Tada Never Falls in Love – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: Mitsuyoshi Tada, a boy who has never fallen in love, encounters a lost transfer student Teresa Wagner. Everything Mitsuyoshi knows about love completely changes as he helps Teresa reunite with her travel companion. (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Tada Never Falls in Love is a classic example of a Slice of Life that struggles to find that balance between delightfully laid-back and absolutely dull. The series is largely devoid of tension or conflict until episode 6. Slice of Life are known to be easy going, and often lack drama. But the best usually supplement the easy going atmosphere with comedy, be it simply amusing or outright hilarious. Tada Never Falls In Love lacks comedic punch, its jokes often too obvious, repetitive or bland to cover up the extremely dry atmosphere. It’s not until Episode 6 that the main crux of the story finally comes into play, and often times the series predicates itself on turning little things, into big things, making a big deal out of nothing in order to try and offer some kind of minimal conflict. This absurdly slow pacing, taking forever to get to the meat of the series, almost feels like Tada Never Falls in Love is bucking for a two-cour season, but is currently only listed as twelve episodes, making Mid Season developments feel a good two to three episodes late.
Linny: The show sticks to a severely restrained slice of life format with anemic comedy. There are sprinklings of livelier moments and story lines such as Hajime Sugimoto, the glasses wearing, idol obsessed club president, winning a chance to meet his beloved gravure idol; and another fun episode told from the perspective of Tada’s pet cat, Nyanko Big (Literally just Big Cat) which helps to stir things up. However, overall the show continues to maintain a general vibe of tempered and laid back pacing, making it fall into the category of extremely relaxed slice of life. All we seem to do otherwise is just follow around our group of high school students engaging in generally grounded activities, like photography club, trips to the public bath, or simply hanging out together at school. It’s surprisingly bland, lacking in creative flair that could’ve made the series stand out.
Tom: Failing to turn the mundane into the exciting (a staple of Slice of life), speaks to a kind of creative bankruptcy. You don’t have to look further than Nozaki-kun (The show some people online, absurdly, refer to Tada Never Falls in Love as its spiritual successor) or Non Non Biyori for taking everyday stuff and putting a fun, comedic, and unique spin on. But Tada Never Falls in Love almost wants you to simply take in the beauty of its art, and atmosphere by itself. It doesn’t help that the characters are largely bland and uninteresting. Tada himself is the classic borderline stoic lead, dry of personality. While he’s got a tragic past, the show hardly explores that, only ever really referencing it through the exploration of another character entirely. In fact it’s the characters around Tada that are given a chance to shine, but many are so narrow in personality that it feels like even after exploring them we really didn’t learn a whole lot. Save Nyanko Big, honestly he’s the best character.
Linny: This focus on a laid back tone proves to be a major hindrance later on when the show tries to inject tension, as there’s so little groundwork done to make the drama work, as we need to really care about the characters (and we don’t) that the otherwise laid back and calm content clashes so heavily with the drama. It doesn’t help that the drama really feels contrived; specifically in reference to episode 6 where Alec acts extremely upset and traumatized over Teresa’s delayed return to a party even after it is very clearly established that there was never any danger ever. Also, the show very early on makes it evidently clear that one of the regular cast members has a secret identity; revealing it almost as soon as they’re introduced. The person visibly reacts every time their secret identity is brought up, and combined with the millions of obvious clues the show throws in, it’s yet another contrived set up when we discover that NOBODY except for one other person in the regular cast, has figured it out already.
Tom: It’s at the Mid Season that we finally get to the heart of the story, and while the title of the show becomes an outright lie (It really should be: Tada Never Usually Falls in Love.) it finally feels like the show has something to say. We learn some much needed truth about Teresa that is likely to spice up the romance of the show, something seriously flagging for the entire first half of the series. But I think it’s too little too late, the first half so utterly boring and uninspired that it’s like a bandage on a gaping wound.
Linny: Is Tada Never Falls in Love a show for you?? Perhaps, if you derive a lot of entertainment from high school slice of life stories that follow an ensemble cast and tend to be more laid back with muted comedy. As Tom mentioned above, the mid season episode introduces a major reveal for a character that could build into a lot more emotional/romantic drama but considering the current easy going vibe, I’d be hard pressed to believe it is going to change the nature of the show radically. For anyone who expects a high amount of punch and energy from their slice of life and/or comedies, you might be disappointed as while the show does deliver ever so often, it isn’t likely enough to keep up with more demanding viewers.
Tom: Compared to Linny I ultimately find Tada Never Falls in Love offensively boring. In some ways the show feels so slow because it’s wrapped up in its own obsession with itself, believing its thin characters, boring dialogue, and to be fair excellent visuals, are more than enough to satisfy. But there’s so little here beneath that surface, with comedy that feels lame, and boring developments that lack spice and flair. It’s painfully generic, and there’s really so much better Slice of Life out there. I think Tada Never Falls in Love sits as little more than a disappointing entry in that particular genre.
Tada Never Falls in Love is available for streaming via HIDIVE.