Episode 3, “You aren’t going to beat me!!!” immediately reminded me that we’re starting a “living together” arc, wherein these two kiddos are kicking it in a furnished rental house for a fortnight in order to… bond? Get to know one another? Who knows, their parents want them to get along for the sake of uniting the families, so really, they’re here to be good kids who will have a good (eventual) marriage.
The only rule: don’t get involved with one another, as per Erika’s desires. And of course, that doesn’t last past the five-minute mark because the plot demands a bit of comedy since this is a romcom and all.
Their first day is filled with familiar foibles: a lizard creeps into Erika’s bath, prompting her to scream, which prompts Nagi to come crashing in while she’s nude, which prompts Erika to throw the lizard out in the wake of Nagi’s pitifulness…you get where I’m going with this. It’s rough going, as one would expect when two dramatically different individuals are forced to meet in the middle. But by the midway point of the episode, they finally start to.
The scene in question is a water fight that’s genuinely beautiful to look at, despite how brief it is. Nagi, in his irritation, tries to get Erika to just stop bothering him, but instead creates a charming snapshot that I can see going temporarily viral on this world’s version of Instagram. (Wait, I think it’s just called Instagram and not like… Pinstagram or Instagrand.) Point is, they created this accidental olive branch together, even when the situation they’re isn’t one that they desired in the first place. It’s sweet, and promises for future sparks of chemistry as this cuckoo’d twosome tries to find a way to cohabitate under their ongoing duress.
Overall, episode 3 is pretty darn good on the characterization front: Nagi and Erika have grown quite a bit more likable, enough that I’m earnestly looking forward to their romance eventually beginning. Of course, a potential plot wrench has been thrown in with the “will they, won’t they” of Segawa, Nagi’s classmate and test exam frenemy. Still, this is yet another couple I kinda wanna stan as things get complicated and a bit more curious between those storked kiddos.
All in all, A Couple of Cuckoos continues to be a curious weekly experience. Even though we’re only three weeks in, there’s enough meat on the bone in terms of characterization and setup to entice, and the tried-and-true romcom antics between our leads make me feel right at home. I’m getting increasingly curious about Nagi and Erika’s ever-evolving worlds, and a part of me kind of hopes that they end up genuinely happy in the end, even if that means there’s a lot of hiccups along the way. I’d like to see them find a bit of happiness within the confines of their parent’s wacky demands, just for themselves.
A Couple of Cuckoos is currently streaming on
Mercedez is a JP-EN translation and localization light novel editor & proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who, when not writing for ANN, writes for Anime Feminist, where they’re a staff editor. They’re also a frequent cohost on the Anime Feminist Podcast, Chatty AF. This season, they’re falling in love with Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie and A Couple of Cuckoos. When they’re not writing and reviewing, you can find them on their Twitter or on their Instagram where they’re always up to something.