This is review number one hundred and seventy eight. This is part of the Fall 2012 lineup. I still have a lot of anime left in this lineup but for the moment, I am done with it. I’ll be moving on to another lineup, the Winter 2013. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. It’s a thirteen episode anime about two characters that looks cute together as they develop a romantic relationship with each other. I love this show and I hope you love it too. Let’s read on.
The anime is about a girl named Shizuku Mizutani who has grew up without any friends. Instead of making friends, this girl would rather study and try to be the smartest girl in class. She would act cold towards people and she doesn’t really care for most things. She is so extreme that people started calling her “Dry Ice”. One day, Shizuku was asked to deliver some homework to a classmate named Haru Yoshida. Haru is a troublemaker and he loves getting into fights. Shizuku was shocked to discover one of the school’s toughest guys to actually be desperate for friends and he has gained a strange liking towards Shizuku. So now, a girl with very little experience about making friends is suddenly being befriended by a guy who would scare people away just by glaring at them. Shizuku has a tough front but it would seem Haru caught her attention. What’s a girl to do when Haru suddenly started saying declaring his love for you? For Dry Ice, it was a new experience but this love thing isn’t exactly one sided. Or is it?
Taking the Pants Off
This anime is Shoujo. I am currently reviewing some anime of 2011 and there were no prominent Shoujo anime in that year. Actually, there is Kimi to Boku but that show is a hybrid of a hybrid. The ideal high school romance anime where the characters do a lot of monologue and their experience of love is highlighted in the show is a genre that was slowly shoved to the sidelines for a long time. One of the reasons I was excited for the Fall lineup was because Shoujo made a decided comeback in this season. I saw the trailer of this anime last year and I decided I would watch it last. It’ll be my last Fall anime simply because it’s Shoujo. I just kind of had a feeling that it’ll be a great anime. If it isn’t, well, at least I got to experience the stereotypical Shoujo anime in its strongest form. I’m glad my convictions are strong because this show really isn’t that great. Don’t get me wrong, it possess everything about Shoujo anime that I really love but the genre itself isn’t really that good because one thing all Shoujo anime possess is that they are massive manga lures. I’m still freaking excited to see the genre is back though. Let’s hope 2013 have more of its kind.
The premise of the anime instantly grabs you. There is a girl who has no care for anything except her studies and a guy who is a brute but a gentle misunderstood soul. Their interaction was pretty fun to watch since the girl is the only person that can get close to the guy and the guy is annoying the hell out of the girl. Little by little though, the relationship of the two gradually grows into something that is really adorable. The anime is pretty straight forward pretty much focusing on this story alone. That’s right. There are no other love stories in the anime. Or rather, the anime was still building up one but it was surely not as important as the main love story. This was great thing because the story of the two characters is really fun to watch and their story might seem straight forward at first, but it eventually reveals some surprises you never expected the show to do.
This is pretty much as Shoujo as you can go. It has the attributes of a great Shoujo anime with all the good and bad parts. The anime focuses on the love story at first. The circumstance of the girl is explored and the boy is focused at first. We see their lives before they met each other. The two meet and they gradually fall for each other. We then get a lot of monologues focusing on the thoughts of the characters regarding their attraction to the other. Majority of the monologues are done by Shizumi, by the way. Haru has some as well but Shoujo anime is much better experienced through the eyes of the girl rather than the boy. Unless you’re as gay as the guy from Kimi ni Todoke. I’m just kidding. He’s not gay, just very feminine for a lead male in a romance. Anyways, the predictable setup of most Shoujo anime commences afterwards. Someone confesses their feelings, things would get stupidly awkward and then the show mellows out towards the end. It’s the familiar Shoujo experience I personally missed.
The show also had a theme of friendship or togetherness slowly folded in. It isn’t a major part of the anime but it is a recurring idea among the characters. They are all lonely in one way or another and they want to belong. Some of them have challenges becoming friends with people but they soon come together as a group and spend their time together. The show nicely highlights how the loneliness in some of the characters has really affected them and how the group that was formed slowly made them into a better person. Again, this isn’t really important but it’s something the show used to deepen the story.
The thing that really made this anime amazing though is the Comedy. The whole show is just really packed with cute or stupid scenes that’ll make you smile. It’s not enough to make you laugh but it’s enough to make you want to watch more. The characters are really wonderful and I love how they brighten up the anime. Haru delivers a strong comedy in the anime because he is just unpredictable. The guy jumped off a building, befriended a Doberman and frantically kissed a girl in the same episode. You’ll just never expect how the show would pull off its comedy and I kind of like how they incorporated it to the love story as well. Certain characters are also experiencing love and they have a rather pathetic yet cute experience as they try to handle their feelings. There is no shortage of funny yet adorable scenes in the anime that is really just made the experience amazing. Plus, the anime had a chicken. Its purpose, we may never know but there aren’t a lot of chickens in anime so I’ll points for that.
