My dear tyrant is an anime romantic comedy series written and illustrated by Waka Kakitsubata, published in Media Factory’s Monthly stripping magazine from June 2013 to June 2018. Upon completion, the series was adapted by Yumeta Company into an anime with 25 three-minute episodes. The show focuses on Atsuhiro “Akkun” Kagari’s relationship with his girlfriend Non “Nontan” Katagiri and several other characters. Throughout the short run of the series, Akkun consistently berates Nontan, who shows him nothing but kindness; comically, however, he is secretly in love with her and goes to great lengths to make her happy.
Despite My dear tyrantDue to its incredibly short running time, in which the intro takes up more than a third of its length, it manages to tell an all-encompassing story. Unlike other shorts like Wakakozake or Love is like a cocktail, this series develops its characters through a cohesive story that builds from one episode to the next. While My dear tyrant‘s story and characters are by no means the most complex or distinctive, it remains both a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Atsuhiro Kagari is a male Tsundere
A tsundere is a Japanese term used to describe a character with a personality that fluctuates between being emotionally hot and cold. This trait is usually used when a character is dealing with a love interest. Over time, you often see a character with this trait open up and become less conflicted about their emotions as the story progresses. While this role is usually reserved for female characters, in My dear tyrantis it used in its male protagonist.
Akkun is head over heels in love with his old girlfriend Nontan. However, due to his passionate love for her, he is often embarrassed and resorts to insulting her or simply being callous to cover his tracks. Luckily for Akkun, Nontan has gotten used to his strange behavior. This dynamic leads to a continuous back-and-forth as Akkun tries to hide his obsession with his girlfriend while Nontan waits for the special moments when he lets his guard down. Whether it’s a smile, a blush or an extended hug, Akkun’s partner is always grateful when he thinks of her.
In private, Akkun lacks the self-control he exerts for his girlfriend. From following Nontan after school to sticking dozens of photos of her on his bedroom walls, this character has clearly developed an unhealthy obsession. Akkun’s quirky behavior is often portrayed in short cutscenes, where viewers enter his thought process. Even when Akkun insults Nontan in public, he will usually be shown thinking the opposite and complimenting her extreme degree of cuteness.
My Sweet Tyrant develops a variety of characters and relationships
Even with such a short term, My dear tyrant develops a wide variety of characters and the relationships they have with each other. Masago Matsuo is Akkun’s best friend and such a fixture in his life that he has almost become a piece of furniture in his house. Matsuo can be seen by Akkun’s side during school and when the day is over, he spends hours playing video games at his house. While it’s unclear how long these two have been friends, it seems Chiho Kagari, Akkun’s younger sister, has gotten used to Matsuo’s antics.
Like her brother, Chiho is a tsundere and shares a passion for Nontan; in contrast, she is more willing to show her emotions as her love is more kind than romantic. Still, like Akkun, she shows her dark side when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex. While Chiho seems to be frustrated with Matsuo’s obsession with video games and his virtual girlfriend, whom he talks to through a hold console, she eventually begins to open up to him. Although Chiho initially just views Matsuo as her brother’s childhood friend and an annoyance in her family life, the constant repetition of her boyfriend’s comments about him being incredibly handsome begins to make her reflect on the artificial hatred she shows towards him.
My dear tyrant is filled with tropes
That probably won’t come as a surprise My dear tyrant is filled to the brim with classic anime conventions and tropes that have become a mainstay of the medium. Despite only having 25 episodes, the series manages to fit into almost every one-off special that fans are used to. Whether it’s holidays (including Japanese festivals, Halloween, Christmas and New Year), the infamous beach episode or special episodes to meet the parents, this series ticks almost every box.
While this may seem like lazy writing at first, you’d be hard-pressed to find an alternative path this series could have taken given the limitations of the genre. While each of these episodes follows the same beats that fans have come to know (and often love), they do allow From my dear tyrant world to expand in ways that would otherwise not be possible. New characters enter the scene and are developed, and most importantly, the progression of time is clearly demonstrated. With less than an hour of footage in total, viewers can see the progression of the characters on the show over the course of a year, creating the illusion that people have spent more time with them than they actually have. In this regard, the series uses its tropes in a much better way than other series tend to do.
For those who want nothing more than a sweet and juicy romantic comedy, My dear tyrant is definitely worth a try. While it may not be remarkable or break any ground not yet trodden, it’s cute enough to invest the one hour it calls for. Akkun and Nontan are fun characters, and while they may not offer the level of depth that more extensive series typically offer, they are much more memorable than many would initially suspect – an impressive feat considering the short running time of the anime and how much the creators managed to fit in.