We are getting closer and closer to the end of Tada Never Falls In Love and… the title is a lie! Our boy is definitely in love, and the way this episode portrayed Mitsuyoshi’s realization of his feelings was absolutely beautiful. I was NOT expecting this anime to make me feel emotional, but the scene where Mitsuyoshi runs home actually brought a few tears to my eyes.
We also got to hear the new voice of Pin-sempai. As we know, Yuichiro Umehara has halted his activities while he is undergoing hospitalization, and veteran voice actor Tomokazu Sugita has graciously stepped up to plate. Although it’s a little strange at first, I’m happy Pin-sempai is his usual pervy self, even if his voice has changed.
Let’s get to the episode.
Japanese title: 特には何も
Teresa and Alec have suddenly returned to their country without warning. Mitsuyoshi is obviously quite affected. He pauses when he sees Teresa’s mug. He makes the wrong sandwich. He doesn’t update the Nyanko Big blog. He doesn’t take as much interest in photography. He is very slowly not becoming himself, and he doesn’t even realize it.
Although the rest of the photography club, especially Kaoru, is quite distraught, there is nothing that they can do. They have no way of contacting their Lasenburg friends and as more months pass, they just have to get on with their lives. (I’ve seen some viewers asking where they don’t just email Alec and Teresa or push and find out why they left. Geez, people, it doesn’t work like that. There is clearly a reason they have left, and if you’re flying TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD it’s very easy to cut all contact. The photography club is upset, but they are respectful of the girls. We have to keep watching to find out why they left without contact.)
In class, they learn about constitutional monarchies of Europe, but our friends don’t notice the significance. Kaoru has always has picked up on Mitsuyoshi’s feelings, and tries to distract him by bringing up the Christmas Feast he will be giving everyone.
At the cafe, the sweet old couple comes for some coffee for the first time in 3 months. It turns out the husband was on the brink of death but thankfully recovered. The husband uses this opportunity to tell his wife how grateful he is for her being there all these years. It’s quite a moving scene.
Mitsuyoshi, after some moping alone, decides to go and visit the Startree, where the Rainbow Shogun exhibition was held. He swallows his fear and even visits the observation platform. When a blonde and redhead walk past, he seems to hope that they are Alec and Teresa, but he ends up disappointed.
Back at school, the photography club is clearing out the clubroom as the year is coming to an end. Among their possessions is a spare memory card, so the club decided to take a look. It’s Teresa’s. At first, the rocks bring some cheer to the group, but as the video plays, everything gets a little too much for Mitsuyoshi. For the first time, he does something extremely emotional…he runs away. With Mitsuyoshi’s version of ‘Love Song’ playing in the background, we get what I feel is one of the most emotional scenes in the anime so far. Mitsuyoshi is dealing with a lot of complicated feelings, and he’s realizing just how much Teresa meant to him. Kaoru comes to check on his best friend and lets him know that his photograph of Teresa has won an award. It’s here that Mitsuyoshi says something very significant. He was angry. He reflects on his selfishness and, most importantly, he admits that he wants to see her again. Tadapa arrives and tells Mitsuyoshi that if he wants to meet her, he needs to go after her. And thus, Mitsuyoshi confronts his fear of flying to head to Larsenburg (or Lalensembourg lol), with a very concerned stalker named Kaoru Ijuin in tow.
The song that was playing in the background as Mitsuyoshi ran home was the Mitsuyoshi (VA: Yuichi Nakamura) version of ‘Love Song’. This song is originally by the popular Japanese group Sambomaster. It’s an amazing song, and gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. The ending theme of Tadakoi is a cover version by Teresa, and it’s very cute. The song has been rearranged by Masayoshi Oishi (who wrote and performed the anime’s opening theme ‘Tomodachi Film’) and you can clearly hear Oishi’s harmonies in the background. However, the Mitsuyoshi version doesn’t have Oishi’s vocals. It’s all Mitsuyoshi- representing that this anime is all about Mitsuyoshi’s feelings. The lyrics are a true representation of what he feels. ‘I thought these days would go on forever’. ‘I didn’t understand anything when I saw your beauty that day’. ‘I want to meet you, no matter what you are’. In fact, some of the things he says to Kaoru may as well have been lifted directly from the later verses of the song ‘One time. Even if it’s just one time, I want to see her again’.Another reason that this song is so important to Mitsuyoshi is his feelings towards his parents. The original song is likely meant to be a song to somebody who has passed away. (‘Why were you taken away by this person called God?’) and it tells us that the singer did not realise just how wonderful the victim was until it was too late. Mitsuyoshi lost his parents so suddenly, and many of lines in the songs can definitely describe his feelings of loss and regret.
I feel like if you miss out on the song and the importance of the lyrics, you are missing out on the whole point of this episode. Please watch the scene again while listening to the lyrics (hopefully the subs had a translation of the song onscreen, otherwise search for Sambomaster’s ‘Love Song’ and hopefully you can find the lyrics). It will hopefully allow you to see this scene in a different way.
The passage of time
One thing I really think has been done well here is the passage of time. Many months pass in this episode, and almost all the focus is on Mitsuyoshi. As the other members of the photography club start to move on (of course they do not forget their foreign friends), Mitsuyoshi’s feelings are just becoming more complicated. The very fact that he is coming to realize his feelings after such a long time shows just how genuine they are. For a teenager experiencing his first taste of romance, it’s likely that they would just get over it in a few weeks. Not Mitsuyoshi. He has built a strong and unique relationship with Teresa, who very slowly helped to get him to come to terms with his parents’ accident. To be honest, if he ran after Teresa after just a few weeks had passed, I probably wouldn’t have felt as emotional. It was a very good choice.
Although the Japanese school year doesn’t end until spring, the photography club is clearing out the room in the winter. This is because third-year students generally end all their club activities to study for their university entry exams. The national entrance exams take place in January, and the entrance exams for each individual university take place after that. As we know, Hajime is aiming to enter Kyoto University, so he is understandably very busy, and the club is getting ready for his departure.
Always make your heart rainbow!
This episode was a fantastic example of character development and how complicated feelings can be. What was important in this episode was not the fact that Teresa and Alec left Japan, and it was not about what their friends in Japan would do about it. This episode was entirely about Mitsuyoshi, a boy with a caring nature but a tendency to repress his own feelings. We learn that when Teresa left, he felt not only a sense of anger but that history was repeating itself. However, he slowly starts to come to a realization that his feelings for Teresa may have been special and it’s Kaoru who first puts it into words. Although I was expecting that Mitsuyoshi would at some point end up heading to Larsenburg after Teresa, I didn’t think it would be like this, as rather than him going to run after Teresa and hope they can live happily ever after, his trip is showing an enormous amount of growth in his personality. Although I would like to see why Teresa and Alec left so quickly and without warning, I am more excited to see how Mitsuyoshi is going to deal with this situation.