Isn’t it nice to know the premise of a show just from its title? Based on Kyōsuke Kamashiro’s light novel series, My stepmom’s daughter is my ex is about a young couple, Mizuto and Yume, who break up shortly after entering high school. As sad as it sounds, these things happen, especially at such a young age. Then life hits them hard when Yume’s mother, Yuni, marries Mizuto’s father, Mineaki. The two try to live together as brother and sister under the same roof, though the past still lingers in each of them.
The anime The adaptation has just started appearing on Crunchyroll and should satisfy people who like their romcoms to be a bit more complicated than the average cute encounter. Still, are there other romantic anime shows that put a different spin on things? Well yes. Here are a few.
6 Kaguya-sama: Love is war
The student council president and vice president of Shuchiin Academy seem like the perfect couple. The first, Kaguya, was born into wealth, and the second, Miyuki, is the smartest student in the entire prefecture. However, it gave them a sense of pride that neither of them wants to see shattered.
So their love becomes a war as they plot and scheme to get the other to show more affection than the other. Who will be the first to hold the other’s hand? Or share an umbrella with them? Every small gesture becomes a battle that one or the other must win. Considering the popularity of this show, there is a good chance Stepmother fans may have seen it before. Still, if anyone missed Aka Akasaka’s Monster, now’s a good time to check it out. There’s an anime series, OVA, and even a live-action movie.
5 Don’t play with me, Miss Nagatoro
Nanashi’s webcomic-turned-anime initially received mixed reviews as it starts out pretty rough. It follows Naoto Hachioji, a quiet boy who just wants to draw manga and hang out at his school’s art club in peace. Then Hayase Nagatoro arrives and starts bullying him for his interests or teasing him in a rude way. In other words, it’s the “cruel to be nice”, “hate-you-because-they-love-you” trope.
However, as Naoto becomes more assertive, Nagatoro softens and the show becomes more enjoyable as she and Naoto grow closer. They even work together to save the art club. Mileage can vary, especially with his old tropes. But, anyone who sticks with it will find an enjoyable romantic comedy with some edge.
4 Classroom of the elite
This one is more of a psychological thriller than a romance but should appeal to those who preferred Stepmotherit’s a complicated premise. Based on the light novel series by Shōgo Kinugasa, the show is set at the Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School. On the surface, it’s an ordinary private school for Japanese high society.
But inside its walls, it’s actually a highly regulated school that divides its students by grade, with the elites entering Class A, the rejects entering Class D, and everyone else moving between them. Kiyotaka Ayanokōji is one of the smartest students but is placed in Class D due to his lack of social skills. He wouldn’t mind, but once he gets involved with his classmates Suzune and Kikyō, things get much more complicated.
3 A couple of cuckoo clocks
Created by Miki Yoshihara, A couple of cuckoo clocks bring the com back to the rom. It’s also available on Crunchyroll, so Stepmother fans don’t have to go far to find him. The premise isn’t identical, but quite similar with its love story marred by domestic drama. Nagi Umino, 17, is shocked to learn that his parents are not his biological parents and goes in search of his blood relatives. Once he learns their whereabouts, he comes across famous internet celebrity Erika Amano, who is trying to escape an arranged marriage.
Unfortunately for both of them, this arranged marriage is with Nagi. Erika’s parents are Nagi’s biological parents, and Nagi’s parents are Erika’s biological parents. They swapped the two at birth to marry them off when they came of age, and they put the two into shared accommodation shortly after they met. That would be bad enough, but Nagi has another woman he’s interested in, and there are other girls at his school with similar feelings towards him.
2 marmalade boy
marmalade boy is quite old now. It originally started as a shojo manga by Wataru Yoshimizu in 1992 and then it got an anime in 1994. However, Yoshimizu developed a sequel to his series in the 2010s with Marmalade Boy Littleand it won a live action movie in 2018. Also, its premise is very similar to that of Stepmother.
A young girl, Miki Koishikawa, sees her life turned upside down when her parents announce that they are going to divorce and that they will exchange partners with a couple met in Hawaii. She meets this couple, and their son Yuu, who acts like a jerk. Nonetheless, the two accept their new family arrangement and gradually warm up. Things only get more complicated from there, as old crushes from the past return, friends become enemies, then friends again, and Miki and Yuu’s feelings are tested again and again.
1 Domestic Girlfriend
Whether marmalade boy is too light or hard to find, Kei Sasuga’s Domestic Girlfriend could be more in the fan aisles. The show can also be found on Crunchyroll, and its plot follows the same lines as marmalade boy and Stepmother. Only he is generally considered to be more grounded and mature, and not just in tone. It gets a bit racy.
Natsuo Fuji is in love with his teacher, Hina, but he has no way to express it. Frustrated, he goes to a mixer and meets a curious young woman named Rui. She sneaks him home and invites him to spend the night with her. Since he feels he will never reach that point with Hina, he accepts her offer. Then, Natsuo’s single father, Akihito, announces that he is going to marry a woman named Tokiko. She happens to be Hina and Rui’s mother. So, now Natsuo has to live with his first love and his first time.
My stepmom’s daughter is my ex is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
More: Most Underrated Romantic Anime