The characters are the ones that really made the show amazing. They’re very interesting and utilized pretty nicely. Every character grows on you from the main to the side characters. Haru and Shizuku are just cute together and their character dynamic is pretty fun to watch. An unpredictable guy and girl who aren’t fazed easily make for an interesting love story anime. I love it when the two of them just act comedic together with Haru doing something stupid while Shizuku would just give off a funny reaction towards it. Their romantic moments are even better and there is a lot of it in the anime. Those scenes where they are just alone together with the mood set just right for one of them to completely fall in love with each other was really nicely done. The dialogue between them is they are in this perfect setting is absolutely cute that I often anticipate the next romantic moment because I know it’ll be sweet. The other characters are pretty decent. They have enough personality to stand out and they all had a decent role in the anime. They don’t do anything noteworthy though besides being emotional support for the characters. The theme of friendship does give them a bigger role but the prime focus is on the love story so the side characters are really just side characters. I felt that the story was building up for the characters to branch out though. Towards the second half, the side characters are heavily featured and their circumstances are explored. Of course, nothing materializes because the anime is only thirteen episodes long.
This anime is not perfect and one of the reasons is because the primary focus of the show is the love story yet it was thinly spread out throughout the anime. There is a decent progression but the relationship of the characters are often dreadfully dragged that nothing satisfactory comes out of it. Majority of the episodes have the relationship on stand still going absolutely nowhere and you wait for a decent resolution only to be sorely disappointed. It was cute but thirteen episodes are too long for something cute that doesn’t have much to tell. Towards the second half, the pace died down and the focus was shift towards something else. At first I was glad that there is only one love story in the anime so it can develop the story some more but towards the end, the show fizzled out. The love story that grabbed you halted midway and snail paced its way to the ending. The characters stopped developing to compensate the immediate halt of the story and the focus was shifted to another thing. This is sadly, a typical Shoujo thing. I swear to God the whole anime is a manga lure. These are anime that stops the story so blatantly that it urges you to read the manga. It’s not really bad because anime fans are now familiar with the medium. The problem is that the anime had no decent ending. It basically slammed the door in your face with the sign hanging on it that said: read the manga. Bokura ga ita, Kimi ni Todoke, Special A, Ouran Host Club, Kare Kano and Nana are all great Shoujo anime in their own right but they are blatant manga lures as well. Oh you want to see what happens next? Why go read the manga, of course.
Manga lure is not a problem though. It’s one of the aspects of a Shoujo anime. Down the line, it’s not how the show copped you out for wasting 6 hours on it but the experience you got from it and it is pretty amazing. Tonari no Kaibutsu has a great story to tell that you just have to see and it has characters that can really make it all worthwhile. Here a GIF to prove that fact.
God, I love these two. The best part is that they made out in the first episode and things just got interesting from there.
Sight and Sound
The character design is pretty decent. The characters have unique looks to them that make them attractive and they have the basic bishoujo/bishounen features that make Shoujo anime like this pretty great. Haru is the typical hot guy with a sexy body and a handsome face. His childlike demeanor is cute and his serious face is very sexy. Like seriously, I’m a guy and I am all over that. For Shizuku, the best thing about her is her face. They are really expressive and I love how they blush. She has expressive eyes and a cute face that is fun to stare at when she is falling head over heels for Haru. The uniform of the characters are pretty nice. The guys have checked pants and a white shirt that accentuates their slender bodies. The girls have the standard uniform and I am personally in love with the length of the girl’s skirt. It’s just me being perverted, don’t mind me. The rest of the cast are beautiful characters as well. Their looks nicely complement their personality which is a nice touch.
The animation is pretty decent as well. I say decent because there is enough to tell a story but you can see the quality differs from most episodes. One thing I noticed is the facial features often not having enough details in some episodes and there are scenes where just the mouth moves. The eyes don’t even blink. The facial expressions are nicely animated though as well as the fight scenes. These are often the best moments so I love hoe they put great attention over the scenes that actually mattered. The kissing, hugging and other romantic scenes are nicely animated as well. It’s very complex and the character’s personality projects well over to their body movement which is great.
The anime’s OP is “Q&A Recital!” by Haruka Tomatsu. She voiced the main character, Shizuku and her voice is really great. The last time I heard her sing a song was in Kannagi. Her voice in this song is really amazing. It’s clear and very vibrant. It really made the song that much more impressive. The song represents the cute bubbly spirit of the anime and the upbeat music captures that. The OP sequence features a lot of colors and it introduces all the characters. The relationship of the characters is nicely presented and I love the little dance they do at the end. It’s an awesome OP.
The anime’s ED is “White Wishes” by 9nine. Apparenly, it is sung by a girl group. They all have fantastic voices as they really gave the song its personality. It’s the same as the OP. It’s cute and a bit bubbly. The song starts out slow but the chorus explodes in cuteness. I really love it. The ED sequence features the two characters being cute together in a lot of colorful drawings.
7/10 “A decent Shoujo anime but sadly has little to offer.”
It’s still has a great love story that is both cute and funny. The characters are great as they carry the show and make sit memorable. The whole manga lure thing is a massive downside though and I think the experience was ruined a bit by it. If you love a romantic comedy about two opposites that greatly attract and if you’re the kind that enjoys puppy dog style romance then you’ll love this anime.