Tada-kun Wa Koi Wo Shinai

September 16, 2018

I get it. I can tell from the title, Tada-kun Wa Koi Wo Shinai is going to be some slapstick comedy about our titular character who is never going to fall in love. Well duh. It’s in the title that says it all. Because of his stubbornness never to fall in love, there will be numerous parties trying to set him up so as they all have their ulterior motives but they all fail because he is the kind of guy who isn’t going to easily take the bait of falling in love. Hence the slapstick comedy of people trying and failing to convince guy to fall in love until the real love of his life comes about. Challenge accepted! Wait… What was that you say? This series is nothing like that? Not at all?! So you mean it is still a romantic comedy but involving a normal Japanese guy with a beautiful foreigner girl. Oh… Oh… Uhm… Okay. You mean something like Princess Diaries? So of all the millions of local kawaii nippon onna, some ranging to the perfect yamato nadeshiko, a blonde white chick got his heart? Oh… Oh… Okay. I guess that’s love for you. I’m still in shock it’s not the former synopsis. How epic it would be had it been so… :(

Episode 1
Mitsuyoshi Tada is taking pictures in the park when foreigner, Teresa Wagner hopes he could help her take a picture. Too bad her batteries are dead. Since she is lost and her companion has all the stuffs, Mitsuyoshi suggests using her SD card in his camera to take a photo. Later he catches her trying to jump into the river thinking the sluice is some secret passage. She’s a big fan of Rainbow Samurai period drama. Another chance meeting when he sees her getting wet in the rain so he brings her back to his family café to dry. There’s grandpa Shouzou, little sister Yui and pet cat Nyanko Big. Everyone is stunned with Teresa’s beauty and of course Mitsuyoshi has to deny she is his girlfriend. You can tell Mitsuyoshi’s friend, Kaoru Ijuuin is egoistic when Nyanko Big often snarls at him. Heck, the snarling is a staple entry in their online blog? As he takes a closer look at Teresa, Alexandra “Alec” Magritte comes in to beat him up, thinking he is attacking her. The surprising part is not how he got a black eye after flying to the wall but rather how the f*ck did she see that as attacking. Perhaps for comic relief for Kaoru to always fear her? So as the girls talk, we learn Teresa is from Larsenburg. Where the f*ck is that small country in Europe?! The duo take their leave and from Alec’s lecturing to Teresa to take more responsibility, it is very much hinted she is a royalty. My guts tell me she is so. Definitely. Later as Mitsuyoshi and Kaoru hit town to take more photos, they stumble into the duo again. Apparently they are lost thanks to this badly drawn map of the place they’re supposed to reside, Grand Palace Ginza. Well… It’s a hotel just right next to the café!!! How the f*ck did they miss such a big building on their way out?! That night as Mitsuyoshi goes through his photos, he now knows why Teresa feels familiar. She has the same green eyes as Nyanko Big. To complete the cliché, surprisingly not surprising, Teresa and Alec become transfer students in Mitsuyoshi’s class. Hot foreigner chick is so obviously hot.

Episode 2
Class rep, Hinako Hasegawa talks to Teresa and Alec that based on the school rules, all students must join a club. She takes them to various clubs and right at the photography club where Mitsuyoshi and Kaoru are members are, they hear the club president, Hajime “Pin” Sugimoto making a passionate declaration they must win the photography competition using women nudes. When Teresa seemingly touches memorabilia of Hina the gravure idol, Pin loses his cool. He goes on ranting about her being the top model representing Japan, blah, blah, blah, but Alec could sense that Hina might be Hasegawa. Yes it is. Oh, did I tell you that she is also a club member? She and Pin don’t get along well but I’m guessing there’s a reason why they act like that… It is suggested that the duo try out the club. But of course. The best way is to hold a photo competition. After Mitsuyoshi whistles for other club member, Kentarou Yamashita to come (he responds like a dog and hence his nickname Yamashita Dog), they split themselves into teams. A team will chase the other team and try to take pictures of them. No blur or partial shots. Once time is up, they will switch roles. At the end of the game, the one with the best photo wins. It begins with Mitsuyoshi, Yamashita and Teresa chasing down the others. Despite Yamashita’s keen sense of smell, they might track down Alec but she moves fast like a ninja! They also bait Pin with Hina products and they get some good clear shots. When the roles are reversed, Alec uses his swift ninja skills to corner Mitsuyoshi’s team. Seeing Teresa’s pitifully cornered looks, she subtly helps let them get away. Now Pin’s team is on the run, the canteen lady seems to splash water on Hasegawa. Luckily Pin uses his body to protect her. It might look like a romantic hugging scene until it is revealed he was just protecting the expensive camera from the water. In the end, a photo from Alec on Teresa wins the competition. With Teresa having lots of fun, you bet she wants to join. Everyone celebrates their new members at the café.

