Greetings everyone, and welcome to another review! Today we will be covering the slice-of-life anime from this previous season, Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless. B-Ro is away at the moment, so he will not be providing a review for this anime. As always, beware of minor SPOILERS!
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: This unconventional, surrealist comedy follows an exhausted high school boy who, despite multiple attempts from his friends, still manages to spectacularly… sleep. Much to the chagrin of the energetic (at times bossy) Oota, Tanaka is often found in a blissful state of lethargy, possessing the ability to doze off in any situation, especially in mid-sentence! -MyAnimeList
As a slice-of-life, Tanaka-Kun Is Always Listless certainly plays to the strengths of genre, making fun of the everyday ordinary events, while utilizing the characters’ personalities in exaggerated manners to create a story. There is nothing really binding all the episodes together other than some subplots, but not so many one gets bogged down in them. As such, the series is primarily episodic. However, speaking of subplots, they do not really go anywhere, mostly never coming to any kind of climax. The general premise can be described in much the same way, though the series is primarily focusing on comedy.
The entire series is driven by the characters, and as such, most of the character are vibrant and developed, despite initial impressions. Most of the mayhem in the series is completely caused by Tanaka and his interactions with the cast. Yet, some of the cast can feel extra, who just exist for one or two punchlines, and not really truly part of the story. Along those same lines, most of the characters are rather static, especially the titular Tanaka. While he does undergo some growth, some side characters have notable more growth than him, which should not really be the case in a proper story.
Animation is great with the series, creating an almost dream like world. It makes the viewer almost feel like they are experiencing the world as Tanaka. It overall adds to the relaxing atmosphere of the show as a whole.
Much like the animation, the soundtrack does an excellent job at maintaining the relaxing atmosphere. While it can feel a little minimalistic, it definitely fits with the show as a whole.
Like most comedies, Tanka-kun Is Always Listless is aiming more for the laugh than to be deeply thought provoking. This in turn makes its themes limited, though they are still present if you actually take time to notice them. It mostly focuses on building relationships with people, and just friendship in general. This is seen through Tanaka-kun extending his horizons, so to say, through his interactions and making new friends with people. It also is somewhat promotes the idea of being yourself, as Tanaka is adamant about remaining who he is despite other people’s interjections.
Final Score: 8.6/10
Final Grade: B
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge never failed to make me smile. I started watching the show as it was airing during my spring semester, and it was such a great show to unwind to and have a good laugh after a long week. The show has a lot of humor, and it definitely succeeds in the comedy department. However, unlike My Bride is a Mermaid, which left me in pain from constant laughter, I found Tanaka-kun relaxing as much as I found it humorous. There are multiple moments of silent pauses, the awesome soundtrack is more relaxed, reverbed, and tends to only use a few instruments at a time (like a solo piano or acoustic guitar), and even the visuals feel like they have an understated effect to them. Some may consider the show boring because of this, but I absolutely loved the somewhat surreal and dreamy aesthetics. The characters are all used extremely well, and they all had their own interesting quirks. I seriously enjoyed watching the chemistry between Tanaka and Oota, I loved Shiraishi’s character, and Miyano and Echizen brought some of the show’s funniest and most enjoyable moments. It admittedly doesn’t seem all that interesting on the surface, and it’s not the most ambitious show, but that’s kind of the beauty of it. Tanaka-kun seems content to stay in the nice little world it creates. It does its own thing, and does it extremely well. Finishing the last episode made me really want a season 2, which I’m seriously hoping for. I can’t overstate how much I enjoyed watching this anime. It’s absolutely worth giving a shot, and I know I’ll be rewatching it.
Final Comments: Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless maintains a relaxed atmosphere through soundtrack, animation, and straight forward storytelling. It can be somewhat bland to some viewers due to lack of deep themes and significant character growth.
Thank you all for reading our review! What did you think of Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless? We would love to hear your thoughts! Comment below, and be sure to give us a follow here or on our social media pages. Our next review will be the anime Dream Eater Merry, so look forward to it!