First impression: Koi to Uso

When the girl sitting next to him in class thanks him for letting her borrow half his rubber, Nejima Yukari immediately falls in love with her.

Koi to Uso: dweeb falls in love in a country where love is forbidden

Five years later and it’s still the only time he’s talked to her, yet he’s still in love with her. Normally such a deweeb would never pluck up the courage to confess to his crush, but Nejima is working under a deadline. Only a day away from his sixteenth birthday, it’s now or never to confess, because on his birthday the government will assign him his bride. Because this is a slightly alternate Japan, where the anxiety about declining birthrates has made government assignments of marriage into law and love is forbidden!

Koi to Uso: the feeling is mutual

Well, at least his crush reciprocates, having also kept half of the rubber just like he did. So they confess their love just as he gets his notice at the stroke of midnight, setting up the rest of the series.

Having tried the manga on which this is based, I’m not hopeful for this series. The main problem is that the protagonist and his crush both are not that interesting, while the setup is more likely than not to be used as an artificial obstacle for their true love to flower, rather than something that will actually be examined in depth. Japan’s obsession with its birth rate and the unwillingness to actually do something structural about it like say, making immigration easier, strengthening the position of women or even making sure its citizens aren’t worked to death by black companies is irritating enough without it being the gimmick for a mediocre romcom.

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