Perfect for a sleepy Sunday
Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedurage (Tanaka-kun is Always Listless) is the unsung hero of the slice-of-life genre in Spring 2016. You could feel your inner Tanaka nodding along with our main character’s perspectives on life. You daydream about the idea of a personal Oota to carry you around. Your nerd side empathizes with Shiraishi, and calling Miyano “Myaano” is just so satisfying. Besides reinforcing our confirmation bias for the awesomeness of sleep, we were introduced to a cast of extremely likable characters. Likability, as it would be, is the name of game today. We’ll be listing out the top 10 Tanaka-kun characters to be best friends with, so relax and enjoy a lazy stroll through recent-memory lane.
10. Oota Saya
Oota Saya is the shy younger sister of Oota. She is also, coincidentally, the BFF of Tanaka’s sister, Rino. Shy but honest, Saya would be that cute BFF you’ve always wanted. Much like their older brothers, Saya and Rino get along well because their personalities make a fine mismatched combination. Saya leans on Rino’s confidence and dependability, whereas Rino admires Saya’s sweet-hearted nature. It’s possible Saya’s shyness can be trying at times, but she’s just so darn cute! While having her as a BFF would be great, probably she would be better as a little sister. Too bad this isn’t a little sister list.
9. Shimura and Katou
We don’t want to split hairs when it comes to this inseparable duo, Shimura and Katou. Shimura is a megane-kun, and Katou is a cheerful guy with a propensity to overreact. They are the normal guys who make it more obvious how quirky Tanaka and Oota are. Sometimes, they can be a source of aggravation for Tanaka, by drawing attention to him or asking him to do too many things. Still, Shimura and Katou are kind-natured and do their best to understand Tanaka. Although they don’t really get him, they still try.
The main reason they would make good BFFs though, is because as a pair, they are great at “making the atmosphere.” They know how to joke around and have fun and react in entertaining ways. During the school cultural festival, the duo went all out to make their class’s haunted house a success. Fun and dependable, we would take both Shimura and Katou as our BFFs.
8. Tanaka Rino
Tanaka Rino might have the same face and her older brother, but Rino is strict and responsible. She takes care of the household chores and her brother’s wellbeing. Rino knows her older brother better than anyone and accepts all of his weirdness. Now, Rino may have a serious bro-con (brother complex: she really likes her brother in a non-sibling way), but when it comes to her BFF Oota Saya, she is equally dependable for her friends. Rino might be a little over-protective at times, but she’s doing it out of love, so we can’t hate her for it.
Even when Rino is faced with the fact that her best friend is actually the sister of her archrival for her brother’s attention, Rino still sticks with Saya. Rino is cold and slightly evil towards her enemies, but she’s equally empathetic and caring to her friends and family. Rino is the BFF you want in your corner when drama hits. While there’s not much drama in Tanaka’s world, there’s plenty of it in real life, and we’re sure that Rino would be a champion.
7. Miyo and Kicchan
Another inseparable duo, female version, consists of Miyo and Kich, the pair of friends who spend a lot of their free time with Shiraishi. Miyo, or Micchan, has a sweet smile with an even sweeter attitude. Kich, or Kicchan, is kind and hardworking. Both are very considerate of Shiraishi and support her after they learn Shiraishi has a crush for someone. Even after Shiraishi starts to relax from her “idol” image and wears glasses to school, Miyo and Kich only have kind words to offer their friend.
These two are “normal” students and emphasize Shiraishi’s former-outcast mentality. Still, they are the perfect friends for a former outcast, often thinking about Shiraishi and always inviting her to have fun with them. Always bringing the happy and friendly vibes, Miyo and Kicchan would be great BFFs for both normal and quirky people alike!
Saionji is just a young hard-working girl doing multiple part-time jobs, and that’s impressive on its own. Even Tanaka describes her as “amazing.” We were able to get a sneak peek into Saionji’s inner monologue in the few times she was on screen, and we totally agree with her thoughts if we were to run into a real-life Tanaka and Oota duo. She thinks through situations in the most entertaining way possible. Her skills in hyper analysis combined with her earnest personality make Saionji an admirable character. Even though we know that in her head she’s getting flustered, she still keeps it all together. Keeping it together is a quality we all love in our BFFs. Not to mention, we could sit and listen to her thoughts on everyday situations for hours. It’s a shame she didn’t have more appearances in the anime. Please, tell us more, Saionji!
Shiraishi is always in the spotlight after making her high school debut as a classroom idol, despite having an extremely introverted personality. Still, she has all the best qualities of an introverted friend: thinks carefully before speaking and doesn’t impose on Tanaka’s quiet time. On the other hand, she is also very stylish and adept in baking and sewing. As the class representative, Shiraishi proves herself to be responsible, hardworking, and popular. Everybody loves Shiraishi, and so do we!
