Shounen – 4-koma, comedy, romance
6 Volumes of 12 Volumes (complete)
Love is in the air! Or is it?! For students at this particular high school, there are a lot of miscommunications, missed opportunities, and mistakes. But maybe — just maybe — the person they like knows those same feelings. Or maybe that person doesn’t have a clue!
Tsuredure Children follows various students at a Japanese high school all having difficulties with the opposite gender. This is an ensemble cast, and you probably won’t remember everyone’s names. In fact, it might be very hard considering some of the guys look alike. But if you need a silly, light read, this is one manga to consider.
Throughout the series, new characters are introduced and old ones are revisited. Most are dealing with love problems whether they realize it or not. There are basically three types of boy/girl pairs:
- Official couples (like the comedy duo)
- Couples who can’t spit it out and get together (mischievous girl who keeps confessing and guy who keeps blushing)
- Non-dating couples on different pages (senpai who thinks she’s dating the new member of the club)
As you might expect, the pairs can move up on the track — and occasionally go backwards as well. But no matter what type of couple you like, they’re in here. A delinquent and the student council president. Shy couples. One half being irritated by the other. The trickster and the manipulated. If your favorite type of pairing isn’t here yet, there are still six volumes left.
No matter who’s your favorite couple, for almost every pair, both sides are going to go through the mental wringer. Tsuredure Children is a comedy, and while it relies on just about every romcom trope in existence, the 4-koma format and range of personalities means it moves fast. A lot of guys and gals are total tsundere, so they may cause some of their own anguish. But what does “I sushi you!” mean? When is the right moment to kiss? Are the rumors that they’re somebody’s crush false? Expect a lot of “d’oh!” and “nooooo!” and “oh crap!” as the students try to progress their relationship with their crushes. And even if the story visits your least favorite characters, chances are, the next chapter will have switched to different ones.
Obviously, though, an episodic comedy has some drawbacks. It’s very light, the type of manga where you can grab any volume and jump into any chapter and won’t be lost. But it never goes anything deeper than exploring the comedy of many different couples. Yes, many of the couples are cute, but even the main characters have limited pagetime. And the comedy can get repetitive since even as the relationships change, characters stay the same. Sure, the yankee girl may start studying, but she is still a tsundere as her boyfriend makes it clear he’d rather sleep with her than study. I also wonder if these punchlines will hold up on a second readthrough since the manga isn’t full of jokes and punchlines but funny reactions and misunderstandings.
There is one student who considers himself a “Love Master”. He tends to pop up when others are in trouble, and he talks about not being able to give all his love to one girl. He’s the closest thing to surrealism in the manga, so he adds some uniqueness to the story. I also like how, while the manga looks (and the title makes you think) that this is a sweet romcom for all ages, as I kind of discussed above, these are teenagers. Discussions of physical intimacy and one-sided perverted thoughts are pretty common. There are also the occasional dirty jokes. While most of the couples are very animanga-esque, the sexual innuendo helps add a sense of realism to this school where romances are a-plenty.
As I mentioned earlier, it can be hard to keep track of all the characters. Most of the girls are easy to separate, but many of the male characters look similar. When they’re right next to each other, it’s like one of those “find the differences” pictures. Looking at the covers with their club uniforms and haircolor, it’s like, “Oh, they don’t look as alike as I thought!”, but in the manga itself, it’s a different story. Fortunately, it doesn’t really matter if you know the characters’ names or not. While some of the cast at large are friends that hang out with each other, once you see the girl, you’ll remember which guy it is: “Oh, it’s the guy who’s always being teased!” or, “Heh, this is the guy who is tortured by sushi!” Otherwise, the art is simplistic and straightforward, as the usual in 4-koma. Wakabayashi loves to have V-shaped mouths and red-faced characters, so expect a lot of that.
Honorifics are used. I noticed one or two typos. Footnotes are used for some of the Japanese puns. I don’t think the title is ever explained.
If you just want to sit back and chuckle at some oddball couples and would-be couples, Tsuredure Children is a cute option. But if you want a real plot with a clear main cast or are the type to prefer some other humor besides romantic misunderstandings, this episodic, revolving door character manga is going to become quickly forgettable.
Crunchyroll has the anime available to stream and on home video.
This post may contain reviews of free products or news featuring products which gave me bonuses. I may earn compensation if you use my links or referral codes. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure policy here.