Tsuyokiss is an anime that I found while scouring the various yuri clubs of MyAnimeList, so why not give this lesser-known title a chance, right? Well, it wasn’t a huge waste of time, though, it wasn’t all that great either…
Synopsis: Sunao Konoe starts her first day at a new school and is surprised to find that there is no drama club. So, she decides to make one of her own. But between a childhood friend showing up, the crazy student body, and the arrogant student council president blocking her at every turn, it seems that actually creating the club is going to be more difficult than she thought.
The source material for this one is actually a visual novel with a very different storyline, yet there’s still a lingering sense of “been there, done that” with this show. A lot of the familiar romcom scenarios are here (part-time job, multiple festivals, etc.), and over the course of the show, the focus shifts from Sunao’s struggles to start a drama club to her romance with Leo.
Personally, I liked the Sunao versus Erika rivalry more than the romance itself, though, when a love triangle emerges, things do become far more interesting than they seemed earlier on. Thankfully, this anime didn’t devolve into a harem situation, since that was something that I feared could possibly happen. Sunao being a tsundere meant this romance went nowhere fast, and by the end of the series, I was a little underwhelmed with how things ultimately played out. I think one more episode might’ve been enough to avoid the feeling that matters were rushed towards the end.
Between a few of the characters, there’s a modest amount of character development, but at the end of the day, I didn’t feel like the story was that much better than mediocre. Had it not been for some interesting characters and relationship drama, things could’ve been far worse, so let’s get to those characters.
For as generic as this anime can be at times, the characters are the least of its troubles. Say what you want about how they conveniently fit into established tropes, but there are several characters that are genuinely entertaining, probably none more so than Sunao.
For some of these slice of life shows, we’re given bland protagonists that I just can’t bring myself to like, though, I definitely don’t think that that’s the case here. Voiced by Nana Mizuki, Sunao rises above many of the pitfalls that plague other lead characters, and despite her tsundere ways, “Daikon” (as people call her) is actually pretty likable.
Let’s just lump all of the male characters together, since I think the same thing can sadly be said about all of them—they’re just not that great. Leo is the main male character, and while he’s not too bad, he kind of fits the bill as that bland protagonist I spoke of earlier. Shinichi is your stereotypical pervy male, and between him and Kinu’s angry rants, I think you’ll find plenty of things to be annoyed with. Subaru is one of Leo’s best friends, and it’s kind of appropriate, since he’s just as dull as him. However, he’s fascinating compared to Murata, whom I just can’t find anything to say about. It’s really the girls that add some life to the cast, including the show’s resident lesbian Erika.
In the very first episode, Sunao walks in on Erika in a compromising position with one of her female underlings (whom she gives the adorable nickname “Yoppi”), and right then I knew that it was a good decision to watch this show. 😛
Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic, but it was always cute to see Erika try to seduce Yoppi. The problem is, most of the time, Erika is busy making things difficult for Sunao, so there aren’t nearly as many scenes between them as we’d like.
As for the others, Otome is your standard tough girl who carries around a sword. I think I have a soft spot in my heart for characters like these, so it’s no surprise that she’s one of my favorites in this show. Also, I think you can ship Otome with Sunao, so that’s an added plus. Kinu is the pint-sized loli with a brazenly foul mouth. She’s easily the most annoying female character, though, the show wouldn’t be the same without her. And then there’s Nagomi. She’s kind of like a combination of all the other main girls, so I guess that makes her the least interesting. Her family situation added a bit of seriousness to the proceedings, so maybe that’s not true.
All in all, this isn’t the best cast of characters you’ll find in anime, however, there are enough charming personalities to keep your attention. I honestly wasn’t expecting that much from the characters nor the yuri, but when it comes to the former, my expectations were slightly exceeded. The latter could have been more frequent, though, we’ll take what we can get.
Seeing as this anime first premiered all the way back in 2006, it’s tough to properly critique the visuals. I think an interesting way of doing that would be to compare it to another anime from 2006 that we’ve reviewed here on YR, Kashimashi.
Kashimashi is a fairly similar show (and they both come from Studio Hibari), so while neither one is much of a standout in this department, I’d say that Tsuyokiss is superior in nearly every aspect. There’s a little bit of fanservice to be found in this show, but even though I don’t know anything about the visual novel, I think I was expecting more. Color me surprised.
So if you’re not put off by the older anime look, the animation in Tsuyokiss shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Moving on to the audio, aside from a couple of insert songs, the background music of Tsuyokiss didn’t leave that much of an impression on me. However, I thought that the voice acting was noteworthy. There’s even a character that has literally no voice lines, yet the strange noises she makes manage to somehow make her adorable.
One thing that irked me was how the sweet-sounding and pleasant ED got the full fanservice treatment and was accompanied by a slideshow of naked female characters from the show. Call me a prude, but was that really necessary? It just doesn’t seem like a very fitting combination, but enough about that. While the audio can easily be overlooked, there isn’t too much to complain about here, so take that for what it’s worth.
Overall, Tsuyokiss is a mostly pedestrian romcom that probably won’t wow anyone who’s seen their fair share of anime, but that’s not to say that it’s not somewhat entertaining. If you’re into romcoms, I think you can do a lot worse than this one, just don’t expect a lot of originality here.
I have to be honest here, I’v never heard of this one and seeing that it’s similar to Kashimashi, I think I’ll never watch it either 😀
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Even though it’s not really that similar to Kashimashi, I’m totally not surprised by you saying that you’ll never watch it. 😛
Hmmm I’m glad you’ve opened my eyes to this one, but I don’t think it’s one I plan on watching. I do appreciate the effort though.
