Idiots in love

He’s not wrong…

Aho Girl‘s first episode was as annoying as the character herself but the episodes since have improved dramatically, simply by expanding the cast. Yoshiko being an idiot & Akuru punishing her harshly while she professes her love for him was getting old fast by the second sketch; having more people to bounce her off works better and makes Akuru less obnoxious too. When everybody is an idiot, Yoshiko’s own idiocy doesn’t feel like some sort of mental disability anymore. And the new characters are great: there’s her mum, desparate to marry her off to Akuru so her old age will be secure, her teacher trying to teach her something, anything, only to be roped in by her stupidity, the yankee who only wants to be friends with Akuru, the morals officer in love with Akuru who always falls for Yoshiko’s plans to get closer to him, all idiots. With just Yoshiko as an idiot, the series would’ve been cruel: if everybody is an idiot, even our straight man Akuru, it becomes funny.

Tsurezure Children: love is embarassing

Tsurezure Children also has a cast of idiots, but slightly more realistic idiots, as they’re all teenagers in the throws of their first love, unsure about how that whole love thing actually works. It’s an ensemble show, with several skits per episode, so it can be a bit hit or miss. I dislike the rapey student council president and his yankee love interest frex, but at its best this is hilarious, cringe comedy at its finest. Tsurezure Children also does a fine line in heavily blushing school girls (and boys). On the whole it’s a good example of how much you can do to tell a story in only bite sized chunks at a time, doing more than some full length romance series manage over a season.

Gamers: love makes you an idiot

With Gamers, watching the first episode felt like an exercise in predictability. There’s the antisocial loner nerd (also seen in Nana Maru San Batsu who likes video games, who draws the attention of his high school most beautiful and perfect girl, who of course turns out to be a secret gamer herself and who invites him to her newly created games club. And then it surprised me. Because he said no. Instead of getting the usual club story about a rag-tag team coming together to storm the world of competitive gaming, we got a protagonist who just want to play video games for fun and an ever spiralling out of control love pentagon between him, the game club president, the girl he plays his online games with, his normie friend and said friend’s girlfriend, where the relationships get so complicated even the characters have to draw relationship diagrams. Best thing: almost all of it is in their over active imaginations and everything could be resolved if they just sat down and talked to each other… Like Tsurezure Children there’s a lot of cringe comedy here as people behave like idiots and draw the wrong conclusions, leading to some spectacular reaction faces, but there’s also a bit of pathos as people get their hearts broken…

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