My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex Episode 4 Review
This episode was absolutely adorable and continues to give us some very nice insight into how our two protagonists feel, both about their past selves as well as each other. It was interesting that Mizuto’s first showing as a boyfriend in the show was all an act right out of a teen novel that nevertheless managed to get Yume genuinely flustered and invested in that appearance. We also get plenty of much-needed flashbacks about what it was like for these two to date and what their personalities were like six months ago, making for some neat parallels with their current selves. Mizuto always sort of had that dry sarcastic wit but used it as a way to mask how much he genuinely cares about somebody. Yume seems to lament the fact that she still needs to rely on others while also harboring this internal struggle about what makes her happy. On the one hand, she was sort of getting the perfect boyfriend experience, but on the other hand, something felt off because that image isn’t what she fell in love with in middle school. This is the first time I feel like the show is diving deeper into those really uncomfortable, conflicting feelings that a lot of people experience after a breakup. Those feelings don’t go away overnight.
However, while there were a lot of great character moments that I appreciated and adorable moments that brought a small smile to my face, all of this was held back by how contrived the premise of this episode was. I know what this date was supposed to do for the audience but I’m not really sure what this date achieves narratively. I get the explanation that if they show Akatsuki that Yume has a big brother complex, then she won’t really pay attention to Akatsuki in the hypothetical scenario of becoming a sister-in-law. However, there are better ways to showcase that than making Mizuto take his sister out on a very obvious date to the aquarium. There’s a part of me that wonders if this is all some kind of ploy. There are hints that characters like Kogure are aware something is up but if that is the case and this is all some weird elaborate trolling, it just makes me more uncomfortable because that means he’s knowingly pushing two step-siblings together. Plus, not only did the plan not work at all, which can make this all feel like a waste of time, but we also got more context to Akatsuki sneaking into the house. Apparently, she set up a chair so she could pretend that she was sitting at the table with the rest of the family after breaking and entering. I almost felt bad for her until I remember that she technically broke into the house to live out that fantasy. Doesn’t matter if the door is unlocked, you don’t do that, and I don’t feel like the issue is treated as seriously as it should. So yeah, while My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex does lean more into its strengths this week, I’m still left wondering if there could’ve been a more organic and less over-the-top way for it to convey its drama.
Rating: 4/5 Stars.
My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex Episode 4 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.