Episode 3
We hear the narration from Nyanko Big’s point of view of how Mitsuyoshi saved him by picking him up as a stray. As repayment, he will always watch over him. A considerate cat? Maybe Mitsuyoshi feeds him good. Then he smells nice fish from Teresa’s room (conveniently right across Mitsuyoshi’s room) and jumps! Fat cat can’t jump far but don’t worry, a cat is still a cat and can land well. With Teresa and Alec helping Mitsuyoshi in his café, we also hear his narration about some of the patrons of the café like the rich spoilt brat Kaoru and a café regular who reads hitman all over his face. The friends take a break with Alec introducing this chocolate spoon drink. A stick is stuck in this chocolate solid cube. Just dunk it into hot water and you’ll have a nice hot chocolate drink. Nice idea. We also see Nyanko Big walking around town and for reasons unknown to him (and for us for the rest of the season), everyone else calls him Miko-chan. Oh well, cats don’t speak… At the park as the photography club members take photos for their competition, Kaoru seems to believe in the existence of kappa because of an incident where his foot got stuck in the river and his friends abandoned him thinking the kappa was going to kill him. Only Mitsuyoshi ‘saved’ and pulled him out. Teresa also remembers a ‘river incident’ back home. Alec made her a floral wreath and it dropped into the river. Without thinking she jumped in to save it. Although Teresa was alright, worried Alec started crying over her reckless behaviour. Mitsuyoshi continues to take more pictures and as explain, his father was a famous photographer and he wants to follow his footsteps. A female cat comes up to Teresa. Everyone knows her as Cherry, the cat from the beauty salon. Nyanko Big sees her and has fallen in love with her. Too bad he can’t jump across the river. Almost drowned but didn’t. Cherry ignores him. Even cats know the pains of love.

Episode 4
Pin is excited there is a greet and meet event with Hina. Oh no. Time to hear his godly Hina praises. The guys know he is going to get nervous like he always does when he gets up close with a girl. Evidence with him imagining Hina and he passes out. I guess the best way to overcome that is to practice. Hasegawa ends up practising with him and he is still as nervous as hell. But he isn’t so as he rants about her bootylicious curves. Later, Alec talks to Hasegawa and knows she is Hina. It’s very obvious from her point of view. She explains that her aunt works in a modelling agency and was made to stand in when a model didn’t turn up. Before she knew it, she started modelling and Hina took a life of her own. Hasegawa thought that this was a good chance to change since she was a shy person to begin with. Pin doesn’t realize she is Hina and she couldn’t tell him not after he told her he became her biggest fan. Obviously she likes him too. Although he might be dumb and perverted, Hasegawa knows his shy and gentle side. Sooner or later he will discover she is her but she still can’t bring herself to tell him for fear of disappointing him. But she wishes he showed interest in the real her. Teresa believes Hina is part of the real Hasegawa. You know Pin is a wreck when he comes to the even dressed as a punk! Luckily for him but unfortunately for Mitsuyoshi (because he lost the bet), they swap clothes. It is Pin’s turn to meet Hina. Nervous as hell. Even more nervous when the notes he wrote to say to her (looking more like curses) is misplaced. Hina as a professional calms him down. Will Pin realize the same words Hasegawa used? Nope. Just allowing him to calm down and at least greet and talk to her. Right before the security drags him out for overstaying his allotted time. After Pin brags to his friends, he calls Hasegawa to tell about the beautiful girl he met. Is this rubbing in her face? Not sure but at least she feels happy. For now, she would prefer status quo and is okay with him not realizing she is Hina. She will tell him once she has more confidence in herself. She wants to save what is important for last.

Episode 5
It has been 10 years since Mitsuyoshi’s parents died in a car accident. Kaoru shows up to do his annual show. This time he cooks a special dish for each of his friends as per their request. When Teresa spots a young photo of Mitsuyoshi, he explains that was the last photo his parents took of him that day they left to the airport. Oddly, only the camera and its film were left intact. Teresa feels sad for him. Later the friends visit the public bathhouse. As usual, the girls talk about boob size as well as if they like anybody. Nothing solid but we already know that Hasegawa likes Pin and Yui for Yamashita. And of course, it sounds like Teresa has a fiancé, right? Over to the guys, of course they talk about girls’ boobs (size does matter!) as well as if they like anybody. Why are they talking so loudly that the girls’ side can hear? Pin slips but luckily has no serious injury. This only aggravates Kaoru’s fear for kappa since the pail he stepped on had that print. As they leave, Kaoru seems to be troubled by something from Mitsuyoshi. But Mitsuyoshi thanks him for his annual show and he is okay now. He sulks but promises to continue doing it every year. The siblings tell the foreigners about today being the death anniversary of their parents. Kaoru tried to cheer Mitsuyoshi up every day and ever since then, he started his annual show just for that on this day. It’s his way of being nice. When Teresa and Alec return to their room, they are surprised to see Charles de Loire waiting. He has followed his fiancée here, the future queen of Larsenburg, Princess Teresa de Larsenburg.

