Love has never really been a concern for Mitsuyoshi Tada, and as the aspiring photographer enters his second year of high school, it truthfully couldn't be further from his mind. However, things just might change after he meets a bright and bubbly foreigner named Teresa Wagner while he was taking pictures of a cherry blossom tree. Nevertheless, after she asks him to photograph her, the two soon separate... only to meet each other again twice more that same day! Finding Teresa just as she is caught in a sudden downpour, Tada invites her to his family's coffee shop to dry off. There, she explains that she was separated from her traveling companion, a no-nonsense redhead named Alexandra ''Alec'' Magritte. When Alec reunites with Teresa shortly after, they say their goodbyes, expecting to part ways for good—but the two unexpectedly show up as transfer students in his class the next day.
Teresa and Alec quickly get used to their lives at Koinohoshi High School and decide to join Tada in the photography club, along with his narcissistic friend Kaoru Ijuuin, the idol-obsessed Hajime Sugimoto, serious class rep Hinako Hasegawa, and the dog-like Kentarou Yamashita. With these two peculiar additions to his equally eccentric group of friends, Tada's second year of high school is about to get even livelier, and he might need to start rethinking his approach to love.
There's always that one show you find that starts off excellently and you expect it to go to greater lengths and remain consistent if not become better but then that does not happen every time, partly because a show doesn't bring any originality with it and partly because it doesn't strive to make things even a little unpredictable, that is the case with Tada-kun Never Falls in Love.
Right around the first and second episodes I felt it was amazing since it started off so well, showing a bright artstyle not unlike Doga Kobo’s other more popular (and obviously better) anime, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. The characters
felt cheerful and the whole anime gave you a cheerful vibe, now this vibe was obviously continued in the rest of the anime but the differing point is that it was cliched to the extreme. Don't get me wrong, cliches aren't bad, but they have to be handled properly to make the show watchable and not lazily copy over cliches and skin them with your colour and post it as your anime, this is unfortunately what Tada-kun continued to do and it certainly was heartbreaking for me to see that the show I loved in episode one became a cliche machine by the 5th episode (and I'm talking about myself here, others may have started seeing effects way earlier than me).
Being a Slice of Life meant that a concrete plot wasn't exactly on the list of priorities for any anime studio for that matter, so it comes by no surprise that this show as well didn't have one, and since this is very normal and common with most Slice of Life shows in general, I'll make this the one step I'll forgive. But what comes is the rest. One problem only, cliches. Each episode was filled to the brim with cliches, be it a situation, a backstory (not Tada’s), the characters, and unfortunately, the romance.
A cliched romance isn't exactly something I'll throw over to the Lions for, but when it's not even trying to add a dash of originality things start to get messy. I mostly went “Oh so in the next episode preview this is going to happen? Then this cliche will be followed” and it killed my enjoyment in the anime as compared to the first episode. And this isn't a hot springs episode thing, sudden bumps, blushes at the same words, a situation being ruined by the characters’ actions, are all examples of cliches that the show followed (forgive me for being vague, as of the time of writing I've been watching a lot of anime this season so my memory is slightly hazy). “Why is this guy focusing so much on the cliches?” you might be asking. To me, cliches were the one biggest problem the show had, if this was fixed, I doubt the show would disappoint me, but then again, improving cliches is very much easier said than done. And fixing them is important because to keep a Slice of Life fun, especially a romance, you need fresh ideas, Tada had none of that.
