Tanaka-kun is Always Listless – Preview
Tanaka-kun is Always Listless:
Original Air Dates: April 9th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Tanaka-kun has but one ambition in life: To always be listless. He wants to nap and relax throughout the entire day, be it in the classroom, out on the school grounds, or in gym class. To try and keep Tanaka-kun from becoming a total wash, his friend Ohta helps Tanaka-kun through the day, carrying him from class to class as need be.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Tanaka-kun (the show) is drenched in soft and dreamy colours to portray the laid back and day dreaming nature of our protagonist. The entire aesthetic conveys just how listless Tanaka is and the only time we ever see any energetic motion and chibi-fied visuals is when the show wants to play things up for the sake of a gag.
Tom: Adding to the soft colors is an excessive use of white highlights, making everything feel bathed in a warm, all encompassing sunlight that sells just how tired Tanaka-kun himself is, ready at any moment to lull into the total relaxation of a mid-day nap. Heck I felt sleepy just watching the damn thing. But all these excellent design choices don’t stop me from feeling that Tanaka-kun would’ve been far better in short bursts. The show is mostly quick gags about how lazy Tanaka-kun is, but we’re treated to a massive swarm of these over twenty-five minutes. It only highlights the underlying problem with this concept: There’s no real conflict for Tanaka-kun, very little ever gets in the way of his ability to nap or be lazy. Even comedies have some kinds of obstacles, but here there really aren’t any, just one joke over and over about how listless Tanaka-kun can be.
Linny: The show does indeed struggle to shake off its 4-koma vibe, as the gag line seems like it would have been better served in short bursts than dragged on for 25 minutes. The story and the characters are cute, but not entertaining enough to captivate you for the entire episode. The muted colours and the muted Tanaka and his antics, or rather lack of antics start to make it feel like everything is simply dragging on, lacking life and energy.
Tom: With every sequence ending the same way, it becomes monotonous. There’s no real conflict as Tanaka-kun’s best friend, Ohta, is little more than an enabler, who allows Tanaka-kun to get away with his laziness nearly every time. If it remains so easy for Tanaka-kun to lay down and take a nap, then why watch?
Linny: Ohta is the supportive best friend whose bond with and devotion to Tanaka is probably something that a certain demographic will find endearing. Some viewers will find it cute to watch Ohto pamper the innocently lethargic Tanaka, and Tanaka, in return, happily being taken care of by the tall, strong and popular Ohta. For this episode, the only other characters focused on were two male classmates, who acted as co-conspirators with Ohta and basically help set up a couple of gags. While they didn’t get much personalized attention, one of them managed to leave an impact by clearly being that friend who refuses to admit his cluelessness, and pretends to be in the know, no matter what.
Tom: One last bit of praise I will sing for Tanaka-kun is his VA, who does a remarkable job of managing to portray Tanaka as lazy, rather than simply apathetic. Tanaka-kun is based off a manga with only three volumes so far, so expect a fairly full adaptation here. In summary, I think Tanaka-kun would’ve been so much better in the short anime format, episodes no longer than ten minutes, if not closer to five. As it is now, Tanaka-kun becomes boring quickly and doesn’t feel like a great use of my time.
Linny: If you’re a fan of watching cute male friendships, especially when there’s a clear caretaker role between them, Tanaka-kun may win you over with its adorable depiction of Ohta and Tanaka’s friendship. Or maybe, you might find them cute to watch, which they both are unarguably cute in their own ways. Plot and premise wise though, Tanaka-kun really would have been so much more enjoyable in small doses.
Tanaka-kun is Always Listless is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com