Episode 6
Charles’ university is on holiday so he figured what a better way to get to know the country his fiancée is visiting. After Charles leaves for the night, Teresa knows Alec likes Charles. She admits to it and because she respects him, that’s why he is worthy to be Teresa’s fiancé. Charles is introduced as Teresa’s childhood friend to the photography club members. The guys don’t like him but with a little praising, they instantly become his friend! It’s a wonder how certain words can go a long way. He takes a look at each of their photography work and commends them. He also visits the café and with Nyanko Big liking him, I guess this dispels that he might be a wolf in sheep clothing. At least for now. For some reason, the photography club gets invited to a lavish party which is also attended by the Larsenburg royalties. Teresa and Alec look stunning in their dresses. Is this the moment Mitsuyoshi falls for Teresa because he is staring at her awfully long. Mitsuyoshi and Teresa later bump into each other outside. I guess they need a little fresh air. Or is this the way fate decided to put them together? Because it starts raining and they take shelter at a nearby shrine and they pass the time with Mitsuyoshi showing her some of his photos. Meanwhile Charles dances with Alec otherwise there will be other squealing girls who would love to dance with him. He is relieved that her school friends are nice people because he was worried when she left, she would get homesick. Once their dance ends, Alec panics when she realizes Teresa isn’t around. By the time she finds her (rain has stop, time to admire the stars), it is like almost the end of the world for Alec. You can hear the shiver in her voice and tremble in her hands. She was really terrified she had lost her. But now that they are found safe and sound, I suppose everything is going to be alright. Well, except Mitsuyoshi’s heart sank when he sees Charles taking Teresa away. Why looking so sad? Back home, Teresa feels guilty for making Alec worry and promises to be more careful. She assures her that before she came to Japan, she already made up her mind of studying abroad and then returning to Larsenburg. She will marry Charles and be the next queen. But why the worried look on her face after that?

Episode 7
We have a big problem. Nyanko Big is missing. Even his ‘girlfriend’ (a foxtail) is missing. Since Yui is pretty worried as she grew up with him, I guess the gang will have to start searching where he went. Yamashita might have encountered all sorts of cats and being snarled at but no Nyanko Big. When Charles calls Teresa and she tells him the problem, he notes he saw Nyanko Big last night while he was jogging. He dropped his foxtail in the river and jumped in to save him. Of course Charles helped him out. To find out where Nyanko Big went next, Charles talk to a cat. Seriously he understood what the cat said???!!! Is he the cat whisperer???!!! Nyanko Big is seen on top of a flower shop. Nothing the friends do can get him down. Is he stuck? But Yui notices something. From opposite where Nyanko Big sits is the place where Cherry lives. Definitely this cat is in love. Then they see him trying to do something suicidal by jumping across to his love! Good news: He makes it. Bad news: Damn window. As Charles translates, Nyanko Big wanted to give Cherry his prized possession. Too bad he got rejected again. Apparently this is the place where Yamashita’s senior, Chia lives. The way they chat, Yui knows he likes her and it breaks her heart. Later as the friends celebrate at the festival, Yui talks to Yamashita and finds out he still likes her despite only seeing him as a little brother. He has to accept that and is just happy to see her smile. Time for Yui to let out her one-sided love too as she cries in Teresa’s arms about the pangs of love. She wants more than to just see his smile and want to do stuffs with him. Next day, Yui feels better and Nyanko Big heads out again. Not giving up, I see? He bumps into Charles again and they ‘talk’. He understands about never giving up because once you do so, it’s over. He remembers Teresa relentlessly helping to find his lost important bracelet in the river until she found it. It was then he truly fell in love with her.