Tada-kun’s characters weren't the most unique of ones but I'll have to give credit, they were cheerful but their personalities were once again riddled by the C word (pretty sure you're as tired of reading it as I am writing it, but then again, this was the biggest problem of the show anyway). Although fans were gleefully picking out the ships right from the first episode going “Alec x Ijuuin” and the like it kinda felt a bit boring. I mean, not trying to act nitpicky but a little bit of a surprise is always welcome in a romance isn't it? “No” according to this anime. Although not having a surprise isn't 100% bad per se but yet again, Tada-kun didn't try to make it work. At best this can remind me that the show felt lazy. Doga Kobo tried to make something fun but a little different but didn't want to make the effort for it and got itself trapped within its own plans. Apart from the cat, every single romance in the show was horribly implemented. Tada X Teresa has got to be one of the most irritating romances I've ever seen because both of them acted so stupidly and their shyness for normal things like talking to each other (especially when they first met) has got to be a pathetic way to go about the “falling in love” step of romances. I mean, I despise the “love at first sight” view and Tada didn't help make it better at all. Pin-head and Representative-san’s romance as well wasn't explored and was left shallow. But then again it in itself was shallow from the start. Him not knowing that his childhood friend is the idol he idolises so much? Could you be any more cliche? Before you answer that, Tada already did. Yamashita Dog and Tada’s sister as well were just a one blush game as well. Coming back to Tada, his “romance” with Teresa was random, pretty much non-existent except for the last 3 episodes maybe if you don't count stupid “Oh I saw you look at me and I don't know what to say” crap as “love”... I'm not saying shy romances are bad, but Tada and Teresa made them look pathetic with their random shyness. Sometimes they're super shy and the other second they're pretty much flirting?
People went memeing around saying that the cats had the best romance but funnily enough that turned out to be very much true, until *that* happened. On the other hand the other romances felt average and not out of the box. At many times I found myself predicting what the next situation could be for the characters and when and how the blushes would happen. Perhaps the one romance I could like was of Ijuuin and our secretary Tsundere, Alec (since it is of a cliche I could say I don't have a problem with). The rest meanwhile, were… average like I said. It seemed as if the writers wanted to do something different, they wanted to try to make the show enjoyable in episode one, but the sad contrast in the later episode showed that they were the teenager who after getting bad grades thinks “I'm going to work hard from tomorrow onwards” and right the next day get caught in their usual routine, without any thought or apology for not doing what they promised themselves they'd do.
Now, this show isn't filth, far from it, it's not FranXX, but it's average, it's mediocre. Why? It doesn't ruin everything and burn everything to the ground. It is still an anime you could watch in small increments (perhaps once a week to you binge watchers who are going to watch the show after it airs). It's still an anime that can leave most with a normal face, since it's charm is still present, only drastically reduced from what it could have been, perhaps a mere shadow of itself. Is Tada-kun the show I like to call “wasted potential”? Definitely. Although it didn't go it's own way it didn't veer off into the abyss either, therefore putting it in the middle. What wasn't in the middle would be the artstyle, which I've iterated thrice here was cheerful, bright and very much like Doga Kobo. Apart from reminding me about Gekkan Shoujo, it made it's characters look cute and attractive. Be it Hinako, Teresa or Tada-kun himself, everyone looked cute, and that's not to say about the colourful backgrounds and eye-catching scenery either, those were fabulous and my favourite part about the anime. But then again, cute characters and a great artstyle don't make for a good romance.
Now something that was almost decent was the voice acting. Although it felt bad in terms of the female voice actors the male actors made up for it. I can forgive the female voice acting only on the grounds that Alec and Teresa’s voice actors aren't as experienced in the field as the males were (but I must admit, Teresa’s high pitched voice was VERY IRRITATING) and to be honest, apart from these two, on the male side I found Ijuuin a bit irritating with his voice, I was absolutely shocked to discover that Miyano Mamoru voiced him as a result. But in the end it boils down to how much you enjoyed the show. I for one don't hate the show (NANI), it's just that I felt let down because again, I wanted the show to continue the direction it had in episode one, if it did, it would be an 8 today or maybe even a 9. But not everything goes your way.
There's always that one show that clearly shows the idea the writers had in mind in the beginning but lazy writing can turn the best of starts into an average okay-ish show AT BEST, and it's sad to say but, Tada-kun stays as an example of that. I do hope that we see some improvement in Doga Kobo’s next show, but as of now, I doubt a sequel to this show could carve out something better like Nozaki-kun, although I'd love to be proven wrong. Amaze me Doga Kobo.
Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai is definitely one of those. At first glance unoriginal, generic romantic comedy with nothing memorable about it. However, idea and execution are two different terms. And, in case of Tada-kun, it counts twice as much.
I can imagine that looking at Tada-kun's anime page doesn't strike interest in many people, and respectably so. Nothing about its story, characters or even stylization seem particulalry original. And that feeling doesn't change even at the end of the show, especially story-wise.
The story is what you would possibly expect a rom/com to be. A random meeting that
starts off everything, transfer students, school club, trips, little sister, side-kick comedy friend, weird drama, multiple couples, cat. Tada-kun's story is really full of clichés, overused plot elements and weird dramatic moments. However, although it has a lot of flaws, it's also needful to say that everything works kinda well together. In other words, even if I have to criticize Tada-kun's story for its genericity, It's not true that it is necessarily a bad story by itself, at least at the beginning. Events, characters are part of, collaborate with each other. Plot-continuity is also done better than in most rom/coms and the order in which certain events happen doesn't feel randomly put together but follows up development of character relations. However, what I have to say that while the story tries to become more serious as the time goes on, everything worked better when it was more light-themed, hence the first half of the show remains the best one, and things fall off a bit after that.
Characters themselves are an area in which Tada-kun surprised me the most. Especially when it comes to the main couple. Tada, our main hero, is one of the better romance characters I've had the pleasure of seeing. That is not to say that he's special, super-complex or incredibly interesting to watch. No, what makes him so good is because he's realistic and believable. Frankly, there has probably never been a main character I could so strongly relate to. He is not laughing very much and doesn't look the happiest, yet he is not doing because he just "wants to look cool" (which is the case especially in most of shoujo romances), that is literally what his inner expressions are. He's obsessed his photographing, doesn't talk all that much, doesn't want to do things he finds embarrassing and regrets his past mistakes like all people do. I don't even think he lacks common sense or anything of the sorts. I know it sounds really crazy, but believe me, romance protagonists can have a personality! (even if it's a pretty boring personality technically speaking) Overall, he is a good character. Not flashy, not loud, not perfect. Just pure and believable.
Then there is, of course, Teresa, the main heroine of the story. Her case is slightly different than Tada is. She's more active, very sweet and sometimes a little weird. What I love is how well she matches up Tada in their duo. While he is the thoughtful, quieter one, she's the one who often invites him to do stuff and her activity starts to reflect on him as the series goes along. She also understands her position in their world very well, as in one moment she decides to abandon her feeling because they seriously have no chance of becoming true and they would only make her feel worse. Her and Tada's relationship growth was also done in a respectful manner. While it was clear that the fire between them got lit in their first meeting, the show does a good job at developing and justifying their emotions with romantic moments spread throughout. And it is very clear that they fall for each other more and more and the show goes on.
Some of the other characters are also worth talking about. As first, we have Ijuuin. He seems like the classic case of the side-kick friends which only purpose is making gags. Which is not only partially false, because he has a position in the story and his own romantic interest, but also doesn't even matter much, because his comedy actually works. I never even liked this type of heavy gag characters, yet his jokes are just spot on a lot of the time. I seriously didn't imagine that I would laugh so much during every episode, but Ijuuin made it that way. And I love him because of that. There is also Alec, Teresa's transfer mate, and subordinate. Hinako and Hajime, who sadly never got to solve the relationship between them presented in the first episodes. And Charles, probably the nicest guy ever.
There is really a lot to talk about all of them because Tada-kun is a heavily character driven show. One could say that some of them are just following certain personality archetypes, which I don't think is even true. An example; while Alec could be considered a bit of a Tsundere when interacting with a certain character, she acts completely different in front of someone else. That in itself means there is more to her than just one-way personality and that she isn't just blindly following the possibilities her "archetype" allows her to. Same could be said about all the other characters, which to me justifies that they are more than just dummies without a brain.
