trust

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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6 Responses to “Koi to Uso 03 – 05”

  1. ProtoSovereign says:

    I think the deal with Misaki is that she likes Yukari but doesn’t feel that it is in any way possible for them actually be an item (given all the circumstances). I reckon that is the source of her mixed signals.

    As for Nisaka and Misaki, I don’t know if they have any kind of background relationship. They probably just converse easily since they are just so similar (Both have things to hide, feelings for Yukari and are used to being the most good looking person in the room).

    The Masochist comment could have possibly been a normal jab at him. Cuz if you think about it (assuming she doesn’t know his true feelings) there’s not much reason for him to be at the camp from an ordinary perspective, since both girls are either out of his reach or just plain not interested in him.

    • Highway says:

      I dunno, it seems to me like there’s more to it than Misaki just likes Yukari. There feels like there’s something that pushes her to act on it more than she would, especially if the idea of being set up by the government is the main way everyone thinks. I’m also pretty sure that Misaki has heard something from the government. Why would a guy like Yukari hear about it on midnight of his 16th birthday? I would like to have just a little more information about how they announce it: do they tell the couple at the same time, when the 2nd member reaches 16? It was glossed over, but I’d just like to know.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        I personally think that 16 is the minimum age at which they can be paired. But if that was true does that mean they already take his data into consideration (for pairing purposes) before their 16th birthday, cuz the gov agents got to him so fast on his birthday. Pairing everyone on their 16th birthday exactly seems like a bit of a stretch. As for Misaki herself honestly she’s just such a mystery.

        • Highway says:

          I’m sure that the information that they’ve gathered is putting people into groups and thence into pairs from a much earlier age. It probably comes down to “when you turn 16, you could be paired with any of these 5 people, and we’ll pick this one.” I like thinking about the government system here, but unfortunately it’s all speculation.

          Even if 16 is the “minimum age” it certainly seems like there’s an expectation that people will be told very close after their 16th birthday. Given the fragility of the 16-year old ego, I would think that it would be bad for them to wait with no news at all for long after that milestone, as the kids could easily start worrying that they are “defective” or “unmatchable” leading to some serious depression. Now, maybe the personality profiles they have help mitigate this by being able to identify who might have that sort of issue.

          I think one view I hold that really works in this show is that there isn’t “one person” for you. Most people can make a close, loving, marriage-style relationship work with lots of people, and lots of different people. So combined with a lot of population, there’s many different people you could be matched to. I also wonder how does age difference come in (because of what has been talked about, but also for people whose match doesn’t work out).

          But interestingly, even with all of these reservations, I still think that it’s the kind of system that *could* work, especially if the populace supports it. And if it has a relatively low failure rate, then the populace would support it.

          • ProtoSovereign says:

            The system does indeed seem plausible enough but I’ve discussed it with a friend of my mine who thinks that the system wouldn’t work due to the nature of people. (like how people with a high sex drive might do a lot of cheating or how rebellious people would reject being told who their like partner will be).

            I like your idea that there’s more than 1 person that is compatible but I think the gov tries its best to narrow it down. If there is more than one they definitely won’t let you know though since they want you to think its fated.

            • Highway says:

              I actually think that those issues wouldn’t really be that big of a problem, especially in a culture such as Japanese culture. Is there going to be cheating? Definitely. But I’d also think that there would be a lot of looking the other way with it. Consider that maybe an arranged marriage, where maybe it’s not necessarily predicated primarily on love, would allow more flexibility to the people involved to realize that there’s room to love other people, given other conditions are met. I think the same nature that you think would lead to ‘cheating’ would also lead to understanding (although this may be very wishful thinking on my part). I also think that the traits you mention are probably taken into account, and that their algorithms can spot those things and at least mitigate them some.

              I kind of think the opposite about ‘fate’, that the government specifically isn’t trying to play it off as “You are fated to be with this person.” They narrow it down to a single person, but only because they want you to marry one person, not choose from a few. The feeling I get is that they’re saying “We think this person would be a good match for you. They may not be perfect for you (such as Nisaka’s admonition to Ririna that her next chosen person wouldn’t be as nice as Yukari, or could be more of a pervert), but they are going to be someone you could make a happy life with.” If they keep the expectations like that, I think it works a lot better.

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