Episode 8
Charles drives the friends to Mt Fuji as Pin plans to enter a photo contest and the theme is stars. We see them visiting the shrine and enjoying themselves at the inn. The usual Japanese stuffs they tend to do at such places. Later Teresa spots Charles giving Alec a gift. She might have gotten the wrong idea since it was just to soothe her after she noticed him being busy over his work. At night, the friends trek to the camping site near Mt Fuji. Because of the clouds and all, the stars stay hidden and they have to wait till it clears up. You can sense this ‘melancholic’ feel between Mitsuyoshi and Teresa but thanks to Kaoru being a joker, it’s like him clowning around is trying not to make this so obvious. Once everyone is asleep, left Mitsuyoshi and Teresa, perfect for them to talk things out. After he pulls her close to him to avoid her from falling into the lake, then they start talking about ‘melancholic’ things like Teresa mentioning about that last photo of his parents in his café. He replies about the need to grow up quickly and when he asks her back if something similar happened to her, she also felt the same as she hints about making a certain someone dear to her cry after being reckless. She felt sad and apologetic. Mitsuyoshi’s answer to that is to try not to repeat the same mistakes because otherwise that would be regret. I’m not sure if those words spark something inside Teresa’s heart. That gaze. That dramatic soundtrack. The stars are all lit up now. And damn Kaoru talking in his sleep, scaring the hell out of Teresa so she could cling on to Mitsuyoshi. Oh well, time for you sleepyheads to wake up and start taking pictures of the sky. Teresa and Alec see off Charles at the airport. He advises Alec to have more faith in Teresa since this will be their last time can live freely before following their destined path. After the plane takes off, Alec confronts Teresa to talk.

Episode 9
With that look on Teresa’s face, Alec can tell that she has fallen in love with Mitsuyoshi. Yup, that guilty reaction look too. But she assures she will return and become queen of Larsenburg. But she didn’t say who will become her king… Back in school, Teresa acts differently and strangely. Not sure if she is imitating her favourite Rainbow Samurai but if Alec says she is normal, I guess she is normal. After school as it rains, Teresa didn’t bring her umbrella so Mitsuyoshi lends his. Too bad later Kaoru didn’t bring his so that the guys could share. They run back to the café and is all soaked. Pin has the club members show their photo shoots. With Teresa, Alec and Yamashita taking pictures of objects shaped like a star, well, technically… Pin should have been more specific in his star theme. Uh huh. Because vain Kaoru photographs himself since he is the star!!! How big is his ego? Finally some real quality star photos from Pin and Hasegawa but when it is Mitsuyoshi’s turn, he collapses! Due to that rain incident, he has developed a fever. I guess Kaoru didn’t because he is an idiot ;p. Teresa feels guilty for it so she offers to help out at the café. After the guys left, Yui realizes they didn’t bring down the dishes from Mitsuyoshi’s room and sends Teresa to get them. Time for curious girl to look around and ascertain her feelings. After seeing his photos as well as his handsome sleeping face, I guess she can’t resist the temptation to kiss him. You go girl! Are you sure you want to leave Big Nyanko as the witness? Not really sure she did it but she pulls back and starts crying while realizing her feelings. We figured that out like long ago. Like, when we read the synopsis of this anime. Teresa is so sad that Nyanko Big had to console her. There, there. She returns to the rest downstairs like normal. Like all that didn’t happen and was just in our minds. Maybe this is some sort of ‘training’ for the ‘poker face’ she needs to put on when she becomes queen.

Episode 10
Mitsuyoshi accompanies Teresa to a Rainbow Shogun fair. Since it’s just the both of them, it’s like a date? She is having the time of her life including getting involved in the stage show. They got a cool commemorative photo with the actor because of that. Now, if you’re wondering why Teresa is talking about her servant, Rachel who is actually Japanese, whose actually name is Reiko and probably Larsenburg royalty can’t properly pronounce her name and hence the corruption, that’s because Alec passes a letter from Reiko to Shouzou. I can guess their relationship now. Kaoru teases Alec to be alone and offers to date. He gets a shock when she agrees but realizes he got trolled when she changes her mind. Mitsuyoshi and Teresa visit the Skytree Tower. Because it is raining, it brings back those memories for him. Hence his regret had he made his parents leave a little later, the accident wouldn’t have happened. Mitsuyoshi realizes he talked too much on this but Teresa says he is not at fault. It is not the accident but rather the regret of not being able to honestly share his feelings. I’ve got a feeling she is saying this from experience, like, you know, right now… She is grateful for his words of not repeating the same mistakes. He doesn’t remember saying that. As the weather clears up, Mitsuyoshi realizes the high altitude and starts getting scared. When they return home and part ways, you can tell something is wrong when Teresa notes how grateful she is for meeting him but didn’t say that to his face. Next day as the friends head to school like normal, they are in for a shocking announcement by the teacher. Teresa and Alec has left for home due to family issues. Everybody in shock. Mitsuyoshi never looked this sad and surprised.

