Tada Never Falls in Love

Alt title: Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai

TV (13 eps)
3.867 out of 5 from 4,894 votes
Rank #1,760

Mitsuyoshi Tada, a boy who has never fallen in love, encounters a lost transfer student Teresa Wagner. Everything Mitsuyoshi knows about love completely changes as he helps Teresa reunite with her travel companion.

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Gee, this show is called Tada Never Falls in Love and has "Romance" in the tags. I wonder what will happen in this romance anime called Tada Never Falls in Love. Can you guess it? I sure as hell can't, my buddies! I would say this review contains spoilers, but... I think you would probably know most of what happens in this show even if I didn't spoil you, but here's the warning anyway.Apparently, Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai was somewhat anticipated before coming out because it's made by Doga Kobo, the same studio with the same staff that gave us Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. Now, I haven't watched Nozaki-kun, I don't know what that show is about or if it's any good, but I know people like it and expected Tada-kun to be on the same vein, and judging by how lukewarm the reception to this one was, I assume it didn't quite hit the mark. I'm saying this just so you know that I'm not judging Tada-kun by how it compares to Nozaki-kun or anything like that, especially because I think it's pretty unfair to judge a show by how it compares to another instead of viewing it as its own thing. Sure, you can make comparisons to prove some points and whatnot, but if you're basing your criticisms mostly on that, you're not really giving the show a fair chance, are you? Well, it's not like Tada-kun is the most original show ever anyway, but that doesn't mean it can't be good despite not being exactly original or groundbreaking, Boku no Hero Academia isn't exactly the most original shounen ever, but it's still a pretty good watch because it executes its shounen tropes and clichés very well. So, is Tada-kun a good show in that sense? Well... Kinda. It has some great production values and looks gorgeous, most Doga Kobo shows I watched do, the background art is very well-made and the animations are incredibly smooth, though the characters don't look exactly unique, but they look good enough.The main character is Tada Mitsuyoshi, a japanese high school student who is a member of his school's Photography Club and aspires to be a photographer like his father was, Tada has never known love before. One certain day, Tada was taking some pics of the cherry blossoms for the club, but some dumb blonde bitch who's probably a gaijin was getting in the way of his pics and Tada was about to tell her to fuck off back to Sweden, but then the girl turned around and she actually looks cute, so it's alright, cute girls can stay in our glorious nippon lands. In this exact moment when Tada meets the foreign girl, the screen gets covered in a pink filter as cherry blossoms float around, which means the title of the show should have been Tada Takes A Minute to Fall in Love. Anyway, the girl asks Tada to take some pictures of her, he ends up taking with his own camera because her camera's battery died or whatever. The girl's name is Teresa Wagner, she's a foreigner from European country called Larsenburg, Teresa likes Japan a lot and is particularly a big fan of a japanese samurai-themed TV show called Rainbow Shogun, she just arrived in Japan and got separated from her travelling companion, so Tada lends her a hand and takes her to the Tada Cafe where he works together with his grandpa and his sister Yui. Fortunately, and conveniently, the hotel where Teresa will stay with her companion is right next to Tada's family cafe, also Teresa's companion is a redhead chick called Alexandra Magritte, but better known as Alec, who was worried sick and takes care of her, to the point of beating up one of Tada's friends because she misunderstood him as a creepy dude who was trying to make some moves on Teresa. Can you guess who Teresa could possibly be? I can't for the life of me, man...Turns out Teresa and Alec are transfer students in Tada's school, and they end up joining the Photography Club as well. Most of the other main characters are also members of the club and they all follow some typical anime tropes: There's Ijuin Kaoru, the goofy hyperactive narcisist who's popular with girls, the president of the club, Sugimoto Hajime or Pin-senpai, who's a perverted third year student that's way into photographing nude girls and has an obsession with a gravure idol called Hina, Yamashita Kentarou, a first year student behaves like a dog for some reason, and then there's Hasegawa Hinako who's a bit of a quiet glasses girl and looks an awful lot like Hina... I wonder why Hinako looks like Hina. Can you guess it? Alright, that joke has gotten annoying now, I'll stop. Not that Tada, Teresa and Alec don't follow some anime tropes as well, Tada is your typical stoic protagonist, Teresa is the friendly childish girl and Alec is a bit of a tsundere, in fact none of the characters from Tada-kun is exactly original by any means, it doesn't help much that most of them don't get much development and don't show many character traits besides the ones you've seen since the beginning, but... I actually like Tada-kun's cast, at least most of it. I don't really care much for Yamashita Dog, Pin-senpai and Hinako, they don't really develop much, most of their scenes are typical hit-and-miss anime comedy, there's like, one episode dedicated to Pin-senpai and Hinako, also another one that shows