Now that A Couple of Cuckoos is finally joining the rest of this season’s spring shows, we can take a look into the surrounding hype. Draggle and I briefly discussed the source material in our season preview (also releasing a bit late), and from what I’ve gathered I am to expect a whole lot of familial and romantic drama somewhere along the vein of Love and Lies. From what I’ve seen so far, this is not an inaccurate comparison.
The pilot episode starts us out in the past with a baby swap that left me shaking my fist at the complete lack of wristband IDs, the idea of which apparently wasn’t fully implemented in many countries until the late 80s. Fast forward to the present and we’re together with Umino Nagi and his family navigating towards a meeting with his biological parents. While I wish we could have been witness to their discovery of the swap, I can appreciate the event occurring in the background in favor of this story’s true focus: making these teenagers feel as awkward as possible.
I actually liked Nagi quite a bit right from the get go with his adamant stance towards the family that he knows and loves. Despite learning that they are not his parents by blood, in his heart they will always be his true parents, the ones who loved and raised him from birth. Towards heroine Amano Erika, however, I am far less favorable. Their first meeting, as cliché and scripted as it was, set her up as a self-absorbed girl with very little consideration to those around her. Yes, the boob grab was an unfortunate event that wasn’t funny in the slightest, but for her to then use it as blackmail towards someone about whom she knows nothing was simply despicable. The writing is going to have to hit the gym if it ever wants me to think kindly of her in the future, because the rest of the first episode certainly did not.
But back to the blackmail (retch) and our obvious romantic (more retch) pairing. Erika not-so-kindly convinces Nagi to act the boyfriend so her parents will drop all mention of a fiancé, which launches us into a twisted kind of date where she attempts to dress him up to more properly look the part. If she had earned his help some other way, these scenes might have been fun in a silly kind of way, but I just couldn’t get rid of the bad aftertaste from their initial meeting.
When the big revelation occurs and we learn that not only are Erika and Nagi the switched babies from the very beginning, but both their parents are also now excited for marriage between the two so they’ll all truly be family. This gift of atrocity almost made me forget my dislike of Erika–I now excitedly look forward to the disaster truck we’ll ride through the spring, navigating siblings-no-longer-siblings, fake relationships, and arranged marriages.
Status: Most definitely watching.
(Watch on Crunchyroll)