Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 05
「吉田くんちの事情」 (Yoshida Kunchi no Jijou)
“Yoshida Family Matters”
We’re definitely out of the rosy and sweet territory of the first few episodes, as we now make headway into the darker parts of Haru, Mitty, and their relationship together. While I miss how wide my smile was for previous episodes, I trust that Tonari is setting us up for bigger emotional roller coasters. While Yuuzan has done his part…for now, Hanazawa Kana as Ooshima Chizuru is looking to be brewing things up over a longer and larger scale. ENTER THE NEW CHALLENGER!
But first, let’s address Yuuzan and his… likability. It’s especially easy to not like Yuuzan, but his levelheadedness and control over his interests is both commendable and…creepy at the same time. He might be dehumanizing the situation and perceiving Mitty as more a means rather than a person, but somehow, I feel like Yuuzan may be attempting to make things right…in his own way. A sort of repentance for his apparent mistreatment of Haru in the past as was implied. I reserve my right to yell at him and call out his pretentious air, but before we get to learn more about Yuuzan…I will reserve my feelings for when he appears again with more information. I imagine that Haru’s brother wields a lot more influence and cunning than he lets on…which scares me for the future, but thankfully it looks like Yuuzan has served his purpose of shaking up the relationship for now.
As a side note, I feel that we would be able to see Yuuzan in a different and perhaps more positive light if we were introduced to him other than the “big bad brother”. Heck, maybe Haru and Yuuzan would’ve got along better if they came at a different time to a different environment. The lack of mention of Haru’s mother may be key to why they don’t mix well, but alas, there is so much we still do not know.
In a relationship, when we don’t know key information about the people we care about…it’s absolutely necessary to find out so we can help out, right? Unfortunately, Haru and Mitty are struggling around this concept: the first real roadblock in their relationship. Even though their relationship may not be formalized, for the most part it IS one, minus all of the physical contact (well, most of it!). Mitty obviously is irritated at not knowing about Haru’s past, since knowing that would probably explain most of his behaviors. Unfortunately, this comes into direct conflict with Haru’s desires for obvious reasons. This is a direct violation of a key rule of relationships and as we can see on screen…one can only tolerate this violation for so long without expressing irritation and disappointment. The two do mean well for each other, but until they compromise again on the issue, we can expect even more tension that makes us cringe in our seats. Although Haru did eventually open up a bit at the end, this is nowhere close to sufficiently informing Mitty about what matters–how he actually feels about his past and why. Although the two seem to get over it as Haru pulls off an embarrassing line…the resolution, up until Mitty shared her OWN self (which was adorably sweet), felt hollow and temporary. Haru! Step up your game in the next few episodes…don’t let us down…don’t let Nagoya down!
Mitty on the other hand, is exercising the upper hand once again in the relationship, and for now has kept it there. Although Mitty might be a bit too blunt at times, she definitely gets her point across and is becoming more and more honest with her conversations with Haru and herself. The fact that she still holds herself as an independent person who simultaneously cares for Haru is admirable–it’s a trait that grows stronger every episode. Her personality has morphed considerably since episode one, and she continues to do so without losing sight of her original traits. The dialogues that she ends each episode with (if you haven’t noticed already) show her experiences and maturity growing with each episode, which I find charming in a storyteller way. Other than being a nice storytelling device, the monologue reflects her attentive and thoughtful nature, as well as her signature inner control, which arguably has been the glue with her and Haru.
But sadly, it seems that Mitty has to pull most of the chains and suffer most of the blows to move forward. As example, look at Haru! That magnetic personality of his attracts all the girls, which Mitty is obviously jealous of. Those friends of his also try to hit on her, which Mitty dislikes. However, it looks like their newest challenge seems to be approaching, thanks to Haru and his ability to stand up for others. Although we don’t know much about class rep Chizuru, we do know she’s probably fallen for Haru in some way. It doesn’t take Mitty long (with that perceptive eye of hers) to notice, setting us up for more jealousy, misunderstanding, and guaranteeing that SOMEBODY is going to get emotionally bruised. Such is the sad reality of 99% of love triangles, but unfortunately, it is a roadblock that comes up over the course of some relationships. I think I’ll get my tissues ready just in case…
While these types of episodes are not the most enjoyable for me, the necessity of them to flesh out characters and their settings is crucial to a good story. While it may not be the most pleasant thing to see Haru and Mitty bicker…it’s a necessity that will bring them closer together. What lies ahead now for our couple? The trials of a relationship have begun to surface and challenge the weird bond that they share.