Tada Never Falls in Love Series Review

Tada Never Falls In Love (Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai) is a 2018 original anime brought to us by the staff behind the anime Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun. This coming-of-age story tells the tale of a kind-hearted yet aloof teenage boy named Mitsuyoshi Tada and how his life changes after meeting the bright and bubbly foreign exchange student Teresa Wagner.

For this review, I will be including major spoilers from the series, so proceed with caution if you haven’t yet watched the series until the end.

About Our Characters

Although, most obviously, the series is a romantic comedy between a Japanese boy and a European girl, the real meaning of Tada Never Falls in Love is the character development of the titular character. After losing his parents at a young age, Mitsuyoshi Tada has a strong tendency to keep his feelings locked up inside. Deep down he feels that he was responsible for the death of his parents and after Teresa returns to her country, we learn he was hiding a lot of anger regarding the loss of people dear to him. Mitsuyoshi’s character development throughout the series is beautiful to watch, and there is no doubt that he is able to overcome his internal obstacles thanks to Teresa Wagner. Regarding Teresa, she instantly comes across as a strange one, but she is as sweet as they come. As the series progresses, it becomes clear that despite her childish nature, she is actually an extremely mature character, perhaps the most mature of all the members of the photography club. She has the responsibility of an entire country resting on her shoulders and her returning to her country before her studies were over showed that she was thinking of the bigger picture over her own feelings. Teresa’s companion, Alexandra ‘Alec’ Magritte, didn’t go through so much character development per se, but her story was a compelling one. She will do all she can to protect her future queen, not just out of obligation but because she cares for her. This is why she is also desperately struggling to seal her romantic feelings for Teresa’s betrothed, Charles de Loire. Oh man, don’t even get me started on Charles. What is he? Is he human? Is he an angel? When he first appeared in the series I was convinced he would turn out the be a bad guy. That’s just how it goes in these stories, right? For him to turn out to just genuinely be a nice guy, even taking responsibility for calling off the engagement with his beloved Teresa, it just doesn’t sit right with me. And that’s why I enjoyed his character so much, as my cynical ass could not believe that he would turn out to have descended from heaven.

Talking about angels, how about Kaoru Ijuin? I’m sure many viewers were put off by his over the top hamminess, but I LOVED it! He’s just…so nice, guys! Although he’s naturally OTT and loves himself very much, he often uses this crazy personality of his on purpose to lighten the mood. The only thing he loves more than himself is his friends, especially his best friend Mitsuyoshi. I don’t think I’ve ever admired a friendship more, and Kaoru’s platonic love for Mitsuyoshi is so wonderful it makes me pretty emotional. Kaoru has a true heart of gold.

We then have the other members of the photography club, who don’t serve much more of a purpose than to give a bit of variety to the series. We have Hajime ‘Pin-Sempai’ Sugimoto and Hinako ‘Class Pres’ Hasegawa. Hajime is crazily obsessed with a gravure idol called HINA, and although hilarious, it is also quite disturbing. He has no idea that HINA is actually his childhood friend Hinako, and she has been in love with him for all this time. Although we get an episode focusing on the couple, they are hardly touched upon for the rest of the series, and there is absolutely no development other than the fact that Hajime will stay in Tokyo for university, so there is still the chance for their relationship to develop off-screen.

The last member of the photography club is Kentaro Yamashita. He is very cute and dog-like and is harboring a crush on an older lady. She only sees him as a little brother, but he is surprisingly okay with it. His take on this is that is that he is happy if she is happy, so there is no point in chasing after her. It’s pretty much a textbook ideal answer. However, this is where Mitsuyoshi’s little sister Yui Tada comes in. She has a very obvious crush on Yamashita, and she learns about his unrequited love. Although she wants to be able to say ‘I’m happy if she is happy’, she knows that she can’t as it just hurts too much. Her real, honest feeling is that she wants to be with him. I think a lot of viewers can probably relate to the young Yui’s feelings, I know I do.

Story development

I think one of my biggest complaints about the series is how it felt a little disjointed at times. We had episodes that only focused on some of the members of the photography club, only for them to be almost forgotten about as the series goes on. Although I don’t think it was too bad, it may have felt a little strange had I binged the series rather than watch one episode per week. At first, I really wasn’t feeling anything between Teresa and Mitsuyoshi, and started to wonder just what it was that they saw in each other. However, after their moment under the stars, I started to understand Teresa’s crush on Mitsuyoshi. I honestly feel that the development of Mitsuyoshi and the opening up of his heart was the true meaning of this anime, and I wasn’t all that invested in the two getting together in the end or Teresa’s true identity [laugh]. Speaking of which, I’m really not sure what to make of the ending! The moment between Mitsuyoshi and Teresa in the corridor during the ball was extremely touching, and Mitsuyoshi’s confession of love is in all honesty one my favorite love confessions I’ve seen in an anime in a while! However, to me, it should have ended there. Instead, Teresa comes back after Mitsuyoshi and, although their reunion is very cute, it just continues to raise even more questions! I guess I’m just a bitter old lady, but I would have rather seen them move on, with their lives having forever changed by a love they will never forget. An ending more like Roman Holiday, I guess…?

However, Rachel being the author of the Sunflower Express books was the true gag of the season and I loved it. (๑╹ω╹๑ )

All in all, I really felt for Mitsuyoshi’s character development and the opening of his heart. I am not really sure about how I feel about the ending of the series.

General Thoughts

As a European living in Japan, I think I was secretly hoping for some more jokes regarding us foreigners living here. For example, Mitsuyoshi first responding to Teresa in English made me loud and think ‘oh god yes this happens sometimes’. However, the series is not made for or by us foreigners so I can’t complain. As an anime from the team behind Nozaki-kun, I think I also came in with expectations for some more ridiculous comedy. Although I was disappointed that we didn’t have comedy on the level of said series, it starts to make sense why as we go into the more serious moments of the series. However, keeping Kaoru for comic relief is probably one of those love-or-hate choices. Visually the series was quite strong, with some absolutely stunning background art. However, there were a few episodes where the quality slipped slightly, but you have to expect that with all anime, to be honest. The opening theme ‘Tomodachi Film’, however, is extremely catchy, which was a given considering it was written and performed by Masayoshi Oishi. The ending theme is also a lovely Teresa cover of Sambomaster’s ‘Love Song’, and the addition of a Mitsuyoshi cover of the song as an insert track was a stroke of genius.

All-in-all, Tada Never Falls in Love was an enjoyable anime, even though it is not something I would usually watch.

Positives

– Catchy opening theme
– Beautiful background visuals
– Some very touching scenes (for me the scene with Mitsuyoshi running home with ‘Love Song’ playing in the background was especially emotional)
– A variety of different kinds of romance portrayed in the series
– Some quite unique characters personality-wise

Negatives

– Sometimes the series felt a little disjointed
– Had some development of characters just for them to almost get ignored as the series progressed
– [Personally, I think that] Going so suddenly from a bittersweet ending to a happy ending seemed like a cop-out at the end

Favorite episode: Episode 3 (because it was narrated by Nyanko Big)
Favorite character: Kaoru Ijuin (Not a bad bone in that boy’s body)
Favorite moment: Kaoru spinning through the air because it cannot NOT make me laugh. (I’m a simple girl)

 

Tada Never Falls in Love (Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai)

Spring 2018 | Anime Info

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