Tsuyokiss 1: a new season, a new rant

If I had any sense at all, I’d be more selective about what I watch. I wouldn’t feel strangely drawn to certain series like a moth to a flame, and I’d have infinitely more time for as yet undetermined higher pursuits (such as getting bored). Unfortunately, I just cannot help myself- despite all the blocks of common senses, there are times when I cannot evade the call of destiny. Tsuyokiss was one such time.

Episode one is not so much the beginning of a story as it is a procession of clichés, each more worn out and hackneyed than the last. After a brief dream sequence, our story begins in the home of the lead, Konoe Sunao. She’s everything you could look for in a main character- generally upbeat, slightly crazy and more than a little inefficient. She even has a little sister to handle the cooking and cleaning (their parents, predictably enough, are away). A scene in which she drops her towel and reveals some naked cleavage sets the tone for the series (and in case you missed it, it’s repeated in the OP), and then it’s off to school for her first day at Stereotype Academy.

Yes, every standard type you could imagine is arrayed at the school for our viewing (dis)pleasure. On the girls’ side there’s tough girl kendo master Kurogane Otome (the sight of the word otome on my screen still fills me foreboding); loli Kanisawa, her quiet long-haired foil Nagomi; rich ‘princess’ and student council president Erika; photographer Nishizaki; quiet and timid friend Shizuka; president’s submissive sidekick Yoppi, and an as-yet nameless busty older woman (as a ‘bonus’, eyecatches of the girls in various costumes are sprinkled throughout the episode). Though fewer in number, the men fill in the gaps with “otaku”, “semi-bishie” and “inoffensive lead male” Leo, whilst those bemoaning the apparent lack of mascot will find one in the form of a talking parrot.

And so, with the utterly generic cast in place, events, such as they are, are ready to get underway. Every lead must be gifted with at least one slightly out of place hobby, and Konoe’s is drama; a rather unfortunate choice given that there is no drama club at the school. As Haruhi has taught us, however, if you can’t find a club to suit you, you should just create your own, and so it is that Konoe makes her way to Erika and Yoppi’s outdoor pagoda to get permission to do just that.

“Let’s roleplay; I’ll be Haruka and you can be Yukino!”

Unfortunately for Konoe and viewer alike, it isn’t going to be that simple; Erika will only allow the creation of a drama club if Konoe can demonstrate the enjoyment of drama to her. Flash forward a few unimportant scenes and Konoe is managing an impressive turn as a one-girl Romeo and Juliet, until, in true anime fashion, it all goes horribly wrong when she catches sight of Leo.

According to one of those “boy and girl met years ago” flashbacks that this type of series is so fond of, Leo and Konoe were once in a play together, and somehow Leo’s encouragement helped her to overcome her stage fright and turn in a good performance. Unfortunately, he also nicknamed her “daikon”, since the shape of her pigtails reminded him of a daikon radish, a word that also means ‘bad actor’.

Back in the present, and not only does Leo’s presence distract Konoe from the vital performance, but when she reintroduces herself, he only remembers her as ‘daikon’, earning him a slap (most likely the first of many). In the ensuing fallout the stage gets destroyed and all hope of a drama club cancelled, whilst Leo tries to figure out what he did wrong- and thankfully, that’s all we have time for.

And so, as the dull ballad that passes for the ED theme plays and some stills roll past, only one thing can be certain- Tsuyokiss isn’t up to much, and there’s probably not much chance of it getting better. I know that I should stop here, that I’m only going to give it up sooner or later, but even now the thought of watching episode two isn’t too outlandish. Thus, for better or worse, see you next week for “I hate the student council!”.

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