Koi to Uso (Love and Lies) is the Dramatic, Dystopian Story We Needed

Introduction

The third episode of Koi to Uso has finally come which means that we are here to break it down to you, the readers. You are right where you need to be if you are either interested in either picking up this show, the word dystopian made you click on this article, or you just want to see if your thoughts are likes ours, this is for you. This mini review will take a look at the overall story and our expectations for the series before broadcast, what’s actually happened so far, and whether or not we think you should pick it up or keep watching. Fair warning, this well have spoilers. Are you ready? Then let’s dive on into the world of Love and Deceit.

Story

The saying goes “all is fair in love and war”, but when both are being waged, what is acceptable and what is not? Well, the Yukari Law was put into place to help curb Japan’s rapidly declining birthrate. Thus, all sixteen-year-olds are notified on their sixteenth birthday, that the government, taking into accord their wishes and likes, announces their partner to them. Yukari Nejima has just confessed his feelings to Misaki, the girl he likes, right before his birthday. However, just as he does, the notification from the government comes telling him with whom he is bound by the red thread of science, not fate. Is it Misaki or another? Now, this story unfolds in a world where love can be illegal but deceit is even worse.

Expectations

Honestly, I am really pumped for this. This seems like something where if someone breaks the law, then that person is hunted down, or “disappears”, or something like that, so you know this will be good. Even from the generic intro like that, you know that there is a massive, over 90%, chance that Nejima is not going to be assigned to Misaki, but hey, the drama could unfold around them. You never know. Anyway, there is a lot to be expected here. Pretty sure that the drama and lies are going to be laid on thick among others. Just think, what would you do if your love was illegal? I don’t know, but go ask LGBTQIA+ people because they have been going through it since this concept started. True, times are changing, but this concept is not so outlandish. That being said, let’s dive deep into this story of love, lies, romance, and taboos.

What’s Happened So Far (Episodes 1-3)

Episode 1

The first thing that really stood out was the fact that ordinary people can now be matched with celebrities. It shows the wedding between a famous girl and her average boyfriend. Since the government can guarantee happiness with these setups, then there should be no divorce, right?

Then we jump into Nejima’s classroom where he is thinking about love and it turns out that the boys in his class are all thinking about it. Then, they take a vow to never get married. Misaki cuts in to the surprises of everyone, but she leaves to go back to her friends.

After Nejima gets home, we learn that he has been in the same class as Misaki since the fifth grade and has likes her since then when he handed her half of his eraser. Of which, he saved his half for years. After a cute flashback, we learn that he is in love with her. He is ready to confess his feelings, but when he does, she plays coy and pretends that she does not know. He announces that he wants to meet her at night at the park at 6. She does not have the chance to agree, because Nejima bolts.

Poor Nejima waits until 11:30 when she finally shows up. She wasn’t planning on coming, but she did anyway. Nejima blabbles because he is so nervous and then gives in. He tells Misaki that he likes her. She actually starts crying and we realize that she likes him too! She remembers the eraser and has it with her. They embrace, he kisses her, and we shockingly get tongue! Then, his notification from the government comes as the clock strikes 12. He opens it and it is all distorted. It says that Misaki is to be his partner! That is until, his phone dies and two government agents approach him. They assure him that what he saw was impossible and hand him his new order. It’s not Misaki.

Episode 2

The story opens up with Nejima’s family meeting Ririna’s, his new wife, family. But right before they meet, it jumps to school, and he announces that he is not marrying Ririna and is going to bail. As soon as that happens, we see the dark side of the Yukari Law where a teacher locks him in a room telling him to think about what he said. Misaki comes to visit him and tells him off. Last night was only supposed to be a memory.

We then jump back to the meeting. Ririna is a cute girl with pink hair, excellent grades, and well-mannered while Nejima is coming across more and more rude and basic. He can barely speak and it pisses off Ririna so she tells Nejima that he’s a terrible guest, rude, and poorly-mannered, and runs out of the room. After searching for her, they run into a magical room full of futons. We learn here that Ririna is just as nervous and awkward about the situation. She learns of Misaki via him and has him tell her everything about Misaki. She’s totally on board and in love with the fact that her future husband, Nejima, is in love with a woman other than her. He warms up to her and they go back to see their parents.

At school the next day, the boys are all talking about Ririna when Misaki walks in very cold. However, Nejima is going to meet her at her school. We learn more about Ririna after he visits her in the nurse’s office. When she was little, she missed out on a lot of school and this made her KY or unable to read situations and personalities correctly (see: socially-awkward), thus alienating her. As they are leaving, she sees Misaki and corners her. They end up at a WcDonald’s discussing Nejima and we learn that Misaki has been putting up a strong front and actually likes him. Like a scientist, Ririna keeps asking her question after question and we learn more about Misaki’s love of Nejima. They agree to hang out again and be friends.

