“Mawwiage Mawwiage is what brings us together today.”-The Princess Bride
Although this quote is humorous, marriage is serious. Marriage is meant to be monogamous and to be representative of the relationship God has with his people.
Nasa and Tsukasa from Tonikawa begin their relationship with marriage. Having met after Tsukasa rescued Nasa from a fatal accident, Nasa swears his love and vows to marry her. Tsukasa disappears and then reappears when Nasa is an adult, asking him to keep his promise. He eagerly agrees, and thus, their marriage begins.
Unlike most marriages, Tsukasa and Nasa’s relationship begins with a courtship phase. Both of them learn about each other, begin to hold hands and kiss, and fall deeper and deeper in love with each event in their lives. They do not let opposition break them apart, nor do they falter when they lose their home. Instead, they show that marriage can survive all storms.
Marriage is a covenant, a promise of love, and Nasa and Tsukasa show this very well.
When Tsukasa and Nasa begin their relationship, they are living in a one bedroom apartment without a bathing area. Right away, Nasa realizes he has nothing to accommodate his new wife. He has only one bed (a twin sized one at that), and no soaps or other provisions. The only item they do have is a plant that the man who provides marriage licenses gave them, a symbol of the beginning of their relationship. Through this sudden change, Nasa becomes more selfless.
After all, love is “not self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:5). As a single person, many of us have our set habits and ways of doing things. We tend to think only of ourselves because that is all we have to worry about. We only need to be concerned with what we want and what we need. But when we marry, that changes. We begin to realize that another person has needs and wants, and that we will have to adjust ourselves accordingly. Marriage forces us not to be selfish, and Nasa shows his selfless love for his wife by buying everything she might need or want (eventually, he buys her a T.V. because she wants it).
The next obstacle in their lives is telling their friends about their marriage. Nasa has used a bath house as his shower for years, and the bath house owners (Kaname Arisugawa and Aya Arisugawa) are his friends. Through a series of hilarious obstacles, it is revealed to both sisters that Nasa is married to Tsukasa. Aya, who had always had a crush on Nasa, is crushed by the news, and must learn to accept this new relationship. Instead of being envious that Nasa is surrounded by beautiful women, Tsukasa accepts his friends (and Aya accepts Nasa’s new wife).
Tsukasa and Aya demonstrate how love “does not envy” (1 Corinthians 13:4). After all, both women could have become possessive, unwilling to allow their loved one to be with any other person. Their love easily could have become twisted and abusive, where Tsukasa could prevent Nasa from seeing any other women but herself. Yet, that is not how either of them reacted. Tsukasa realized how kind her husband was, and Aya accepted how she “lost” Nasa to a beautiful woman. They put aside any jealousy out of love for Nasa.
Tsukasa also has familial interference from her adopted sister, Chitose. Chitose doesn’t want to accept Tsukasa’s marriage and puts Nasa through a series of trials to test his loyalty to her sister. After all, Chitose doesn’t understand how someone who knows nothing about her sister could marry her and be a good person. Although her reasoning is valid, her methodology is not (she kidnaps him and brings him to the mansion where Tsukasa grew up), and ultimately, her test reveals the true depth of Nasa's love. Nasa and Tsukasa end up in an old chapel, where they both exchange vows of love for one another.
Later, Nasa and Tsukasa must break the news to Nasa’s parents as well. The parents are rightfully upset that Nasa had not told them about Tsukasa or the marriage itself. However, upon realizing that Tsukasa is the one who saved Nasa’s life, they give their blessing. After all, they really just wanted to meet the woman who rescued Nasa and entranced him from the day they met.
Both of these incidents demonstrate how marriage is when “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24b NIV). Both wife and husband had to show their families that their marriage was whole, and that though they loved their families, they had a new family in each other. Chitose and Nasa’s parents eventually accept that.
When they return from visiting Nasa’s parents, the couple discovers that their apartment has burned down! Now, they don’t have a place to live, and all of their things were destroyed. Although this seems like something that would break a new relationship, Nasa had a positive outlook. Discovering the plant from the marriage certifier in the rubble, they decide to work together to find a new place. The plant miraculously survives, and it is a symbol of their undying love.
Even though marriages can face great trials, God calls married people to remain faithful to their partners. Oftentimes, couples have a choice as to whether the trial will break their relationship or make it stronger. If they endure through the trial and work together, they can be refined as a couple. “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10 NIV). This verse shows that if couples trust God and hold fast to him, they can come forth like a precious metal. The Bible tells us it is better to face such trials together as well:
“Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
-Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
If couples can work through the trials they face, they will find that they are better for it—both as individuals and a married couple.
In the second season, Nasa and Tsukasa also examine whether they need a formal wedding to celebrate their union. Because of the cost, they decided not to have a wedding ceremony. This brings up the question of whether or not someone has to be married in a church or by a priest in order for the marriage to be valid. Although there is some conflict about this, I think that the Bible makes it clear that marriage is something that is blessed by God. After all, God himself oversaw the first marriage “ceremony” in Genesis and celebrated the marriage of a friend as Jesus. He approves of ceremonies and formal celebrations of marriage.
That doesn’t necessarily mean one has to be married in a church to be considered a valid couple. As long as the couple has made a vow of faithfulness before an official and/or family and friends, they can be considered married. (A great article about this is found here). So, in these ways, Nasa and Tsukasa are truly married, even without the ceremony itself. This is especially sealed in their vows at the church and their actions throughout the series.
Sexual Content: There is tons of innuendo about Nasa and Tsukasa. Nasa desires Tsukasa sexually, and it is obvious through several episodes where his mind is going. Kaname is a pervert who comments on the size of Nasa’s private parts and constantly teases Nasa about how far he has gone with Tsukasa. Tsukasa and Nasa are seen semi-nude with towels/steam and other concealing things preventing us from seeing all. There is at least one scene where both Nasa and Tsukasa make out, and noises are heard, though not much is seen on screen.
Violent Content: There is a lot of blood in the first episode when Nasa is almost killed and Tsukasa is injured helping him escape, but there isn’t any guts. Most of the “violence” is comedic, with the typical overpowered punches/kicks that don’t really do real damage. There is also a “kidnapping” where Nasa easily escapes Chitose. The apartment building is seen as a pile of ashes, but no one dies. There are hints that Tsukasa has a more depressing past, but none has been shown, and I imagine if it is shown, it won’t be any more than what happened in episode 1.
Rating according to MyAnimeList: PG-13.
Despite the sexual content, Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You is a sweet, slice of life anime about a young couple falling deeper and deeper in love. Through all the shenanigans and innuendo, there are two people who are learning more about one another and loving each other’s quirks. And unlike other anime which drag out the love story between the two main characters, Tonikawa: Over the Moon for You begins with two characters already in love and develops their relationship from there. Overall, this anime is a refreshing look on marriage, relationships, and what it takes to make love last.
M.H. Elrich is a Christian Fantasy author, reader, otaku, and teacher who wears too many hats. In her spare time, she watches T.V. with her husband, rides horses, and travels to places with lots of trees. Her work has been featured in two separate books: Finding God in Anime and Where Giants Fall, and her stories have won several awards at the Kern County Fair. She is currently writing and publishing the Daughters of Tamnarae series.