Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless – Review – Still Waters Run Deep

Sorry about the previous Tanaka-kun is Always Listless review. That was flat-out a troll.

Sorry not sorry.


Tanaka-kun Itsumo Kedaruge

This comedy, slice-of-life anime revolves around the life of Tanaka, a highschool boy known for his incredibly listlessness towards everything. He is in fact, so listless that he proceeds to avoid any possible event in his life that could possibly potentially force to budge from him being lazy. He is everything a lazy bum is, lazy and weak.

Thankfully for him, he has his trusty companion, Ohta, to provide assistance whenever it is needed. This would include situations like when Tanaka falls asleep during lunch break and never wakes up even if the bell rings. Even though he is so lazy, everything turns out smoothly for Tanaka. But, his lazy peaceful highschool life is interrupted when…


…nothing happens. Well, technically speaking, something did happen. Tanaka meets new friends along the way, including a potential love interest. Various events that you would come to expect from a high school slice of life comedy happens in the show, like the cultural festival and a fire drill. These events set up for comedic situations where characters interact with one another.

Tanaka-kun 1

In a sense, nothing of consequence happens by the end of the show. Tanaka doesn’t change in any way, Ohta and the rest of the supporting characters do not change at all. Which brings me to what I believe is the show’s main appeal.


High school may not be the most original setting ever. Over the years, high school in anime has been portrayed as this extraordinary place where miracles happen. Be it meeting a love interest, joining a sports club and entering the finals, or even uncovering the truth behind an age-old myth about the school, high school is the place where things happen.

Tanaka-kun Itsumo Kedaruge strikes a contrasting portrayal of the anime high school by showing us a high school in which nothing really happens. Sure, there are the usual events like the festivals, but in contrast with other shows, nothing really dramatic. By the end of the day, nothing worth mentioning really happens. The writers also took note of this trend and subtly sneaked in a few meta-commentaries on issues like that.

Well, even if you can’t appreciate such things, fret not, because this contrasting setting paves the way for the main draw of the show: very uneventful, yet entertaining situations.


Tanaka-kun 1

The characters provide the color and the vibrance of the show. If the show’s settings is the canvas, then the characters will be paint. Tanaka will be sky blue, Ohta will provide various shades of green and the rest of the cast introduced later throughout the show will introduce more and more colour in the picture. In the beginning of the show, it may feel kind of dull and uneventful, but gradually, by the end of the 12th episode, you will see the completed painting: a vibrant landscape painting with peaceful skies and lush, colourful meadows.

Tanaka-kun 1

Despite this show being a comedy, there are not many moments where you actually laugh out loud. In fact, I don’t think I laughed much throughout this show. However, it is not the humour but the charisma and the laid-back atmosphere of the show that is the main draw for the show. In a way, after every episode, I was left with a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart and a smile on my face.

Graphics & Soundtrack

Tanaka-kun 1

Visually, this show is not strikingly beautiful in any way. Like the purposefully bland setting, the visuals in the show use very simply colour palettes. In most cases, they use lighter colours, with white serving as the main backdrop. Even the title is simple, the words written in black and blue with a white backdrop. The soundtrack is also very simple, with a few main songs used repeatedly for every episode, most notably the simple, upbeat piano piece. The sound design team cleverly uses timely stops and deharmonized chords to indicate a change in tone, making the tracks sound familiar but not repetitive.


Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless is a self-conscious, self-referential and relaxing but unorthodox slice-of-life anime. It’s entertainment value in the end, still relies on the viewer’s perspective. While I myself enjoyed this show quite a lot, some viewers may see this as an uneventful and boring show.

Tanaka-kun 1

And so, with everything said about this show, I now present you the rating:

8.22 (Near Great)

And now, the end of my reviewing spree. I’m currently finishing up Ben-to, the anime and I’m enjoying it, to my surprise. I think a review is in place, and I’m looking forward to review because reviewing it would prove to be a challenge.

So, till the next one, ciao!


4 thoughts on “Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless – Review – Still Waters Run Deep

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