For years we saw the same old cliches hashed out time and time again when it came to anime romance: Cheesy, fantastical harems; couples that could never commit; shows where just the apparently remarkable feat of holding hands took a whole twelve episodes. However, recently we’ve started to see a trend emerging of more naturalistic romance series, that are willing to let their couples ‘go the distance’ and hook up in a realistic, warmly observed manner. Earlier this year we were gifted a masterful example of this in Tsuki Ga Kirei. Now 4-koma manga adaptation Tsuredure Children is here, offering us something very similar, albeit in a veritable smorgasbord of bite-size snippets.
Clocking in at twelve minutes long, each episode of the show is further subdivided into four 3-minute segments, each highlighting a different high school duo and their respective trials and tribulations in saying ‘I Love You’. What results is sometimes adorable, sometimes shockingly forward, and almost always lovingly humorous. The large cast list might have you knocking up a quick spreadsheet to keep tabs on who’s dating who, but this breadth of characterisation only serves to further amplify the show’s naturalistic feel. After all, love comes in all shapes and sizes.
Much like 2014’s excellent I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying, we can’t overstate what a breath of fresh air Tsuredure Children’s take on modern-day romance is. It’s sugary sweet and it’s whip-crackingly funny. Through it all the show manages to pack more into these delightful little three minute segments than most other series manage in their entire runs. Forget the latest blockbuster action thriller, there are enough heart-in-your mouth, edge-of-your-seat moments in Tsuredure Children’s sketches of teen romance to last you a lifetime.