More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers is a Japanese magna series written by Yuki Kanamaru. An anime TV series adaptation by Studio Mother is set to premiere in October 2022. Chizuru Kobayashi is in charge of character design.
Character designs for Jiro Yakuin, Akari Watanabe, Shiori Sakurazaka, and Minami Tenjin have been released.
You can learn more about the upcoming anime TV series, including its plot, staff, and where you can read the manga here: More Than a Married Couple, But Not Lovers anime first trailer released.
What is a “gyaru” and how it affects Akari’s design
Akari Watanabe (played by Saori Onishi) is a gyaru, who becomes Jiro Yakuin’s partner during the couples training activity held by the school that is supposed to help students become more used to the idea of living together with someone for when they have a marriage partner in the future. Despite, Akari’s forward personality she doesn’t have as much experience in romance as one might expect.
But what is a “gyaru”? Gyaru is slang for “gal”, and is a Japanese subculture in fashion breaking the norm of beauty standards.
Typically, a Japanese woman is considered to be most attractive when she has pale skin, long dark hair, and a petite figure. This made girls that didn’t fit the “norm” feel different until it became a popular trend to try and look different.
Gyaru tend to go to tanning salons to darken their skin, dye their hair blonde or wear brightly-colored wigs, wear dramatic make-up, sports lots of sparkly, trendy jewelry, and wear revealing clothing. Akari’s signature heart-shaped earrings and leopard-print garter are definitely accessories a Gyaru girl would wear in Japan.
Who are the other main characters?
Jiro Yakuin (played by Seiichiro Yamashita) is the main protagonist in the story and he’s forced to pair up with Akari Watanabe in their school’s “couple training program”. His goal is to get paired up with his childhood friend, Shiori Sakurazaka, whom he has a crush on. In order to accomplish this, he’ll have to act like a perfect newlywed couple with Akari and gain a lot of points.
At first, Akari’s gyaru style and revealing clothing turn Jiro off, but as he gets to know Akari his feelings towards her start to change. Their relationship definitely becomes one where the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” comes into play.
Shiori Sakurazaka (played by Saki Miyashita) is Jiro’s childhood friend and crush. Shiori becomes Minami Tenjin’s partner in the couples training program. She secretly harbors feelings for Jiro, but is too shy to act on her feelings towards him. Shiori has trouble speaking with boys.
Minami Tenjin (voice by Toshiki Masuda) is Shiori’s partner in the couples training program and happens to be Akari’s crush. Minami is a sporty guy with good looks. He is caring and kind towards his classmates. Akari is unaware of the fact that Minami secretly likes her back.
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