I think it's pretty certain at this point that I really enjoyed watching Tada-kun. Yes, it could be considered generic, it could be considered unoriginal. Yet, the execution the anime comes with is good and I generally decided to not really care. Just to clarify, it's true that it becomes slightly messier as time goes on and the first episodes are ultimately the best show has, on the other hand, I wouldn't consider the latter half to be as bad as people make. Mainly because while the story overall stagnates, the very good characters are able to carry the show by themselves.
Art was decent. Character designs don't look particularly memorable, yet they're at least nice to look at. The same can be said about the background and the animation itself. Everything is good, just forgettable. They maybe could've played around with the color palette a bit more. The sound was good. I think the voice actors, in particular, did a really good job and especially Ijuuin's was just seriously hilarious. OST did have some nice tracks though once again didn't come off as particularly interesting by itself.
Second best comedy of the year after last season's Yuru Camp and an anime of the season for me in terms of expectation/result equation. Considering it's generic setup and decent, but not impressive, production values, Tada-kun really is as good of an anime as it could've been. And even if that probably doesn't mean much in the long run, it's enough for me to appreciate it now.
Tada Never Falls in Love is like a colorful bouquet of plastic flowers. From a distance, you might mistake it for the real thing. But upon closer inspection, you’ll find it's merely a lifeless imitation. Factory produced from the most generic mold, identical to its fellow flowers rolling off the conveyor belt alongside it.
Undeniably crafted with talent, Tadakoi offers refined background art and detailed character animation in place of quality writing. While the show had potential to be good with its solid audiovisuals, they are entirely wasted on generic characters and a poorly written story.
The story follows the titular Mitsuyoshi Tada, an uncharismatic
photographer who’s tough past has prevented him from ever knowing love. Through a chance encounter, he meets an enthusiastic foreigner, Teresa. She acts overly excited, running around trying to hop fences and expressing a crazy amount of interest in a Samurai TV series, which seems to have given her some wrong impressions about Japan. All of it is played to comedic effect, it’s fun and lighthearted enough in spite of being unrealistic, with her voice actress' upbeat performance to sell her personality well.
Then, through another chance encounter, she ends up being stuck in the rain protecting a stray cat and getting splashed from all directions by water like the universe is punishing her for being nice. But to her rescue comes the lethargic Tada with an umbrella and an invitation to go to his family-owned cafe. Teresa compares what she believes is Tada’s heroism to the samurai she idolizes in her favorite show, and that’s how she falls in love. The cafe itself is lushly ornamented and has warm lighting to contrast the gray rainstorm, a cozy atmosphere for sure. She meets his family, has a meal, changes into dry clothes, thanks Tada, then heads home to the house she just moved into… which happens to be right next door.
Tada and Teresa’s relationship feels contrived and hard to believe from the moment they first meet. An unbelievable amount of plot conveniences bring them together, it feels less like their relationship develops organically and more a writer forces them together. The show attempts to play off the cliched intro as a joke, but it’s still lazy writing no matter how much you laugh about it. Aside from these contrivances, they leads don’t have much chemistry with one another for the vast majority of the show.
Often times it feels as though Tada’s writing bends over backward in order to Fall in Love; his character and the relationship he has with Teresa never feel believable enough to be the foundation for the series. He’s unrealistically oblivious to Teresa’s pining over him, that is until the plot decides it’s the right time for them to finally acknowledge their feelings. It’s contrived for the sake of creating a compelling resolution, but in doing so it makes Tada difficult to look at as anything but a plot device for most of the show. There is no analysis of his personality that wouldn’t lead to frustration, obliviousness for the sake of stalling the story is lazy writing and does not make good characters. Occasionally the show lampshades his emotional unawareness with the fact that his parents were killed in a car crash when he was younger, but we never see him from a personal enough perspective to understand why he became closed off or to what degree it affects him in the present. Why does it feel like these days more and more anime mistake emotionally-damaged characters for brain-damaged ones?
