School is back in session for some of us in the States, and I am no exception! Getting back to the grind, it’s time to shake off those Summer blues and get ready to hit the books, do the research, and work out all those practice exercises!
But before you dive in head-first into your school year, take some time to
S L O W D O W N ! ! !
and read this review, because Tanaka here’s got different plans! While other school comedies with shōnen protagonists’ names in the title are all about the over-the-top funnies, plenty of coolness and hot romances, Tanaka-kun is about to mellow them out like no other protagonist would.
Why? Because unlike every other protagonist whose presence brings color to everyone’s life, Tanaka-kun will bring gloom and doom to yours if there’s too much attention drawn toward him!
What makes a good, healthy relationship? Common interests. Financial stability. Spending time together. Trust in your partner. Emotional support. Affirming affection.
These are things that we know work, because that’s how couples normally would have kindled their relationships. But these are pieces of advice given by those who have had plenty of experience with relationships, romantic or otherwise. But for the young, it can be difficult to understand how these work, frankly because they’ve never tried. Or at least… I’ve never tried.
I adore this anime original, regardless of how overly sappy it is. But as you have probably guessed by the header of this post, I don’t have one opinion on this series; I have two. If you would like to read my first opinion that’s more performative and less analytical, click here. Choose to believe whichever one you like better, but I think there’s value in both of them.
Okay, enough tooting my own horn, let’s break it down!
A couple of reviews back, I briefly took a stab at criticizing a fatal flaw in utilitarianism, that having the illusion of happiness can be just as dangerous as letting one suffer from the pains of the truth. I still believe this to be true, but I neglected to offer an alternative that defends why happiness is something that we should value. Given the many animes that I’ve already reviewed that are made primarily to bring joy to their audience, one more case probably wouldn’t hurt. What makes this sitcom different from some of the others that I’ve reviewed, however, is that happiness is more than just something it imparts on us. Rather, happiness is at the heart of why this series matters in the first place! (That and come on, it’s in the title!)
And if you’re thinking that I’m going to somehow over-complicate a comedy anime that wasn’t meant to make sense with theoretical mumbo jumbo, well you’d be half right, but you would also miss out on all the fun things I love about this series that no analysis can capture to such humorous detail! That, and I need to subject you all to the “Timothy Rap” because catchy music is catchy!
Before I get into this review, I’m going to try something different. I would like you to think back to your first love. As early as you possibly can. What did you do? What did it feel like? And when did you become aware that this was your first act of being “in love?”
For me, I was in second grade. There was this girl in my class that I thought was super cute. She transferred into my elementary school mid-year, so I was probably blinded by that mystique of being part of the out group, granted I didn’t know what that was when I was 8 years old!
You probably would have called this situation an “infatuation,” and that may very well have been the case. However, in the years since that one event, I still cherished my friendship with this girl, getting the chance to talk with her after school, as we both waited for our parents to come pick us up. I don’t think it ever crossed her mind that we were anything more than friends, and I’ve learned — on several occasions since then — that that was okay. But those few moments where we got to talk to each other alone, without any interruption from my peers, were all I needed to satisfy what I would learn would be my asexuality.
What I have described above is another example of the love between this romantic comedy’s leading couple: Momokuri.
Seeing that I’ve mentioned this animated series several times on my blog in the past, it seems inevitable that I would get around to reviewing it! After rewatching the series in almost 2 years and picking up the latest manga volumes for it in English (of which there are currently 3 available via Kodansha USA), it’s time I immersed myself yet again into this realm of a slice of life anime.