The spring 2022 anime season is in full swing, and that includes a new set of rom-com anime series, many of which are set in modern high schools – a familiar setting for the genre. This includes the brand new series A couple of cuckoo clockswhich is a fun series to watch between episodes of Shikimori is not just a cutie and Aharen-san is indecipherable. More than a few elements of A couple of cuckoo clocks may sound familiar to experienced anime fans.
This anime is based on a recent manga series of the same name, but it nonetheless walks on familiar ground and may remind fans of many similar titles, especially the overlooked romantic comedy. Nisekoy. Both series have a similar initial premise, but of course, A couple of cuckoo clocks also makes sure to stand out from the long history of author Naoshi Komi Nisekoy series.
All it took was the first episode of A couple of cuckoo clocks to establish this anime series as a must watch for fans of Nisekoy and similar titles. The story begins when a serious young man named Umino Nagi prepares to meet his biological parents after being raised by his goofy but caring in-laws. However, Nagi does not wish to fully return to his birth family, intending to stay with the Amano family who have raised him since birth after a baby-swapping incident at the hospital. Then he goes to meet his new family.
This is where the Nisekoythe style shenanigans begin in A couple of cuckoo clocks. By sheer chance, Nagi meets his biological parents’ adopted daughter, Amano Erika, the baby Nagi was accidentally swapped with. Nagi and Erika were therefore raised by each other’s biological parents, and moreover, the Amanos want Erika to enter into an arranged marriage with an unknown boy. As fate would have it, that boy is Nagi, and Erika and Nagi must agree to this arrangement for the sake of both families.
This amusing premise echoes the arranged relationship between Ichijo Raku and brash tsundere Kirisaki Chitoge in Nisekoy, with these fake lovers simply playing along to keep their respective mobster families happy. Raku and Chitoge didn’t get along at first, but over time their relationship became more genuine, though a love triangle soon formed between Chitoge, Raku, and Raku’s original crush, Onodera Kosaki.
This opens up all sorts of possibilities for A couple of cuckoo clocks, from Nagi taking her current crush, Hiro, seriously, to Nagi and Erika, to tense but fun fake dates to keep up appearances. If Nagi isn’t careful, he might end up with a harem, just like Raku once did. However, involving one could dilute this anime’s central “baby swapping” theme and weaken its narrative. This may be a show where a cast of naked characters is best.
How a Cuckoo Couple Differs from Nisekoi
Even though A couple of cuckoo clocks feels like Nisekoy 2.0, the anime is already taking steps to set itself apart from its ancestor. For starters, the families of the two main characters don’t fight; in fact, they want to get closer. There was a Romeo and Juliet theme to Nisekoybut A couple of cuckoo clocks avoids this route entirely, which means the drama will have to come from another source. Perhaps that source could be the potential love triangle, or a serious clash of personalities between Erika and Nagi. Alternatively, Nagi’s adoptive sister, Sachi, could disapprove of Erika and do something about it, whether Erika and Nagi like it or not.
A couple of cuckoo clocks also promises to be healthier than Nisekoy, possibly due to changing sensibilities or trends in the anime community. Erika may have a bit of a temper, but she’s not a violent “gorilla” like Chitoge and can actually listen to people rather than lose her temper and beat up her fake boyfriend.
Some anime fans are concerned about the “tsundere girl beating her dense boyfriend” paradigm, which might even normalize violence at times, and A couple of cuckoo clocks get away from that. Erika sees faults in Nagi, but she’s not about to hit him on it. Instead, she’s more willing to talk things over, which puts her way ahead of Chitoge. She sets a good example of a tough but fair anime girlfriend who can take care of herself without resorting to questionable means to express her anger or displeasure.
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