Anime fans or curious viewers who are looking for something to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon or relax after a hard day’s work need look no further than Tanaka-kun is always lethargic (Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge). This series from 2016, which consists of 12 extremely easy-to-understand episodes, is not only classified as a school play, but also an iyashikei show, which means that it is specially designed to be a soulful experience.
While all iyashikei titles in their nature are meant to be nurturing and relaxing – such as Natsumes friend book, Polar bear café, Flying witch and Not not Biyori – Tanaka-kun is always lethargic takes the cake considering its overall sleepy atmosphere. Still, the gentle comedy means that the audience will be entertained instead of bored, making the show a perfect choice for anyone looking for a fun, yet heartwarming watch.
Tanaka-kun takes place in high school, where the protagonist is notorious for his fearsome slow pace and unique ability to fall asleep in literally any situation. As someone who walks in everyday life with as little energy as possible, Tanaka can remind viewers of someone who Hyouka‘s Oreki Houtarou, albeit a far less brusque and sour version. He is almost always accompanied (or carried) wherever he goes by his best friend, the down-to-earth and very reliable Oota, who almost controls Tanaka’s life for him since Tanaka himself is too lazy to do it himself.
Given that this alone is the main premise of the show, the series is a very episodic one, with most of the humor coming from the fact that despite Tanaka’s deliberately chosen slow lifestyle, he experiences that he constantly deals with various obstacles and interruptions. to its peaceful ideal. From having to participate in something as simple as gym class to inadvertently taking on an apprentice in lethargy, there is always something annoyingly lively going on in the background.
The charm of Tanaka-kun lies in how gracious each character is. As in anime such as Horimiya, there is really no such thing as drama, in that the cast is completely composed of genuinely kind-hearted people who are more than happy to just get along. Also, since there is little or no romance present in the case of Tanaka-kun, the show is able to focus exclusively on friendships and sometimes family relationships. The bridge between Tanaka and Oota is particularly touching, but in general it seems that no one judges or wants to create problems for anyone else, which adds a lot of warmth and health to the series.
Aside from Tanaka’s own quirks, anime obviously has a lot of fun playing with character stereotypes. Although it is not as witty or funny as a title Monthly girls’ Nozaki-kun in this connection, Tanaka-kun still has a lot of comedy in the same direction. For example, the tall, stoic and deep-voiced Oota has a massive sweetness, likes to do housework and can not stand anything to do with fear, while his childhood friend Echizen looks and behaves like a cliché teenage criminal, but loves everything that is beautiful and sweet.
Viewers will probably also appreciate how nice it is Tanaka-kun is to just look at. Many, perhaps even most, iyashikei animated titles take place in a rural setting – all the better to heal the hearts of audience members with their beautiful landscapes and plenty of sparkling greenery. While Tanaka-kun seems to be set in an indefinable small town, and for the most part within the school, the artwork is still nothing to sniff at. Fresh and bright, it may not offer picturesque forest or mountain views, but is still incredibly comfortable and easy on the eyes.
What Tanaka-kun lacks in the traditional “action” of even the slice-of-life show, it more than makes up for it with its versatile feel-good mood, thoroughly entertaining cast and not insignificant comic chops. For those who gravitate toward airy iyashikei titles, good-natured humor, or even just episodic anime that can be seen at any pace, this series should be considered a must-see.