Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai | Worth Watching?

Is it worth? Who knows! I’ll let you decide, but first, you’ll need to give it a watch 🙂

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.