28 Dec 2012

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Anime review

English: My Little Monster
Synonyms: Tonari no Kaibutsukun, The Monster Next Door, My Neighbor Monster-kun
Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 2, 2012 to Dec 25, 2012
Producers: TV Tokyo, Aniplex, Brains Base, NAS, Kodansha
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun- This is what happens when a school delinquent thinks he is friends with a hard working student. We get a whole lot of comedy and romance out of it.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, to be blunt, is an amazing love story.The two main characters, Shizuku and Haru, make up a hilarious dynamic duo. They are both socially awkward, combined with the fact that they have no earthly idea of how a relationship works. This is actually a big positive, simply because the story avoids all the generics in your typical relationship cycle. Skip the “fated encounter”, the “commonalities”, the “date”, the “predicament”, the “make up”, and the “confession”. Haru and Shizuku are simply oblivious to the norm, which allows them to clearly speak their minds. Imagine blurting out everything you think and how ridiculously entertaining that would be. This is one of the primary reasons why the characters in Tonari are so lovable and funny.

The storyline for Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun seems like your typical run of the mill girl meets boy and falls in love scenario. However, the thing is the creators put an interesting twist in that the one of main characters, Haru, thinks he is now friends with the other main character, Shizuku, because she gave him his lessons since he was absent from class. Both characters are worlds apart in terms of personality, and both tend to cause trouble for each other. As each episode progresses we see that instead of Shizuku falling for Haru in an instant, they both have a juggling affair with how they actually feel about one another. Some moments they can’t stand each other, and some moments they don’t want to be apart. It is actually a great change of pace from the norm. The storyline also makes use of many comical occasions that push it along. Another thing is that the storyline doesn’t take place at school all the time like many other romance/comedy school dramas, so we as the viewer aren’t bombarded with the overuse of school drama clichés.

Characters are one of the highpoints in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Shizuku is a girl who only cares about her grades and pretty much nothing else. Her character personality has a somewhat reluctant nature. It can be seen as straightforward and mean sometimes. Haru is the kind of guy who seems like a brutish delinquent. He is kind of anti-social, selfish and has a somewhat dirty mind. But there’s a lot more to him than that. These kinds of main characters have been done before but Tonari just does them so well. Tonari makes each character feel like they have an original quality to them. Each of the two main characters has great development, and has their moments in each episode. I like the comedy that each one produces especially during the awkward conversations. Shizuku and Haru still are able to regain their composures to produce some serious dialogues at many points.

However, some of the supporting characters seem to be forgotten in the plot. Many of them are likeable (like Asako, Chizuru to name a couple) but the thing is most of them don’t develop, or barely develop, which in my opinion is disappointing because a lot of them are as interesting as the two main characters. At least all characters provide a great amount of humor, and even though they aren’t being brought out to their fullest, the supporting characters don’t detract from the main storyline.

With the art and animation  aspect of the show is done exceptionally well. Character models are nice to look at because of how highly detailed they are. Backgrounds are also giving this treatment too. One thing that I liked about this anime in particular is the attention giving to color. The colors are done so that everything has a certain natural look to it. This art style has a great amount of color in just the right amounts, which means that the color saturation is varied and looks great. The animation is solid as well. I didn’t notice any weird instances of jerkiness or anything like that. In short Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun is a great looking anime

Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun has a good soundtrack. It’s not the best but it gets the job done. The OSTs used have mostly a playful theme. Some of them have a suspenseful or gloomy tone depending on what is going on in the scene. The opening and the ending both have a nice upbeat and playful undertone just like most of the OSTs. I thought both suited the overall nature of the anime nicely. Both were pretty catchy as well. The voice actors portray their characters with extreme ease so that they don’t feel out of place. Overall the music and VAs used offers a refreshing mood to those who are watching.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is enjoyable to people who want a great laugh. For me Tonari has a good amount of jokes that where not all one type as seen in many other anime of this genre. The only thing left to say is that it’s a good way to spend 30 minutes, and if you’re feeling down this anime is bound to cheer you up. 
This anime is one of the best hits this season. The storyline is great, the artwork and animation is awesome, and the characters are funny to watch. It offers an amazing overall experience, and most people who watch want be disappointed.

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