TONIKAWA: Over the Moon For You – 01 (First Impressions) – Wive’d Up

Yuzaki Nasa is a third-year middle schooler who has always had an inferiority complex tied to his strange, spacey name, at which everyone always seems to snicker. That led to him becoming an overachiever on the fast track to adult success…until one chilly winter night he spots a girl and falls in love at first sight.

That sudden surge of love is so disorienting, he walks straight into the path of a passing truck, which strikes him. However, he wakes up to find he’s not dead; the girl saved him, and looms over him backlit by a majestic full moon. As she turns to leave, leaving the truck driver to call an ambulance, she appears to him to be returning to that moon, like Princess Kaguya.

Rather than accept that like Kaguya the girl must return to the moon, Nasa makes the most of his post-accident adrenaline and follows her to an enclosed bus stop. She’s impressed he was able to even move, and gives him her coat to stay warm before bidding him farewell once more.

But Nasa won’t let it end this way. Even with two broken legs, he gets up and chases after her once more, declaring his love and asking if she’ll go out with him. She agrees that they can be together…but only if he’ll marry her. Since Nasa is already in love (and adrenaline’s a hell of a drug) he quickly agrees before passing out.

He wakes up some time later in the hospital, and doesn’t hear from the girl for years as he completes middle school but declines to pick a high school and enters the workforce as a konbini clerk. He turns eighteen and gets an apartment on his own.

It would seem that a combination of his injury and the girl’s tacit rejection-by-absence cost Nasa a more prosperous life, but only until his doorbell rings. Who could it be at the door at this hour? Why, Tsukasa, who by night’s end will be his lawful wedded wife!

There’s a charming matter-of-factness to Tsukasa’s interactions that border on alien-or-robot-like inhumanity, but I preferred to take a less cynical tack throughout my viewing. Suffice it to say, Tsukasa is ready to honor their hasty agreement from years ago to wed, because she offered it and he accepted.

As she suspected, Nasa isn’t one to back down from his word; indeed, upon her sudden unexpected return to his life he’s compelled to recite his credo “I’ll go faster than light before NASA!” In other words, while his professional ambitions may have been dashed as an indirect result of meeting her, in exchange he gets to marry an exceedingly cute young woman. It’s a fair deal!

There’s also a sense of quietly brewing vicarious excitement as the process gets realer and realer, first with the filling out of mundane forms, then the visit to the ward office (open 24 hours for weddings), to the moment the two are officially married and simply holding hands for the first time is more than enough excitement!

Setting aside the possibility of this work’s creators intending to deliver a not-so-subtle message to the youth of Japan to get married and have kids already!, the ward official is absolutely right that young love and marriage is indeed portrayed as beautiful, joyful thing.

There’s still the big questions like why exactly Tsukasa is so okay with suddenly marrying a guy who fell for her at first sight, why there was zero contact in last couple years, and what exactly the new Mrs. Yuzaki had to “take care of” on her own before heading home with him. But for now I’m content to revel in the elegance of two hearts finding one another.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

P.S. The OP absolutely whips. I love how it starts so simple and bittersweet then captures the chaotic whiplash of suddenly sharing your life with someone.

Overlord II – 02

Overlord II takes a deep dive into the tribal Lizardmen (and women) corner of Yggdrasil, this week, and in doing so demonstrates that even with non-human characters, the show excels at straightforward yet immersive world-building.

The Green Claw tribe has been given eight days to prepare a “desperate and futile defense” against certain doom, and considering fourth-tier magic was used to deliver the message, the tribe’s head priestess fears the worst.

Zaryusu Shasha, while a traveler and no longer a member of any tribe, is nevertheless sent by his brother and tribal chief to speak with the other four tribes about forming an alliance against their mutual enemy, believing that enemy is depending on their remaining disunited.

We get a cursory look into the Tomb of Nazarick where the confident penguin Assistant Butler Eclair enthusiastically prepares for the day he’ll rule Nazarick—by keeping it thoroughly and obsessively clean.

Zaryusu rides his trusty giant hydra to the lands of the Red Eye Tribe, where he is shocked to find their acting chief and head priestess, Crusch Lulu, is an albino lizard. He is immediately smitten with her, which catches her off guard, but they are able to find common cause with relative ease.

I feel like we spend a great deal of time in that hut with Zaryusu and Crusch, but it also feels like time well spent, as we’re able to learn a great deal about the conditions that led to her leadership.

