Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 04

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The best thing about the shoujo offerings as a group this season is that each of them is quite distinct from the others.

[HorribleSubs]_Tonari_no_Kaibutsu-kun_-_04_[720p].mkv_snapshot_00.17_[2012.10.23_20.00.36]I don’t really have much to say about this week’s episode of Tonari, even though I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It was pretty much a build-up ep – some subtle character development, but mostly a chance to watch the four main characters (and they do seem to have officially formed a foursome now) in their natural habitat.


This series seems much quirkier than Sukitte Ii na yo, and less interested in presenting a no-holds barred look at high school life than in entertaining the audience.  Not a thing wrong with that, but it does mean this is a more stylized and fanciful experience.  It works for me because the character emotions seem quite genuine in spite of that approach, and because the chemistry among the leads is excellent.  I’m not sure at this point which pair I like better – the main couple has a very winning misfit quality to them – both in society and with each other – but Natsume is consistently the funniest character in the series and Sasayan has a charisma that steals every scene he’s in, even if he doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot ( so far).

[HorribleSubs]_Tonari_no_Kaibutsu-kun_-_04_[720p].mkv_snapshot_03.06_[2012.10.23_20.02.28]It’s the nature of Tonari that it makes me want to see more of the family lives of the characters, which so far are only being teased.  We’ve met Shizuku’s father briefly and her brother even more so (he was indeed the “Zashiki-warashi” of last week) but enough so that her family seems intriguingly odd.  Even more has the curiosity level been raised for Haru’s family, considering his violent dislike for his brother.  We meet Yuzan properly this week, and while he’s a strange fellow there’s no hard evidence to suggest why Haru is so terrified at the notion of seeing him (Yuzan suggests Haru is a brocon).  Yuzan is nice enough to everyone but there’s still something off about him that makes me suspect that Haru’s feelings aren’t entirely groundless.  In any event, Haru’s not talking.

[HorribleSubs]_Tonari_no_Kaibutsu-kun_-_04_[720p].mkv_snapshot_03.22_[2012.10.23_20.02.44]The bottom line for me is that I like Haru and Mitty as a couple, and they don’t fit the cookie-cutter mold of anime pairings in any way.  Oddball romances certainly aren’t anything revolutionary, but these two might be the only pegs square enough to fit with each other.  They’re each socially inept in profound but totally different ways and that makes them interesting, and while Haru’s dysfunction is so thorough as to stretch credulity, watching him awkwardly try to change is poignant in its way.  And of course, Tomatsu Haruka is delivering a monster of a performance as Mitty – wounded but resourceful, unsure but surprisingly resolute.

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[HorribleSubs]_Tonari_no_Kaibutsu-kun_-_04_[720p].mkv_snapshot_19.44_[2012.10.23_20.19.21] [HorribleSubs]_Tonari_no_Kaibutsu-kun_-_04_[720p].mkv_snapshot_21.27_[2012.10.23_20.21.04] [HorribleSubs]_Tonari_no_Kaibutsu-kun_-_04_[720p].mkv_snapshot_23.55_[2012.10.23_20.22.34]


  1. l

    I can't shake my suspicion that Yuzan is either partially or wholly responsible for the big fight that Haru had in middle school or in its aftermath that caused Haru to skip school for those years. I have no evidence to support my feeling (and no manga knowledge either). But I wouldn't be surprised in the least to learn Yuzan had a hand in those events.

  2. D

    They just killed off Watashi in Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita special 2!!

    While I applaud the writers' fearlessness, which was why I liked the show so much to begin with, this is a bit sad now that the show is officially over with the main character being totally dead and all. Sigh~~. I don't think the assistant-kun can be MC him being a mute. I'm sure Enzo will share the sentiment on this tragic turn of event. I tell ya, that ending caught me off the guard with all that graphic sound and Watashi actually declaring she's dead. I like this kinda ending as they are so rare, but… feel a bit cheated as I liked the show so much….

  3. H

    I find the partial reversal of roles in Haru and Shizuku's relationship to be interesting, as Shizuku has gone from being the reluctantly pursued to the pursuer, albeit a seemingly gentle one. For someone who was set up as having very little empathy, she is showing surprising gentleness and skill in dealing with Haru and what she now perceives as his hangups and history. It indicates to me that she's not really a person who didn't know how to interact with others, she just didn't interact with others. Either that, or she's really good at guessing right.

    Seeing Haru have some progress forward and then some setbacks is something I find interesting in the show. He seems to do the wrong things for the right reasons.

  4. f

    I'm absolutely loving this series so far…there's so much quirkiness and hilarity that 22 minutes just seem to blast through in the blink of an eye…As this story progresses, I'm interested in watching the relationship of the main couple progress, as well as the tone of the storyline…right now, there's a very airy, lighthearted feel to the story that I'm sure will turn darker with the progression of yuzan's character and haru's history…i hope it doesn't ruin the comedy here, because that's what I'm really digging right now

  5. S

    Did anyone catch why Mitty had dirt on her forehead?

    "these two might be the only pegs square enough to fit with each other." Great line, I totally agree

  6. T

    The mark was from where she got the volleyball spiked into her face.

    I also agree with how great that line is because it really sums up the series so far. It seems to be seemingly true with Natsume and Sasayan also although we don't know enough about Sasayan to put him in the same weirdness group as our other 3.

    I really like where this is going and personally I am much more interested in how Sasayan is involved with Haru than the Haru/Yazan conflict.

    Also the fanservice in this episode is how it should be done. Short, sweet and not in your face. IMO at least.

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