Tsurezure Children is a brilliant, heartfelt high school romance dramedy that’s been run through a dicer and given to us in sweet little snack-sized morsels. And, like all snack-sized morsels, one just isn’t enough. And also you need a scorecard to keep up.
Hm? Oh, right—that last bit isn’t at all like snack-sized morsels. But it is very Tsurezure Children.
For a short anime built on a series of two-minute “meet cute” moments (and, usually, the weeks that follow), the cast is stupidly big. Which, at first, is a downer, because it seems like the show will be nothing but a series of new couples doing slight variations on that “meet cute” theme. But then you notice that, eventually, couples you’ve already met come back and make some kind of progress—you think. You’re not sure. Because there are 900 characters, in the first three episodes, and only a few of them have distinct enough features (physical or otherwise) to make them look memorable.
But it’s these few memorable characters (who you will give nicknames because you can’t remember 900 different names) who, ultimately, do appear with fair regularity—seemingly because the show (mostly) knows who you’re going to love watching week to week—and who, in so doing, excitedly keep you coming back. (…and wishing the show was a little more traditional in its structure. Because, later in the series, the individual vignettes become steadily more intertwined, and it is fantastic.) Whether it’s Oblivious-chan & Friendzone or Straight-Arrow & Delinquent or Class Reps: Green + Red! (I told you you wouldn’t remember their names), each pair is distinct and fleshed out and believable—and, of course, intensely adorable in their own special ways.
The surprise, of course, is the depth to the show, which, because each episode is so short (and then further subdivided within), sneaks up on you as the stories progress—and, in some cases, progress to a climactic, emotional, decent stopping point. For others…well, I have to imagine there’s a second season on the horizon.
And by “imagine” I mean “hope desperately,” because one, frankly, just isn’t enough.