He accidentally reveals that they have kissed to Ririna. So, she tells him to go kiss Misaki again and…. Curtain.

Episode 3

He reveals to Misaki what Ririna told him and we get more time with one of Nejima’s close friends, Yuusuke. We learn that Yuusuke is a pretty boy and that has caused him problems in the past.

Anyway, the main part of this episode is that Nejima is being at Ririna’s house. He arrives and when they go in their room and he sees that Misaki is here. Misaki wants to bail but Ririna is interested in something much more important; she wants Nejima and Misaki to kiss in front of her. The three spend the afternoon together and Ririna reads Nejima telling him she probably will not fall in love with him, and he has a weak presence so he is easily forgettable. Onto the main dish. She asks Misaki and Nejima to kiss. Misaki agrees and they do it. Clearly it makes Misaki nervous and she bails telling Ririna that she is not good for Nejima and that Ririna should be the one to learn to love him. Flustered, she returns to her room and tells him to kiss Misaki once a day every day.

Walking home, they bump into Yuusuke being his scandalous self and he embarrasses Ririna. The next day at school, we see Yuuske being popular and after gym class, they go to change. However, Nejima is thinking about him and he wonders why Yuusuke is always hanging out with them and bothering Misaki. Rushing back to class though, he bumps into Misaki and tells her what Ririna has said. They kiss again, but are spotted by Yuusuke. After class, Nejima wants to talk to Yuusuke, but he has club activities. Nejima says he will wait and does. His mind racing about the kiss, Nejima falls asleep. Clearly there is something going on between Misaki and Yuusuke, but we do not know what exactly… or do we? Yuuske walks in on a sleeping Nejima. After some asides, Yuuske does what he came here to do, and KISSES Nejima. When you look at it, it makes sense and you can see the issues brewing between Yuusuke and Misaki, and the fact that Yuusuke is always with the guys and never the girls.

Expectations & Impressions After Episode 3

Why does everyone have bug eyes? It’s so easy to see who is relevant to the plot by if they have bug eyes, they are important, and if their eyes are just likes or black dots, they are not.

Ho boy. I knew that this show was going to be good, but a clearly suffering gay character who has feelings for the main character who has feelings for a woman who is not his future wife, is going to make a good story. I feel like while this is less dark and government-controlled, it does lend to a good story. There is going to be a lot of drama and issues especially when it comes to Ririna who will probably eventually fall in love with Nejima and get jealous of Misaki, and now Yuusuke is in the mix. We were looking at a love triangle which is now a love… rectangle? Or maybe not. Who knows. Either way, this is nothing like Kuzu no Honkai, although if everyone starts sleeping with each other, it may, but the drama here is real because the lies are of a different sort. Nejima and Ririna are not pretending to be together; they have to be together. It’s great.

As for what I see on the horizon, we could possibly be looking at a government intervention. We do not know how much they can see and do, but look at what happened to the phone in episode 1 and the official’s reaction when she stressed that the government’s decisions are absolute. The only real plot hole thus far, is what happens if there is a divorce? Does the government allow it? I had a question about LGBTQIA+ characters, but it seems that that base has been covered as well. Though, I already have a bad feeling he is going to be the stereotype of the vindictive gay who does not like women around the men in his life, and if they do get close, he goes out of his way to be mean. Here is to hoping he is not typecast as gay, but rather, just likes Nejima.

Keep Watching or Drop?

While I did expect it to move a bit faster and possibly be a bit more dystopian, so far it is good. The story is picking up speed and we are seeing that characters are not so one-sided. It could go downhill though if Nejima freaks out about Yuusuke, but it seems like Yuusuke probably will not even mention it till towards the end. To this point thus far, Koi to Uso ranks #2 on my summer list of everything that I am watching currently (about 20 shows), and the only show beating it out is Kakegurui for obvious reasons. All in all, Koi to Uso, even if you are not a drama fan, is well done. If I had to say something in specific needed to be improved, it would be just the pacing as it does feel a bit slow. But other than that, it’s going to be fantastic to watch. I’ll give it a rating of 9/10. This is a summer show worth watching and unless the characters start offing themselves one by one, it is safe to say that it will stay that way throughout.

Nagareboshi

Editor/Translator

Author: Nagareboshi

American by birth; international by choice. I am trying to bring attention to one of my favorite causes; me. I translate by day and write by night. Aspiring polyglot. My dream would be to be the personal translator for Amuro Namie. Other than that, my hobbies include languages, weightlifting, sleeping, karaoke, GOOD coffee and music. When I’m not doing any of the above, I am most likely laughing hysterically at Willam Belli videos or EV farming. I ain’t gunna Rupologize for it neither. Waifu are Shirai Kuroko & Euaerin.

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