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Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 04 »« Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 02

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 03

「やっかい」 (Yakkai)
“Nuisance” (or “Support”)

First off, I’d like to thank s_w for pointing out the double meaning for this week’s episode in the comments last week. Although the more common usage is “nuisance”, a more creative translation of the title can produce a more positive meaning.

The magic of those meanings are a good reflection for the themes of this episode. While the day phase consisted more of nuisance and the “night” one more towards support, the two themes were both present in both halves of this episode. The show still retains much of the shenanigans, energy, cheesiness, and sweetness of the first two episodes, but we are entering a phase of the plot that sets up for some more serious topics at hand. Welcome to the transition and setup episode!

The first half of the episode did a great job in integrating the new characters, especially newcomers Yamaguchi and Sasayan. Sasahara has turned out to be quite the receptive character, noticing many of the subtleties this episode. Despite his playful nature, he seems to be panning out as a more dependable character, who probably will be one of the first to deduct what’s going on with Yuuzan. He also seems to be shaping up as a compliment character to Natsume, since he was the first to take notice (an awkward one at that) at Natsume’s apprehension with guys. Although he might not be as physically a Hercules as Haru (dat throw), Sasahara knows when to get out of a bad situation, which will probably play into saving one of the girls *cough*Natsume*cough* from a bad situation.

Meanwhile, we also get a taste of Yamaguchi, the suave player whose face manages to stay classy…despite many punches to the face. Although his real intentions for making up with Haru aren’t completely clear, at least one of the partial reasons is due to his interest in Mitty, however strong an interest that may be. The physical contact, the dramatic slow-motion glance in episode one, and his disinterest in Natsume (unlike the other guys) point to this conclusion. I don’t know how he’ll end up and how much he’ll end up meddling with Haru and Shizuku, but I have a feeling that it won’t happen without taking a few punches. A few of you in episode one expressed your apprehension with Yamaguchi, and I can start to see why, but I’ll reserve my judgments for later. At least his friends seem to be making amends with good taste, even though their taste in design might not…

Now enter the second half, with spotlight on our star couple, whose strides have only slowed ever so slightly. While escalation hasn’t reached “we’re married” level yet or even “we’re hooked up”, it came darn close. SO DARN CLOSE that I moaned during that first minute when Mitty backed out. This new dynamic that they share–getting close but backing away–does add much depth to what was admittedly a cheesy (yet awesome) relationship. Although at surface it’s easy to view Haru’s character as a thick protagonist who loves chickens and being a clueless pervert, the show just doesn’t allow us to do that. Haru, like Mitty observes, actually shows a high level of reception to subtleties, especially from Mitty herself. In fact, this reception may be so strong that it may be the reason why Haru is afraid of actually entering a relationship with Shizuku. He actually is a quite caring person, but his caring may get in the way of what both Shizuku and himself mutually want–an interesting spin on the supposedly good traits he has. The fact that most of these developments occurred in the nighttime is an interesting placement time-wise…the metaphors of darkness and rebirth are all there.

Why he acts this way though is itself a large mystery, though one that probably-brother-of-Haru Yuuzan will shed light on. It is implied that Haru’s past hasn’t been the greatest, but what that past is…purely speculation so far. Yuuzan seems to be attempting make-up for whatever part he had in Haru’s past, though to terrible results. This is a strange contrast to how Haru handles most other situations–with bluntness and force. Though this temporarily put a halt to my grins, trading it off for some major character development isn’t such a bad deal. It’ll be a treat to see how Tonari handles the more serious aspects of relationships and romance–it’s all fun and games until decisions have to be made. How Tonari will handle this will most likely reveal itself next episode.

But before that, where does this leave Shizuku? One obvious place she’s not left in is the stable position she tried to establish with Haru…which I found most admirable. The inside of me yelled “You go girl!” as she finally gained control of that situation. However, that control was doomed to be temporary, as Yuuzan throws a wrench into the mix. Given how shaken her world has become thanks to her growing group of friends, she’s actually handling the situation quite well and asking the right questions. Although Haru may tumble her life around, and although it may take her a long time to act on a situation, Mitty knows how to take the reins when she needs to. Along with Haru and Yamaguchi, Shizuku’s attentiveness to Haru’s reactions is impressive, which allow her to take on said reins. This give-and-take of controlling the relationship is a refreshing one compared to most romantic comedies, where control is often biased towards one character and stays that way. Although Mitty wasn’t able to hold the reins on Haru for long, it is unlikely that it’ll be the last time she tries. She does benefit from the attempt though–Haru reveals a rare look into the inner workings of himself, unclouded by any misleading advice he may have received from a book, movie, or god forbid…Misawa. The hidden side of Haru is slowly revealing himself, with the assistance of what he calls “all the good things in life”.

