Review: Tanaka-kun is Always Listless – E.01

Don’t laugh, but I actually liked this show. It’s dumb. I mean it’s really dumb and yet it’s like a better version of what Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is doing. The main character does nothing. I mean that. His goal is to just nap and lay down. His friend carries him to school. His hands routinely fall asleep in class because of leaning on them for naps. He needs a cool breeze to fall asleep sometimes. He’s so fucking delicate that a piece of bread cuts his mouth and he loses his appetite. This is the entire episode. Things like this.

Tanaka-kunThe main character Tanaka is what they call listless which I would assume would better translated to having no direction in life. Whatever though. It works and you get the idea after his friend calls him “listless” over and over. His friend is the opposite, but he does everything for him. There’s a hint of yaoi there, but nothing that would actually push it fully into that category.

This episode and show does nothing. I shouldn't like it, but I do. It was fun and the humor hit. The humor relied on more than one gag and it didn’t always center around Tanaka. Though I shouldn’t count the opening song as part of the story, it’s anime and it counts. It actually shows me that there’s going to be more and more characters involved and so it’s just a slice of life high school show, but goddamn it works.

Everything I disliked about I’m Sakamoto, this was the opposite. I would watch this show because it does nothing, because it’s doing that nothing very well. A huge part of this is the animation quality and style. Its budget is much larger than the aforementioned anime and you can tell. The backgrounds are lush and beautiful. Every character is detailed and there’s plenty of background characters that are all sharply illustrated. This world feels alive. The coloring, for me is the reason why the art is better than a lot of other anime that would fall in this category because it doesn’t look cheap. It looks like a full range of colors were used. This means a lot of lighting effects which is the big difference because otherwise it would just be a bunch of filled in frames.

I will likely continue watching this anime all the way until the bitter end. It’s not amazing, it’s not a game changer, but it has my attention and it’s animated really well. At the end of the day, I’m here for visual storytelling and Tanak-kun is Always Listless does that masterfully.


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Tanaka-kun is Always Listless – E.01 Official Website