- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Comedy, Romance, School, Shounen
- Airing Date : Jul 4, 2017 to Sep 19, 2017
- Studios : Studio Gokumi
Tsurezure Children Introduction and Story (Spoilers)
Based on a four-panel web manga written and illustrated by Toshiya Wakabayashi, Tsurezure Children is all about young love. Taking place mostly in a high school setting, each episode follows two students as they either try to form, progress or even end a relationship. Although, the former two are given the most time and attention. This quirky romantic comedy is all about these couples, with no filler or side-stories.
With a huge cast of over 20 characters, an episode is divided into an array of sketches. Despite taking place in mostly the same location, these stories are not interconnected and the cast rarely ever mix. Continuity comes in the relationships themselves, as over the course of the season, we witness the natural progression of around 10 couples. While most segments end with a punch-line, Tsurezure Children takes the concept of puppy love rather seriously and most of the situations play out in a genuinely realistic manner. Pretty much all the characters are infatuated, therefore their main motivation is to understand their own feelings and get closer to their person of interest.
What we liked about Tsurezure Children
Tsurezure Children’s strength lies in its honesty and lack of over-the-top theatrics. Yes, the characters do tend to get emotional or panic over the slightest thing, but it is handled in a way that feels authentic to the situation. At no point does a girl punch a guy to the moon just because he accidentally saw her panties. As romantic comedies do not always focus on the main relationship, preferring to throw in dozens of side-stories to stretch out the run-time, we appreciated the anime’s willingness to get to the point. This is a romantic comedy in its purest form.
The cast consists of colorful and easily distinguishable characters, all dealing with their issues in their own way. As the individual stories tend to follow a similar pattern, Tsurezure Children ran the risk of getting bogged down by too much repetition. Thankfully, each relationship stands as a unique entity and delivers something special. For example, Haruhiko Takase and Chizuru Takano spend most of the season staring at each other while refusing to make a move due to believing they are not good enough. On the other hand, Yuki Minagawa straight out confesses to Jun Furuya, but her unpredictable personality forces Jun to question whether she is being serious.
At only ten minutes per episode, Tsurezure Children is a quick sit. For some other shows, we might complain about wanting more, but this faster pacing greatly helps the series. As there are no side-stories, it feels like an episode has been edited down to half the length after removing all the unnecessary scenes. This narrative choice makes sense, as when someone is in love, their whole existence tends to be dictated by that desire. We might only see these characters interacting with their significant other, or occasionally their best friend, but it reflects their current mental state.
After sitting through Tsurezure Children, we can confirm this is a faithful and solid adaptation of the original four-panel manga. Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen, and only a select few do it well. How often does an anime come around which has a great cast and a solid sense of humor but the main relationship ends up dragging it down? Too many shows start almost as a slice of life anime before haphazardly shifting into a full-blown romance during the last handful of episodes. As Tsurezure Children consists of nearly a dozen couples, most people will find themselves invested in at least some of them.
If you are not a fan of awkward humor, Tsurezure Children might not be an ideal recommendation. Most segments end with a misunderstanding, one of the characters missing an opportunity to confess, or a return to the status quo. Although the anime can get a bit predictable, the punchline is never embarrassing just for the sake of it, preferring to remain grounded. Seeing Takeru Gōda struggling to understand his girlfriend, or a mother interrupt her son as he tries to get it on with his partner, is uncomfortable because the situation is taken seriously.
Studio Gokumi put in the time and money required to create one of the standout anime of the season. With no action sequences or even all that much movement, the animation quality rests on the design of the characters, which is stunning. With such a huge cast and maybe four minutes for each individual segment, the teenagers must be instantly recognizable to avoid any confusion. While this could have been accomplished superficially by throwing in a few outlandish hairstyles, the studio managed to give everyone their own identifiable appearance without going to extremes.
Who does not want to relive their high-school years? Actually, thinking back, it might be best to leave those days in the past. If nothing else, Tsurezure Children provides an opportunity to reminisce about the good old days from the safety of our living rooms. For those known to enjoy romantic comedies, this two-hour series is well worth your time and attention.
1. Shin’ichi Katori
Nearly every named character is involved in a relationship. The only exception is Shin’ichi Katori, a third-year student who is the self-appointed Dating Master. One of the funniest characters in the entire anime season, he occasionally appears out of nowhere to provide some sage advice before vanishing. Despite his flamboyant nature, Katori is somewhat of an idiot and gives nothing but terrible advice. And we love him for it, as he provides a respite from the teenage drama.
2. No Cheap Laughs
Seeing the premise of Tsurezure Children, one might expect a fair amount of slapstick and violence-based humor. Thankfully, these are teenagers are capable of dealing with a situation without hitting whoever is in front of them. Although there is a decent amount of comedy, the stories are never actively looking for a joke. They progress naturally, with laughs arising from the way the couple tries to get closer to one another.
3. Character Development
Twelve episodes lasting around ten minutes each, the audience does not get to spend all that much time with these characters. Some couples barely get five minutes of screen time, while the most popular ones receive maybe 20 minutes throughout the series. Yet, it is amazing how much character development is stuffed into Tsurezure Children. The stories mostly take place over the course of a semester, and that passage of time is reflected in the behavior of the students.
Tsurezure Children removed some of the more annoying aspects of the genre, but it is still a romantic comedy and will not be for everyone. There is a lack of variety in the structure of each segment, which might be pretty boring for someone who does not really enjoy this type of anime. We still believe it is worth trying, but if the first two episodes do not hook you in, it might be best to move on.
Everyone is going to have their own favorite couple or student, but there is no guarantee they will appear in an episode. For example, Satsuki Sasahara has a few sketches in the first three episodes before seemingly dropping off the face of the Earth. On the flip side, there are a few couples that feature in nearly every episode, which could make for a frustrating sit if someone happens not to like them.
1. Takeru Gōda and Ayaka Kamine
If forced to select one central couple, it would have to be these two. The first to form a relationship, and playing a significant part in most episodes, Takeru Gōda and Ayaka Kamine are rather dull compared to some of the others. They are likable and we enjoy seeing them together, but their segments nearly always revolve around an unwillingness to talk to each other directly. Although Kamine’s attempts to get Gōda’s attention are adorable, their scenes failed to ever really surprise us.
2. Not Ideal For A Binge Watch
Tsurezure Children is not the best recommendation for a binge watch, despite the short run time. The repetitive nature of the stories, with a heavy focus on angst and drama, can weigh on a viewer. Unlike other sketch shows, the variety is totally dependent on the cast rather than the plot. Eventually, watching two teenagers trying and failing to express how they feel, can get tiring.
Tsurezure Children is an intelligent and worthwhile addition to the romantic comedy genre. Touching, and often laugh-out-loud funny, the short episodes capture what it means to be in love for the very first time. There is pretty much no fan-service, so this is an anime the whole family can watch. It is unlikely to convert someone who hates this type of series, but it is unique enough to warrant a glance.
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