Love and Lies, also known as Koi to Uso, is set in a world where the Government uses the “The Red Threads of Science” system.
It’s a system that calculates a person’s best partner, pairing up couples in their teens to promote birth rates and happy marriages. So what happens if you fall in love with the “wrong” person?
When it comes to Love and Lies, I keep coming up with positive things to talk about… and endless “buts.” It starts with the premise: it has potential, but it could end up being something we’ve all seen plenty of times. That turns out to be the case, but it’s also way more enjoyable than imagined. It’s all the same from there.
On the one hand, the series does have some really beautiful moments, but it’s also hard to take it seriously when there are so many convenient romantic tropes that make you roll your eyes. On the other hand, there are characters with seemingly cliché and predictable personalities, but they end up surprising you every time. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Judging from both the title and the premise, one might expect this to be a story about forbidden love, possibly with some cheating in the middle. Non-manga readers brought up the fact that both the preview of the show and its art style (more on that later) resembled Winter’s Scum’s Wish. But while that story was full of drama, cheating, and scummy people, Love and Lies has more likable and honorable characters. They screw up now and then, but they never have bad intentions.
They love, and if they lie, it’s to protect the person they love and to put others before them. And while there is plenty of drama, it’s never due to the character’s maliciousness, but the unfortunate circumstances they find themselves in. Don’t get me wrong – I loved Scum’s Wish, but I’m just happy to see Love and Lies were able to differentiate itself in the sea of romance anime from this year after all. It won’t be memorable by any means, but it turned out to be way better than expected.
Getting now into the audiovisuals, it’s clearly one of the weakest points of the series — starting with the most obvious features: those huge eyes! You get used to it after a while, but sometimes it gets hard to concentrate on the emotion of a scene when the character looks like it’s constantly screaming internally.
The fact that both the art style and the animation are pretty generic does not help either (and boy, did it dive in the final episodes!). Unfortunately, there’s nothing remarkable about the soundtrack either. Fortunately, both the Opening and the Ending are pretty catchy, and amongst the best of the season.
Love and Lies weren’t even the best romance of the season (that title would go to the adorable and funny Tsuredure Children), but it turned out to be much more decent than expected. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, nor does it do anything original with its premise (the manga is on-going, though!), but it’s a series I’d recommend for binge-watching to any romance lover.