Tonikaku Kawaii | First Impressions

Tonikaku Kawaii a ComedyRomance, and Shounen. Adapted by Seven Arcs a studio that to me anyway, isn’t really well known, with no notable works coming from them. I first stumbled upon this anime roaming through the upcoming seasonal anime for the year, doing what I usually do, which is add everything to my ever growing ‘to watch list’. This is typically how I determine what anime I want to watch for each season. This also means often times I go off the lack thereof summaries (which happens a lot of the time) and the feature picture used for the anime on MAL. As you can probably guess, this is how I found Tonikaku Kawaii, it had an interesting picture so I decided I wanted to give it a watch.

That whole adding of anime is something I do well in advance, so if I were to guess, I had this anime on my radar for awhile prior to the airing. Fast forward to the fall 2020 season, we (the viewers) were presented with the following information.

Having grown up ridiculed for his bizarre name, Nasa Yuzaki strives to be remembered for something more. Fortunately, it seems he’s on the right path, ranking first in the nation’s mock exams and set to enter his high school of choice.

However, everything changes in a single night when he notices a girl across the street on his way home. Enraptured by her overwhelming cuteness, it’s love at first sight for Nasa. But in his infatuated daze, he fails to notice the approaching danger speeding down the road and finds himself at death’s door. Barely alive thanks to the girl’s intervention, Nasa musters the courage to confess his love to her, fearing she might otherwise vanish from his life. She accepts his proposal on one condition: marriage, to which Nasa gladly accepts before passing out from his injuries. Upon waking, however, the girl is nowhere to be found.

After recovering from his injuries, Nasa tosses his previous ambitions aside and dedicates his life to finding the girl that captured his heart, yet several years pass to no avail. But one night, when an unexpected visitor comes knocking on his door, Nasa finds himself facing a woman that would forever change his world: his wife.

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The synopsis alone made this anime one I wanted to dive into — something I’m glad I did. Going in with relatively low expectations, I was looking to enjoy some comedy something this anime has plenty of. Now that I am five episodes in, Tonikaku Kawaii without a doubt is one of those ‘must watch’ anime for the Fall season, that is for certain.

This story, as the synopsis tells us is about two individuals, Nasa and Tsukasa and their abnormal relationship and marriage. When you decide to marry the person who saved your life on the spot, without even knowing who they are and why they did it; and the only thing which attracted you (Nasa) to them (Tsukasa) was that you thought they were attractive. It for sure raises some question makes, you wonder where this story will go and what it will entail. When you’re running with a strange plot, which is something I think Tonikaku Kawaii has, then the sky is the limit as to whatever direction you (the studio) want to towards. Obviously, as Tonikaku Kawaii is adapted from the manga, the story itself was already set in stone, but I like to think that anime studios tend to add their own twist to the original story.

A few anime come to mind, where the anime studios added their own ‘flare’ to the anime adaptation that worked against the anime, Akame ga Kill and Black Bullet. Both anime that strayed from the original story and made both anime terrible to watch. But that’s something for another day.

Going back to Tonikaku Kawaii, we’re presented with two characters.

Nasa Yuzaki
Nasa has always been unhappy with his name and wishes that his parent would have named him something “normal.” Because of his distaste for his name he strived to become the perfect person and studied like crazy. Therefore is Nasa generally considered a genius.

Tsukasa Yuzaki
Nasa Yuzaki’s wife. She saved Nasa from getting hit by a truck during a snowy night, and he confessed to her at that moment, taken aback by her beauty. Tsukasa agreed to go out with Nasa on the condition that they get married. Not much is known about Tsukasa’s past. She has a strong love for movies, otaku culture, and of course her husband. Her maiden name is Tsukuyomi (月読).

They are effectively the polar opposites of each other, which is what makes their dynamic very interesting. We’re presented with two opposite characters, both of which are married to each other, and both of which do not know a thing about each other. What happens?

Well this is where one of Tonikaku Kawaii best qualities comes into play, character development. The overall growth and development of our characters right from episode one is immediate and is blatantly obvious. The character development is so fast, yet so smooth that it doesn’t hinder the anime at all. Everything about this anime feels extremely well paced and that is something to be said about this anime.

As we follow Nasa and Tsukasa on their journey as a married couple, we also get to watch them evolve as individuals as they transform from individuals who didn’t know a thing about each other, to individuals working every episode to understand each other right down to the final details. Seeing that natural progression is outright entertaining. Seeing them slowly discover more about themselves and their feelings for one another, along with all the disadvantages, quirks, and compromises that comes with developing a relationship plus a married life, is what makes this anime really work.

Without the stellar character development, Tonikaku Kawaii would just be another comedy. Which to me is probably the weakest aspect of the anime thus far, as it doesn’t really add anything. A lot of the comedy revolves around our protagonists and their misunderstandings and often times around Nasa’s ‘adult drive’ as I’d like to call it. Everything with regards to the comedy aspect of the anime, sort of feel like it’s just there, to be there. That’s why I look forward to Tsukasa and Nasa learning more about each other to better understand each other’s feelings than I do the general comedy of the anime.

Also! Pacing is another one of the best qualities about Tonikaku Kawaii. Nothing about it feels rushed, everything happens comfortably within the twenty-three or so minute episodes. No one episode is crammed with a ton of information. Each episode so far has had one purpose with various different events happening throughout that led/could be connected to that one purpose. In that respect, it makes everything very linear and therefore easy for the average person to follow. To me, an anime that is simple and easy to follow is 100x more enjoyable and entertaining to me than a complex and information heavy anime like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen.

To summarize, Tonikaku Kawaii in my eyes is one of the best anime currently airing for the Fall 2020 season, without a doubt. There are a ton I enjoy about this anime, pacing, character development, the OP and ED; how playful and colourful the art style is. Everything about the anime feels bright and welcoming (in my opinion) and that’s something I like a lot.

Tonikaku Kawaii as given me a very good first impression, I am looking forward to finishing out this anime.



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