At this point, pretty much all the good yuri has been covered on this site and we’re just scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Can’t blame you there. This one was meh.
It does keep getting harder to find things to review, but there are still some essential shows that have yet to get their day in the sun. All in due time~
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Hey if you search something to Review that does not exist on this site, how about Genei o Kakeru Taiyou? One of the Main Characters is obviously in Love with a other Main Character, and there is even an almost kiss between them ~ well not really but more is spoiler xD And the Opening is just Amazing! But strangely enough, the anime is not mentioned on any Yuri page, or only on few.
Sorry for the bad english…
Thanks for the suggestion~
Once I finish up with the reviews that I currently have planned, I’ll probably end up writing about this one then~
Fancy. It looks like lots of fun! Oh, I have a recommendation for you guys. There’s this older manga by CLAMP called Miyuki-chan in Wonderland.
It might be worth checking out. It’s basically Alice in Wonderland filled yurified. Anyways, I loved this review, keep it up! ♥️
Filled yurified? I suck at typing. Ha.
There’s also a two part anime adaption.
Oh, yeah. I think I downloaded that one a while back, but still haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.
After I finish up MariMite and the subsequent seasons, I may finally get to it. It being so short makes me think it might be next. 😀
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Debating whether or not to watch this one. I’ve been binge watching the the highlights of the 5 best years in yuri anime history imo. 97 was a great year and an important one due to Utena, I just finished 2004 which imo may be just as good as 2009. I’m on 2006 now and wondering whether to include this one in my watch list. So far I’m including the highlights, primarily Mai Otome, Kashimashi, Simoun, Strawberry Panic, and Marimite 3rd. Would maybe be nice to get suggestions on what to watch for that year besides what I listed as being on my watch list.
I just got finished with a show from ’04 (MariMite), and from just a quick look at the rest of that year, it was a really good time to be a yuri fan. I think back when I wrote that “Greatest Year in Yuri Anime” post a while back, I was debating whether ’09 or ’04 was the better year, but I ended up giving the slightest of edges to 2009. It’s like 1 and 1A, IMO.
As for this one, I’d say that if you generally consider yourself a fan of romcoms, this might be worth a look. However, if you’re solely interested in it for the yuri potential, then I might be a little hesitant to recommend it.
Looking at 2006, I think you mentioned most of the one’s that I would have mentioned, but I have seen lists of yuri anime that mention Joshikousei: Girl’s High and Binbou Shimai Monogatari as having some semblance of yuri in them. I haven’t seen either one, so I can’t confirm or deny anything, but those might be worth looking into more~
Speaking of 2009, there is a title I am tempted to throw out there:
It might be hit or miss though. It’s the darker magical girl thing and somewhat SoL. While it does have subtext the yuri score probably won’t be high.
I watched it quite awhile ago, and I think I remember it as something I would watch a second time.
Anyways, thought I would mention it! 😀
I guess I’ll make a note of this one as well, and if I’m disappointed, I know who to blame. 😛
Lol, yeah, yeah, fair enough. 😀
After I get done with 2006 and 2009, I’m debating whether to watch 2014 or 2015 next, or skip to 2017.
Personally, I think both 2014 and 2015 were better than this year.
Looking at our 2014 Yuri Anime list and our Yuri Anime 2015 list, I’d say both look more attractive than our Yuri Anime 2017 list.
That said, the 2017 list needs to be updated. 😀
*goes to do it*
Looking over the 2014 and 2015 list, and then the 2017 list again, I kinda have to agree, that said, I would argue 2017 is worth mentioning because we got Kobayashi, Kuzu No Honkai, and Urara Meiruchou in the Winter. We got some yuri between Ymir and Historia in Attack on Titan Season 2 in the Spring. We got Princess Principal in the Summer. We got Konohana Kitan in the Fall. The only real disappointment I can recall from this year was NTR. There was so much hype around that one, only for it to turn out disappointing judging by the review of it here. “Don’t bother, read the manga instead” was the impression I got from the review.
That said I still agree both 2014 and 2015 have more content worth mentioning, but I plan to keep this binge watching to just 5 years, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2009, and one more. I can only choose one between the two so which would you recommend after 2009? 2014 or 2015?
Fixed it for you. 😛
Yeah, 2017 wasn’t bad at all, but with Netsuzou TRap being a huge disappointment and the lack of a flagship yuri anime (like Sakura Trick or Yuri Kuma Arashi) that even non-yuri fans know is yuri, it probably gives the impression that it was a really down year.
As for 2014 or 2015, it’s tough.
The biggest reason to choose 2014 would be Sakura Trick, obviously. But if you’ve already seen that anime and take it out of the equation, I’d probably say that this year was better, overall.
On the other hand, 2015 doesn’t have an anime quite as strong as Sakura Trick, but I think there may be more shows that have strong yuri content than 2014.
So, in short, If you had to binge one, I’d say 2015. But I think Sakura Trick is required viewing, so if you haven’t already, I’d HIGHLY suggest you watch that show as well~
After some debate. I decided on 2014, as I have already seen and loved 2015’s flagship, Yuri Kuma Arashi, and have not yet seen Sakura Trick in its entirety, and 2015, while it has alot of good content, much of it seems like 2nd+ seasons or sequels to original stuff that premiered in 2014 or earlier, so I’ll go with 2014.
You can’t go wrong with either year, so best of luck with all that good stuff~