The following contains spoilers for Episode 2 of More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers, "Imagined, but Not Real," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers' sassy gyaru Akari may not be as grossed out by Jiro as she thought. This romantic comedy certainly is taking its romantic development slow; Episode 2 suggests that Akari is already falling in love with Jiro while Jiro's crush Shiori also reciprocates his feelings, setting up the series' initial love triangle.
The anime's premiere already established a web of unrequited feelings as its plot's foundation. Though the school pairs up Jiro and Akari for the couples training program, they aren't too fond of each other. Their situation is even more complicated given the fact that their respective crushes are paired with each other too. While Jiro and Akari work together to be a model married couple and earn enough points to switch partners, their perfect plan may fall apart as Akari seems to be already falling for Jiro.
Akari Can't Get Jiro Out of Her Mind
While Jiro's unexpectedly smooth moves has Akari blushing in Episode 1, she can't seem to get him off her mind in Episode 2. Akari decides to take advantage of a stormy evening to watch a horror movie with Jiro and earn some points, boosting their score even more with matching pajamas and cuddles. However, the power goes out, revealing that Akira is actually more timid than she lets on. The usually flustered Jiro comforts Akari and calls her cute under the assumption that she's sleeping, but Akari hears every word.
Jiro is sick in the second half of the episode, and while Akari doesn't take advantage of the opportunity to care for him and gain a few extra points, her absence speaks volumes. She spends the day with her gyaru friends, but it's obvious that her mind is somewhere else. While her friends tease her about her crush on Tenjin, she can't help but think about Jiro. Though Akari certainly has not moved on from Tenjin just yet, she struggles with conflicted feelings, acknowledging that she feels annoyed at Jiro's offer to help her and Tenjin get together.
Jiro's Crush Shiori Proves She Is Indeed Akari's Competition
As Akari stews over Jiro, Shiori takes advantage of Akari's prompting and pays sick Jiro a visit. This is a dream come true for Jiro, who at first expects Akari to be the one caring for him to score some points. With his gentle crush at his bedside instead, Jiro is over the moon. Shiori shows that she is a great childhood friend. However, her true motivations come to light as she reminisces on her and Jiro's history.
While Jiro believes his crush doesn't return his feelings, Shiori had apparently planned on asking him on a date before she moved away. However, because neither of them could fully express their feelings thanks to cliché misunderstandings, both Jiro and Shiori think their love is unrequited. With the revelation of Shiori's feelings for Jiro in the same episode as Akari's struggle with her own feelings, More Than a Married Couple's love triangle becomes even more complicated.
While some may favor Shiori for her soft personality, fans should expect the romance and drama between Jiro and Akari to heighten before the series reaches a resolution for its love triangle. Akari will likely need more time to fully come to terms with her developing feelings for Jiro, but the fact that she so obviously feels conflicted in Episode 2 demonstrates the potential for a solidly paced romance. As long as the story doesn't move too quickly or overcomplicate the triangle, More Than a Married Couple could prove to be a fan-favorite for the Fall 2022 anime season.