Episode 11
I don’t think shouting outside her room would do any good, Kaoru. You’re just annoying the neighbours. So they try to peep from Mitsuyoshi’s place and what do they see? It’s empty inside! Man, they cleaned everything out. I know the kids were in school but didn’t anybody from the café knew some big movers came? So we’ve got the gang trying to live like normal while trying to wonder why Teresa left without saying a word. At the same time, Mitsuyoshi is like trying to live normally but from experience, he looks like suppressing his feelings, making his depression looking even more visible. We have some trolls like new people moving into the hotel, Mitsuyoshi stumbling into a stash of Rainbow Shogun goods and not responding to Kaoru’s idiocy. Maybe the last one’s okay. You know this guy is so depressed, he went to Skytree Tower alone, not even having his phobia on display. He is awed with the clear view of the horizon. I wonder if he could see Larsenburg from here. More trolling because a couple of girls almost look like Teresa and Alec. Bummer. At the end of the year, the photography club members have to clean out their junk. They find an extra SD card. They check it out and it’s no surprise it belongs to Teresa. Lots of rock photos… And then the one that really hits the feels is that video during that photo competition they had among each other in school. More visions of Teresa. That’s it for Mitsuyoshi. He’s going home. What has a depressed guy got to do but lie down on his bed? Best friend Kaoru talks to him and knows he likes Teresa because of this super beautiful picture he took of her. It’s about time Mitsuyoshi admitted how dumb he is not to realize his feelings. But can you blame him? The people he care about disappear all of a sudden. Even if he shuts out his heart, he still can’t get used to these feelings. He wants to see her one more time. He needs to tell her something. So how? Shouzou suggests going to Larsenburg to find her. So on the day Mitsuyoshi’s beautiful picture of Teresa got displayed in the competition halls, he is already on a plane to Larsenburg and Kaoru is keeping a close watch on him. It’s amazing he didn’t get arrested for dressing so suspicious and acting like stalking.

Episode 12
We’re here at Larsenburg! What bothers me is how Mitsuyoshi managed to get through his fear of heights but how the heck he managed to get permission to leave school for this trip. Anyway, it took him 3 hours just to recover and bum out at the airport. Kaoru missed the bus he got on after he got distracted buying coffee. As he tries to track him, he spots a picture of Teresa and supposedly her family in some souvenir stand. You shock to hear Princess Teresa? Mitsuyoshi has leads from grandpa to find Reiko and so he is outside this palace-like building with guards who won’t answer him. I don’t think they’re obliged to say anything. Luckily for him, Reiko sees him and invites him in. At first she mistakes him as Shouzou but he explains he is his grandson. Well, he looks almost like him. As Reiko explains she once worked in his café during her college years, Charles pops up and is pleasant to see this special guest. Teresa catches Alec sniffing on Charles’ coat. My, my. She knows she is in love with Charles but Alec keeps denying it despite displaying her I-am-lying habit. She then says if she admits, would anything come of it. They are interrupted when Charles surprises them with Teresa. Yup, Teresa looking very surprised. Because Mitsuyoshi has not figured things out (seriously, he hasn’t already at this point?!), Charles tells Teresa to explain things as gratitude.

They are left alone and soon Teresa explains she is the only daughter to the king of Larsenburg. He doesn’t look that surprise but the way he asks if she is a princess clearly shows he doesn’t know. Gee Mitsuyoshi, on your way here didn’t the signs already hinted you or have you been closing your eyes all the time? He realizes Teresa’s talk about growing up and responsibility meant now. Teresa continues explaining about the Larsenburg’s family rite of passage that they leave the country to expand their horizon. Fortunately for us, she picked Japan. That’s how she met Mitsuyoshi and the rest. She realized she had too much fun and got scared and came back home. I know she loves her people and won’t forget her duty but do ‘run away home’ like that doesn’t that sound a bit pathetic? No? Okay. She says once she turns 18, she will marry and become queen. Charles is her betrothed. Now it’s that shock look on Mitsuyoshi’s face. Everything was decided on her birth. So wait. She becomes 18, marries and becomes queen. What about her mom? She retires from being queen? I thought only death allows royalties that ‘luxury’? If not, isn’t she technically still a princess but a married one? Anyway, we know how much Teresa’s heart hurts that she wants to be left alone so she could cry her heart out. Oh Charles, it’s not good to eavesdrop outside hearing your future queen cry even if it’s not intentional. It makes you sadder. Mitsuyoshi also leaves with a very heavy heart. When Kaoru finally finds him, he freaks out seeing Mitsuyoshi crying!!!