In one of the show’s best and funniest episodes, narrated by Tada’s cat Nyanko Big (a far more interesting character), the two protagonists share a sensitive moment that seemed on the surface like something out of a much better series. However, this is Tada-kun we’re dealing with so there's practically no introspection; when Teresa catches Nyanko Big from a tree and falls back onto Tada only for him to catch her, it's an excellent timed moment of silence between the two yet it has almost no impact. While that moment showcases the very understated burgeoning love Teresa has for Tada, it never feels like a mutual romance. When they make eye contact in a seemingly mutually tender moment there is no sign anything is on Tada’s mind. He’s totally vacant. There’s never a hint he might be in love outside of these moments where he might blush a little and only to return to normal moments later, unphased. Any potential for development is squashed, there is no satisfying growth for him. When the ending inevitably has to wrap up the story in a ‘satisfying’ way, his character arc takes a jarringly rapid change to compensate for the missing development. Leaving both him and the finale feeling underserved and artificial.
At least Teresa’s feelings for Tada feel somewhat genuine. Lasting effects of their understated flirtations are seen in Teresa throughout the show. Her feelings develop more and more until she has to face them in a somewhat compelling resolution. Sadly, any potentially remarkable scenes that Teresa has get entirely snuffed out by Tada’s dull idiocy, but they’re also somewhat helped by the interesting visual language. Through subtle visual storytelling techniques we learn that she’s pining for him from the start; over the course of the show we see brief moments of her lost in thought looking at him with starry eyes. It’s not one-dimensional drama like Tada’s; she gets enough scenes describing her life situation for us to know that she is constantly considering the arranged marriage she’s in and how it ensures that she could never have a relationship with Tada. Her dilemma is miles more compelling than anything else the series offers emotionally, but that’s thanks to the strong directing rather than the writing.
Plenty of care has been put into the visuals. There’s no shortage of small but purposeful details added to the settings the cast inhabit; homes lined with photos of memories from previous episodes or ones that refer to their backstories. Is it enough to outweigh the mediocre characterization? No, not by a long shot, but at least it’s something to keep you engaged with it and tells you that the director cared about their craft. Where the visuals are more effective is the comedy. With the director of Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun, it’s clear to see why the comedy here is so strong; jokes are well timed and there’s so much character animation to telegraph a joke and convey the cast’s personalities. Of course, when jokes are derived from the bland characters they almost always fall flat.
Where the majority of my gripes come in is the side characters. This is a rom-com after all, so there is quite a few of them. None of them make up for what the protagonists lack, a few even bring the whole show down. Most of them are incredibly generic one-note cardboard cutouts, the ones that do receive development are somehow made even worse with insufferable episodes dedicated to telling us the boring story of characters that I can’t imagine anyone would care about. There’s Teresa’s friend/servant who traveled with her to Japan, Alec. Her whole character is just the tough girl who is overprotective of Teresa because a few shallow reasons told to us through a backstory. She often beats up the clown of the group, generic clown kid who’s name I literally can’t remember. His only purpose was comic relief, and his animation was the most detailed of the group to showcase his comedic personality, but in truth, everything about him felt so cringy with an overdone voice performance to add even more annoyance.
There are a few others who hang around the group like Tada’s sister and occasionally the prince engaged to Teresa. I somewhat appreciated how Teresa’s suitor wasn’t portrayed as an evil threat like many tropey arranged marriage stories do, but instead as a nice guy who respects her wishes. However, his passivity also leads him to have no impact in the story. He’s surprisingly forgettable for one of the more unusual archetypes, but the show wastes all of his on-screen presence, leaving him a bland cipher like the rest of the recurring cast.
Hajime, or more commonly known as Pin-senpai is undoubtedly the worst part of the show by a wide margin. Introduced by him creepily ogling the female cast to ascertain their breast sizes, defusing the saccharine factor this series was going for whenever he appears on-screen. He’s constantly yelling, so much yelling with such an irritating voice. He is never content with just fading into the background while on-screen with everyone else, he has to scream as loudly as possible whenever he speaks. Having an obnoxious character like Pin is fine for a comedy series of this type; but what he screams about, no, what his whole character is about, is so pointless and weird, sometimes downright creepy. He adores a model, Hina, to an absurd degree because he loves big boobs… You can have a perverted character, that’s fine, but he is over exaggerated to an obnoxious and unbelievable degree. None of his jokes are ever funny unless its other characters making fun of him; like how they used Hina merchandise to trick him into losing their photography club game.
