Tsuredure Children
Episode 7

by Nick Creamer,

How would you rate episode 7 of
Tsuredure Children ?

This week's Tsuredure Children first returned us to Yuki and Jun, the girl who keeps confessing and the boy who can't believe she actually means it. We've already seen a couple skits with this pair, and without Jun actually acknowledging Yuki's feelings, their bits would likely get pretty repetitive. On the other hand, if Jun actually did acknowledge her feelings, the entire basis of their comedy would likely break down or at least transform into something much less barbed. With that in mind, it didn't surprise me that this skit stalled their relationship by once again leaning on Hotaru, Jun's little sister.

In spite of the “obsessive little sister” trope having been completely run into the ground, Hotaru still feels funny and endearing, likely because she's more of a realistic gremlin than some fanciful ideal. Her texting session with Yuki offered some of this episode's best bits, once again finding distinct comedy in the disconnect of textual phone conversations. Hotaru's faces were as great as ever, and the fact that Yuki figured out what was going on immediately allowed the sequence to gracefully escalate until Hotaru lost her mind. I think that segment's secret weapon was Yuki's smug deer icon - cutting from her dramatic words to that unchanging deer face made for some great gags and really emphasized her complete imperviousness to Hotaru's provocations.

Next up, we returned to Goda and Kamine, the couple who keep getting their conversational wires crossed. This segment had a bit more of the conversational humor that elevated their first two skits, but it mostly just existed as a vehicle for the two of them to be adorable together. The segment wasn't a highlight, but watching young couples just have a charming time together is also a key component of Tsuredure Children's appeal. Goda and Kamine's issues are mundane enough and personalities well-articulated enough that they feel like a real couple at this point, and thoughts like “I want you to say you love me, but I don't want to make you say it” ring completely true to life. This couple are going to need more active conflicts to facilitate future scenes, but this one got away with its relative mundanity.

The third segment demonstrated another way Tsuredure Children can add some legs to its skits - by intertwining different sets of the cast together. Returning to the texting couple, we first saw Kanda avoid Takase by using Yuki for cover. This felt like a smart call - the show's skits are fine on their own, but reminding us that all these kids attend the same school makes us feel that much more attached to the overall setting. The segment wasn't all that great on the whole, since “Dating Master” has pretty much already run out of jokes, but his second successful performance did make me appreciate that the show understands he's an idiot. Dating Master is basically a fountain of cliches and bad advice, and the fact that he got completely shut down in his first appearance indicates the show actually knows this, and it's now using him to underline the romantic naivety of the rest of the cast. One of Tsuredure Children's great strengths is that it treats its various romances with a sense of humor, understanding that high school crushes are ultimately awkward and flimsy things.

Last up, we returned to the love-struck yet love-blind Takano for the credit sequence. Takano and Sugawara are one of my favorite couples in Tsuredure Children, but I can't say this was one of their better sequences. The initial comedy of their rapport came from Sugawara's romantically frustrated monologue slamming into the brick wall of Takano's deadpan replies, but with Takano now fumbling around the realization that she actually has a crush, we've shifted to a less comedy-focused dynamic. Takano's character doesn't feel well-rounded enough to support that yet, but we've still got half a season, so I'm hopeful the show will settle on a new rapport that takes advantage of both their personalities again. Overall, this episode was mostly carried by its standout first segment, but the three others did important work by developing their central couples. I'm ready for whatever payoff next week brings!

Overall: B-

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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