Episode 13
Reiko has some advice for Teresa followed by Alec. Whatever the advice was, I guess it wasn’t really that good because both of them start crying. Damn, Charles waiting outside now can’t come in. Kaoru notices a letter slipped in Mitsuyoshi’s backpack (by Reiko). It is an invitation to tomorrow’s royal party. Kaoru wants him to attend so he could say what he needs to to Teresa. Mitsuyoshi brushes it off, prompting Kaoru to chide him he overcome his plane phobia all the way here and has never cried ever since his parents death. You really want to regret this? Still no reaction? He threatens to throw away the letter. Oh, the wind blows it away. Now we have a reaction. Mitsuyoshi jumps into the freezing river just to chase after it! I suppose now he realizes he needs it. Faster, the letter is going to be lost forever in the sewer. Yeah, Mitsuyoshi catching up. While running in water! And it’s like f*ckey because he tries to grab the letter but couldn’t. Like as though someone tied a string to it and pulled it away each time he tries to go for the grab. Funny. Of course he finally grabs it before the point of no return. Phew. So cliché. Next day, Mitsuyoshi looks sharp as he attends the party. Is Charles going to announce his love for Teresa in public? Because hell he can’t as Mitsuyoshi steps up. I wonder how a normal guy like him can get so close to them. Where are the guards? I know Alec is capable but they still need to have security in an important party like this. Anyway, the ever gracious Charles allows them to talk alone.

Long story short from Mitsuyoshi’s words about wanting to say what he really needs to say: He fell in love with her at first sight. He was in love with her the whole time. Yeah, we figured that out like, from the start. Oh sh*t! Teresa’s crying! Remember what Charles said about hurting her and he will beat up your ass? Anyway, Teresa claims this as unfair. She reveals she ran back here because of him. Yeah, that complicated feelings thingy. Long story short from Teresa’s words about what she wants to say to him: She fell in love with him at first sight ever since she met him. Yeah, they’re really saying like as though they’re never going to see each other again. Thanks for the love. Meanwhile curious-cum-worried Alec wants to peek at them but Charles doesn’t want this moment to be ever ruined. Thank goodness. Back in Japan, everyone congratulates Pin’s graduation. Oh, look at that shiny plaque of Mitsuyoshi that he won the photo competition. Then the biggest shocking news: Charles broke off the engagement claiming he needs more freedom! Yeah, now he is hanging around with Alec. Meanwhile Mitsuyoshi is shocked to see Teresa here. In Japan. Why? She came running for you! I want to say it is fate but I’m calling it plot convenience for a happy ending. Because they’re so happy that they hug each other and even kiss! In the park! Thankfully nobody around. Imagine the scandal of seeing a princess kissing a commoner out in the open.

Love Is Always Rainbow
I don’t know if I am to feel happy or annoyed that Mitsuyoshi and Teresa ended up together in the name of true love. At the start I expected them to but as the series progresses and from the direction it was going, I was ‘fooled’ and made to believe and settle that those 2 will never be together. You know, royalty-commoner thingy. Not really surprising. And then this ultimate f*ckery (shock factor, some would say). While the royalty in Larsenburg may not make headlines around the world, but what do the people of Larsenburg think? Well, everyone looks pretty calm. Charles and Alec were able to be out in the open together. Without paparazzi and the media hounding them! Is this really true freedom?! Is this really true privacy respecting?! And for Teresa to come to Japan all alone without being followed (assuming now everyone knows she is a princess), isn’t that a bit dangerous and irresponsible? I mean, the engagement is broken off. That doesn’t mean she has shirked her duties as queen. She is still the princess of Larsenburg, right? That’s why I say plot convenience more than anything (especially in the last episode) and it somewhat ruined all those mushy-mushy sentiments that was building up in me. Yes, seriously.

So the oddest part about Mitsuyoshi never to fall in love stems from the fact of the trauma of fearing to lose the ones he considers dearest. Well, I find that a bit hard to believe because if it is so, does that mean he doesn’t consider his friends from the photography club as dearest? He isn’t as exuberant as Kaoru or even Yamashita and keeps some distance but if that’s the case like how he avoids falling in love, shouldn’t he too try to avoid making friends? If that wasn’t convincing enough, what about grandpa Shouzou and imouto Yui? It makes more sense since they too are his closest and perhaps only family members. He should be living like a hermit and all alone if he truly believes he is cursed in love. Hence the pen-penultimate and penultimate episode of Mitsuyoshi trying to live up to the name of this series by playing poker face and failing badly at it. I know he shouldn’t be like monkey Kaoru but holding in his feelings isn’t going to do him any good. Oh see, now he cried after learning he realizes he is truly in love. You lose the game of love, boy. But since he got the girl in the end, I guess all is forgiven. Hey, how many of us can say we have got a princess as a girlfriend?