Shiraishi gets Oota’s seal of approval in baking, and if we could become BFFs with Shiraishi, we would always be available for a taste test! Not to mention, Shiraishi knows how to relax. If you’re not familiar with the sheer joy of tying your bangs out of your face, then you better get familiar fast. Shiraishi is a BFF that you can relax with in sweatpants and then have a fun time getting ready to go out with. After her extensive research, Shiraishi knows all the ins and outs of what’s fashionable, so we welcome her as our BFF fashion guru.
Someone please help us make this sleepy boy our BFF. While the title lets you know that Tanaka-kun is listless, or even lazy, we can also say that Tanaka is an extremely peaceful and laid-back guy. As a BFF, we could depend on Tanaka to never insert unnecessary drama into our lives. If anything, we can always depend on Tanaka to make the choice that expends the least amount of energy, and that type of predictability is welcome in our chaotic world.
Not to mention, Tanaka’s outlook on life taps into our own inner wish to sleep all day. There’s so much we could agree on with Tanaka when it comes to the desire to relax and the allure of peace and quiet. Even though Tanaka doesn’t like noisy places, he will speak at length on his ever-listless lifestyle, and it’s pretty fun just hearing his interesting perspective. Moreover, if we want to go out and have a more exciting time, Tanaka wouldn’t be upset when he gets left out. If anything, he would be appreciative. With an entertaining mindset on life with no frills and no drama, Tanaka could be a steady BFF that we can rely on.
Echizen is known to be a “yankee” girl. She seems combative and reacts harshly to things that surprise or upset her. Nonetheless, Echizen is very kind-hearted and helpful to her friends and neighbors, who in turn respect the young girl. Oota, as Echizen’s childhood friend, also thinks highly of Echizen. With a unique sense of style, Echizen wears a long skirt and appears a little rough, but she adores cute things and people, including her best friend, Miyano. Miyano, who admires Echizen’s maturity, affectionately calls Echizen “Ecchan,” and in turn, Echizen calls Miyano “Myaano.” As a running theme in these anime, thanks to their differences in personality, Echizen and Miyano have a strong and happy friendship.
To Oota and Tanaka, Echizen has a dangerous image. In reality, Echizen is very kind and honest. She’s a little naïve with her feelings in romance, but she remains straightforward in everything she does. Echizen would be a great BFF, because she adores her friends and understands how to show appreciation for others. When Oota is absent from school in Episode 8, Tanaka is left to deliver a handout to his house, but his laziness has prevented him from knowing exactly where Oota lives. Echizen goes out of her way to deliver Tanaka to the Oota residence, and she even makes sure that Tanaka doesn’t spill the beans that she helped him. She does so, of course, by throwing her shoe at him. A little rough around the edges, we would still love having the tough and kind-hearted Echizen as our BFF.
Overflowing with adorableness, we can totally understand why Echizen is so enamored with her best friend. Miyano is a mini high school girl with the cutest overreactions in the anime. The cuteness, however, has gotten to her, and Miyano decides to vow herself to being more mature after developing a crush. She chose Tanaka as her master, because his laid-back attitude makes him appear super mature. Even though Miyano is worried about appearing mature, she is, in fact, very good at reading situations. She helps both Shiraishi and Echizen when they are having internal conflicts and takes active steps to help Shiraishi with her crush on Tanaka.
Miyano might not be able to master listlessness, but she would be a lot of fun to have around. Just standing next to her would make us feel more energized. Even though her personality clashes with Tanaka, he still accepts her friendship and believes her to be a well-meaning girl. When conflicts start to emerge, we can always count on Miyano to help smooth things out. We will always cheer for Miyano, and we’re pretty sure as a BFF, Miyano would always cheer for us too.
Oota is a pretty amazing best friend to Tanaka. The two have completely different outlooks on life, but Oota goes to great lengths to understand Tanaka and has a healthy amount of respect for his best friend’s dedication to being lazy. In order to support that dedication, Oota carries Tanaka between classes and helps him survive the everyday. He also gives great advice, although sometimes misguided by what we like to call Oota-ness, when his serious nature pushes him to jump to conclusions.
Strong and selfless, Oota will take on any number of tasks if it will help his friends. In addition to carrying Tanaka around, Oota also volunteers to be a ghost in their class’s haunted house, despite being deathly afraid of ghosts. He is also seen as being an understanding older brother and can easily read his younger sister’s feelings. Oota is a dream-friend come to animated life, and being BFFs with him would make any of us happy Tanakas.
Is it possible to live in Tanaka-kun’s world?
If we could, we would want to be BFFs with all the likeable characters in Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedurage. An anime without any visible antagonists, Tanaka-kun is refreshing and enjoyable in very unexpected ways. There is a reason why this series has such a strong global following after one short season. We are so happy we got to meet such a wonderful cast of characters that are all very entertaining while also being supremely relatable. Who wouldn’t want all these people as BFFs?