Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You is a romantic comedy anime series. This heartwarming anime follows the story of Nasa Yuzaki, a young man who meets the girl of his dreams, Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, and quickly falls in love with her. The series explores their budding relationship as they navigate the challenges of married life, all while experiencing the highs and lows of being in love. In this Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You Review, we’ll take a closer look at what makes it such a beloved anime among fans and why it’s worth watching for anyone who enjoys a good romance story.
The anime started airing in the Fall 2020 anime season. Tonikawa: Over The Moon For You is animated by Seven Arcs, the same studio is also doing the 2nd season of Tonikawa.
Right from the onset of the series, there are two things that are clear. The first is this could have easily have turned out to be an isekai, and the second is that the protagonist has more brains than sense. Within the first 10 minutes of the very first episode, you are introduced to this character who is academically talented but clearly has a one-track mind, this is until he sees a girl on the other side of the road. As stated this could have been an isekai, and the first seconds before the opening credit roll show the results of the “not paying attention” syndrome that the main protagonists suffer from.
Once the initial shock/ comedy has passed from the accident, and the normal human limits are surpassed, (let’s face it a good protagonist has a drive that won’t let them give up, and Nasa is no exception starting this series) the hero (Nasa) finally gets to talk to his princess (Tsukasa) and gets to say the fabled words to shock her. Although this comes with the condition of him marrying her, he is completely fine with that, and subsequently, he collapses before learning her name. Upon Nasa turning 18 years old (2 years after the accident) a knock at the door reveals a familiar red-haired woman, who introduces herself as Tsukasa, and wishes to speak about their agreement. Once the agreement is fulfilled, the two of them embark on a journey together.
Although it has a more jokey flow from Episode to Episode, there are more serious situation shifts. The jokey flow isn’t broken in these points, which is a pretty unique thing to have. In addition to this, the series adds a historical perspective where you can actually learn some interesting facts, although this is nothing in comparison to something like Dr Stone, these are interesting things that can easily be overlooked.
The story revolves around the two characters, Tsukasa and Nasa who met up after a few years to fulfil a promise made in the heat of the moment. A promise of marriage is made in the opening Episode and fulfilled by the end of that same Episode, from that point on their adventure together starts.
Throughout the 12-Episode runtime, and because there are so many good bits that keep the comedy going, each Episode seems to go by really fast. The way the storytelling has been handled makes you want to keep watching to find out some of the biggest mysteries the series has. That being said each Episode is really enjoyable and entertaining.
Although Nasa is smart, his approach to being married is more than a little misleading. While his approach is typical in most situations, at other times he needs a little extra motivation. In these instances, Kaname is right there ready to push him in the right direction, as shown in Episode 3 when she is introduced. On the other hand, there is Tsukasa, who most of the time seems cold and calculated about what is happening, knowing full well she is married and what it entails. There are incidences where she lets this slip and becomes either flustered, embarrassed or on odd occasions angry. These changes are different compared with her passion and hobbies, and more akin to her being taken off guard.
The main story is pretty straightforward, but there is so much more below the surface of the story that it’s easy to lose track. Where the main plot follows the romance between the two characters there are lots more than that. Honestly, it feels like there are a few stories overlapping the 12 Episodes of the season, but narrowing it down with the limited information presented is way too difficult. Examples of this can include the reason for the Moon Rock, and how they both survived the truck because honestly, the damage Nasa takes seems way more substantial in comparison to Tsukasa. In addition to this at the bus stop moments after the accident she seems unharmed, these things seem like they should be expanded on but nothing is in the 12 Episodes. The 12th Episode concludes with a summer festival, from this, it can be gauged that the season covers around four months.
There are a few factors that are important to the development of the characters, the first main thing is how each of the characters starts out, and the second is how they evolve together. The third and final factor is the speed at which things develop in short time periods, which can’t really be described other than the fact that they fall into the roles they have.
Nasa is introduced as this one-track-minded character who can’t believe his luck. Originally you get the impression that he has all the brains to be a genius, but none of the intellect to form the sense he needs. Although he is incredibly smart, he also suffers from a big anime dilemma which is his density when it comes to some conversational topics. The first real-time this is shown is in Episode 3 when Tsukasa asks about Kaname’s sister, Aya.
Tsukasa first comes across as an evil-looking person staring back at Nasa, however, it quickly changes to a confused opinion. This is only because of her reaction to being told the person she just saved the life of, loves her, and her response is to marry him. As the Episodes go on her development takes a sharp 180 to reveal her passions and hobbies as the centre of attention. This is first shown in Episode 5 when she realises that Nasa does not in fact own a T.V. and she goes off on a rant about her choice in movies.
The main issue with Tsukasa, or rather a strange thing, is that Tsukasa can cook just about anything. On its own, this is not strange, but when you think about the things that she can cook it is odd. In the second Episode, she introduces the concept of being able to make sushi. Although the author doesn’t know for certain, the initial thought is that sushi is a specialised dish to make. In Episode 9 she also is able to make rice without a rice cooker, which is a shock to Nasa.