Thus I am not sure if it is fair to be annoyed at Mitsuyoshi and Teresa trying to maintain their friendship and be friends because of the circumstances they are in. Mitsuyoshi and his childhood trauma (considering it all, he seems to be handling it pretty well generally) while Teresa has to keep in mind that she will be the future queen of her country. Both try not to cross over the friendship line in fear the unthinkable might happen. Mitsuyoshi thinks history would repeat itself while would Teresa’s countrymen accept her love for a Japanese commoner? Besides, since their marriage was already determined at birth, it would be bad if the family who ‘booked’ Charles to marry Teresa suddenly finds themselves in the lurch because Teresa was given the freedom to choose her love. Every time Mitsuyoshi and Teresa are together, it just makes you want to scream for them to get together already. And then they had to wait until breaking point to do it. If that is the way how their love unfolds, so be it.

The other supporting characters are just rather okay. Kaoru being a joker as part of his life time job and role to supposedly cheer up Mitsuyoshi but all the while we see him in his poker face like as though he can’t really overreact to his monkey business and let out his true emotions or else he would lose whatever. So I guess that’s why Mitsuyoshi is just as close to emotionless when he does everything. I wonder if this is a running joke for Kaoru to be beaten up by Alec initially so that he could shiver in fear whenever she hints that he crossed the line with his pranks. Or is it his way of getting her attention because you know, Kaoru might have a crush on Alec? Don’t think so? Well, I didn’t think Alec has a crush on Charles either. Just kidding. I do.

Speaking of all that, it seems that the romance and pairings of the characters feel like exploring different types of love. Mitsuyoshi x Teresa = commoner x royalty and oddly their relationship is being bound by Rainbow Shogun. So you see clips of their Rainbow Shogun items and it is cue for some nostalgia of their time together; Kaoru x Alec = the couple who always fights; Pin x Hasegawa = idol love. I have a hunch Pin knows about Hasegawa as Hina and only pretends not to because it is easier for him to express his love this way than say, how does Mitsuyoshi handles his by the way? Yeah… ; Yamashita x Yui = unrequited love. I have a gut feeling Yamashita only exists for this equation; Same case for Nyanko Big x Cherry. Even unrequited love exists for cats. And not forgetting the everlasting love represented by a very old couple who frequently patrons the café. But these romances are obviously overshadowed by you know who and serve more as a distraction and detour more than anything else. It’s like saying, hey, these friends could also experience love so why not?

Oddly, I feel it is somewhat wasted about the relationship between Shouzou and Reiko. If she was just an old employee, it’s amazing how he still remembers her after a long time. Must be a very good employee, huh? I thought they might hint there were some past flame or romance between them (a naughty fling during their heydays, maybe) but I guess they don’t want to overshadow our young ones. Reiko couldn’t be Mitsuyoshi’s grandma either because it would be dumb for a grandchild not to recognize his own grandma unless grandpa deliberately never told Mitsuyoshi. And which grandma wouldn’t jump in joy to see her grandson all grown up and handsome? Even if her loyalty is to serve the royal family, her own flesh and blood should bring a lot more joy. Unless it runs in the blood that the family doesn’t show a lot of emotions in such instances. But then again, I don’t think they are related at all.

I don’t know why but I always had this feeling that Charles is going to show his true colours and be the villain. I mean, such a great handsome blonde guy who also has the nicest personality ever that girls would swoon and die over for. Too perfect to be good. He came to Japan just to visit his betrothed is just a guise for him to watch over Teresa’s actions because she is his property. So when he finally becomes the bad guy and forces Teresa’s hand into marriage (via deceiving the rest of the dumb royal members), our hero Mitsuyoshi will barge in and save her, save the day, expose this crook and like a true fairytale ending, the true lovers will wed each other and live happily ever after in bliss. Damn but thank goodness that didn’t happen. Wow. I’m surprised my mind is so suspicious that it could create such unthinkable plot. So essential, Charles is a good guy. A nice guy like he always had been. Period.

Another thing that bugged me was the so called fictitious country of Larsenburg. At first I was like thinking they were trying to copy that American movie, Princess Diaries that came up with something similar. You know, don’t want to offend some REAL country, that sort of thing. And then after a while a realized, uhm, wasn’t that Luxembourg they meant? Is this a typo error? Don’t want to make it too obvious, huh? Don’t want to get sued by the real Luxembourg, eh? What are the chances there are people there who are anime otakus and watching this particular series? Heck, the flag design shown here seems awfully similar… Even the royal coat of arms… Okay, almost. Their emblem has horses instead of lions… I believe if you’re going to do a series that involves a foreign nationality especially from Europe, I am sure the producers would have done some research at hand. Unless it was a stroke of luck that the made up country coincided with it. On a trivial note, the fictitious country in Princess Diaries somewhat exists. At least not a country but a province bearing similar characteristics that was portrayed in the movie. Also, I can’t seem to find details about the hot chocolate on a spoon to be popular in Luxembourg or its origins but there are places there (as well as in Europe) that sell them.

