Episode 3 – My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex

Three episodes in and I have tremendously mixed feelings about the overall tone and intentions of this show. You could call the writing brilliant as it’s legitimately keeping me on my toes, but the overall takeaway from certain scenes and how they’re built up does make me wonder if I should be laughing or terrified at the implications. I will say that the show does still have that long, drawn out pacing issue that I mentioned from the premiere as this episode can ostensibly be broken down into two sections. The first section does give us some interesting backstory into Yume’s past. I like the language that she uses to describe herself in almost a distant, disgusted manner as if she hates the person that she was before. I like that it’s a little bit ambiguous regarding if she disliked that part of herself because something happened in the relationship or if she just felt like that is no longer her anymore her. The show is carrying over its rather smart use of the relationship dynamic to highlight subtle and interesting character flaws.

It’s also interesting seeing what these characters consider a flaw as Yume also seemed disgusted at the fact that she would collect and hold onto the things that Mizuto gave to her, put them in a box, and seemingly worship or look up to it every day. I can understand looking back on that as cringy (even though I think Helga from Hey Arnold, to this day, has set an impossible bar regarding worshiping a crush). However, as an outsider looking in, I empathize with how she felt about herself but also surprisingly find that part of her her charming. We have to understand that she was in middle school and the relationship ended less than a year ago. All of these actions make sense and read into some interesting character introspection… that is until you realize why she ‘s reflecting back on that particular aspect of herself as she is holding her step-brother ‘s underwear in her hand her.

The sudden whiplash I felt less than 10 minutes into the episode was enough to make me almost fall out of my seat because the entire time I was asking the same questions that the characters were, “why do you have that and what were you going to do with it?” The show doesn’t really give a super clear answer to that which can be funny in its own way, but the show’s vagueness of the situation actually comes off as distracting, like it doesn’t want to go… too far? It’s almost like the show wants to tell an interesting character piece with a wacky circumstance but also can’t help itself from going into the absurd. Yeah, it’s funny, but I do feel like it clashes a lot of the time with the other aspects of the show.


This carries into the second half where we start seeing little bouts of jealousy from Yume as Mizuto seemingly starts spending time with a girl that looks just like Yume from middle school. However, there’s a weird, almost uncomfortable air around the whole situation, especially when Mizuto is confronted about it. We later find out that it was the classmate that got introduced in the last episode and apparently she is prone to going to extremes for the sake of things that she has an interest in, going so far as to request marrying Mizuto just to have a seemingly uncomfortable relationship with Yume as a sister. The whole show plays this off as funny and quirky but then when you take a step back, you realize what she ‘s doing to get to this point, such as dressing up as Mizuto ‘s ex her while also seemingly sneaking into his house her to do… something. I feel like the tone should be a bit different from the one that’s shown here. I can’t tell if this girl is going to go on a killing spree or if she’s just that comedically airheaded. Either way, I think she needs help based on what we’ve seen in this one episode alone, but I also don’t think that the show is really going to address that.

Overall there were surprisingly things to like in this episode, although I also think it acts as a perfect example of some of the quadaries that I have so far. Sometimes its intentions are known but it goes about a weird way of achieving them while other times it’ll throw a curveball that tries to be both dramatic, suspenseful, and funny at the same time. I’m not saying a balancing act like that can’t work as I’ve seen plenty of shows that have done so, but we’re not quite there yet.


My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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