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A Slice of Life manga by Nozomi Uda, Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge, 田中くんはいつもけだるげ) follows the life of an incredibly lethargic boy named Tanaka and his friend Ohta, a reliable straight-laced student who's made a habit of making sure Tanaka can get by living his day-to-day life despite his near-Zen levels of laziness and excessive sleepiness.
His almost too-peaceful life is disturbed, however, when people begin to barge into it bringing the ghastly concepts of involvement and excitement and somehow or another, friendship.
The manga was serialized in Gangan Online from 2013 to 2019, and compiled into 13 volumes. It was adapted to anime for the spring 2016 season by studio SILVER LINK.. The anime is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and later a dub from Sentai Filmworks.
Has a character page in the works here.
- Adaptation Expansion: The anime is already shown to add more flavor to many of the scenarios featured in the manga, sometimes even upping the Ship Tease, such as between the likes of Ohta and Tanaka in episode 1 when Ohta muses that Tanaka has "breathtakingly beautiful listlessness" after he's splashed by water, which doesn't seem to be his wording in the manga; or Ohta and Echizen in Episode 10 when he compliments her yukata (resulting in her getting flustered), something that doesn't happen in the manga.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Inverted with Miyano in one sketch, wherein her anxiety actually turns her into the listless, mature-seeming young woman she dreams of becoming.
- Affectionate Nickname: Miyano calls Echizen "Ecchan," who in turn calls her "Myaano" (みゃーの, elongating "mya").
- Blackmail: What Tanaka threatens the gods with in order to maintain his peaceful, lethargic life. Hilariously, the more he attempts this, the more exciting his life becomes.
- Bland-Name Product: Episode 9 features a fast-food restaurant called WcDonald's.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The manga does this, usually to commemorate a big event like the anime announcement or a serialization anniversary. The anime plays with this to degrees as well - Tanaka makes it clear that he would want to be a background character instead of a protagonist, then successfully removes his facial features and fades away in an attempt to be like one in Episode 1.
- Catch Your Death of Cold: In Episode 6, Tanaka is too lazy to use an umbrella when it's raining outside. He gets drenched by the rain and catches a cold.
- Childhood Friends: Echizen and Ohta. Though their past isn't yet elaborated on, they were apparently pretty close as kids and hung around each other's homes all the time before eventually drifting apart. It's claimed that the two were once part of a gang together (at least, according to the former).
- Contrived Coincidence:
- As it turns out, Tanaka and Ohta's younger sisters are also best friends with each other.
- Miyano's younger brother has a crush on Tanaka's younger sister, and also views Tanaka as his master.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: This series is about a boy named Tanaka who's always listless.
- Face of a Thug: Ohta and Echizen's scary looks when Echizen tells Tanaka they used to be in the same gang together in episode 3 gets a callback at the end of the episode when a police officer genuinely suspects that they're extorting Tanaka. In reality they're both very nice, regardless of how much Echizen is loathe to admit it.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: While Tanaka isn't foolish per say, he is very lazy, leaving Rino to do much of the housework.
- Gender Reveal: Despite Tanaka and Ohta's imagining a vague male figure in the anime (in the manga the figure is more ambiguously drawn), Miyano's "crush" turns out to be on Echizen.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ohta and Tanaka form a consistent buddy pair, and Tanaka can barely function without Ohta. The "heterosexual" part is left up to interpretation, however.
- Just the Way You Are: Miyano wants to change herself into a listless, mature woman for her "most important person", but Tanaka bluntly destroys her dreams by telling her she's too hard-working for that and is better off as she is. She still wants to try, even though said person and her are already in a pretty stable relationship, give or take.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Word-for-word, this is Tanaka's picture of his relationship with Ohta and the apparent reason for its stability.
- Love Dodecahedron: Oh boy. Shiraishi likes Tanaka, who's interested in girls but is more comfortable being catered to by Ohta than pursuing romance. Tanaka's sister, Rino, loves her brother maybe a bit too much and sees Ohta as her rival. Miyano's brother Sora has a crush on Rino, who does not reciprocate. Miyano herself has a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship with her best friend Echizen, who seems to have hidden feelings for Ohta.
- Official Couple: Played with. In Chapter 137, Tanaka and Shiraishi declare that they'll mutually be there for each other for a long time. In Chapter 140, Shiraishi is shown to join in with Tanaka and Ohta at WcDonald's, implying that they're together for good.
- No Full Name Given: Barring Rino, Saya, and Sora (Miyano's younger brother) who have first names to differentiate them from their siblings, every named character is only known by their surname.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Tanaka covers his face with a hoodie and, at Miyano's insistence, pretends to be a party-loving guy named Shidou-san to avoid conversation with Miyano's brother.
- Planet of Steves: As it turns out, there are a lot of students with the surname Tanaka in the school, probably one in each class, if chapter 25 is to be believed.
- Professional Slacker: Tanaka's school day consists of finding the right place, the right angle and the right position to be able to nod off in class. This is largely inconsequential, as he's rarely caught, his grades are fine, and he is seldom considered a nuisance. Dude has made it an art.
- Pseudo-Romantic Friendship:
- Miyano and Echizen's dynamic, more or less. The crux of their relationship revolves around Echizen's (borderline-obsessive) weakness for cute things leading her to cuddle Miyano like a child; whereas Miyano idolizes Echizen as the "ideal woman" she aspires to be. The Homoerotic vibes are there (mainly coming from Miyano's end).
- Tanaka and Ohta behave like a couple, and Tanaka thinks of Ohta as his 'wife.' Even so, their relationship never goes past friendship.
- Real-Place Background: In the anime, the school campus is based on the Hiroshima Municipal Motomachi High School, designed by the same person who did the Kyoto Station.
- Sailor Fuku: Rino and Saya's uniforms.
- Scenery Porn: The show has a very well designed school and town.
- School Festival: Episode 11 revolves around one in which Tanaka's class hosts a haunted house.
- Ship Tease: Shiraishi and Tanaka get more as the series continue. With Shiraishi becoming the only person to motivate Tanaka to do anything.
- Sick Episode: Episode 6 has Tanaka catch a cold after getting drenched by the rain.
- Sweet Tooth: Ohta seems to have a life philosophy catering to his, and Miyano and Echizen are similarly fond.
- Thinker Pose: In Sora's introductory chapter, he does this on a park bench after confessing his love to Rino and got rejected. Tanaka, who was passing by, immediately lampshades this.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Echizen in regards to her interactions with Ohta and Tanaka, but especially Ohta. For example, in chapter 39, while the two of them are discussing the possibility of Tanaka having a girlfriend, she immediately reads the atmosphere like he's about to ask her out too, making her blush. As it turns out, he only wants to carry her around like a "replacement Tanaka"... and she angrily responds by poking him in the eyes.
- Those Two Guys: Shimura and Kato, two of Tanaka and Ohta's friends who occasionally hang out with the main duo and/or drag them into some wacky hijinks, to Tanaka's chagrin.
- Toast of Tardiness: Shows up in episode four with Tanaka chewing on a piece of bread...as Ohta carries him to class
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Echizen and Miyano.
- Tyop on the Cover: At the start of episode 8, the show title is deliberately misspelled as "Nataka-kun is Always Listless." Tanaka is too tired to care.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Tanaka and Rino look so much alike that Ohta and Saya mistake them for each others' doppelganger.