It’s spring! Although the cherry blossoms have already fallen here in Osaka, they are slowly making their way up the country. It is in front of the cherry blossoms that a quiet boy with a camera lays his eyes on a beautiful girl who has just landed in Japan. I have watched the first episode of Tada Never Falls in Love (Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai) and babbled some of my thoughts down below.
That’s…the Shogun’s secret passage!
Japanese Title: ほっとけないだろ
Mitsuyoshi Tada is taking photos of the cherry blossoms when a young foreign girl asks him to take her photo. Despite her good mood, it seems that not only is she lost, but she is in possession of none of her belongings after being separated from her partner. After continuing to bump into the girl over the course of the day, and after she gets caught in the rain without an umbrella, Tada takes her to his Grandfather’s coffee shop. Her charming and innocent personality makes her an instant hit with the patrons, including the hard-to-please boss of the place- Nyanko Big. We meet Tada’s mystery novel-loving sister Yui and Tada’s extremely hammy friend, Ijuin. The girl introduces herself as Theresa Wagner, and it isn’t long before her friend (or bodyguard) Alec bursts in, giving Ijuin a black eye in the process. The two girls are from the (fictional) European country of Larsenburg and have just landed in Japan. It is implied that Theresa is not just an ordinary foreign student… The next day in Tada and Ijuin’s class, a pair of international exchange students are introduced…
It’s rare that I go for romantic comedies, so I didn’t think I would end up choosing this series for my review. However, I was a HUGE fan of the Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun anime so I wanted to see what the team behind it had in store for Tada Never Falls in Love. While Nozaki focuses more on the comedy aspects, it seems Tada will focus more on the human relationships. The eponymous characters of each series seem very similar at first (similar appearance, voiced by Yuichi Nakamura, more interested in their work/hobby than the fairer sex), but it’s clear that Tada will develop into somebody very different to Nozaki as the series goes on. So far we have the kind-hearted yet aloof Tada, the angelic yet slightly air-headed Theresa, the tsundere Alec, and the hammiest of hammy Ijuin. Tada’s little sister also has her cute little quirks.
The character designs and colors of the series are absolutely perfect for the story and are a delight to watch. The designs are quite simple but brimming with a youthful energy that is making me feel 10 years young just by watching it.
Finally, I can’t go without mentioning the OPENING! The opening theme ‘Otomodachi Film’ is written and performed by Masayoshi Ooishi. He is a master at catchy themes. Not only did he write and perform Nozaki’s opening ‘Kimi ja na kya dame mitai’ (please search this song if you’ve never heard it before!), he also wrote the undisputed master opening theme of 2017’s Kemono Friends, ‘Welcome to Japari Park’! Although this song isn’t quite as catchy as these two examples, I still love it and will be listening to it repeatedly once it is released!
I don’t speak English.
When Theresa asks Tada to take the photograph, she uses perfectly fluent and polite Japanese, only for Tada to reply, in English, that he can’t speak English. When she asks him if her Japanese was wrong, he replies with an awkward ‘No, yes, okay’. I’m a pale-skinned, blonde-haired girl in Japan and..I get this all the time! I laughed aloud at this moment.
Just Kaoru Ijuin in General
I like characters that are over the top. However, they can be a little annoying if they go too far. Well, Ijuin speeds past the ‘too far’ mark. The ‘too far’ mark is now so far away it is just a little dot. And I love it! I instantly fell in love with Ijuin’s insanity the moment he appeared. Every little word he says is gold. The way he flew through the air was perfection. Absolutely NOBODY is capable of portraying this character other than Mamoru Miyano. Think Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club cranked up to 11.
I already made Ijuin a highlight, but I wanted to make his spectacular twist in the air after Alec’s kick a highlight all on its own.
Ginza is a slightly-upscale area in Tokyo. It seems a lot of the locations that appear in the episode are based on real places. Unfortunately, I know nothing about Ginza so I cannot give you any tips on where to find these places, but I’m looking forward to learning more about the area. The area that Theresa and Tada met was the Sakurada-mon at Edo Castle, one of the most famous castles in Japan.
Theresa is strangely obsessed with a fictional TV programme called Rainbow Shogun. This is actually the parody of a real-life Japanese period drama called Abarenbo Shogun. They have simply taken off the ‘Aba’ to make the title in ‘Rainbow’. Clever! The series was a hot topic not so long ago as there was a sudden increase in younger viewers who would watch the re-runs after the late-night anime had finished. If you want to get a feel of the show, just try searching 暴れん坊将軍 on YouTube!
Theresa says that she learned Japanese through the above TV programme, so she sometimes has the tendency to use archaic language, although not to a ridiculous extent. When she is apologizing, she often uses the word ‘Katajikenai’, which is certainly not a part of the everyday Japanese language. I did not count the times she said it in Episode 1, but I’m sure it was heading into the double-digits.
Always make your heart rainbow!
The first episode has definitely piqued my interest. The bright and bubbly character designs and charming characters are quite delightful. I’m worried there will be times in this series where my interest dwindles, and that is where the comedy is going to be really important. This series isn’t a gag comedy so the jokes are more subtle, but they have landed so far! I may be swayed by the comedy the most as I’ve never been that interested in romantic developments between high school students [laugh]. Although I’m worried the series will become easy to read, it definitely doesn’t seem like it will be a chore to watch it each week. I’m looking forward to the introduction of the rest of main characters very soon. Ciao!