Pin’s character arc seemed little more than an excuse for him to seem less like an annoying walking cliche, and it fell flat. Sadly, the show gives him an entire episode meant to show he had some kind of compassion. His character had potential, with his childhood friend Hinako (notice the name??) who is so very clearly the model from the moment she’s introduced right next to the pinup poster. Throughout the show, there's plenty of hints to indicate she's in love with him, despite him not realizing the model he ogles ever day is actually his friend. Hinako looks the exact same as she does in her bikini shoots, except that she wears glasses. It's such a stupid conflict that the show lampshades the lazy writing by having Alec point out that it's obvious. This stupid conflict damages the believability of both Pin and Hinako because other than the cookie-cutter personalities they have nothing else to prove their unlikable stories aren't all there is to them.
Their relationship arc literally culminates in Hinako disappointed at how Pinhead never realized she was the model all along, but she’s happy that he at least likes her idol personality and her boobs. Wow, great themes Tadakoi. Their episode is the most boring because of how one-dimensional the situation and characters are, but also one of the most distasteful ones. I guess you could say Hinako technically had character development, she discovered her fetish for cucking herself. Amazing. But Pinhead still has no redeeming value even after we’re forced to sit through his ‘development’ episode. Screw that guy.
Barely anything happens in Tadakoi until the final few episodes, that's when it finally decides there needs to be some kind of progress made before the end. Regardless of the artificial developments made by the end, it's always predictable; right from episode one, you can guess how the story will play out. Perhaps with more interesting characters, it could have been watchable in spite of these flaws, but instead, it's just aggressively bland. No amount of lush sceneries and trained directing could save dull, lazy writing. At least the opening song is pretty good.
Tadakoi is the variety of mediocrity that will pass through the anime community with no impact, then inevitably be forgotten forever. You might get something out of it if you’re a fan of the director or if you're new to anime. Otherwise, I suggest you skip this generic fluff.
What ingredients really make up a good rom-com show these days? I’m not going to lie, I have high expectations when a creator wants to make a show with romance themes. As an original anime, Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai (Tada Never Falls in Love) seems to be a show that would entice me with its premise. Unfortunately, it dropped the ball as each episode passed on and eventually reached the point of being broken.
Original anime like this doesn’t fall into the trap of a weak adaptation. It has no material to follow after all. The story involves Mituyoshi Tada as he meets a foreigner
named Teresa Wagner during her trip to Japan. As a rom-com, you should definitely expect love to develop between the pair, right? Well, that would be the case if Tada actually understands it. To be fair, love is a complicated subject but for Tada, he treats it indifferently. There’s undeniable chemistry between the two yet the show seems to rarely make a connection between them. However, the first few episodes did draw a big curiosity out of me. Teresa brings in a lot of her own personality and interest into the show as well. The idea of a Western foreigner coming to Japan has a lot of potential. Even from the first few episodes, she shows a lot of curiosity about Japan. It’s also shown that she is an avid fan of Rainbow Shougun, a fictional TV drama with samurai themes. My impression of her from early episodes is that she is a bit airheaded but kind to just about everyone. This is a contrast to Alec Magritte, Teresa’s caretaker who seems to be intensely protective of her friend. Unlike Teresa, she is blunt and often takes aggressive moves to protect her. That doesn’t mean she is a cruel person though. Alec is mainly close to Teresa because of her past and isn’t as easy to make friends with. She often gets into oddball moments with Kaoru because of his flirtatious personality and attempts to hit on her.
