Tonikaku Kawaii has been one of many anime that showcased during 2020, a year that has caused everyone everywhere a lot of destress and made for some really weird and interesting times. No better way than to spend one weird year watching anime. Tonikaku Kawaii is on that very long list of anime that I’ve loved. Going into a new show adapted from the manga, I didn’t expect much at all. At its core, Tonikaku Kawaii is a Comedy, Romance, and Shounen; the very essence of a rom-com. A genre that I love a lot in general so I knew immediately I was going to enjoy it. But to what extent?
When you’re presented with the following;
Nasa Yuzaki is determined to leave his name in the history books. Ranking first in the national mock exam and aiming for a distinguished high school, he is certain that he has his whole life mapped out. However, fate is a fickle mistress. On his way home one snowy evening, Nasa’s eyes fall upon a peerless beauty across the street. Bewitched, Nasa tries to approach her—only to get blindsided by an oncoming truck.
Thankfully, his life is spared due to the girl’s swift action. Bleeding by the side of an ambulance, he watches as the girl walks away under the moonlight—reminiscent of Princess Kaguya leaving for the moon. Refusing to let this chance meeting end, he forces his crippled body to chase after her and asks her out. Surprised by his foolhardiness and pure resolve, the girl accepts his confession under a single condition: they can only be together if he marries her!Written by MAL Rewrite of MyAnimeList.net
I think that alone is enough to make you want to watch, it worked for me. A spontaneous proposal and marriage to someone who saved your life. What would come as a result? What would this married life entail? Who is Tsukasa? How will the newlywed couple of Tsukasa and Nasa play out? All amazingly good questions, all of which are answered within the anime. They’re like a power couple, they’re also one of the more ‘shippable’ couples and overall just plain cute. Over the course of twelve episodes, we follow Nasa’s and Tsukasa’s journey as a newlywed couple but also as two individuals who know nothing about each other. We experience all the little quirks that come with being married, but we also experience the steep learning curves the two characters undertake in better understanding each other and their feelings.
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.
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.
We don’t know much about the characters from the start. The first few episodes were told from Nasa’s point of view, not Tsukasa’s. However, this is where I thought Tonikaku Kawaii did extremely well at, which was character development. While it can be considered to be very minimal, the growth our characters experience throughout each episode is impactful, to the point where you can see and feel the difference. Nasa in episode twelve is different than in episode one, vise versa for Tsukasa.
At the start of the anime, Nasa felt a lot more childish, a lot more hesitant and not as outgoing and open. He always went along with what Tsukasa said. All that being said, he was also very understanding and always wanted the best for Tsukasa, even though he wasn’t yet able to express himself. Now by episode twelve, Nasa is now more open and a lot more direct whenever he’s around Tsukasa. To me Nasa feels more like someone who’d take charge, which is something he does quite often towards the latter stages of the anime. The same type of character development is laid out for Tsukasa.
Tsukasa’s character development is one I enjoyed a lot simply because we didn’t know much about her, and with every episode we learned more and more. Her rather calm, levelheaded and quiet personality displayed at the beginning of the anime is now one of excitement, and sometimes clingy. I’d say that Tsukasa’s personality by the end of Tonikaku Kawaii is of someone who is now well and truly happy, free to express herself however she wishes.
Nothing about the anime with regards to the overall pacing and feel of the anime felt off. Nothing felt rushed, everything had a natural flow to it. Each episode managed to keep me entertained, whether it was from Nasa’s overreactions, Tsukasa’s weird obsessions, Aya’s absentminded personality, Kaname’s preverted-ness , to Chitose’s very clingy personality towards Tsukasa. Were there some dull moments or episodes that I thought should have had more to them? Yes, without a doubt. However, I don’t think those moments took away from the overall feel of the anime. Tonikaku Kawaii felt very much like a ‘Slice of Life’ for me even though it wasn’t classed as one. Whenever an anime is genred as a Comedy, Romance and Slice of Life, I know I’ll always have a good time. Something Tonikaku Kawaii provides.
Tonikaku Kawaii was one of the many highlights of 2020, especially since it hails from a relatively unknown (unknown to me) Anime studio Seven Arcs. It was one of those hidden gems amongst the many anime to air during last year. From it’s bright and vibrant art style, highlighting the lighthearted, almost playful nature of the anime; to it’s character development that I think is second to none. Tonikaku Kawaii was an anime I enjoyed watching and it quickly became one of my favourite anime. Like all anime that I enjoy, I always wish for a second season, which I hope it will have.
You should watch the anime if you haven’t already done so!