On a trivial note, many animes often use spoof of brand names to avoid getting lawsuit from the real brands themselves. Unless of course they are sponsoring. Hence this is the case for this series as we see Sony and Nikon’s name obviously displayed on the cameras that our friends are using. Oddly, despite Sony and Nikon being seen in the anime, Canon is listed in the credits. Hmm… In a world where our Smartphones have become our all-in-one tool that includes camera (hence we claim to be number one photographers and cameramen these days), it is not very often (although I won’t say it as rare) to see young people holding up real cameras. Of course this being a photography club so understandably real cameras are used.

While the art and animation feel like your standard conventional Japanese anime, mostly bright and clean, there is one thing I want to point out. Specifically, Nyanko Big. When I first saw this cat, I suddenly thought what the heck was Kyuubey from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica doing here???!!! OMG! Look at those eyes! Those creepy green eyes! Don’t they have that similar feel to Kyuubey? I fear he might take the souls of our friends! Isn’t that why he is sticking around Mitsuyoshi? I mean, a cat being grateful? A cat?! Anyway, some of the other character designs feel like I’ve seen them somewhere before like how Yui resembles a bit like Shinobu from Kiniro Mosaic but only much prettier. Teresa could also look like Alice from Kiniro Mosaic if she done up her hair and is shorter. And Alec is like Lisara from Dakara Boku Wa H Ga Dekinai. Kaoru looked like Usui from Kaichou Wa Maid-sama doing up his hair a little. By a long shot, sometimes I think Hasegawa is a gentler version of Fukawa from Danganronpa. Really. Of all the photography shots in this series, the ones I like best are the stars of the night sky. I guess I’m always mesmerized by the wonders of such heavenly bodies.

Yuuichi Nakamura as Mitsuyoshi feels toned down. Not in his usual angst mode like Gray in Fairy Tail or Toyohisa in Drifters. More like Inuzuka in Amaama To Inazuma. Other recognizable casts include Mamoru Miyano as Kaoru, Hiro Shimono as Yamashita and Takahiro Sakurai as Charles. At first I was surprised about Tomokazu Sugita as Pin. Because he clearly didn’t sound like that previously. I should know as his voice is quite distinct. I later found out that the original seiyuu for Pin, Yuichiro Umehara suddenly got hospitalized for a disease and hence Tomokazu Sugita became his replacement for the remainder of the series. Hope he makes a full recovery.

The rest of the other casts are Manaka Iwami as Teresa (Chiaki in Gamers), Shino Shimoji as Alec (Tooru in Seiren), Shizuka Ishigami as Hasegawa (Renge in Kyoukai No Rinne), Inori Minase as Yui (Hestia in DanMachi) and Hiroshi Naka as Shouzou (Garp in One Piece). Nyanko Big even has his own seiyuu. No doubt Akio Ootsuka (Kyouraku in Bleach) voices the cat, however I wonder if they needed Ari Ozawa (Ayame in Mahou No Stella) just to voice the meowing part. I guess you really need a high pitched voice to make is sound believable as a cat. Even if Nyanko Big is such a big fat cat. Low purrs are scary than cute. The opening theme, Otomodachi Film by Masayoshi Ooishi is lively and upbeat that it gives off this happy lovely casual feeling (seriously) while the ending theme, Love Song by Manaka Iwami resembles more of a pop ballad. Yuuichi Nakamura sang his version of this during his character’s turning point and it sounds a bit weird. Not really used to it.

Overall, it feels like a normal average high school love story with a pinch of international element. Young people trying to navigate their way through love sounds as generic it can get these days as well as the true power of love that transcends all sorts of barriers and obstacles. It is still interesting to watch but it is not on the same level where it would garner worldwide attention when Prince William married Kate Middleton or recently Prince Harry with Meghan Markle. Would it?! I don’t think this series would get another season because considering how it is titled, it would feel redundant. I would like to say that it wasn’t the fact that Mitsuyoshi will not fall in love but rather, he has always been in love the entire time. Love existing in different forms but not recognized in his books due to ‘technicalities’. Love for his family, love for his cat, love for his café, love for his friends, love for his photography, etc. As the saying goes, it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.