In closing, Tonari has held itself well as a strong romantic comedy and is shaping up to by one of the most enjoyable romantic comedies that I have had the pleasure of enjoying. The characters are developing in intricate ways and the comedy is still full of laughs. Though I didn’t end up with a grin this entire episode, those moments were replaced with wonder and curiosity, which torments me as I wait for the next episode to come out. Thus, having finally made it through the three-episode count, I thoroughly recommend this show to anyone looking for a show to grin and d’awwww at, and perhaps even more. This season is a great victory for romantic comedies, and Tonari proudly is part of that charge. Thus, for those of you who haven’t guessed already, I am officially picking up Tonari now as my second show! YAY! Although scheduling may be tough since midterms are approaching, Monja Mondays are totally worth my time and effort to discuss with you guys. I am in your care, dear reader: let’s see this anime to the end, and I hope you guys are just as excited about this show as I am!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Monja experiment last week! I truly appreciate all of you who came out to express your love or concern for this show, and I hope that you guys continue to do so even without a Monja prompt!

Common Questions from Last Week’s Comments:

Show Spoiler ▼

Full-length images: 3, 29, 35, 39, 40.




October 16, 2012 at 4:00 am
  • October 16, 2012 at 4:22 amDyrean

    Really great show so much fun while watching this reminds me of Karekano ^_^

    • October 19, 2012 at 2:11 amqwerty

      All this talk about Kare Kano really makes me wish they did a remake of the series. Done properly. That manga deserved so much more.

  • October 16, 2012 at 4:34 amckt

    more bit whole he said & she said seem slowing falling for each other?

    give now build home for the chicken yea give a home makeover while she said wearing “granny outfit”?!

    oh he said now meet she said’s parents yea dad is shock cause other he said is seem to be hiding from someone.

  • October 16, 2012 at 4:38 ambear

    Shizuku and Haru have both had their lives dramatically changed by their chance encounter. Haru sees Shizuku as his savior/friend and the source of his luck. Changing their relationship may endanger that friendship so he is very reluctant to become romantically involved with her. A breakup would likely destroy their friendship and he couldn’t deal with that. Shizuku has gone from caring about nothing but herself and a future career (and really only about the money) to someone who has fallen for someone who has been chasing after her. As you point out, she’s no longer in control of her life. This is making for some interesting twists.

    For a study drudge, Shizuku has an amazing ability to influence people. Her getting the boys to help them build the coop by using their desire to be friends with Haru was a great twist. She’s heading down the wrong career path. She should be a negotiator or politician.

    Back stories always fascinate me. I want to know why people wind up the way that we see them in the main story. It looks like Haru’s is going to be interesting and poignant. Hopefully, we’ll also see what made Shizuku the way she is.

    This story is reminding me a lot of the movie “The Station Agent” where a person who wants to be left alone winds up attracting a disparate group of people who want to be his friend.

  • October 16, 2012 at 5:21 amEdios

    playboy twin brother sounds like a good enough reason for Haru’s current behaviour. I would think growing up he was mistaken for him a lot and probably was used by him as a scapegoat, picking fights with etc. This show has great comedy for shoujo series.

  • October 16, 2012 at 5:21 amHakumeiJin

    Glad to see you’ll be continuing the coverage, this is definitely one of the best shows of the season. I really enjoy seeing how Shizuku deals with her situation while accepting her own feelings. I also liked how they became a group of friends with both Natsume and Haru recognizing it and being happy about the fact and it’s all in order to create a chicken coop XD

  • October 16, 2012 at 5:22 amKinny Riddle

    It was pretty funny and entertaining to see Shizuku freak out by her confession, and then get all confused when Haru seemingly treated her freaking out as though it was nothing, before finally deciding to come up with the courage to reaffirm her confession. Awww…

    Expression on Shizuku’s dad’s face upon seeing daughter bringing a boy friend home – Priceless.

  • October 16, 2012 at 5:26 amMatt

    Its just very character driven, and enjoyable to watch. You put these two together, and i will be a happy person. I have been impressed with the first three episodes so far.

  • October 16, 2012 at 5:54 amJaden

    Sorry to nitpick but at your third paragraph, I think you meant Sasayan instead of Yamaguchi.
    Love this show and definitely my fave this season so far.

    Looking forward to your coverage, thanks Zanibas.

    • October 16, 2012 at 8:47 amZanibas

      Spoiler: Sasayan is actually Yamaguch—

      Naw, thanks for the correction!