You’ve probably noticed by now but the show has a small character cast. The majority of the characters you meet in the first episode are the ones you’ll get to know for rest of the season. This also includes Tada’s classmates such a Hajime Sugimoto from the Photography club and class president Hinako Hasegawa. The show does also make time to give these two a spotlight in early episodes although it’s more of a tease than anything else. To me, it’s goofy and funny although also unoriginal. The idea of a girl living a double life with a love interest being oblivious isn’t new in rom-coms. There’s not much uniqueness to either Hajime or Hinako in terms of character development. They also fall into the character archetype that you can find in any series that takes place at school. Even more questionable is a character named Kentarou Yamashita who enters the show as a comic relief. There’s a comical reason why he’s nicknamed Yamashita Dog with his behavior. The character chemistry he shares with Yui Tada (Mitsuyoshi’s sister) is pretty forgettable honestly. That’s actually a big part that holds the show back from achieving success. It feels like as each episode passes on, the characters become less and less intriguing. Teresa and Tada gets sidetracked as the show tests the viewers’ patience. I say this with an open mind because I want to love them. Even for characters like Charles de Loire, I wanted him to be more engaging in the show besides just being a guy with French nobility. His role as a fiancé to Teresa originally gave me the feeling that he may be a love rival to Tada. Unfortunately, this series doesn’t really capitalize no bringing much romantic drama. Tada is often too stoic and thinks straightforward without much emotion to bring much interest. Teresa is too energetic that contrasts with both characters’ personalities. When you mix these ingredients together, the end product isn’t appealing.
Well, you’re probably thinking if any character in the show is worth paying attention to overall. Thankfully, there is and it’s not even a human. Nyanko Big is a stray cat that Tada found and adopted a decade ago. The furball has a lot of human personality and one episode even focuses on his little cat adventure. This anime needed episodes like this to bring out a more refreshing style of storytelling. Because let’s face it, a majority of the episodes feels the same. I can’t say this without shaking my head honestly because I really expected more from the writer involved. Yoshiki Nakamura previously worked on Skip Beat and that bought out a refreshing outlook on the rom-com genre. What does Tada-kun bring out instead? It’s a half-assed generic anime story that somehow made me care just about anything else than our two main leads. By the time this show reaches near its end, you may be wondering if Tada and Teresa are even worth being the main characters. It’s almost sad to see how the cookie crumbles. I’m not going to lie. The suspenseful subplot about Alec’s love interest made me more curious than to see if Tada and Teresa will get together in the end or not.
Despite my disappointment in the storytelling, there’s a lot of good to say about the animation quality. This was expected as some of the staff previously worked on Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. In essence, the show is colorful with a sense of youth. The springtime backgrounds really brings out the setting that’s sprinkled with vibrant colors. Character designs also look elegant especially for characters like Teresa, Charles, and Alec. Even comedic moments are timed right with the body language and humorous expressions. There are also windows of moments that makes couple pairings impactful especially for the case of Teresa and Tada. While the show lacks impact on storytelling, the technical quality definitely deserves some praise. Even the photography elements got my attention with the precise shots and camera angles. Similarly, the music of the series brings an element of beauty thanks to the modern talents of Yukari Hashimoto. She also previously worked on Nozaki-kun and there’s definitely a similar feel in the music for both shows. The voice cast also did a phenomenal job at portraying their characters. Nyanko Big especially gets praise from me as a cat that is made larger than life. Even Teresa and Charles deserves some attention for their voice being filled with elegance and charm. They behave like characters of upper class in their home nation and that’s something I find believable.
With all due respect, it’s really hard for me to say that Tada-kun succeeded in the end with what it offered. The show started with a lot of promise but ultimately stabbed itself in the foot. It really felt like a test of patience for viewers that degenerated into a cheesy rom-com story. Characters like Alec and Nynako Big overshadowed them early on and it’s hard to look back. I’m not a big fan of photography and this anime is definitely not worth a thousand words.
In these opening weeks of the Spring 2018 anime season, Steins;Gate 0 starts off as the by far highest rated anime, although Megalo Box is the new heavy hitter if we look past sequels. This and more in the opening edition of The Seasonal Quarterly.