Blu-Ray Review: Love & Lies – The Complete Collection

Which will prevail? A strong bond of love between two characters or a predetermined marriage system? Only time will tell in this very unique love story of Love & Lies; but what can one expect from the complete collection? Well let’s find out in our Blu-Ray Review.

Synopsis:

It’s an old story: Boy loves girl. Girl admits her love for Boy. And then the government says, “No, you have to marry THIS other girl instead.”

Because, in the world where high school student Yukari Nejima lives, the government decides who you marry and the feelings of the parties involved don’t matter.

So while Yukari loves his classmate Misaki and she feels the same way, their other classmate Ririna is going to be his mate! Or is she? There’s an unexpected turn when Ririna indicates that she’s not against Yukari and Misaki being a couple despite their impending marriage and things get even more convoluted when Ririna finds herself attracted to both of them!

Get ready for the ultimate case of unwanted government interference as everyone gets caught up in the romantic bureaucracy!

Our View:

Animated by Liden Films and adapted from Musawo Tsumugi’s manga of the same name Loves & Lies is a beautifully crafted love story with a difference; and despite some oddly – almost Yaoi – themed character designs it’s an interesting storyline filled with emotional twists and turns that ends on a questionable, but satisfactory, high note. This is not your typical anime comical fan-serviced themed series; it’s a serious toned story with an intelligent story to share for mature audiences.

Love & Lies takes place in modern day Japan whereby in order to regulate birth control and marriages the government creates a system that dictates who people should marry using scientific means shortly after their sixteenth birthday. This system has been implemented for several decades and has so far proven to be a success to those who have developed from teenagers to adults with their own families.

Fast forward to present time and high-school-student Yukari Nejima, on the day before his sixteenth birthday, decides to confess his feelings for long-time crush and classmate Misaki Takasaki in hopes of making his feelings known before the impending notice from the government.

This sudden confession surprises Misaki Takasaki; but at the same time admits that she too has also developed an affection for Yukari since their first encounter during grade-school. Unfortunately this sudden burst of happiness is cut-short as after announcing their love for each other the clock strikes midnight and Yukari receives two notices; one claiming that Misaki Takasaki is his assigned wife through a text message and another ‘official’ letter from the government with someone known as Ririna Sanada being his assigned wife. Confused by this current predicament Yukari searches for the truth; but the government ultimately declares that Ririna Sanada is his one and true love and assigned wife as part of the system.

Heart broken by this realisation Yukari agrees to meet up with his assigned wife Misaki along with her family; but upon doing so – and realising that Ririna wasn’t too keen on the idea of being assigned – Yukari opens up to Ririna about his confession to Misaki. This “true love” inspires Ririna to work together with Yukari in hopes to making the love story bloom even more between Yukari and Misaki but during this timeframe, which sees the three people interact with each other through various different activities, Ririna begins to develop feelings for her own.

At this point it becomes a mild harem; with each character having affections for one another and each one trying to express their own love and interest for each other while abiding by the laws of the system. Like I said it’s a mature ‘interesting’ storyline that sees three characters overcome restrictions in the system; but sadly by the time the end arrives many questions remain unanswered – such as how the Yukari received a text message with Misaki listed as the ideal partner for him.

Extras:

As per usual MVM Entertainment have opted to use disc masters authored by Sentai Filmworks and as such we receive the ‘bare essentials’ in terms of supplementary content; with textless opening and closing songs being included alongside trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases.

It’s the bare minimum of bonus features, so no surprises here, but the textless songs do gives us a look at potential future releases (if they are ever licensed for the UK) all of which are simply scenes from each series overlaid with the music from that particular series.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:48:18 (Disc 1), 1:16:06 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Love & Lies is a love story with a difference and it is a uniquely refreshing experience enhanced with a romantic animation style that you would only see in yaoi-themed-manga. An odd design choice perhaps; but it works well with the story that is being presented and the characters that are involved.

A normal romance story would see the protagonist struggle to admit his love to the female character; but in Love & Lies this occurs by the end of the first episode and it’s now about overcoming the restrictions of the system in order to express those feelings that shouldn’t exist. In addition to this we then have the additional storyline of a seemingly unknown character helping these two main characters in developing their feelings while at the same time understanding her own feelings as a result of living a rather sheltered lifestyle.

To be blunt Love & Lies is a three-way-romance story that begins with Yukari confessing his feelings to Misaki who then immediately returns those feelings; however due to the assigned wife system in place by the government a third lover, known as Ririna, is thrown into the mix. At first Yukari and Ririna disagree with this arrangement but after Ririna listens to Yukari’s romantic confession she agrees to help Yukari in assisting in their romance.

During this timeframe the three characters become friends, go on a camping trip, attend events and hang out – all of which develops these characters to a stronger degree. That’s not all as the government also forces ‘educational courses’ with Yukari and Ririna, and other assigned partners, to take part in various activities; all of which helps sparks the affection for one another.

In short; its one long romantic story with twists and turns that are surprising, interesting and entertaining to the viewer; but the same cannot be said for this Blu-Ray release of the series. As per usual MVM Entertainment are using masters by Sentai Filmworks and as such we receive the standard treatment as similar ‘subtitled only’ releases with the episodes presented consistently across two discs. Additionally the subtitles are presented in Yellow while translations, and background conversations, are displayed in yellow text with a small font size as to not disrupt the currently running conversation on screen.

Basically it is business as usual and works effectively well. Well an average Blu-Ray release with a well presented and animated storyline; it’s just a shame that it ends in a rather inconclusive fashion with a relatively abrupt ending. It’s a happy one; but not exactly conclusive.

Score: review-stars-3

Love & Lies – The Complete Collection will be available on Blu-Ray via MVM Entertainment UK on the 5th Novmeber 2018.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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