  • October 16, 2012 at 5:56 amFrog

    You mixed up ‘Yamaguchi’ and ‘Sasayan’ in your third paragraph.

  • October 16, 2012 at 6:39 amjustin

    the chicken is the best !!!

    p.s shit, i want KFC now……..

  • October 16, 2012 at 6:54 amEuzio

    “How the hell is that a passing grade!?”: In Japan, high school education is tough, stressful, and test-based. Their scales for what is considered “passing” and the qualities they look for in passing are very different from the traditional Western systems. People can barely pass the class (like Natsume) and still progress through high school, because mastery of prerequisites isn’t as important when progressing through high school. What truly matters is either the simple completion of high school without failing too terribly, or for the more competitive students, owning the university entrance exams. Those of you more versed in this subject, please correct me if I’m wrong!

    Yeap ur not wrong. I had lunch with a Japanese client the other day and we were talking about the different education systems we had in our respective countries. What he told me was that in Japan (for university at least), they mug like crazy for the entrance exams. Once he had gotten in, it was basically like a social party from then on. Just having fun and making new friends. This is because, according to him, getting a degree and passing once you’ve successfully entered university is relatively easy. Its the tests you have to take in order to get in that is ridiculously hard.

  • October 16, 2012 at 7:25 amkingofconquerors

    a bloody good episode…Haru continued to impress with his quirky antics and his interesting upbringing shizuku got even more likable…can’t wait to see how things will develop now that Haru’s brother has chimed in…and i get a feeling there will be some ntr thrown into the mix with that yellow-haired guy falling for shizuku…(with haru suddenly realizing his own feelings because of it)…but we’ll see….

  • October 16, 2012 at 7:45 amCherrie

    Nothing says friendships and character development like building a chicken coop together =P yay! I agree with justin… that made me REALLY want some deep fried chicken afterwards o_o

    Cute episode once again! I love how it’s such a typical romantic comedy (with the trials and settings that they’re thrown into) but at the same time, it’s fast-paced and full of development and stuff actually HAPPENS so I find it not draggy or repetitive at all. Thanks for the reco! Glad you’re picking it up =) I haven’t watched any of the other rom/com/shoujo shows this season… (have to start either Sukitte or Kami soon) but so far I’m enjoying this one ^^ FIND ME SOMEWHERE I CAN HAVE MONJA!! >=(

  • October 16, 2012 at 8:18 amedo

    Yamaken fuck you (CH.31)

  • October 16, 2012 at 8:36 aminnerchihiro

    Just wondering, but what’s with the 1080p screencaps?? Is this a TnK thing? Is it being broadcasted in 1080p?

    • October 16, 2012 at 10:03 amGhost

      It’s just a CR upscale.

  • October 16, 2012 at 9:00 amTorami

    LOL at Yamaken getting punched in the face and the reaction of Mitty’s dad xD I have a feeling Yamaken will fall for Shizuku.
    A lot of d’awww moments this episode
    Shizuku is really blunt…which is a good thing. At least we won’t have 20 episodes of “does he like me or doesn’t he”-stuff.

    And hey, you took over Monja Mondays hehe ^^ I’ll keep following your posts and thanks for covering this Zanibas!

  • October 16, 2012 at 10:04 amGhost

    I love you for covering this show. You’re doing a great job!

  • October 16, 2012 at 12:26 pmFT5Havok

    Next toradora anyone? ^^

    • October 16, 2012 at 12:49 pmewok40k

      definitely a candidate! Mitty is such adorable hardworking, though a bit uptight person… Haru is being aa bit naive, a bit knightly, and a lot troublemaker…
      I love the misunderstandings they infict on each other, Mitty looked like sincerely thinking about love hotel when he wanted just a place to sleep overnight…
      And even side characters are fun!

  • October 16, 2012 at 3:03 pmmac65

    “My Love is different than yours…” – a perfect quote, and true on so many levels between a girl and a boy.

    Notice how once he confessed, it was a done deal – just how a guy thinks. When she confessed,
    (not meant to be fickle), a roller coaster of emotion and feelings until she finally burst it out again!
    This is a girl. Get used to it guys – that is not meant to be a pejorative remark, either. Of course,
    Anime (or any good medium) exaggerates these facts for their entertainment value, but they ring
    true with their viewers for a reason, and we continue to watch…

    A nice quality and quirky series about how a homeless chicken is adopted and gets a home.

    Zanibas – thanks for picking this up!

