OP: 「Koi no Balloon」 by Oushima Haruna
「彼氏の実態」 (Kareshi no Jittai)
“The Boyfriend’s True Nature”
It seems another of the shows I signed up to intro turned out to be a short! (Side note: we don’t always know if something will be a short by the time we’ve researched and written a preview—or sometimes, until it airs—which is why some of them escape the shorts section.) And it’s informative to compare this to Tachibana-kan To Lie Angle, because there was one huge difference between the two: comedic pacing. Whereas Lie Angle felt very rushed moment to moment, with the rapid pace sapping the comedy out of any of the gags, Akkun to Kanojo allows its gags to breathe. They’re still pretty snappy—this thing is only 3 1/2 minutes an episode, so there isn’t a lot of time—but the simple setup plus using the opening to get most of the dynamic across allowed the anime to let its jokes land. Not that they were humdingers or anything, but at least it gives the comedy a chance.
As for the setup itself, the dynamic is that Kagari “Akkun” Atsuhiro (Suzuki Tatsuhisa) is a rude tsundere who secretly worships his girlfriend, whereas Katagiri “Nontan” Non (Suwa Ayaka) is oblivious and thinks he’s cute. It’s a weird setup, and I’m not sure this “gender reversal” works all that well because Akkun is too tsundere, and the stalker angle is a twist to the formula which isn’t endearing to me. Compare this to the gender reversals in the B-couples of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, and it really becomes clear how to make that kind of thing work.
Of course, this has only had three minutes! As I’m fond of saying with shorts, it takes little investment to see where this is going. You can fit a quick episode into a few spare moments during your lunch break or between classes, or as is increasingly often the case for me, between watching rounds of the Overwatch League. Because my life is spinning out of control like that. (Go Outlaws!)
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Book 3 Progress Report.