Series: Tonari no Kaibutsu kun
Genre: Romantic comedy
Summary: Mizutani Shizuku is the type of person who only cares for her own grades. But when she accidentally delivers lesson notes to Yoshida Haru, he becomes convinced they are friends. Haru turns out to have a very innocent personality, but who would've thought that Haru would actually confess to Shizuku? A cold-hearted girl and super-troublemaker romance with a fresh new perspective.
Many viewers, when first watching Tonari no Kaibutsu kun, believed that the show would turn to be a great success and enjoyment since the original manga for it was a success in the first place and receives much praise. However, as time passed and the first season (probably) ended, Tonari has left me feeling warm, but disappointed and unsatisfied.
One of the things that I enjoyed about this show was the pure innocence of it, how two misfits are slowly discovering the world of love. But I believe that it just stops right there. The whole series felt like one big filler, with some progress for five minutes every three episodes. Yes, you read that right. They definitely got the comedy part right, I laughed my ass off so many times ("Gorillas can communicate with their eyes!"). But the romance between the main two characters was just so confusing, being indecisive and having slow progress. Even during the final episode, which may I say was a total disappointment, the furthest the two progressed was Shizuku saying how she wishes to have full affection for Haru, one day. The anime did have bright points, though. It gave off themes such as the importance of relationships in ones life. Tonari did manage to make me feel warm inside as well, so I'll give them points on that.
Natsume was easily my favorite character in this series. Her story may have been quite too much at times, but many people were able to relate to her story. Shizuku actually did some justice, she went from study bug to a study bug with feelings. Her indecisiveness irritated me a whole lot, though. Haru was absolutely adorable but he was rather confusing. His past with his brother was shoved in in order to explain his rash behavior. Needless to say though, he was an entertaining and unique character that's hard not to love. Yamaken brought excitement and a low-key love triangle between Haru and Shizuku, but it was obvious that he wouldn't have made too much of a difference. Still, seeing an elitist fall for a blatant study bug was rather adorable. Sasayan was a cutie, but really, what was the point of him? Have a crush on Natsume but then give up once he realizes she likes Mi-chan? I just wish he had more talk time because he did nothing much. These characters did bring liveliness and were relatable, so despite the wasted space some of them created, they were enjoyable.
The music in Tonari was really pleasant, and did a pretty good job in bringing emotion in some of the more dramatic, emotional, and humorous parts. Nothing too applaud-able though. It's not like I'd go and illegally download any of their OST's. The voice actors did a TREMENDOUS job. I seriously am satisfied with how each character was portrayed by each of them. They brought emotion to the characters and made the show much more interesting that way.
You definitely can't go wrong with the animation in this show. It was one of the reasons that I started watching it in the first place. The character's proportions are perfectly in tact, and their expressions were adorable and fun to watch. The scenery also was impressive at times and the whole thing was a treat to my eyes. Nothing too choppy or blurry, the character and setting design settled down the part of me that raged at the draggy plot.
Tonari no Kaibutsu kun was a treat for the eyes and the ears, but the plot dragged on for the whole series and left many of the viewer's questions unanswered, including many of mines. Hopefully a second season will be made, one where Shizuku's and Haru's relationship will pick up, but hopefully not too quickly. I recommend this show to those who enjoy a good laugh and some tender feelings of romance now and then. Don't expect too much, though.