- The office romance rom-com is a growing subgenre of shojo anime, largely due to the fact that it allows a slice-of-life story to grow with its audience and tackle more mature subjects than would be possible in a high-school show.
- My Tiny Senpai is a great new addition to this field, as it hits all the beats of a good rom-com anime while featuring compelling and loveable characters.
- The romance in My Tiny Senpai manages to be adult while also feeling innocent and lovable, making it an extremely easy and comforting watch.
My Tiny Senpai is the latest office romance to enter the anime scene. Romantic comedies based in a workplace setting are steadily gaining popularity and inadvertently becoming a distinctive sub-genre of their own. If fans are lucky, they’ll get one romance office title a year or every season, but that just isn’t enough given the success of the existing series. Wotakoi set the bar high for workplace comedy and then came The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague, which kept the ball rolling. That’s why fans had high hopes for My Tiny Senpai carrying the torch, and thankfully, it didn’t fail.
My Tiny Senpai follows the story of a new recruit named Shinozaki who looks forward not just to working in a new office but to doing so under his rather attractive senpai, Shiori Katase. Her bubbly nature immediately sweeps Shinozaki off his feet, not to mention her overall cuteness and bold advances. My Tiny Senpai covers the everyday struggles of Shinozaki and Shiori regarding work, their budding romance, and other office-life shenanigans that offer fans a good dose of comedy and heart.
My Tiny Senpai Is A Bashful Yet Heartwarming Romance
What’s a workplace anime without a slow-burn romance? Shiori is an encouraging senior worker who takes Shinozaki under her wing. Right off the bat, Shinozaki is taken aback by her charm and develops an unspoken crush on her. Even though Shinozaki is a decent guy, he can’t help but have a few erotic fantasies about his senpai whenever she gives him extra attention. The embarrassing exchange between the two is hilarious but sweet as they both navigate the meaning of the attention they give to one another. Unlike Wotakoi, My Tiny Senpai doesn’t directly dive into the protagonists’ relationship but takes its sweet time to develop the romance between Shiori and Shinozaki.
The romance in My Tiny Senpai is equivalent to what the viewers are used to seeing in high school rom-coms; lots of blushy moments and confusion. Neither Shiori nor Shinozaki have been in a relationship before, which is the primary reason why they aren’t able to jump into a romantic relationship with each other right away. Fortunately, that’s also a plus point for the anime since it keeps the audience on edge about whether they’ll end up together at all. Still, it’s heartwarming to see both coworkers getting close to each other in every episode, and hopefully, they can emerge as one of the best anime couplesof summer 2023.
The Slice-of-Life Touch Is Welcoming
Romance is a main theme, but My Tiny Senpai doesn’t shy away from exploring other slice-of-life and comedic aspects. The show focuses on Shiori and Shinozaki but also highlights the highly likable side characters like Chihiro Akina. The “manager” is hands down one of the best characters of the show and also its most unique element. Most workplace romances only focus on the main characters and their everyday life, but My Tiny Senpai also experiments with senior designations. Chihiro Akina is the kind of manager that any employee would kill to have. He openly admits his infatuation with other people’s business and would love to witness a workplace romance.
The daily interactions between Shiori, Shinozaki, Hayakawa (Shinozaki’s childhood friend and coworker), and Chihiro are absolutely priceless. Together, they portray a healthy working environment instead of overworked employees who are unhappy with their careers. Chihiro always invites his juniors for dinners and lunches and even goes as far as arranging some for Shiori and Shinozaki so they can confess their feelings for each other. His jolly personality and care towards the main gang are absolutely adorable. Unlike Shiori and Shonizaki, who let embarrassment have the better of them in a romantic moment, Chihiro likes to take initiative even when he doesn’t openly admit that he’s interested in Hayakawa. It’s obvious that their relationship is building into a side couple narrative, which would add more a nice additional romance toMy Tiny Senpai.
The Tropes Are Sweetly Balanced
Wotakoi focused on the love lives of adult otakus, while The Ice Guy portrayed the aspects of an introverted relationship. However, My Tiny Senpai doesn’t have a focused element and gives off more of a generic vibe when it comes to romance and plot, but that doesn’t really undermine its appeal or comedy. The show has almost all the shojo clichés and episode type cliches, but since it’s not a high school setting, it works in the show’s favor. The good thing about My Tiny Senpai is that it doesn’t stretch a clichéd moment or episode too much and gives it enough time just to be entertaining rather than repetitive.
My Tiny Senpai’s plot isn’t genius or mind-blowing; it’s mediocre at best. However, sometimes, the wholesome execution and character relevancy are so good that the viewers can’t help but feel connected to the show. One of the show’s strengths is its relatable characters, who are an unorthodox combination of adults with high school charm. Shiori and the rest are coworkers, but they feel like schoolkids when it comes to relationships. Surprisingly, none of them have had relationships before, giving their workplace romance an innocent charm.
Even though My Tiny Senpai sets a different tone than recent hits like The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague, it manages to live up to the standards of previous office romances. From Shiori’s vibrant personality to Chihiro’s lovely character as a boss, the series manages to entertain the viewers without trying too hard. The only letdown for the show would be the needless objectificationof Shiori’s body, which isn’t necessary to add humor. All in all, My Tiny Senpai manages to hold the place of workplace romance anime in the summer 2023 lineup and does better than most high school rom-coms and senseless harems.