Engaged to the Unidentified has us following Kobeni Yonomori, a normal high school girl who upon her sixteenth birthday finds out that her late grandfather arranged for her to marry a young man named Hakuya Mitsumine. Hakuya and his little sister Mashiro move in with Kobeni and her family. However, something doesn't seem normal about this situation, and I'm not talking about the arranged marriage. Is Engaged to the Unidentified a marriage made in heaven, or is it a match made in hell?
Mashiro and Hakuya
By far the two best things about Engaged to the Unidentified are the brother and sister duo of Hakuya and Mashiro. Hakuya's monotone stoicism is made all the more hilarious when he expresses all of his emotions and feelings with the same stone cold look on his face and flat tone to his voice. Mashio is even better, being pound for pound the cutest anime character I've seen in years. She is just pure concentrated adorable in the form of a character.
On top of just being adorable, I also really like it when Mashiro tries to act like a mature grown up, but completely and utterly fails at it, because she's still clearly a child. Lastly, I get a kick out of Mashiro's obsession with a line of Kinder Eggs with famous Cryptids in them, and mostly getting duplicates of the most common figure in each set. It's ok Mashiro, I understand the pain.
Kobeni's and Hakuya's Relationship
The two of them have a really cute relationship, if I may say so. I just love how they interact with one another. Outside of Mashiro the best humor in this show comes from how these two react to the actions of each other. Such as how Kobeni might say something and Hakuya gets the wrong idea, so expresses the totally wrong emotion, or how Hakuya would sometimes pet Kobeni on the head to calm her down, only to make her more flustered.
By the Book RomCom
Engaged to the Unidentified is pretty much your typical romantic comedy. That isn't bad in and of itself, as the show does have some touching moments and quite a few genuinely funny moments. However, it certainly doesn't revolutionize the genre, rather it uses various tropes of the genre with much gusto. Which again isn't in and of itself a bad thing, but it does make things for the most part rather predictable.
Oh Benio, Benio, Benio. I hate you with every fiber of my being. You see, as someone with two sisters, I loathe the ever loving hell out of siscon characters. And Benio is a major, major, major siscon character. Her antics weren't that bad in the first half of the season, as she actually did talk about things beyond her obsession over little sisters, and her appearances were few. However, in the second half of the season Benio gets a much bigger focus and she switches to only talking about little sisters.
On top of that she pretty much steals the spotlight from Hakuya and Kobeni, the two freaking leads of the show! The drama in the second half for the most part revolves around Benio, not them. The cherry on top is that she is utterly pointless as a character. She is not essential to the backstory of the series, nor is she important to the main plot of the present. It gets so bad that many of the episodes in the second half have their momentum drop dead when Benio shows up and goes on for several minutes about little sisters.
Pointless Side Characters
Benio is not the only character utterly pointless to the series. The second half of the series also gives quite a bit of focus on Konoha Suetsugi, a girl who has a crush on Benio, and her friend Niko Ono, a photographer for the school paper. And well...I honestly can't think of why they were around. They didn't really add anything to the story, and Konoha's obsession with Benio meant more screentime for Benio, which as I've already established was something I wasn't too keen on.
Yo-Yo Plot Details Release
What I mean by this is, this show didn't seem like it could make up its mind on how much important backstory info we were going to be given. On the one hand, rather early in the series Hakuya's and Mashiro's mom gives us a massive exposition bomb that floods us with a lot of new revelations, but on the other hand all throughout the second half Hakuya keeps refusing to give Kobeni any new info at all. You can't have it both ways, you either starve us for plot details or you keep the exposition flood going.
The Story Grinds to a Halt
All of the above things, the huge focus on Benio, the addition and decently sized focus on pointless new characters, and the sudden stifling of new details, all culminate in one rather unfortunate thing, the story for the most part just stops advancing. At least to me it felt like it stopped advancing. Now Kobeni's and Hakuya's romance didn't stop advancing, that continued going, though at a much slower pace than before. But the actual story does just suddenly stops for whatever reason.
As you'll see on the review card at the bottom of this review, Engaged to the Unidentified is a supernatural romantic comedy. It doesn't start out like this of course and only becomes this after a twist during the early goings of the show, I want to say about a third of the way in. The problem is, rather than this twist leading to great original things, the show barely touches upon the implications of this twist. Ultimately the show is still just a normal romantic comedy, making the twist rather pointless and unnecessary.
Now I am going to have to explain this review card. Personally speaking I would never recommend this show to anyone, and instead suggest people avoid the show. The only reasons I didn't drop this show was because of Mashiro and Hakuya as well as Hakuya's and Kobeni's relationship. The reason I say to proceed with caution is because I see enough people enjoying this show for some reason. As such I can't fully say to avoid it, because there may be something I'm missing with this show, I don't know. So I wouldn't encourage watching this, but I won't tell you to not watch it, either. Maybe you'll end up liking it, and if you do, more power to you. It just isn't my cup of tea, which is indeed a shame, because I loved this show during its first half and thought it was one of the biggest surprises of the season, but then they let Benio off her leash...