Do you like cute things? I like cute things. Here have a cute picture of a cat: 100 Such a cute chubster isnt he? There Now that thats out of the way let it be known to the jury that OP isnt a soulless loser whos incapable of enjoying cute things at surface level. I feel its kinda necessary to point this out as it seems that any discussion surrounding Tonikaku starts and ends with these three words: Its so cute If this was seen as pure fluff and nothing more I wouldnt bat an eye. Instead were dealing with what is supposedly the SOL blockbuster of the season and Im not content with ending my observations by stating the obvious. So without further ado lets figure out where this seemingly innocent show goes wrong as we take a closer cynical look at the undeserving SOL darling of the season. This review is spoilerfree but feel free to skip ahead to my TlDr if youd like to go in completely blind. Wait youre telling me we get to see them get married? 100 Weve seen the same love story play out countless times before. Boy meets girl they fall in love they struggle to confess and the show ends right as the relationship finally gets off the ground. Its tried its tested its tropey as all hell. Aside from the Will They Wont They conundrum shows typically avoid romantic conflict like the plague. For whatever reason audiences are sadly subjected to this constant retreading of material. Tonikakus solution to all this seemed like a breath of fresh air: Put a ring on it 100 The series forgoes platonic courtship in favor of finally giving audiences a lighthearted take on married life. Our newlywedded husband is Nasa Yuzaki who at 16 almost had his life end abruptly in a disastrous accident. Miraculously he survives thanks to the intervention of his future wife Tsukasa. On that fateful night the infatuated Nasa asks Tsukasa out. Two years later they get hitched and this all happens in the span of the first episode. Sounds wholesome and sweet cute even. But in spite of its promising premise one can tell right away that Tonikaku has little interest in doing much else than what weve already seen before. The building blocks are there to support Tonikakus exploration of what being a married couple entails. 100 Several segments of the show are fun mini infomercials dedicated to going over the spending habits and practices of middleclass residents in Japan. The Yuzakis face practical problems on a daily basis and learn what its like to share a living space with someone from the opposite gender. The young couple also spend time dealing with the consequences of suddenly getting married and Tonikaku does an impressive job with making their matrimony make sense in a lifelike setting. Topics include purchasing marriage rings property guarantor laws and dreaded visits to the InLaws. These tidbits may be enough to placate audiences looking to get invested in some semblance of realism. While I did find those parts of the show inoffensive any goodwill I may have had gets thrown out the window once the show settles into its repetitive groove. For most Tonikakus central conceit is the shows greatest strength for others its biggest weakness. 100 On one hand you have a show poised to deliver its spin on relationships not often popularized in anime. On the other you have a show that intends to explore marriage only in name even though Nasa and Tsukasa are a registered couple they ARENT married. They may go through dailylife struggles and share moments similar to those between married couples but fail to put on a convincing relationship. Watching Tonikaku was watching two innocent children whose pairing makes no sense outside of its shotgunmarriage premise declaring sweet nothings and grandiose monologues about romance. The show trivialises and simplifies lifelong intimacy to the point where the Yuzakis are barely indistinguishable from your stock puppylove couples. Thats not a bad thing on its own not every romance SOL is required to provide some insightful truth on the subject. However its worth stressing that what the show is attempting is woefully at odds with what is advertised. Tonikaku is fully content with leaving its ambition at the altar in favor of playing on familiar ground and formulaic jokes. The former greatly diminished my excitement for the story. As for the latter well lets get into it. The series suffers from its poor use of characters. 100 By far the biggest offender is Nasa who is kind everprepared and intelligent except when hes not. Tonikaku constantly destroys this positive image by instead handing us a daft teenager who simped so hard it accidentally scored him a wife almost at the cost of his life. Unless the plot demands him to be the purest snowflake alive Nasa is possessive and downright horny. He finds strange obsessions within the most unassuming of situations ranging from following his wife to the lingerie section to awkwardly cuddling his wife as she sleeps to undressing his wife in his mind as she changes in the other room this occurs multiple times mind you. Not all these instances are bad such as the scene in Episode 2 where the newlywed couple share their first night together. Its at least a scenario unique to the show and in small doses Id find these scenarios to be mildly amusing cute even. But then the joke just keeps going... and going and going