  • October 16, 2012 at 3:59 pmMukyuu

    I’m really glad I picked up this show, really. Loving the characters, especially Nagoya. Shizuku runs really slow even for her life LOL. Her dad’s reaction to seeing Haru was priceless as well…

  • October 16, 2012 at 4:44 pmSin1505

    Same here! I am officially going to follow this show!
    I love Shizuku’s character!!

  • October 16, 2012 at 4:45 pmKira526

    Monja Mondays! I can’t wait. Thanks for taking the time to officially cover this show ^^ It’s by far one of my favorites this season! Since I read all the manga chapters after watching episode one, I can definitely say I’m looking forward to future events. Of course I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say this story will keep all viewers thoroughly entertained. I have so much love for these characters! And even though I know what happens, it doesn’t stop me from getting overly excited each Monday. There’s always a healthy dose of comedy every episode and this one definitely focused on physical comedy lol. And while this show is good at focusing on the comedy it also takes time to focus on the different aspects/levels of love. Well done!

  • October 16, 2012 at 9:37 pmjunglepenguin

    Fool-proof dating one-liners for the clueless male, brought to you by Haru.

    Wait a minute… Is that you, Houtarou??

  • October 16, 2012 at 11:03 pmKiseki

    Show Spoiler ▼

    And I would type a whole paragraph about YA☆MA☆KEN since I swore to always stylize his name as such from now on, but I’m probably going to get punched in the face.

    • October 17, 2012 at 12:27 amLampa

      I really dislike Yamaken. While I could get why people would like him especially with the fact many can relate to him. However try being in Haru’s place.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Tl:dr I can relate more with Haru so I dislike Yamaken. Now, for all the Yamaken lovers, I would love to politely tell you this is my personal opinion, it you still want to thumb me down for the hell of it, then fine do what you want.

      • October 17, 2012 at 2:56 amKiseki

        Personal opinions are fine. It’s understandable how you feel like such and it’s not as if you were rude or anything.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • October 17, 2012 at 9:10 amBNV

        “Now, for all the Yamaken lovers, I would love to politely tell you this is my personal opinion, it you still want to thumb me down for the hell of it, then fine do what you want.”

        No, I’ll thumb up yours because it is your opinion, and you’re not wrong. Yamaken is a player.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • October 17, 2012 at 3:54 pmedo

        Yamaken is an asshole,CH31 was a pleasure to read.

      • October 18, 2012 at 7:58 pmOri

        I don’t particularly like Yamaken, but to be fair, Haru never explicitly asked Mitty out after he confessed. So really, I think Mitty is fair game.

  • October 17, 2012 at 4:37 amCrook

    This anime is just perfect for getting rid of any negative thoughts whatsoever, lol.

  • October 17, 2012 at 6:28 amLeticia

    I’m in love with this series. I love love love it. Everything it’s just great. Hope it continues like this! <3

  • October 18, 2012 at 2:18 pmAkAtsUbAkI

    YESSS !!!!!!!!!!!!

    FINALLY MONJA MONDAYS is Officially on RC :) Wooohoooo
    @ Zanibas – I Solemnly Pledge To Follow and Read All your Up coming Posts Thoroughly with a big Smile on my face :). So Expect me to be here every week I might not comment though if i can’t think of anything to say but you can be sure I’ll read your posts

    I just Can’t Wait for You POSTS ….. MY MOUTH is SALIVATING at the Thought of another Post :)

    I just have to say I love this show ….. All the Colors are so Vibrant and helps keep the mood upbeat and is also utilized well for Special Comedic Scenes.

    Oh and As a Request … Can we get more Full Lengths of their Incredibly Funny + Cute Faces next Time ??? like the one where Haru was Sleeping with an AMAZINGLY Cute face on.

  • October 18, 2012 at 9:35 pmShinichick39

    Lol I can’t believe theyre not married! Confessions for eachother in the first and second episodes, and Haru even stayed over hur hur! I’m loving this anime! I can’t wait!

  • October 21, 2012 at 2:38 amexia

    Monja, this show is awesome. This is some top tier rom comedy stuff that I yearn for, and this show does not fail to deliver. The characters are so likable it feels like the whole cast are the stars of the show not just mitty and haru. I just marathon-ed the first 3 eps and I have to say It was a joyous hour or so smiling,grinning, and laughing that is well worth it.

  • October 24, 2012 at 2:40 amokami

    I never paid attention to the figurative language found in Tonari until Zanibas pointed out that the episode’s “day phase consisted more of nuisance and the “night” one more towards support, the two themes were both present in both halves of this episode”.

    I feel motivated to understand the possible subliminal messages within this series!