I’m aware that there’s an ironic aspect to it, but the cliches in Tsurezure Children are starting to bother me a bit. Imoutos and abusive girls are about as grating as anime romcom tropes get, but I suppose when the trope is integral to the plot it’s unavoidable. The cliched situations are the point, so there’s no getting away from them.
The abusive girl is half of the “Short-distance Relationship” couple that opens this week’s episode. I figured osananajimi were going to be up to bat soon, and indeed they were. These two are fine I suppose, apart from the hitting – the gag here is that she thinks they’ve been going out for the past year but he doesn’t (he thought her confession was one of their endless string of manzai bits). The clever part is that the reason for the confusion is that their relationship after the confession was indistinguishable from before it – so how the heck was he supposed to know?
“I Hate Sempai” looks to be pretty much a straight comedy thread, though as it gives us Namikawa Daisuke cutting it up as a troll who tortures his kouhai I’m not complaining. Of more interest is the bus chapter – a boy with zero self-esteem saves a girl (his crush, as it happens) from a groper on the bus, and can’t believe it when she invites him out for a “date” as thanks. Despite his being an “uggo” she genuinely seems to like him – though he’ll take some convincing of that. Last up we get a return by umbrella boy and no self-confidence boy’s female counterpart – she too finds it inconceivable that a cute person could be attracted to her. These wires are definitely crossed – he thinks he’s talking about their relationship, she’s talking about her cleaning skills.
My favorite part of Tsurezure Children is the premise – the massive communications breakdowns when pubescent boys and girls talk to each other, and how hard it is to bridge that gap. Taking that universalism and looking at it through many manifestations is a really clever idea for a series. I’m not as enthusiastic about the execution, which is inconsistent – but that’s to be expected in a series that hopscotches back and forth among so many couples. This series does have a real insight into early teen relationships and Heaven knows that’s a rarity in anime, so I’m certainly hoping to be in it for the long haul. I think I will be, as long as the more obnoxious tropes – no matter how integral to the story they may be – don’t become unbearable.