Yui has a crush on Yamashita, but then the show never really bothers to explore these characters' relationships more, so I feel it was kind of a waste, I think Nyanko Big, Tada's cat, has a better romance arc than most of the characters this show wastes no time with starting to ship, which is weird. Being a slice of life, Tada-kun doesn't have much of a plot, it's just the Photography Club doing their club activities while Tada and Teresa get closer to each other and occasionally we get some focus on other characters, the pacing is not very good because there's a few episodes where nothing really happens when it comes to the characters and their relationships, and obviously there's no way to effectively develop many love couples in a 13 episode anime. That being said, Tada-kun would benefit to have more moments when other characters stop playing their anime trope for the sake of comedy, I feel this show really does a good job at making them likeable when it shows other sides of characters such as Ijuin and Alec. At first, I found Ijuin to be annoying because he's even the type of real-life person I wouldn't get along with at all, he's loud, hyperactive, he overreacts to stuff, loves taking pictures of himself and talking about himself, he constantly provokes Alec into beating him up, etc. But then one episode about him hosting a "show" of his own where he treats everyone else from the club with whatever they like to eat, showed that behind Ijuin's silly behavior, there's a great guy who deeply cares for his friend and pulls all this goofy act up just to amuse him and the others, he got moved by the fact that Tada's parents died and has been trying his best to cheer Tada up even nowadays when he's pretty alright, he still does it every year just so Tada and his other friends can have some fun. Now this is how you write a good comic relief character, people, I love it when this type of character gets their chance to show that they're more than just a a way to inject some comedy into the show, it makes me sympathize with them and even tolerate their silly moments, and Ijuin actually has quite a handful of serious moments where he's shown to be a very good friend, I didn't expect him of all people to be my favorite character in this show. Alec is also pretty cute when she's not playing the typical tsundere role with Ijuin, although she can get a bit overly dramatic at times when something happens to Teresa, I think it makes sense because she's not very good at expressing or controlling her feelings and cares a lot for Teresa's well-being, she's an alright character, I actually prefer her to Teresa, who's honestly kinda bland, but not unlikeable at least. Tada is also an alright character, he gets some development as he starts to realize his own feelings for Teresa, he has an internal conflict with that due to his backstory and the fact that Teresa will have to return to her country someday and his interactions with Ijuin are some quality bro shit, for a stoic anime protagonist I found him pretty easy to like compared to a lot of the others.There's also a new character that gets introduced in the second half of the show, Charles de Loire, a descendant of French nobility who's later revealed to be secretly Teresa's fiance, and you'd probably think this show would turn into a shitty love triangle drama where the main character has to dispute the girl with some douchebag the writers clearly want you to hate. Surprisingly, it doesn't go that route! I mean, sure, there's a lot of drama in later episodes, but not because of Charles being a romantic rival to Tada, he's a pretty chill dude who befriends even Tada quickly and never really tries to ruin his relationship with Teresa or anything, although he does genuinely love Teresa and is unaware that Alec has a crush on him. I would go as far as saying Charles is the true hero of this series, because if it wasn't for him, we would have gotten a much less predictable bittersweet ending.... Well, when I put it like that, it makes Charles look like a character who just made the show more generic since the ending is exactly what I and everyone else were expecting it to be, but whatever, Charles is still a nice character for what this show is. Also, I don't really get the whole deal with Rainbow Shogun, this series dedicate a lot of screen time to this show and I don't really understand why, the rainbow color joke thing was funny the first time around, but not after it was repeated for the 20th time... Is there some deeper meaning to this? Is it just a running gag in the series? I don't know, maybe Rainbow Shogun is 2deep4me.Anyway, I think you'll probably know what route Tada-kun takes and what kind of ending it will have by the time you're starting to watch the second half, it's awfully predictable and by-the-numbers, but it's not a bad anime, I didn't even have high expectations for it to begin with and got pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking some of its characters. I expected Tada-kun to be a nice little slice of life anime with bits of romance and comedy, and I got exactly what I expected, even if the writing is not exactly the greatest and it plays too safe for its own good, it was still enjoyable for what it was and the second half tackled the theme of regret over missed opportunities rather well. There's quite a handful of things to like about Tada-kun, depending on your expectations, your tolerance for clichés and predictable plot elements, you may even enjoy this show even more than I did, I would recommend giving at least the first three episodes a shot.  

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