Anime Review – Engaged to the Unidentified

Icon-AnimeTo preface this review, I need to explain a concept. Iyashikei describes a calming, almost therapeutic sort of anime. It brings the viewer into a relaxed state of mind. They’re very subtle in presentation and rarely, if ever, are heavy in any aspect, whether it’s comedy, drama, or action. This isn’t that kind of show, but it does have some of those qualities, and that’s significant to my impression of it.

Engaged1Sixteen-year-old Kobeni Yonomori just found out that, due to an arrangement set in place by her late grandfather, she’s engaged to be married to Hakuya Mitsumine, a boy her age from the country. Her life gets flipped, turned upside-down when her new fiancé and his little sister come to live with her, her mother, and her older sister.

Engaged2Engaged to the Unidentified is a 4-koma based romance comedy anime produced by studio Dogakobo (Love Lab, Yuruyuri). Being a romance comedy, it might be tempting for some to dismiss the show outright. Romance comedies are a dime a dozen, but Engaged to the Unidentified is far from the typical “will they or won’t they?” angle the genre often takes. The relationship is established, and the show revolves around the development of the relationship, as well as the interactions between the characters.

Engaged8This isn’t like Kanokon or My Bride is a Mermaid, however. Rather than every episode focusing on something or someone trying to ruin or sabotage Kobeni and Hakuya’s relationship, the show focuses on the building of this relationship between two families: Kobeni, her older sister Benio, and their mother, and Hakuya, his sister Mashiro, and their mother. The show also has a somewhat heavier subplot that exists well with the surface plot and makes the story as a whole more compelling.

Engaged6I love this show’s art style. It’s cute, soft, and colorful, and it’s not afraid to go off-the-wall when the situation calls for it. The character designs are all absolutely adorable, and each character has their own mannerisms that are portrayed masterfully in the show’s art style. I can’t help but smile when Mashiro attempts to act mature, but ends up returning to childishness immediately, or when aloof, distant Hakuya shows just how much he cares about Kobeni.

Engaged12The show strikes a clever balance between laugh-out-loud comedy and relaxing iyashikei qualities. It’ll make you both laugh earnestly and smile earnestly. It’s just a happy show. The first twenty seconds of the opening animation perfectly exemplify the mood and style of the series: Cheerful, bouncy, and totally adorable.

Engaged4If you’re the kind of anime fan who enjoys shows like Hidamari Sketch and other light, soothing anime, but are looking for something with more energy and a bit of an edge to it, Engaged to the Unidentified might just be the thing for you. It’s like iyashikei’s foray into the realm of comedy, and if it means more shows like this, I wouldn’t have a problem with that becoming a trend.

Engaged to the Unidentified is available on Crunchyroll.

10 Replies to “Anime Review – Engaged to the Unidentified”

  1. Oh yes, pretty my sentiments are the same on this show.

    While at first I was kinda on and off on it, it eventually grew on me, especially the last episode was excellent. Dogakobo really does their comedy well and I’ve been quite the fan of their work.

    1. I was hooked from the beginning. This show really grabbed me in a way I wasn’t expecting at all, and turned out to be very impressive in terms of art, characters, and even story and premise.

  2. This was a show I’d just glanced over during the Winter 2014 season(my attention more on the end of Kill la Kill and Log Horizon) but I recently took a deeper look and surprisingly, it was a show I ended up watching in its entirety in one day. It was really a heartwarming show and one that deserves far more attention than it got last season.

    1. I feel like this was the dark horse/sleeper hit of the Winter season. Just about everyone I know who’s seen it says it’s really good, but a lot of people simply don’t know it exists.

  3. I actually hadn’t known this was based on a 4-koma; that’s actually pretty surprising, given the relative level of complexity the characters have for a romantic comedy.

    Nice review; it isn’t exactly a complex show, but it does a great job of what it sets out to do, and I think you explained that well. Nice pull with the comparison to Hidamari Sketch, as well; the show’s definitely had the same sort of feel to them, even if the subject matter is different.

    1. I was surprised to find out about its4koma origins, myself. They managed to execute a really masterful manipulation of the source material to really bring everything to life.

  4. @VZ and Anubis
    Is Engaged to the Unidentified as good as Gouchiusa? cause I am absolutely loving that show.

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