TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 12 of
TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You ?
If episode 12 is, indeed, the final TV episode of this series, then it is almost as bland a season finale as one can possibly imagine.
To an extent, that's to be expected. As a romantic comedy, this series has never made much pretense about having dramatic events as plot drivers. Sure, there's an underlying mystery concerning who and what Tsukasa really is – and another tidbit is thrown out about that this episode in Tsukasa's claim that she doesn't get sick or seriously injured – but that has always been a backdrop. It has never been a primary focus of the series, nor has Nasa ever seemed too concerned about it. (Either that or he is just so overwhelmed by Tsukasa's cute factor that he has been distracted from connecting the dots being laid out.)
Still, I might have expected at least something bigger to send the season off on a strong note. Instead, we get one of the most dedicated mid-series tropes of anime romances: the episode where a loved one must be nursed back to health after coming down with a cold. Anime titles (and their source material) are notorious for overreacting to this situation to the point of making a big deal out of a usually-trivial illness, but at least TONIKAWA puts in a little extra effort here by bringing up one point that I have often wondered about: bedside vigils can be quite boring. Admittedly, I cannot speak from personal experience on this, as I have never done it myself, but I find it hard to believe that this wouldn't be boring, and Tsukasa apparently feels the same. She has other things she could be doing – they do have TV and video games, after all – but she seems to think that it's her role as the wife to be doing nothing else. That's why her almost desperate desire to prepare food for Nasa when he was finally up is a bit more amusing than it probably should be.
Following the illness scenario is another hoary standard of romantic comedies: the festival visit, where we learn that, as much as Nasa is great at other things, he is not a master of the goldfish catch. That at least gives Chitose, her maids, and the Arisugawa sisters reasons to all appear, and in yukatas as well. It also allows the obligatory fireworks display, though this is a low-key one compared to some of the masterpiece uses of this gimmick in the past.
About the only things which spice this episode up are that it offers one of the rare (extremely brief) true fanservice shots (of Nasa watching from behind while Tsukasa change into her yukata) and a rare instance of Nasa getting even a little frisky in bed. Frankly, I would have liked to see more of the latter from this series; Nasa either has an abnormally low sex drive or else has expert-level self-control. Really, for them being a married couple, their romantic behavior has been on the juvenile side, even given Nasa's actual and Tsukasa's apparent age.
This is apparently the last regular episode, although an OVA episode is slated for release sometime in 2021. The first 11 episodes adapted most of the first 44 chapters before skipping ahead to chapter 88 for the last episode. That covers about one-third of what has been published so far in the manga, so enough content exists for possibly two more seasons. Whether or not another season will happen is uncertain at this time, but honestly, it is not something that I am going to be breathlessly anticipating. The series has been sufficiently cute and funny, and I have enjoyed the assorted cultural and media references, but this is not a series that I can get excited about.
English dub: Crunchyroll started streaming the English dub for this series on November 20th, and five episodes are now available as of this writing. The dub mostly features strong casting choices and performances, with the one exception being Lauren Landa as Tsukasa. Original seiyuu Akari Kitō gives Tsukasa a distinctive speaking style that Landa is not quite able to replicate or provide an equivalent for. Her performance isn't bad, but sounds a little plain by comparison.
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