First Impressions Double Feature – Elegant Yokai Apartment Life| Love and Lies

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life – Ep. 1

I omitted Yokai Apartment from the season preview but after I published that post, I started to hear some decent buzz surrounding the show in forums. The light novel is also decently liked by some. I don’t know, I saw this first episode and I just wasn’t that impressed.

This largely had a slice of life vibe but the execution was devoid of any good fun or atmosphere. When it comes to humor, I often feel that the punchline is spoiled before the joke can actually happen. We’re immediately told that ghosts are in the apartment so when Yukari discovers them in the building, nothing really alarms you even when Yukari is shocked himself and no one else shares that reaction. When it comes to atmosphere, I think this show looks pretty generic. You’ve seen a lot of these youkai designs from several other anime. They are inherently weird but nothing about them really pop out to you and there isn’t any creative animation to really breath life into them either.

That’s honestly all I have to say. The show was simply an underwhelming experience. I don’t want to harp on it since that’s always a possibility with slice of life shows but as a fan of the genre, I really do need to be engaged ASAP.

LOVE and LIES – Ep. 1

I knew going in that this could get really melodramatic but I’m still disappointed to find that my guess was very accurate.

Let’s first talk about the premise. In Love and Lies, marriage is pretty much set for you for the government based on genetic compatibility. This initiative was made to combat Japan’s increasingly low birthrates (and in case you don’t know, that is a real problem for the nation right now). In all honesty, I actually thought this concept could genuinely work if it was treated in a very dystopian or messed up kind of way; much like Gattaca or The Giver. Unfortunately, there are lot of things you have question about how the system actually works in Love and Lies. How did the entire nation of Japan unanimously agreed to this plan? How is it that only horny teenagers dislike it? If this plan is meant to produced a baby boom, is reproduction mandated as much as marriage is? I’m just saying, marriage and sex are not synonymous with each other; not every couple goes around making babies. The whole attitude to the very system that Love and Lies features is in the same vein as the attitude towards the “crime is legal for one day” law in The Purge. You know, “it just works”.

And I haven’t even gotten to Yukari and Misaki. Good Lord, are they melodramatic. It’s not even just the opening narration that Yukari is that one kid who rebels against the system. No, it’s actually just how serious his feelings for Misaki are. There is love and there is a crush you have because you shared an eraser with this one girl several years ago. And Misaki just so happens to reciprocate it!  I’m not convinced that this is how I’m supposed to feel about the scene. The way their date is directed presents them more as star-crossed lovers than teenagers who are acting purely on impulse. But I don’t care if their kiss was “sweet”; the build up to that scene was rushed.

I really do wish I like the show enough to keep watching. There is some potential in the premise and part of the fun of romance (especially star-crossed lovers) are the serious odds stacked against the leads. This show is even being directed by Seiki Takuno who directed the fantastic Poco’s Udon World from last year. But I gave this show a shot and I’m just not feeling it. It’s too illogical and melodramatic for my liking.

Thanks for reading!

Elegant Yokai Apartment Life is officially available on Crunchyroll.

LOVE and LIES is officially available on Amazon & HIDIVE.

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