In a dire food shortage the former chief resorted to cannibalism, which Crusch and the tribe endured for a time, but eventually there was an insurrection, and she was their leader.

Her description of the trials she and her people have endured are vivid and well-told, and Zaryusu, while initially a bit forward, treats her with the respect she’s due. I was legitimately please to hear she’s all for an alliance.

I also appreciated the very human behavior assigned to these anthropomorphic lizards; I never forgot they weren’t human but I could still easily sympathize and empathize with both of them, and there was a good portion of casual humor mixed in to keep the proceedings from getting too stodgy.

Crusch (wearing a bush to protect her pale skin from the sun) accompanies Zaryusu to the next tribe, the war-loving Dragon Tusk. Their leader, Zenberu, knows why they’re there, but Zaryusu will have to prove he is strong before they ally themselves with Green Claw and Red Eye.

Meanwhile, Cocytus prepares for battle, I’m assuming it will be against the Lizardmen tribes (I may well end up being wrong, of course). If true, the show puts us in an interesting position of rooting for the underdogs and caring about their plight, all while feeling a kind of kinship to Momonga and his cohorts.

The lines of hero and villain are blurred, despite the fact one side is fighting for survival, while Cocytus merely seeks to distinguish himself in glorious battle. I’m eager to see where this is all headed.

ReLIFE – 06

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With Hishiro and Kariu now friends, and Hishiro looking up her feelings on Google (then scoffing at the result that it’s “love”) I was looking forward to the show pivoting to focus on the third girl in Kaizaki’s circle: Onoya An. This episode certainly did that, but not at all the way I thought.

Things start innocently enough, with the possibility of Kaizaki’s friends visiting his bachelor pad becoming a very abrupt reality when Oga and An arrive for a study session. It’s great to watch him squirm as he hides any evidence of his true age, even as I knew in his haste he’d forget something.

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Two things he missed: his MD player and a calendar with work stuff. The first can be explained away by the simple fact he’s a fan of vintage electronics; the second he sidestepped by using the calendar to “kill a bug.”

The true test for Kaizaki comes when Oga is called away for work, leaving him and An all alone in his apartment (which Oga is too dense/pure to notice could be a problem). Yoake, who has Kaizaki’s phone mic tapped, does, and races to Kaizaki’s aid when he believes his cover is at risk.

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What ensues plays out like a high school version of a spy thriller, with An removing her childish braids and glasses, revealing she fell in love with Kaizaki at first sight back when she saw him working at the convenience store, and starts coming on to him, all while Yoake navigates the busy streets to race to Kaizaki’s place.

The entire premise of ReLIFE seems a little creepy at first, until a scene like this comes around and you realize there’s nothing to be concerned about, because Kaizaki is a good guy who knows his boundaries. Even if An thinks he’s 17 like her, and even if consensual sex with her is legal, he’s not going to do that, and not just because he doesn’t love her.

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At the same time, An’s long look at the MD, probing, knowing questions, and her little hair-and-glasses trick were all clues that she’s not 17 either, but rather another ReLIFE agent like Yoake—a far more reckless and cavalier agent than Yoake, to boot. But this was a legitimate test on how to deal with romantic advances from high school girls, and Kaizaki passed with flying colors.

I liked this reveal, a lot actually, because it was earned. It explains why An was so friendly and close to Kaizaki all this time without ever being the main focus. It explains her equally awful test scores. It eliminates the love triangle with Hishino for the duration of the experiment, while also opening the possibility of Kaizaki and An remaining friends when the experiment is over, since she won’t be losing her memories of him.

Even the show’s poster was a clue about An. And she wasn’t even entirely lying about “love at first sight” either. When she saw Kaizaki’s case file, she knew she had her ReLIFE subject. Only she couldn’t be his support because her training wasn’t quite complete, hence the transfer to Yoake.

While the cat is out of the bag about her identity, the other four members of Kaizaki’s circle are still in the dark, which should make for an interesting new dynamic; it also makes the episodes with An in them worth another watch.

At the same time, a great many cats remain securely in bags, like the details of how Kaizaki was found and selected, why An really isn’t his primary support, and who the heck Sample #001 was, and how and why he failed. Heck, An could be Sample #001, for all I know. And what do you know: the next episode looks to be a prequel of sorts, so those mysteries may not be mysteries for long.

One thing’s for sure: I’m barrelling through ReLIFE like there’s no tomorrow…but I can’t help it. Show’s too damn good!

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