Episode 11 – A Couple of Cuckoos

It’d be one thing if A Couple of Cuckoos had an egregiously bad plot or a cast of unlikeable characters, but the reality is that the show is just dull. I’ll always love a good anime rom-com, but Cuckoo has failed to deliver on either the “rom” or the “com”.

Episode 11 starts with Erika and Nagi at home together when the power goes out. What follows is a few minutes of antics as the two navigate the house looking for Nagi’s phone her. At one point there’s a “fanservice” scene in which he shines a light at her underwear, but what the viewers see is just a shining light. It kind of makes you wonder what the point was? It wasn’t fanservice, because the fans aren’t shown anything, and it didn’t build their relationship beyond Erika just calling him a creep. It all culminates in Erika telling him how happy she is to have moved in together.

But the real point of this episode is Nagi tripping in the dark and accidentally kissing his sister. The animation of Cuckoos has always been poor, but the choreography here really doesn’t make sense. Saki is behind him, he trips backward… and then ends up pinning his sister to the wall and kissing her? Sure, there’s the obvious question of, “How the hell do you end up tripping and accidentally kissing someone?” but this just felt like a common trope done in the least interesting way.

The rest of the episode features Saki moping about the fact that her brother told her to just forget about it. Of course, since she sees herself as a candidate within this harem series, it’s yet another reminder that she has no chance. The whole thing plays out awkwardly, both in terms of the character relationships and how that’s represented on screen. Erika goes into “sexy teacher” mode to tell Nagi to stop treating her like his little sister her. It’s also an opportunity for him to remember that they aren’t blood-related, which gets brought up every time Cuckoo attempts to converge us that Saki’s an option.

The whole thing ends anticlimactically. Saki has a breakdown at school, Nagi cooks a discount seafood curry that is somehow cheaper than pork, and then he apologizes to his sister her. The apology that this whole episode has been leading up to consisted of him saying that he ‘ll stop treating her like his kid sister her and like a proper woman instead. She’s happy to hear it, but it’s also unclear how this has developed their relationship, if at all.

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Finally, nothing happened in this week of Cuckoo. Saki fans got to see an accidental kiss. Erika fans got to see her “sexy teacher” outfit. Hiro fans got to see her her shrine maiden impression her. And I got to waste 20 minutes.

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A Couple of Cuckoos is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Callum is the host and creator of the YouTube channel The Canipa Effect where he explores topics within the anime industry. You can also find him talking nonsense on Twitter.

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