School is killing me…very soon I’ll be back for some semi regular posts. I may do these kinds of posts for the other Fall series, if I feel like doing it.
November summary will be up soon!
I’m the kind of person who’s hard to please and who’s tastes are what some may find bizarre and contradicting, and I’ll attempt to explain how those things relate to my affection for Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.
I can actually name (read: care about) the main cast + supporting cast
Usually this isn’t a really big issue in most cases, but the parentheses tell a much more important tale. Lately, there tends to be shows that either skimp on character development for the supporting cast, leaving them to somewhat linger around or act in ways you really don’t understand why. I hate to use Sukitte iina yo, but that is the show who falls into this category: apart from Mei and Yamato, everyone is just…there. Especially Aiko, who went from totally hating Mei to being very supportive of her in such a complete 360 that it actually bugged me for quite a bit. In Tonari’s case, the show emphasizes everyone in a equal manner, even if they aren’t being used to their full potential (Sasayan). From the class rep Ooshima, the male tsundere Yamaken, scene stealer Natsume (and what a perfect name!), our lead characters Mitty and Haru, heck everyone in the series has made at least one impression or so. For a 12 episode series, that’s impressive!
When I like romance versus When I don’t like romance
I’m very anal about the romance genre in general: for me, I just don’t like romance when it isn’t the main driving force of the series. A non-anime example would be Avatar: The Last Airbender (sorry, but it’s not anime): the overall story was quite excellent but the obvious romance angle just made me roll my eyes. That was just fanservice. Other series that are guilty of this would be Eureka Seven (the biggest offender), Hanasaku Iroha, Mirai Nikki (to some degree) and plenty others.
There is one big exception to this rule: Steins;Gate. When a show’s primary goal is to utilize time travel to stop world domination, you would think that if there were to be romance, it would be half-assed and lazy. One of the many reasons why I love Steins;Gate (but that’s getting off-topic). My point is: if the main driving force of a series is romance, I’ll enjoy it. If not, I’ll probably roll my eyes (in most cases) or pull out my eyes (in Eureka Seven’s case).
The production values
I really love the music in this show. It’s fits both the series’ normal comedic tone but also when it gets a bit more serious. The OP is full of energy and the ED, while hardly animated, is filled with the kind of art style I love: watercolors. I loved it Hourou Musuko, I loved it in Usagi Drop and I love it here. The voice acting is especially strong: Haruka Tomatsu does an amazing job as Shizuku and proves why she’s one of the biggest names in the business so far (minus a certain rotten sandwich..) but the real winner here would be a total newcomer, Atsumi Tanezaki as Natsume. Natsume is a scene stealer and her voice actress does a great job in such a convincing manner. The best of the best would be certain art styles like in the above picture: the show loves to change up its art during the real funny moments in the series and I absolutely love it.
This show knows how to balance itself from being too heavy on drama, romance and even comedy itself! I haven’t once felt that this show was trying to force itself to be something completely different. For TnK, it all comes naturally in my opinion.
The mascot is not a cat
I’m of a very small minority in the anime community for not being a fan of cats. They’re just too overexposed in the anime mascot community (plus I just don’t like cats) and I’d be happy with any animal for Tonari, but a ROOSTER?! That’s freaking cool! Just another reason I enjoy Tonari.
Random post, I know! But I really have taken a liking to Tonari and I really hope there’s a season 2!