Teekyuu (てーきゅう — lit. "Tennis") is a Slice of Life sports comedy focusing on four precocious school students as they deal with the typical lifestyle of the average teenage high-schooler: Struggling through class, making new friends, being part of school activities, playing sports, cooking, stealing panties, digging up mummies in Egypt with their withered, senile grandmother, befriending an alien and going to their planet...
Teekyuu is the acid-induced love child of Earth Star Entertainment, creators of Encouragement of Climb. It was published in 2012 as a manga in Earth Star's self-published Comic Star Magazine, and was adapted the same year into a 2-minute, short format anime by Tokyo Metropolitan Station. Shin Itagaki not only directed the show, but also scripted, edited, storyboarded, and even composed music for it. The series is currently running on Crunchyroll, currently at eight seasons consisting of twelve episodes each.note
Examples With Senpai:
- A-Cup Angst: Kanae is markedly envious of her clubmates' attributes and height, in spite having the same age as them. Most of the third season's opening consists of the girls swinging around a helpless Kanae with their boobs while dancing... So, yeah.
- Absurdism: The series' humour jumps between this and surrealism, almost bordering dadaism. Though the episodes sometimes follow a theme, the logical non-sequiturs of the plot usually happen in a matter of seconds, and more often than not, they are never resolved.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Species with Senpai," episode 97, is all about Tomarin.
- Anime Hair: Kanae's fluffy, bubbly pink hair.
- Art Evolution: While still very stiff and limited in its movements (see Limited Animation below), backgrounds have become increasingly lavish and the girls' designs have become increasingly consistent and even three-dimensional. Compare Episode 1 with Episode 84.
- Camping Episode: Episode 83, "The Straight Story with Senpai"
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: Yuri is the most "normal" of the four, but if you give her amazake, she'll out-zany her three friends combined.
- The Cartel: Referred to as the "Mexican mafia", they run a festival in one episode and end up in a shootout with the local yakuza.
- Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder: Yuri is the only reason the Tennis Club is a "tennis" club. Though she can't stop the zaniness of her clubmates, she at least is the person who tries to make sense of whatever situation they're involved in.
- The Comically Serious: Nasuno remains parsimonious and deadpan regardless of the craziness that she is part of.
- Compressed Adaptation: Played with. Teekyuu has enough gags in a 2-minute episode to fill up a 23-minute episode of any other series.
- Conversation Cut: A Visual Running Gag of sorts in a series that goes as fast as Teekyu, typically induced by some form of Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick. Within one second, a character will be having a perfectly normal conversation, relayed by still frames of the locations of what they're talking about, (i.e., a day at school), then, all of a sudden, they or another person will completely derail themselves by injecting with a non-sequitur that will transport the group to Mars or back in time.
- Cuddle Bug: Marimo is in equal parts cuddly and gropey.
- Cute Alien Girl: Tomarin, at least in her human form.
- Extreme Omnivore: Marimo is a Type 2, since she has been known to eat underwear. note
- Four-Man Band: While the personalities are flip-flopped, but Marimo will typically be the pervert and Kanae will usually be the Butt-Monkey. Usually.
- Gag Boobs: Kanae and Marimo are rather fond of playing with Nasuno's boobs every once in a while. She happens to be surprisingly uncaring about it, though.
- Genre-Busting: It's technically listed as a "sports comedy" and a "slice of life" series. While there is at least one or two episodes dedicated to showing the girls playing tennis, more often than not the series will have them travel to alien planets with their extraterrestrial best friend, digging mummies in Egypt, and hunting ghosts.
- Groin Attack: Tomarin uses this on an alien who was about to take Udonko, courtesy of her "Tomarin Safety Bar" ability.
- Hammer Space: Udonko's pockets can apparently hold large construction vehicles, such as dirt diggers and bulldozers.
- The Heart: In spite of how they try her patience, Yuri loves her clubmates and thoroughly enjoys being with them.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode title is "X With Senpai", the X being the name of a famous movie. Some have included Ju-on With Senpai! and The Grand Budapest Hotel with Senpai! Usually, the episodes have elements ancillary to the movies themselves, but have very little to do with the movie's plot. For example Men in Black with Senpai has to do with alien life forms and Mad Max with Senpai has harassing thugs that dress like the movie's characters. Then there's Ted with Senpai, which simply has a talking bear who Kanae and Marimo ask about tips to hibernate.
- Limited Animation: All of the Motor Mouth talking is done with only two mouth flaps per character.
- Motor Mouth. HOOO boy. While most short-format anime, even Gag Series anime between four and ten minutes long, will go at a slower pace to let its viewers get an understanding of what is being conveyed, Teekyu takes and runs with this trope into the ground, having every character, even those who show up for a scene or two for one episode, speak their lines a mile per millisecond to the point where, if you blink, you've missed an entire episode.
- Mouth Flaps: The series is famous for its intentionally Limited Animation around the mouth; the mouth flaps in each scene each only have two frames.
- Ms. Fanservice: Though it includes all of the protagonist girls, an emphasis is put on Nasuno in particular, who happens to be the curviest and the most buxom of the girls.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: It's shown that Nasuno doesn't quite like Marimo and can barely stand her.
- Not So Above It All: When the other Tennis club members appear in Nasuno's spin off, Yuri actually goes along with the others' craziness. She explains to her brother Youta that, since he's being the straight man this time, she doesn't need to worry about it.
- Off-Model: Intentionally with Kanae and Marimo, who happen to be the zaniest of the girls. Nasuno and Yuri usually don't have markedly exaggerated expressions like the other two. The series also happens to have Limited Animation, so it comes with the territory.
- Older Than She Looks:
- Kanae is the same age as Marimo and Nasuno, but she looks like a little girl. Yuri is a year younger than her and she is like two heads taller than Kanae, Yuri being the third tallest of the girls.
- Nasuno's mother looks younger than all of the tennis club's girls, though she has mentioned that she remembers stuff from World War II.
- Only Sane Man: Yuri usually takes this role, but when the other tennis club members are absent, Marimo ironically ends up taking that role instead despite being arguably the craziest of them. Likewise, Youta takes this role in Takamiya Nasuno Desu! and Ayako does in Usakame.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The four girls make up a tennis club... that does everything except actually play tennis. When approached for an interview, they do everything short of demonstrating a tennis match, including playing Pong and then doing a re-enactment of it.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: The gags come just fast enough for you to barely process them.
- Rapunzel Hair: Nasuno and Kanae can grow hair at an exponential speed. Yuri takes them to a salon, assuming that Nasuno will want to cut it; somehow she grows it even longer (let's not talk about Kanae; you get the idea).
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Nasuno's solution to everything is to throw money at it.
- Shock and Awe: Kanae seems to have the ability to shoot a ball of electricity; as shown in episodes 26 & 67.
- Spin-Off: Nasuno got one entitled, "Takamiya Nasuno Desu!" (I am Nasuno Takamiya!). There's also Usakame, about the titular rival team of the main series' characters.
- The Sixth Ranger: Either Udonko (from the school's newspaper) or the alien Tomarin fill this role from time to time.
- Statuesque Stunner: Marimo towers over the rest of the cast. She's so tall, she frightens children.
- Widget Series: A good chunk of the humor may go over your head if you're not very familiar with Japanese culture.
Next episode: Wikipedia With Senpai