Basic Premise: The main character and an old childhood friend pretend to be a couple in order to dodge family pressures.
I’ve always been slightly creeped out by the prologue of My Forged Wedding. “Hey, you don’t have any job prospects or anywhere to turn so go live with this random guy and help him” sounds like a prelude to human trafficking, not a cute romance. Yeah, I know that’s not how the routes go. It doesn’t make the initial first impression any less unsettling.
Therefore when I read that in this route the MC had refused to move in with a stranger, was interviewing for different positions, and had known her male lead for years I thought the uneven power dynamic would be gone and I could simply enjoy watching the two get to know each other.
- Akito: “If I tell HR that you ran off, you wouldn’t get hired…if you don’t want that, just follow along.”
- MC: “Aki, are you threatening me?”
- Akito: “Yeah.”
- MC: “Seriously?” I was screaming my head off at Aki in my mind.
- Me: You and me both, sister.
Akito uses his position at the company where the MC interviewed to blackmail her into living with him so his parents will stop nagging him to move back home and marry a local girl. He doesn’t ask, doesn’t express sheepishness or regret, and doesn’t offer to help with the MC’s job situation until the very end of the route.
Why would anyone do this?
It’s clear the author is going for a “oh, they missed their first opportunity to be together, but they fit so well together, and now they have a second chance” … but having Akito be remorselessly manipulative and, frankly, mean-spirited in many of his comments made me wish the MC would tell him exactly how horrible he was behaving, where he should go, and what he should do to himself when he got there.
And the sad thing is this route has some really nice moments. Akito’s mom’s talking with the MC, the siblings’ skepticism and commentary, the MC and Akito’s returning to the brewery, and all the scenes involving Ren have a surprising amount of delicacy. I kept hoping the next scene would be Akito’s apologizing and rectifying the situation, but no. Sweet moments soured by overarching jerkiness.
And so I can’t really recommend it to anyone. Dangit, Voltage.