Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Review — C+

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Shizuku never does anything but study. Then she meets a handsome, smart boy who doesn’t have any friends either and they fall in love.

This was a very solid series— I just am not a big fan of shoujo romances. I like the animation style and the use of bright colors in particular.

My biggest complaint is that this just wasn’t that ambitious. It’s exactly the same as every other shoujo romance, except with a rooster. Furthermore, it feels as if the show is just toying with us. First Haru confesses to Shizuku. Then Shizuku decides he doesn’t actually like her. Then Shizuku confesses to Haru. Then Haru decides she doesn’t actually like him. Then Shizuku confesses to Haru again, ad nauseum. Come on guys, it’s not like you’re getting married. Just go out already and then break up in a beautiful explosion of fiery passion, it would be better than this.

The female characters are excellent— I’m especially a fan of Natsume, but Shizuku and glasses girl were great as well. The males are much weaker, unfortunately. Haru and the blonde guy can be jerks. I don’t understand this side of shoujo. In shounen romance shows, the female characters are ridiculously kind and beautiful, while the males are boring. In shoujo romances, the female characters are ridiculously kind and beautiful, while the males are assholes. Why? I guess girls really do like bad boys?

The show does provide great shipping fodder, even if the two main males leave much to be desired. For the record, I’m shipping Natsume with Sasayan, and Shizuku with glasses girl. Haru can choose between Yamaken or the rooster. I don’t get how anyone could ship Natsume with the old guy.

  • Storytelling – C – Solid, but milks the one conflict for all its worth.
  • Voice – B – The colors and the rest of the visuals make this stand out from its rivals.
  • Characters – B – Good, except for Haru and Yamaken.
  • Attention Grab – C – Went slow at times, particularly Shizuku’s monologues.
  • Production – A – Looks great.
  • Overall – C+

Recommendations – Kare Kano

5 thoughts on “Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Review — C+

  1. I’m not sure if the writer was trying to glorify bad boys here because Haru was never portrayed as ideal boyfriend material – hence why the show danced around a relationship but never actually delivered. Same with Yamaken; he was a jerk, nobody else in the story really liked him except for his dumb friends. He was pretty much a male tsundere. Obviously, the best male here was Sasayan. He has the best hair for a shojo male. That’s my two cents.

    1. Sasayan was the best. Haru definitely wasn’t ideal boyfriend material, but he was supposed to be attractive. Given that the other shoujo romances I’ve seen often have bad boys as well, I think there’s an attraction there.

  2. This was one of my favourites that season.

    I have only two complaints: One (you may laugh): The ears, in particular Mitty’s, for some reason quite often were drawn grotesquely oversized, cf e.g. http://bit.ly/14aGu62 . This somewhat spoilt my enjoyment for some episodes as it looks entirely ridiculous imo. Two: Haru was too unrealistic for my taste, I just couldn’t emphasize. Oh, and they could have done w/o the rooster.

    But there was lots to be loved: First and foremost Natsume. She looked cute and also turned out to be an awesome character as the precocious girl resenting being sexualized but not able to turn back time (it would take a few pages to describe what exactly I’m trying to say). Then Yamaken-kun who actually wasn’t a total jerk but who just acted like one but was insecure at the same time and, I think, also good-natured (e.g. his library conversation w/ Mitty). I loved the OP (Natsume jumping) and the ED (Mitty’s thighs). And the girl voiced by HanaKana was great, as well, in particular her reaction to Yamaken in ep. 10 at around 15:20 and Natsume’s comment!

    1. I didn’t even notice the ears, but now that you mention it, they’re huge! Kind of makes her look like an elephant.

      I couldn’t empathize with Haru at all either. He was too needy and acted completely brainless, even though he was uspposed to be some sort of super genius.

      The whole show was worth it for Natsume in my opinion.

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