ad nauseam. This Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Horny Hyde dichotomy does the character no favors. Im constantly told hes this unselfish and thoughtful individual but Im witnessing a child given the means to act out his flights of pubescent fantasy onto a fellow virgin. Speaking of Tsukasa her utilization in the show is equally irresponsible. While her charming character is inoffensive what sucks is that shes constantly objectified by her Hubby Dearest. These disturbing interactions make up a huge chunk of Tonikaku leaving me unimpressed and unconvinced whenever the show takes a break and preaches how kind and compatible and loveydovey our power couple are. Its kind of appalling how immature these characters are at times and how they get away with their creepy implications and onedimensional characterization just because theyre married. If the main ship is insufferable the secondary cast is largely unremarkable. 100 Kanames sketches are the saving grace of the series and always put a smile on my face. Most of her gags are lowbrow comedy but theyre enjoyable in a way that Nasas simping is not. The key difference is that Kanames jokes are very clearly meant to be provocative while Nasas testosteronedriven desires are framed as wholesome. Ayas cluelessness is also pretty entertaining with some of the series funniest bits under her belt. Nasas parents received quite a lot of buildup but fell disappointingly short of expectations. Lastly Chitose and her maids are pretty awful with Chitose in particular playing an uninspired tsun. She somehow makes Nasa look less dumb when shes onscreen so thats quite the impressive feat. The show is disappointing to look at. 100 Some shows chibi slapstick asides look more detailed than the entirety of the series. Sure it keeps inline with the mangakas drawing style but the simplicity of the presentation makes me wonder if the studio picked up this adaptation knowing they could get away with a cheap cashgrab. The monetary costcutting devolved to unintentionally silly levels when about 12 minutes of Street Fighter V screencapture footage was spliced in throughout Ep 11. Tonikakus OP could have nearly been the best of 2020 if the budget had not run out as the title card dropped. Nothing stood out to me in the score and the VA performances are nothing special. Konomi Kohara Chika Fujiwara Yuuko Yoshida sounds like shes phoning in her performance as Chitose and doesnt sound like shes having nearly as much fun as she did in Machikado Mazoku Tonikaku is no love story its wish fulfilment. 100 There is no honest attempt at exploring married life outside your everyday ILoveYous and embarrassed kisses. What we have instead are immature characters involved in a series of formulaic sketches that are either unfunny or disturbingly horny. Id like to think that Truckkun really was waiting in the wings to transport Nasas soul into another world. A world only slightly different from our own where the perfect girl falls into your reincarnated lap and is wholly submissive to your every request. And judging from the love Tonikaku is getting there may well be an audience for this proposed isekai. Unfortunately Im just not a huge fan. TlDr: 100 In forgoing the confession phase Tonikaku attempts to mislead you into thinking it sets itself apart from a typical romance story. Unfortunately its hard to see much merit with this decision when the characters are written with the same if not greater lack of maturity that plagues its contemporaries. Missed opportunities with exploring married life leaves a sour taste in my mouth. There are some moments that make for laidback viewing but Tonikakus warped perception of love ensures that such opportunities are the exception and not the norm. Tonikaku comes across as a cheaplyproduced flavor of the month SOL that I wouldnt get nearly so riled up about if it wasnt so widely hailed as the Romance of the Season. 4/10 STRAY RAMBLINGS SPOILERS: I get that the mangaka is fond of retro games and such but this scene is just ridiculous to me. Kinda sad that this production goof happened to be the best joke of that episode. A HiScore Girl this is not. By Ep 5 I was so desperate to find something funny that I let myself laugh when the show mentioned The Human Centipide out of nowhere. Not my proudest moment Ik. Too lazy to pay attention to much else in the show so allow me to throw in some peakcringe Nasa quotes for the rest of this section. E. L. James would be impressed. This is a bath episode I can feel her body temperature directly through my arm Its like I managed to pull an UltraRare variant of my wife I want to try all kinds of embarrassing things to my wife And my personal favorite: I want to hug my braless pantyless wife so much BEST GIRL: Giving this one to Kaname. Shes deadass the most mature sensible character in the show I wish I was joking. 100 OK thats it for now. Now if youll excuse me Id like to write about an actual good romance story more on that soon enough. Thanks for making it this far in my rant I apologize if I failed to communicate my critique effectively here. If you happen to like my verbose rants feel free to check out my other reviews theyre a lot more civil I swear for seasons past and present peace
40 /100
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