• Titles: Tsuredure Children, Tsure x dure children, Tsurezure Children
  • Genre: Romance, comedy, Slice of Life, School, Short
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Studio Gokumi

Ahhh spring, when a person’s thoughts turn to affairs of the heart. But for those that are still in the springtime of their youth, these thoughts are new and a little frightening. Tsuruzure children follows a plethora of young couples as they explore the wonders and horrors of first-time crushes. Because all great love stories have to start somewhere and no two are alike. Also, we all turn into complete dorks when we fall for someone and that can be really fun to watch!

I’ll be honest with you guys. I only took 3 notes while watching Tsuruzure Children. 1) Not my favourite style of character designs. 2) This is sweeter than I expected. 3) Why are the girls insane? So this is pretty much what I have to go on for this review.

it’s cause they would be too perfect if they weren’t a little crazy

Although the very first thing I wrote down regarding Tsuruzure Children was a criticism of the visuals, I would say the production is actually quite good. It’s not my style of designs but they are all varied and unique and the art is extremely consistent.

I will admit that the backgrounds are sparse and there simply isn’t an opportunity for impressive animation but it seems more deliberate than simply a compromise to a limited budget. I have said it before but short programs have a tendency to look…for lack of a better word, cheap. And this was not the case here. Without looking luxurious or particularly remarkable, Tsuruzure Children nevertheless gave the impression of a competently made anime with appropriate resources.

I watched this series in Japanese and I honestly don’t know if a dub exists. However, I’m going to go out on a limb and recommend the sub anyway. Not only were the performances good and the cast had great chemistry (a must in a romance) but there were a certain rhythm and cadence to the dialogue which will necessarily be lost in translation. And that cadence is important for the impact of each vignette.

timing is very important!

I just said vignette! Each episode of Tsuruzure children is 13 minutes long Around 12 if you don’t count the OP that’s always the same. There is no ED though. Those 12 minutes or so are then further divided into 4 to 6 vignettes following the (mis)adventures of the various pairs. Some couples are recurring and we see their story evolve through the episodes, while others only get one or two vignettes.

For those who are wondering, these are all age-appropriate couples and there is no venturing in yuri, yaoi or otherwise alternative romance/sexuality.

Because most of the vignettes are very short, the stories actually end up being collections of the best or most impactful moments in the couples’ lives. For the most part, they focus on the courtship, confession and first dates of the couples. And for the most part, they are all sweet, respectful and just adorable kids falling in love. I awwed quite a bit and despite my romantic impairment, found myself openly rooting for a few of them.

even when they were a bit of an odd couple

This said, even with the shortened run time, I couldn’t get through more than two episodes in a row. Tsuruzure Children features a whole lot of characters and they are all unique but somehow, the episodes ended up feeling extremely repetitive.

I think this comes from the comedy aspect of the series. Tsuruzure Children could have simply been a lighthearted romance. Being a comedy just by virtue of not being sad or not having anything bad happen. But instead, the series does work in actual comedic moments and jokes. I did enjoy the humour. One of my favourite gags was a girl confessing to the guy she likes (who also likes her) over text just as he is sending a text saying he wants to talk to her at school tomorrow because people who confess over text are really lame. The way this situation joke was handled, and the fallout, was just perfect.

Unfortunately, a lot of the humour does derive from three elements that are present in multiple couples. Either a really comically over shy guy, an impossibly dense character that doesn’t realize the other likes them no matter how obvious it is or an emotionally unstable girl. Some couples have more than one with the pinnacle being an impossibly dense guy that continuously misunderstands the situation causing his unstable girlfriend to meltdown every other day.

this poor girl has been through a lot!

With the possible exception of the council president and delinquent couple, I think every other couple has at least one of these and as such, after a few episodes you start to feel like you’ve seen the same setup before.

For me, spreading out the episodes a bit was enough to counter the repetitiveness and allow me to enjoy most episodes. I found that some couples more endearing than others. My favourite by far being Sugawara and Chizuru. I found myself looking forward to whenever they would have another vignette together. It might be telling that these two get closer but don’t actually end up together during the series.

My other favourites are probably Saki and Takase. The couple with the texting incident. Come to think of it, they also don’t end up together during the course of the season.

these two were just so adorable

Tsuruzure Children isn’t some big surprising show. You get exactly what it says on the tin. A series of very short sweet moments featuring students falling in love. And I think that’s just the touch of sweetness most of us can use once in a while. There is no time for character studies or exciting adventures but it’s like a friend telling you a cute story about how they met their boyfriend. And there’s a certain comfort and sweetness in the fact that it’s just that. It was a nice break from 2020.

Favourite character : Dating Master Katori

Suggested drink: a Berry Sweetheart

  • Every time Minagawa is a troll  – take a sip
  • Every time someone confesses – cross your fingers
  • Every time anyone gets hit – gasp!
  • Every time anyone gets hit on – rrrwarr
  • Every time you think poor Sugawara – take a sip
  • Every time someone is on their cell phone – take a sip
  • Every time anyone gets really nervous – awww
  • Every time Kamine cries – take a sip
  • Every time Katori shows up – cheer!
  • Every time Chiaki talks about poop – take a sip
  • Every time Hotaru gets clingy – take a sip

In case you’re new here, I have a Pinterest with all my screencaps (there are a lot!). If you can’t find a show you are looking for in my main boards, just go to Anime Screenshots. I move the shows I have reviewed there. Of course, I’m still going to add a few images here!

13 thoughts

  1. Ah, the memories. I remember really liking the show, though usually I don’t have much taste for romcoms. The couples just feel so genuine and naively serious – just as you said – it’s all sweet, respectful and adorable, including the comedy (“I’m not gay, I checked” might have been one of my favourite moments). I just got an immense urge to watch it again. Or read the manga again. Mmm… thanks?

    1. You know, your comment makes me think that I would like the manga as well. It’s probably the type of thig where you can just read a chapter or two between other series or whenever you need a pick me up!

            1. I admit that she was fun character before the relationship. But, the way that there characters played off one another made the show for me.

            2. Their names are one “i” away from being Akagi and Kaiji. They’re relationship is a gmable.

  2. Aww, I really liked the show, but then I watched it weekly. I’m not sure how many episodes I’d watch at once, if I binged it. Sugawara/Takano are my favourite couple, too. They’re just so adorable.

    I actually like the character designs. They’re very simple, more iconic than realistic, which makes them easy to have type-cast expressions. It fits the type of show it is very well. I mean, some of the student-council president’s grins would probably have had the top of her head fall off if that were in any way realistic.

    I think my favourite skit in the show is tha manzai duo’s attempt at a first kiss.

    Some romcoms are balanced, others are more rom than com; this one’s definitely more com than anything else, with the typical situations just played straight. Despite that, some of it is actually more adorable than many of the more serious roms.

    1. There’s an earnestness about it and the silliness ends up feeling honest. I like it better in hindsight and I quite liked it in the moment.

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