The anticipation surrounding TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You is to be expected. It is the next in Crunchyroll’s line of original programming (though I’m not sure how involved they actually are in this production) but more importantly, this is the latest brainchild of Kenjiro Hata, best known as the creator of Hayate the Combat Butler. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes of Hayate way back in high school but I do know that it was pretty big back in the day so it’s no wonder Hata’s next work and its respective adaptation would catch people’s attention.
But how is the show itself? So far, it’s…interesting. I wouldn’t call it bad but it there something about that’s quite odd. Basically, you have a teen prodigy Nasa Yuzaki (Junya Enoki) who encounters and falls in love with a girl named Tsukasa Tsukuyomi (Akari Kitou) while on his way to his high school entrance exams. When Tsukasa saves his life in a traffic accident, Nasa asks her to go out with him and Tsukasa agrees on the condition that they get married (which would obviously bypass the dating phase but let’s not argue semantics). Years go by without any further contact and Tsukasa reappears in Nasa’s life to marry him.
The whole premise itself is fine; I’d even say the marriage angle is refreshing (that’s normally end goal in a romcom) and has some potential to be funny. There are however a number of little details that are rather perplexing. The most obvious is that with Tsukasa deciding to jump straight into marriage, neither she nor Nasa really know each other as people. So why she agrees to Nasa’s offer and even one ups him is unclear. The timeskip also comes across as odd. Like, waiting until they can legally marry I get but Tsukasa really did hold keep her end of the bargain for that long? For that matter, why the lack of contact in those intervening years And I know it’s a small world but she sure finds Nasa again very easily.
To be fair, you get the impression that the story is acting a bit weird on purpose. While Nasa is blinded by his infatuation towards Tsukasa, he is aware that that this relationship is far from typical. With Tsukasa, there’s frequent comparisons between her and Princess Kaguya, particularly when Nasa meets her under a full moon. Whether or not that’s simply an allusion or if it’s to imply that Tsukasa is Princess Kaguya herself remains to be seen. Whatever the case may be, there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding this character. Her exact motive for marrying Nasa is unclear but she does seem genuinely interested in going through with the prospect.
What will matter more for Tonikawa is how funny it ultimately is. I’ll admit that I wasn’t laughing a whole lot here though I also chalk that up to this premiere largely being setup and dealing with some of the more perplexing details of the story. The two main characters do have some nice chemistry though. Nasa’s attraction towards Tsukasa isn’t overbearing and his more zealous personality plays off the latter’s maturity quite nicely. There also seems to be some slapstick teased such as when Nasa rushes to confess to Tsukasa despite blood literally spilling out of his head. Hopefully, subsequent episodes will take more advantage of the show’s comedic potential. So long as the show is funny and not agonizingly stupid, I can see this being a fun time throughout the season.
Thanks for reading!
Watch TONIKAWA: Over the Moon for You on Crunchyroll