Tsuredure Children
Episode 10

by Nick Creamer,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Tsuredure Children ?

After a somewhat less satisfying ninth episode, Tsuredure Children rallied back this week with a terrific set of new skits. While last week's episode was themed around common romantic hurdles, this one focused more on narrative progression, dedicating three whole skits to just two pairs of characters. But before that, we started off with Motoyama, president of the Get Rid Of Slimy girlS club.

Though Motoyama was introduced as a jaded forever-alone type, he actually ended up coming across as endearing in this week's skit. In contrast with the romantically helpless Yamane and Kurihara, Motoyama turned out to be both emotionally intelligent and very considerate, doing his best to get his friend Yamane together with his crush. Without a crush of his own to feel helpless around, Motoyama was turned into this show's closest approximation of an audience avatar. Motoyama doesn't have any dramatic need to be romantically obtuse, so he can join us in cheering for the couples when they get closer and shaking his head when they fall apart. I'd be happy to see more Motoyama material from here on out.

After that, the episode zoomed in on the Goda-Kamine and Chiaki-Kana couples. We started off with a Goda-perspective short titled “Jealousy” that focused on Goda's continuing attempts to understand Kamine's anxieties. There was some great visual and physical comedy here, like Kamine's silly expressions and Goda's inability to pay attention to his surroundings, but the real focus was on character development. From a couple who were initially defined by their inability to communicate, they've shifted to a pair who are finally willing to ask each other what's wrong and vent their anxieties. Tsuredure Children's comedy is great, but the backbone of relatable characters slowly growing up together is what makes everything else work.

The next segment smartly contrasted Goda and Kamine's new closeness against Chiaki and Kana's continuing struggles. This was easily the funniest segment of the episode, as the dual Chiaki/Kana commentary on Goda and Kamine's after-school activities cut to the heart of their silly appeal. But their astonished reactions to Goda and Kamine's closeness also underlined the fact that every couple feels insecure in their own ways, and our perception of other couples as seemingly flawless is always just a reflection of our own fears. On top of that, the contrast of Goda/Kamine and Chiaki/Kana also offered a natural illustration of the very different bases of their relationships - while Goda and Kamine essentially started their friendship and relationship at the same time, Chiaki and Kana have a much closer rapport as friends, but a much less honest relationship as lovers.

That emotional distance came back to haunt them in this episode's last segment, where Chiaki resorted to either alcohol or Red Bull (his behavior was so unrealistic that it was tough to guess exactly what kind of stupor they were going for) to steal a kiss from Kana. I really appreciated how Chiaki's transgression wasn't played off as harmless slapstick - when you betray the trust and agency of the person you love, you are betraying your relationship with them entirely. Even Kana running off in tears was ultimately a reflection of Tsuredure Children's love and respect for its wonderful cast.

Overall: A-

Tsuredure Children is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.

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