My Senpai Is Annoying’s Central Romance May Be in Danger

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for My Senpai Is Annoying Season 1, now streaming on Funimation.

My Senpai Is Annoying is a recent entry in the josei anime genre, aimed at older female audiences. Josei and the ever-popular shojo genre have some overlap, but they also have the same similarities found between shonen and seinen -- that is, not everyone gets their happy ending in josei, and things don't always turn out for the better.

Seinen and josei series are more like real life in that they can be messy, difficult, dramatic, unpredictable and even tragic. Likewise, My Senpai is Annoying ignores the Saturday morning cartoon style of shonen and shojo, which reflects in Igarashi Futaba's love life at the office. Looking into her current bond with Takeda, she might not get her perfect ending after all.

Futaba Isn't Making Any Serious Headway With Takeda

futaba with takeda on street senpai annoying

Any romance story, anime or not, will present obstacles and challenges to the two lovers, creating conflict and an opportunity for character growth. In the case of My Senpai Is Annoying, the tough tsundere heroine Igarashi has many obstacles in her way -- perhaps too many to overcome. She is primarily viewed with a patronizing attitude by everyone around her, most of all by her senior co-worker, Takeda Harumi. This is a fine setup for an office rom-com to an extent, where the plucky Igarashi works hard to prove herself as both an employee and a potential lover. However, based on Season 1's events, these barriers seem too much for her to overcome and may spell doom for her love life.

That said, there's still a chance she may win over Takeda's heart in a potential Season 2 or beyond. At this rate, though, it looks like a high hurdle. Igarashi's crush appears entirely one-sided, with Takeda acting more like a big brother or even a doting uncle than a potential boyfriend, and he's not exactly Mr. Romantic in the story.

He greatly respects Igarashi and wants to protect her, which is good. But so far there's no hint of these protective and friendly feelings turning into anything remotely romantic. There's also no sign Takeda has ever had a girlfriend or, indeed, any romantic partner whatsoever. When Season 1 ended, Futaba felt optimistic about her life in general, but not her potential romance with Takeda. Romantically, Season 2 has practically nothing to build on, but that might actually be for the better.

My Senpai Is Annoying Might Not Even Need Romance To Function

futaba slightly happy

Some anime actually thrive on incomplete one-sided romances, since a "happily ever after" isn't the only way to complete a character's personal arc or complete the overall story. A trip to the altar isn't the goal in these series, but rather, the process of falling in love can help motivate a character to pursue other goals and become their best self. Paradoxically, falling in love could have a bigger impact on the lover than the object of their affection, and a josei series like My Senpai Is Annoying surely understands that landing the popular hunk isn't the only way to resolve a heroine's character arc. Other titles demonstrate this well.

A one-sided crush also appeared in the high school rom-com Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun, and it was soon clear that Nozaki Umetaro liked Sakura Chiyo as a friend and fellow creator, not as a potential girlfriend. The two never get together romantically, but they don't have to. Instead, Sakura's crush leads her to becoming Nozaki's newest manga assistant. This helps build up a strong, charming friendship and business partnership while also driving the story along.

Another example is the somewhat obscure josei romance After the Rain, where the heroine, Akira Tachibana, falls for her middle-aged restaurant manager, Mr. Kondo. Due to their age difference and the story's themes, they never actually get together. The story is really about healing and hope as Akira recovers from her ankle injury and resumes running track, her true passion. Falling for her manager helped her mentally heal as well, and this relationship inspired Mr. Kondo to reignite his love of literature. The one-sided romance fizzled out in the end, but it wasn't anticlimactic -- it led to something even better. At this rate, My Senpai Is Annoying might do something similar, and could be better off for it.

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