Anime Review, Summary, Synopsis: Tonikaku Kawaii TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You トニカクカワイイ - An Anime That Raises Debates About The Institution of Marriage In Japan

TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You 


12 Episodes

Completed Anime

Year Released : 2020

Seven Arcs Studios

Produced By: Warner Brothers Japan, Crunchyroll, Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, as well as others.

Genres: Romance, Shoujo, Marriage, Teens, Comedy

This anime starts out very dark with a young man badly injured after being hit by a truck. This young man felt that he would die because the pain was so bad, but a girl saves his life. This girl encourages him to keep fighting and to not give up. She pushes him to fight death and keep going.

After this sad scene, the anime then goes into what led up to that moment, as well as who the young man and woman are. The young man who was injured is named Yuzaki Nasa. Because of his first name (Nasa) being unusual, Nasa was always made fun of in school. Being picked on made Nasa want to be at the top; to become one of the best who everyone respects. To meet this goal, Nasa strove for the best grades and applied to a high school that only accepts students who have top marks.

When it comes to personality, Nasa is someone who is arrogant, self-assured, and independent. He does not like to ask others for advice, including his parents, and he believes that if he plans everything out, things will happen according to plan. Unfortunately, life is not so predictable, as Nasa discovered with his car accident.

Right before Nasa got hit by a truck, he was thunderstruck by the love bug. He was walking home at night when he saw a cute girl that he instantly fell in love with. He was so awestruck by her, that he was not paying attention to his surroundings, and he walked right into the middle of the road. The driver could not stop in time and Nasa was hit.

We find out here that the girl also tried to protect Nasa, so she jumped in front of the truck to protect him and take some of the brunt of the force of the truck. It is because of this that Nasa survived the hit.

After helping Nasa, this mysterious girl leaves. As she leaves, he sees the moon behind her and thinks about the Japanese myth about Princess Kaguya. 

Princess Kaguya was a princess from the moon who came to earth and was raised by a human family; Princess Kaguya was raised by a bamboo cutter who found her in a bamboo stalk. The princess was well-loved, and even the emperor fell in love with her and adored her. Princess Kaguya also loved the earth very much, but when the moon people came for her, no one fought for her, so she returned to the moon and was never seen again by those she loved, including her human family. So the tale of Princess Kaguya is considered a tragic love story.

Being hit by a truck has put Nasa in a daze and in a weird mental state where he goes in and out of consciousness. I think this is why the girl looks like a magical princess to him, and why he thinks that meeting the girl is fate. So Nasa thinks that if he lets this girl go now, he will never see her again, so he drags himself up as badly injured as he is, and chases after her. When Nasa finds the girl, he thanks her for saving him and formally introduces himself to her. 

The girl wipes the blood off of Nasa and gives him her coat to help him stay warm. For Nasa, this girl is his first love, so even the small things like her smell are very soothing to him. Her touch is overwhelming for him. To the girl though, she is worried about Nasa's injuries, so she goes to call an ambulance for him, and intends to never see him he again after this moment, so she says goodbye to him. Nasa does not want this though; he wants to get to know her, so once again he chases after her, but Nasa collapses as the shock and adrenaline wear out. 

So at this point in the anime, I almost stopped watching it because it seems ridiculous at times and I am not into the main theme of this anime. 

Based on the opening theme song and the title of this anime, it is a simple anime with marriage as the central theme, and I feel that there is no real plot. Plus, there are too many unrealistic moments in this first episode. For example, if anyone was hit by a truck, they would likely die, and they definitely would not be able to speak immediately afterwards like normal. Both main leads were hit by a truck, so how on earth were they up running around? Nasa broke both of his legs, so shock or no shock, he should not have been able to run on those legs. Furthermore, when Nasa caught up with the girl, she is completely normal as if she was not hit by a truck. She is moving like normal, there is no blood on her, and she acts and looks like it was a perfectly normal day. So I do not feel that this anime was well thought out and there are too many things wrong with the scenes.

Despite these feelings though, I decided to keep watching it to see if anything changes.

Nasa drags himself up once again and confesses his love to the girl. He asks her out, and she agrees to go out with him if he marries her. He proudly agrees immediately, but he blacks out after that.

When Nasa wakes up, the season has changed from winter to spring. It is now cherry blossom season. 

Nasa is currently in the hospital recovering from his injuries, but he is a changed person now, so the direction of Nasa's life has also changed. 

Nasa spent months in rehab and studied during that time, but he missed the entrance exams because of the car accident. Nasa does take the high school entrance exam a year later though and passes it, but he chooses not to go to high school because everything that happened exhausted him. Instead, Nasa gets a part-time job hoping that he will run into the girl that he met before, but this girl has completely disappeared since his accident.

At this point, I once again find myself wanting to stop watching this anime because the whole focus is only on the pursuit of love. Other important life events are tossed aside, such as personal growth, life accomplishments, job advancements, going to college, making friends, etc. This anime seems to push the message that all you need is love and nothing else matters, but you do need other things in your life as well. Nasa is not even allowing himself to be happy because he is just waiting for that girl to come back into his life. I do not like messages like this and I do not think that it is good to teach this to young people, especially high school teens who have their whole future ahead of them. 

Since this anime is almost over, I just decided to finish it, so here is how it ends.

