Type: TV Series
Episode Count: 12
Genre: Comedy / Fantasy
Version reviewed: Japanese, Subtitled
Date of Review: 20 Jan 2016
School comedy with a twist is a tried and true formula for me, and I hit the jackpot again.
It’s Kobeni’s sixteenth birthday and she couldn’t be happier. It means she’s almost an adult now, and the world is beginning to open up to her. What Kobeni wasn’t expecting to wake up to this morning was the proclamation from her mother that her grandfather has chosen a fiancé for her who will arrive later that morning. When her betrothed arrives, he has his little sister in tow, so in the span of one morning she has gone from carefree high school girl to living under the same roof as the boy she’s engaged to, along with her future sister-in-law. Sixteen wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, after all.
Simple, fun, and uncomplicated. Sometimes that’s all you need for a great show, and that’s what Engaged to the Unidentified is. The series has an under-the-radar sort of feel to it, but the production and acting are top-notch.
As with any comedy, one of the most important things is a good cast of characters, and that’s what this series has. Kobeni is your typical cheerful schoolgirl. She’s attractive, polite, gets good grades, and knows her way around the kitchen. Then there is her older sister Benio, who has an uncontrollable imouto complex and wants nothing more than for Kobeni to be the cutest little sister ever. Next is Hakuya, Kobeni’s fiancé. He is quiet and mysterious, and that’s about all Kobeni knows about him. Finally there is Hakuya’s little sister Mashiro, who steals the show. She does most of the talking for herself and her big brother, and takes it upon herself to decide if Kobeni is worthy of Hakuya. It’s a great combination of characters, and their interplay is always fun to watch.
One thing I especially liked about Engaged to the Unidentified is how the fantasy element is introduced. As the series begins, there is no indication that something out of the ordinary is going on. This isn’t like Ah! My Goddess where you know right away that Belldandy is a goddess or The World of Narue where you find out that Narue is an alien by the end of the first episode. In Engaged to the Unidentified, it takes a while for the mystery to be revealed, and I enjoyed the suspense of waiting to find out just who or what was out of the ordinary. Given the title of the series, it was clear that something was going to be different.
Like many well-rounded shows, though Engaged to the Unidentified is primarily a comedy, the story takes a dramatic turn towards the end. This gives the series a bit more weight, but it’s not overdone and is a logical extension of the story. Also not to be overlooked are the supporting characters, most of whom aren’t given much of a backstory (with one exception), but still suitably fill their roles in the series and are also fun to watch. Standouts include Kobeni’s meganekko best friend, and Benio’s classmates in the student council: a Yuki Nagato doppelgänger and a tsundere ojou-sama.
There is one omission in the resolution of the story in Engaged to the Unidentified. It doesn’t harm the story at all, but it is a bit perplexing as to why it was omitted; at the same time, I can see the case for leaving it out (which would work in a meta sort of way). I’ll leave it to you to decide, should you give the series a try (and I would say you should, if you enjoy these kinds of shows!). The comedy is clever and occasionally breaks the fourth wall. Characters and story are very easy to get into, and even the theme songs are fun.
The artwork and a brief plot summary drew me to this series, and it was a great find. If you enjoy light school comedy with a twist, check out Engaged to the Unidentified!