My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex

My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex

My Stepmom's Daughter Is My Ex anime series cover art
My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex

Series Overview

My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex (Mamahaha no Tsurego ga Motokano datta / 継母の連れ子が元カノだった) is not a good anime. Of course, you could probably assume that’s the case from the name of the series alone. But, it’s not terrible.

I could be wrong about this, but I feel like, at this point, most anime fans know what Domestic Girlfriend is. A good way to think about My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex, or Tsurekano for short, is that it’s a PG version of DomeKano. It’s the same premise, but without the sex.

The plot of the series is that Mizuto’s dad marries Yume’s mom when both teens are about to start high school. In a vacuum, that wouldn’t be much of an issue. But, Mizuto and Yume actually dated each other for a few months back in middle school. Oops! What a wacky and zany plot.

Mizuto and Yume Irido from the anime series My Stepmom's Daughter Is My Ex
Mizuto and Yume Irido

So, here’s the thing. I’m fine with the step-incest part of the anime. It’s only included to make the romance pseudo-taboo. What I’m not fine with is the fact that their parents got married without ever meeting each other’s kids.

And, just to be clear, this isn’t unique to Tsurekano. I’m pretty sure the exact same thing happened in DomeKano and other anime I’ve seen. Why would you marry someone without ever introducing them to your child who lives with you? Why would you never meet their child who lives with them until after the marriage?

It doesn’t make sense. And I refuse to believe this is a normal Japanese thing.

Mizuto and Yume’s parents getting married despite their children being exes doesn’t matter. It’s weird. But, it happens. However, the children should be introduced to each other before the marriage is a done deal.

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Main Characters

The first of the two main characters is Mizuto Irido. Surprisingly, Mizuto has more personality than you’d expect him to have. Why is that? Because he’s not a self-insert character. Now, does that mean he’s interesting? No. He’s a nerd who likes to read, hates socializing, and has a dry sense of humor.

Something I’ll commend Mizuto for is being a fairly decent depiction of an introvert. He has a few close friends. But, he likes to spend a lot of his time alone. And he doesn’t like being forced into social interactions, including family events. As the kids say, “he’s just like me fr (for real).”

Yume Irido is the far better main character. Why? Because she’s a cute girl. What else did you expect me to say? I’d argue she actually has less personality than Mizuto does. But, she makes up for that by being pleasing to look at. Also, she’s a book nerd, too.

Akatsuki Minami from the anime series My Stepmom's Daughter Is My Ex
Akatsuki Minami

Although I hate to say it, Yume is the best girl of the series. So, that makes Akatsuki Minami the second-best girl (I don’t like Isana). Akatsuki is a short, flat, outgoing girl who befriends Yume. Both her appearance and personality remind me of Megumi Jinno from Eromanga Sensei.

Isana Higashira is a girl Mizuto befriends in the school library. They have the same interests, which pretty much means they like the same books. They don’t exactly have any other hobbies. And, because Isana is a girl, Yume thinks she and Mizuto are more than friends.

The final character who matters even a little bit is Kogure Kawanami. He’s a boy in Mizuto’s class who forces friendship upon Mizuto. Kogure is also a childhood friend of Akatsuki. But, since he’s a male character, I don’t care about him at all.

Romance, Comedy, Ecchi(?)

I feel like I’m always saying that rom-com anime would be better if they were ecchi. Well, that and I always say ecchi anime would be better if they were hentai. But, I mean it and Tsurekano isn’t exempt from this. The fact that it’s not an ecchi hurts it.

Don’t misunderstand, though, there is ecchi content in Tsurekano. For example, I only picked up the series after seeing the Yume towel scene from Episode 3 (shown below). That scene definitely counts as ecchi. But, there’s a difference between an anime with some ecchi and an ecchi anime.

So, why does Tsurekano need to be an ecchi anime? The simple answer is that it’s boring otherwise. There are so many generic rom-com anime out there that are average in every way. It’s not all that different from the isekai subgenre of fantasy in that way.

Yume Irido wearing a towel from the anime series My Stepmom's Daughter Is My Ex
Yume Irido wearing a towel

Now, what does ecchi bring to the table? It brings entertainment. It adds spice. Think about To LOVE-Ru; it’s a rom-com that devotes itself entirely to being an ecchi anime. And it’s good. Without the ecchi, nobody would care about To LOVE-Ru. And that’s why nobody cares about Tsurekano.

Why should you watch Tsurekano over all the other similar anime? You shouldn’t. There’s no good reason for you to do that. If you were considering watching Tsurekano, just go watch DomeKano instead. It’s the same thing, but better because the protagonist sleeps with 2 step-sisters. It has the entertainment value that Tsurekano doesn’t.

Also, I mean, if we’re talking about ecchi step-sibling anime, I have to mention Kiss x Sis. That’s the best one. And I’m now realizing that I’ve seen way more anime from this subgenre than I should. But, my point is that there are much better options.

Conclusion

My Stepmom’s Daughter Is My Ex isn’t a good rom-com anime. It’s not even good compared to other step-sibling romance anime. But, it’s still not necessarily a bad anime. So, I gave it a 5/10. It’s watchable and you may even enjoy it at times. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s completely average.

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