The girl suddenly appears at Nasa's home after over a year has passed. She formally introduces herself to him for the first time, and we find out that her name is Tsukasa

Nasa is such a daydreamer and a romantic that he sees this moment as continuing where the Tale of Princess Kaguya left off, had the princess stayed on earth. Nasa believes the two of them will live happily ever after, despite knowing nothing about each other, and not having been around each other. 

Nasa's personality is very cute and innocent; his awkwardness and shyness is sweet. Tsukasa shocks Nasa though when she tells him that she registered their marriage and brought the marriage license with her. How can a marriage be registered without both parties being present? Is one person saying you agreed to marry enough to register a marriage? Do not both parties need to confirm it first before a marriage license is issued?

Tsukasa even got witnesses for the marriage, though no one could have ever met Nasa to know if he is real and actually exists. Apparently, Tsukasa got a random passerby to confirm their relationship, so this makes me question marriage in Japan. Is it really this easy? 

"Is turning in a piece of paper really all we need to get married?" - Nasa Yuzaki, TONIKAWA Over The Moon For You

I am aware that some marriages in other countries are not about love, and both parties do not have to know each other. Marriage is sometimes about combining families, continuing one's family line, or simply fulfilling a requirement set by society. But how often is marriage still a simple arrangement and agreement in modern Japan today?

Of course, since Nasa has not stopped liking Tsukasa this whole time, he signs the marriage license immediately. The fact that Nasa signed it so easily shows how innocent, naive, and trusting he is. 

Nasa's innocence brings age into this discussion as well. Nasa is only 18, and Tsukasa is younger than him; she is only 16. Do Japanese people still marry so young today? In traditional societies, marriage tends to happen at earlier ages, but because Nasa and Tsukasa are so young, they will never get to experience many things in their lives since marriage is their first major event. 

It is clear that this anime supports the institution of marriage, even for those who are underage, but it also seems to want to educate young people about the legal process of marriage, such as the paperwork and the 24 hour marriage registration late night desk.

Though Tsukasa and Nasa's marriage was fast, Nasa is quickly adjusting to it; Nasa already feels that Tsukasa has completed some part of him. Tsukasa is the first to not make fun of Nasa's first name, and when Tsukasa says that his first name is lovely, it lifts a burden from Nasa that he did not realize that he had. So it looks like this marriage may help Nasa grow and evolve personally. Tsukasa also seems full of knowledge and is quite wise. 

Based on the differences in their personalities, since Nasa is gentle, easy-going, and sensitive, I feel that Tsukasa will lead the marriage and help give it direction and organization.

One thing that shocks me about their marriage is that Tsukasa's parents gave permission for the marriage without ever physically seeing or meeting Nasa. This makes me question the role of parents in some marriages in Japan today. Perhaps the creators of this anime felt that marriage is becoming less and less common among young people, so this anime was created to help celebrate marriage and to show the beauty of it while young when you can go through self-discovery together, grow and evolve together.

"A marriage between young folks is a thing worth celebrating." - TONIKAWA Over The Moon For You

Marriage is so simple and easy to enter into today, but maintaining it is far harder and where the long hard journey begins.

Is This Anime Worth Watching?

From the looks of it, this anime will focus on first time experiences, such as love and intimacy, as well as how marriage looks and is experienced from a young person's perspective. This anime will take you along as Tsukasa and Nasa have their ups and downs, as they grow and change through their marriage, and as they experience new things together on their life journey. 

Tsukasa and Nasa are so young that there are many things that they will miss out on in life because marriage was their first major life experience. Since Nasa is 18, it is fine for him to marry, but Tsukasa is only 16; she should be experiencing high school friendships, dances, boyfriends, prom, etc. Instead, Tsukasa is marrying before she even finishes high school. I did not even get to take sex education until later in high school, so Tsukasa knows very little about her own body at this time. Being married in Japan, many women become housewives, so Tsukasa may leave school without even having a basic full education. If Tsukasa has a child, there will be many things that she will not know to teach her child.

I am also questioning Tsukasa's family life. It is so easy for Tsukasa to leave her parents, so perhaps a new life with Nasa is far better than her home life; maybe it is even an escape from a problem. If this is the case, I can understand why Tsukasa took the risk and married young. Considering Nasa's personality, I feel that he will be good to Tsukasa and will not restrict her, so he will be a source of freedom for her in many ways.

To be clear, I am not against marriage in anime. In fact, I love reading manga romances where the couple gets married, but I really just wish that Tsukasa was at least 18, or at least on the verge of finishing high school, because that would have created a completely different tone in the anime. 

All-in-all, this is a very simple anime that focuses solely on married life. Nasa's personality also makes him an unrelatable character for many guys, so this anime is definitely for young female audiences. Many older women will also not like this anime or find it relatable at all. The simple plot will also not appeal to some anime fans who want something deeper or more complex. Thus, I think that there is a very narrow audience that this anime will appeal to. In general, I think that young teen girls will like it, but others not as much.

Do I recommend this anime? Honestly, I do not like it very much. This is the first anime that I have come across that I just had a lot of issues with. I have watched some weird yaoi and ecchi animes that did not bother me the way that this one did, so something about this anime just rubs me the wrong way; it hit something personal for me I think. So given this, I can not recommend this anime.

I am curious though about whether or not Tsukasa will stay in school, because that would change some of my negative feelings about this anime. Real love will wait, and if Nasa really loves Tsukasa and wants what is best for her, he will stick around while she finishes high school. So, I will watch one more episode to see what happens, then I will stop watching it. 

Have you watched this anime? What did you think of it?

No comments:

Post a Comment