What They Say:
When inexperienced kids start dating, there’s bound to be some different interpretations of the romantic learning curve. Thrown into an array of awkward situations, they’ll each discover what it means to let their emotions get the better of them. Whether it’s pubescent cluelessness, social paranoia, or just a silly misunderstanding, finding ways to contradict their feelings just comes naturally.
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with an English language dub that gets the 5.1 boost. Both tracks are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec and handle the material well since it is almost entirely just dialogue based. The show works with the small moments between a lot of characters so there’s some good placement throughout and easy work with variable levels that adds to the fun but in the end it’s largely a center channel based piece when you get down to it. There may be a couple of slightly larger moments of silliness here with a reaction or two but it’s pretty standard fare throughout. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2017, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes are kept to a single disc here as episodes are about eleven minutes in length. Animated by Studio Gokumi, the show goes for a little bit of a basic approach here with the character designs and a kind of simplicity to things without it being cheap looking. The colors hold together well throughout it with lots of solid pieces with the school setting and hair design as well as the uniforms and other costumes. The simple nature works in its favor because they do a good job in creating the scenes well and highlighting the expressiveness of the cast. It’s a good looking show throughout and the transfer captures it pretty well.
The packaging or this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case with an o-card slipcover that replicates the case artwork. The front cover design is a nice one where the four main pairings are all lined up together with a nice pastel series of colors done across it with the white mixed in well. The logo is kept small and simple but the main draw of the character designs and color work does the job nicely in drawing attention to it. The back cover is largely a bit pink background in a deep way where we get the summary of the premise laid out clearly. The shots from the show highlight some of the pairings well and we get a clean technical grid that’s easy to read with the color design for it. There are no show related inserts included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design for this release pulls from the cover nicely with it basically replicating it her ein extended form across the whole screen. The character artwork is kept to the left side while the right extends the colors and has a pink block where it does up the navigation for the show. With it all being a single disc release with no extras, it’s a quick and easy menu with what it does. Episodes are easily selected and the menu works well both as the main menu and the pop-up menu during regular playback. Access times are nice and fast and we didn’t have any problems in getting around.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga by Toshiya Wakabayashi of the same name, Tsuredure Children is a twelve episode series that aired during the summer 2017 season. The episodes are only eleven minutes in length and largely cover three stories per episode, which makes me wish it was broadcast as smaller stories over three seasons just to enjoy the little romantic moments and the characters more. The manga began in 2014 in Weekly Shonen Magazine and finished earlier this year at twelve volumes, giving plenty of material to enjoy for it which is available through Kodansha Comics. The anime brought in Hiraku Kaneko to direct it and with Studio Gokumi animating we do get a pretty fun show here even if it has a flaw that kept me from really connecting with it.
The premise is pretty straightforward in that we’re dealing high school students in various stages of love. We’ve seen this a million times before and we’ll see it again but some shows just do it well. The way it’s applied here is that it works with a half dozen or so groupings of relationships that are in various stages. We get two that have been in a relationship for a year but haven’t even kissed yet. We get another pair where they’re just coming into a relationship but she can’t deal with him well as her insecurities flare up. There’s another that’s doing her best to confess but the situation keeps it from happening well. And then there’s a cute potential couple that just has a hard time getting it together because things keep crossing and throwing them off. Each of them offers up a lot of material to work with but it’s hard, even marathoning the show, to remember who is who because of the structure of it since they’re given three or so minute segments before rolling into a different pairing, making it a while before you come back to them.
Some stand out well for particular moments, such as Akagi and Ryouko where he’s into her in a very laid-back way so as to not pressure her but she has self worth issues and doesn’t believe him in a general sense. She think she’s just into her because of looks or the size of her breasts but he plays that in a way that says he is but that it’s just a part of the whole package of what he’s into. She’s not being self deprecating here but something a bit worse and he uses it to try and get her to realize how she sounds and draw her away from that as he makes it clearer and clearer how much he’s into her. They also have some really good scenes where they’re just physically close in school that’s so sexual without being explicitly so that I really enjoyed it since it wasn’t the usual kinds of interacts that we get.
Another piece that stood out well for me was the back and forth between Kana and Chiaki over it as they get closer and closer to having something real but events keep messing with them. The texting back and forth over it was a lot of fun since it makes for some good situational comedy throughout it if only for the way it builds the tension nicely. The best is when they’re both so close to just getting things on track again and she’s in the tub and they’re texting and almost calling if not for her dropping the phone in the tub. It’s an easy thing to play out but her reactions are fantastic during it with the way she panics over it since the device is dead. But it’s the brief motherly moment (which comes on top of a different one earlier with another mother providing snacks during the lead-up to sexytimes) when Kana’s mother saves the day in her expert handling of technology.
While I struggled with the show in terms of who is who because of the way the whole thing works, there’s a lot to like here. Each relationship is fun with their little quirks and most of them move faster and further in terms of really making it feel real compared to so many other shows that spend a whole season trying to get to admitting feelings. The little vignettes that we get work us across a decent bit of time with some cute crossovers throughout that makes it feel lived in enough. I like all the characters here and I’d love to see something fuller and bigger for all the pairings to explore what they’re like and what their relationships could be. It’s a fun show and Funimation put together a good little release here that I’m glad they dubbed. It’s not the kind of show that will change the world but it is one that will delight a lot of fans who give it a chance and will be memorable.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Running Time: 156 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.