If being lazy was an art-form, Tanaka has it perfected. A master at doing nothing, he finds any opportunity to nap. To paraphrase Parks and Recreation, he’d work all night if it meant that nothing got done. His friends are incredulous as he goes through his day, wondering how anyone could be quite so listless. Ohta always has an eye on him, acting more like his guardian than a best friend. The series is based on the Nozomi Uda manga published by Square Enix, and follows his daily life as he chases after the perfect lazy day – but it’s harder than it looks.
Even though the market is oversaturated with slice of life school anime, the key is in the delivery. In Tanaka-kun, the use of comedic timing and visuals combine to improve what could possibly be a very dull series. The initial concept of a lazy student is nothing unusual, so the fact that they can make something so mundane funny is impressive. The art style is easy to watch and is cute without being too cute. The character designs aren’t too similar, with each person’s personality shining through. One part of this series that makes it more amusing is its meta discussion of things like animation practices. It’s self-aware, and any anime that isn’t afraid to make fun of itself instantly feels relaxed. Just like Tanaka-kun himself, it’s a no-stress zone and something that is perfect to watch to chill out.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun – Both are school comedies with a meta look at anime tropes.
Himouto! Umaru-chan – Both have lazy protagonists who’d do anything to get their own way.
Nichijou – Both follow the characters’ everyday life with a comedic twist, featuring plenty of visual gags.
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