Although the series revolves around the newlyweds and their adventure, they have a good selection of supporting characters who are introduced as early as Episode 3. Most of them are straightforward characters who push the leads in a set direction, that being said there are some who provide driving forces to the way the characters develop.
Kaname is the youngest daughter of the owners of the bathhouse and is introduced in Episode 3. Although she is one of the most mature characters in the series, she is also 3 years younger than the hero of the story. In addition to the comedy relief that she gives, she has a pretty pivotal role in the development of the story. This is because she is the driving force behind Nasa, every time he is unsure of what married life entails Kaname pushes him in the right direction.
Aya is the eldest daughter of the owners of the bathhouse and the sister of Kaname. Unfortunately, she suffers from the “dense hero” problem despite her not being a leading character. Whether this is out of her feeling for Nasa or genuinely being disconnected from the world, personally we think the latter, she manages to miss the obvious things staring right at her most of the time. Because of this, it’s all the funnier when the penny drops for her in Episode 9.
Chitose is the little sister of Tsukasa and the only real family you are introduced to over the course of the 12 Episodes, other than Nasa. Together with her maids, Charlotte and Aurora, they try to separate Nasa from Tsukasa in a number of different ways. That being said Chitose is ridiculously gullible and will fall for just about anything. Out of the 3 of them, Aurora is the most level-headed.
When Chitose is first talking with Nasa in Episode 4, she describes Tsukasa as “A Butterfly with Glass Wings“. Although this didn’t seem important at the time, or more like a passing remark on how important Tsukasa was to Chitose, this seems like one of the biggest clues to who Tsukasa is. However, this is only speculation, and going on that description of Tsukasa is clearly inaccurate, but it is still an interesting point that is raised and brings more questions to light.
Although a lot has been covered in this review there are a few things that do not fall into the above categories. Things like the soundtrack, the comical use of real-world things, and the mysteries the series has. There is also a bonus 13th Episode, classified as a season 1 special.
Along with how good the series is, it is accompanied by a pretty good soundtrack played in the opening credits. The slow-paced and calming start seems to be a deception to throw off what is to come as it rapidly becomes the fastest-paced and more engaging shift showing interesting visuals.
The series has a strange shift from comedy to serious without much warning. This is seen throughout the series but the best example of this is when the real world is referenced. First done in Episode 5, Tsukasa brings up movies in the beginning sequence which surprisingly references the real world with titles such as:
- The Terminator
- Indiana Jones
- Star Wars (by name)
James Cameron Reference:
Although a romantic comedy, there is a subcategory that could describe this anime. Throughout watching the first season there was this nagging feeling that something was missing, and after a while, it really sank in. This is the mystery that goes on behind the scenes, which includes questions like:
- How did Tsukasa survive the incident with the truck, sustaining minor injuries?
- What is the importance of the Moon Rock in Tsukasa’s room?
- What is the importance of the Kaguya Legend (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter), or is it a fakeout?
- Tsukasa references 1000 years prior and seems to be able to read the “Love Letter” at Nasa’s Parents, how?
- How old is Tsukasa really?
- Why was she so eager to marry Nasa, having only met him once prior?
Okay, that last 1 is not all that important but seriously surviving a truck and the emphasis on a real Moon Rock is enough to wonder what is going on behind the scenes. The Fifth point is a real a “what?” kind of thing. Apparently, Tsukasa is 16, this could add up considering how young she looks, however in several of the Episodes (mostly apparent in Episode 8), Tsukasa references things that set off a lot of alarm bells while exploring Nara. It is true that she could have looked them up in a book but added to the events that happened this deserved a mention. Another point to this is made in Episode 12 when Nasa is taken ill, Tsukasa states, “I don’t get sick or hurt for that matter“. This is a contradiction to what we learn, and see in Episode 1, and what she tells Kaname in Episode 10. The Third and Fourth points are a little too mysterious to even contemplate at the minute, let’s be honest in the first Episode Tsukasa is compared to Princess Kaguya, which is not strange on its own when you add in that she can read a “Love Letter” written in an old language (supposedly) this tripped alarms for me.
Episode 13 of the first season covers Tsukasa gaining the skill Smartphone and realises that being apart is more painful than either could have expected. Although it is a special Episode it feels like it should be part of the season, as this simple act of distance really makes the character develop differently for the duration.
To conclude this review, the series is full of interesting parts, and the story is enough to keep it interesting. The main characters are strongly developed and keep the story flowing. The downside is there is way more going on than is shown, and sometimes it’s hard to follow the plot through to the end. Where this is a bad point it’s not necessarily a bad thing, the way the characters act makes the progression feel easy to follow for the most part. The fact that the story seems to be hiding things is one of the most interesting parts of the series. Another bad point is the fact that most of the text that appears on screen is not translated from the original Japanese, therefore if you do not speak the language you might be missing out on something.
That all being said I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there was way more going on behind what you see, and I would hope that they are re-addressed in a follow-up season. The fact that everything, including the story of Nasa and Tsukasa’s relationship, are evolving throughout the story is an added bonus that can keep you coming back is impressive, additionally, there are way more things there that are easy to miss. Overall it was a fantastic watch and I look forward to the Second Season, with the new mysteries and story.
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