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AKA: トニカクカワイイ
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently streaming on crunchyroll
Content Rating: PG-13 (Mature themes.)
Related Series: Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You (post-season 1) OAVs, Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You (season 2), Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You: High School Days (post-season 2 ONA)
Also Recommended: Hayate The Combat Butler; Mysterious Girlfriend X
Notes: Based on manga by Kenjiro Hata, published by Shogakukan (and in English by Viz Media)

Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You (season 1)


Nasa Yuzaki is about to be run over by a truck, when he's saved by a young woman named Tsukasa, who, we're told, "shields" him (though he still gets major injuries while she, curiously, DOESN'T.) Chasing after her (on two broken legs, yet), he declares he loves her; but she says she won't date him unless he marries her first. Will Nasa do so? Well, it's not rocket science...


This show is based on manga by Kenjiro Hata, author of Hayate The Combat Butler, and just from the synopsis you have to admit that he's even topped that previous effort in the outrageousness of the show's opening setup.

While I'm on the topic of stuff in the show that bugs me (there's quite a lot of that), I'll mention its repetitive opening theme, which devolves into outright brain assault when it shifts into overdrive. The character art strikes me as underachieving as well; in particular, Nasa himself is supposed to be 18, but seems to me to have the face of a ten-year-old.

And I'll note that Stig and Tim were doing a synchro on the show, but dropped it a few episodes in because of some annoying side characters. (I'll have more to say about that later.) Tim noted that the show seemed to exhibit some bad feature for every good one.

I agree that the show's a very mixed bag. I'll start with our principals. Nasa is an amiable, and (usually) unflappable tech-nerd. His apparent occupation, near as I can tell, is network maintenance/repair. He's obsessed with organization and practicality, but knows almost nothing about popular culture. Only Tsukasa herself creates any agitation in him- WORSHIPFUL agitation, that is. Since they did things backward- marriage first, THEN dating- not much physical happens between them for quite a while; for him, because he's too overawed by her to try anything (though this begins to change a little as the show goes on); for her, it's because she's just too embarrassed.

I didn't think her "embarrassment" jibed with what the show DOES reveal about her. It drops hints that she might be the legendary Princess Kaguya; but whether she really IS, or is just somehow Kaguya-adjacent, or maybe has NOTHING to do with the legend, in any case we know something's weird about this girl- and we know what some of those weird things are. In particular, her being such an utter ingenue is NOT compatible with what we're told- she lets things slip- about her OWN longevity. WHAT'S SHE BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME??? And why did she insist on a commitment like marriage? Most in her apparent situation would normally have incentive to avoid ANY long-term relationships, much less a PERMANENT one. Still, she's a very amiable sort herself, EXTREMELY polite, and nearly as pragmatic (and phlegmatic) as Nasa, so at least their personalities are pretty compatible.

And those side characters? The most persistently annoying one is Chitose, who says Tsukasa is her sister (Tsukasa herself says she's not; the relationship is never completely explained.) Chitose of course strenuously, incessantly, and LOUDLY objects to Nasa as a suitable husband for her "sister", but fortunately Chitose is easily deceived, a quality Tsukasa at first exploits just to get away from her, but later does just to pull her chain. (Memorably, in a playground scene. Tsukasa really seems to have a pretty droll sense of humor.) Chitose is always accompanied by a pair of maids, who in the classic tradition are later revealed to be more sensible than her (though admittedly this isn't obvious at first.)

Somewhat easier to take (at least for me) was Kaname, who works in a bathhouse and has known Nasa for quite a while; she's a short girl with a dirty mind, but does try (in her own way) to support our couple. But her sister Aya is described, by Kaname herself, as "horror-movie-level stupid." When Aya first meets Tsukasa, she launches into a free-association babble, which causes Tsukasa to observe (AGAIN with her dry wit) that "Your internal monologue is leaking."

But I honestly did find one thing genuinely charming about the show- its little vignettes about domestic life. I'm almost certain that Hata drew many of these from his own marriage, from Tsukasa's tendency to steal Nasa's bedsheets in her sleep (like a 1950s TV couple, they aren't sleeping in the same bed, but Tsukasa will go the distance to get those covers), to a shopping trip Tsukasa makes to buy lingerie, accompanied by Nasa. (The latter, particularly, hit me right between the eyes with the blunt force of shocked recognition; I've LIVED that! ) At one point our couple makes a trip to Nara that turns into a very pleasant travelogue, especially since Nara was a place I visited myself during my 2017 trip to Japan.

A couple of other things:

-There's some conversation between Tsukasa and Nasa about Nasa's total lack of knowledge about popular culture, which seemed to end up satirizing sequel-itis in general, and sequels of really AWFUL movies (like Sharknado) in particular. Nasa says, "Is a movie with such a sloppy plot really any good?"; to which Tsukasa replies, "That's part of the appeal!" And you know, it really IS.

-I love that one of the lingerie brands is "Hallucigenia", the name of the famously weird little creature from the Cambrian Era.

The Recs this time are Hata's earlier series; and another series about dating a very peculiar girl.

The whole scenario is just silly, and I have no idea how it can be logically reconciled with WHATEVER Tsukasa really is. And I certainly could have done without Chitose (even if Tsukasa DOES get a little revenge on her) and Aya; but I finally was willing to forgive Kaname's faults, and even the more awful characters may eventually improve. The details of daily life often feel authentic, even if our "married" couple's aversion to intimacy never really did. Yes, it's a mixed bag; but it sometimes pulls some good stuff out of that bag.Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: Kissing's about the limit here (and even THAT takes some time); I think there was some brief partial nudity someplace. Actual sexuality gets vaguely alluded to (mostly by Kaname), so we'll just say Mature Themes and call it PG-13.

Version(s) Viewed: stream, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You (season 1) © 2020 Kenjiro Hata, Shogakukan/Tonikaku Kawaii Production Committee
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