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Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 07

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「2人の距離」 (Futari no Kyori)
“The Distance Between Us”

The foundations that held Haru and Mitty’s relationship have crumbled, leaving the two to start their relationship again. Each of them are trying their hardest in their own way to make things work, but their imperfections and horrible timing constantly get in the way. Though both have their unlikable traits, it’s the fact that those traits are displayed often and shake their foundations that makes the show: character growth from imperfection. When I think things have worked out…there’s something that happens to continue their conflict.

Haru, though well-meaning and a good listener, struggles with his social ineptness and past getting in the way…constantly. Let me tell you Haru, being clingy is one thing, but licking is a BIG nono! That stuff doesn’t even fly in IRC, so don’t pull it off her! Each clingy action added to the irritation I had for Haru–A lack of respecting personal space, an inability to read between the lines, and occasional self-centeredness all contribute to why Haru can’t connect with Mitty, at least on his end. (though, in my experience, when a guy says “I just want to be close”, I agree with Haru that they don’t actually mean that)

However, there was that hold-off at the end that, although it freaked Mitty and myself out, showed Haru’s true colors. Haru doesn’t have ulterior motives or a completely lewd perception of Mitty–Haru is just an idiot. I say this affectionately, because Haru’s listening skills, when framed out in a direct manner, are superb, and has the potential to not be such an idiot after all. Thanks to Aunt Kyoko, there are some great life lessons that he acquired and tries his hardest to live by, even if those lessons were long ago. Haru makes mistakes, but they are never malicious: with the help of another person, Haru can push himself to change. At the end of the day, I can’t feel too negatively towards Haru because he just doesn’t know any better. Though he does need a push, Haru can once again make Mitty feel comfortable around him.

This is where Natsume, the shining stalking paragon of advice, comes to save the day! I applaud her for being supportive of Haru, informing him the reality of his actions. Her relatability to Shizuku lends to her credibility–all those guys popping her personal bubble have finally paid off! Without her, I cringe to think of how Haru could possibly fix himself in a timely fashion. The people called for Natsume to have a bigger role, and so she has, in epic fashion too.

In addition to her advice, Natsume’s observations about Mitty are an interesting insight. It is ironic that although she wishes Mitty would open up to her more, it is Haru that she helps for Mitty’s sake. Although Natsume’s perception of Mitty is correct–her uncaring aura allows Natsume to feel comfortable around her–Mitty actually does care. People underestimate Mitty’s receptiveness. Understandable–her closed persona shows no signs of her caring, except in those instances she does reach out to do something out of kindness.

But it is that closed persona that collapses the foundations. The few moments that Mitty does open herself up emotionally are quickly covered up by her stoic and rational efforts. Although it is admirable that Mitty wishes to excel academically, her resistance to compromise with her emotional side is unproductive and unhealthy. Haru was right in pointing out that Mitty did say, “I’ll be waiting for your response!” Mitty may have lost her surface interest in Haru, but her resistance of expression to Haru’s declaration is insensitive towards Haru’s feelings. Instead of discussing the conflict she has with Haru and trying to work things out together, Mitty instead chooses to handle things in solitude. I wouldn’t have a problem with Mitty if she were acting this way out of real disinterest, but her actions suggests that she wants to achieve her goals in isolation, that she can control the situation. Although Haru almost licking Mitty was…a close call…it did help crack Mitty’s outer shell, forcing her to reconsider her stance.

While this suppression isn’t what I wish for Mitty to do, it’s understandable. Faced with her own rival every day in terms of grades, she wants to prove to herself that she can overcome everyone else, especially Haru, with her dedication and hard work. She wants to believe that she doesn’t need natural talent to be the best, and that her success against “lack of effort” will be a success for proving her independence. Why she exactly thinks this way, or her ulterior motives, are currently hazy, but in the end, I believe we will see more justification for her actions. It does look like she’s reconsidering her position though, even slightly, as the anime hints ever so slightly that Mitty has a surprise in mind, if that camera focus on that plastic bag she had were any indication.

It is here that things have gotten worse before they can become better. Haru now is beginning to understand the fault of his social awkwardness, and listens intently to Natsume as he strives to fix it and prove to Mitty that he should be with her. Shizuku now is forced to reflect upon her feelings for Haru that obviously never went away, even going as far as preparing something special that’ll be revealed next episode. Natsume finally takes a major role in shaping the couple’s relationship, and does so in fashion.

At the beginning of the series, although it was really giddy to see Haru and Mitty kiss, it was a relationship based heavily on gut attraction and that “new relationship high”. Now that those are gone, only the problems remain. The foundation has to be rebuilt on a stronger understanding of one another, with an agreement on what relationship they want, and why. If one of them would slow down their pace and wait for the other to catch up, the situation would get a whole lot better, and a much stronger, much more meaningful and touching connection between Haru and Mitty can begin. While a rosy relationship makes us d’awwww, if the road to that relationship is one of growth, mistakes, and picking oneself and each other up, that rosy relationship in the end becomes even more beautiful.

Now, you are all free to comment on how much you like/hate Yamaken and like Ooshima!

Full-length images: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 27, 29, 31, 34, 35, 37, 38.

 

Preview

Tonari no Kaibutsu kun   07   Preview 01 Tonari no Kaibutsu kun   07   Preview 02 Tonari no Kaibutsu kun   07   Preview 03
November 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm
42 comments »
  • November 13, 2012 at 4:56 pmUsagi

    ^That epic blush at the end.. Those interactions between Mitty and Haru make this show.

  • November 13, 2012 at 5:02 pmswordhack4

    This episode was amazing, and I really really liked it, but it was still annoying to see Mitty run further away from the relationship they had. I loved seeing Mitty get so blushy :) Which is why I LOVED ending this episode.

    “I’m going home!” lol her face told the entire story. She looked so embarrassed and flustered. It was crazy!

    As for Yamaken and Oshima, I like them both. Especially Oshima. But Yamaken seems eerie. I’ve had that feeling ever since episode 1.

    And Oshima is becoming more lovable as the weeks go by. All I have against her is her lack of confidence. I’ve grown up as a guy with natural confidence in myself, mainly built up by the people around me. But she’s coming along nicely :)

    I can’t say too much for Yamaken yet, I just don’t know what that guy is thinking….

    • November 13, 2012 at 5:46 pmZanibas

      “I fell in love with the wrong person!”

      “I’m willing to make a mistake: I’m not ready to give up yet!”

      Gogo Ooshima, Fight-o fight-o fight-o! She’s getting serious, and I hope that she continues to get more serious, cause serious = more screentime!

      • November 13, 2012 at 8:51 pmjunglepenguin

        Urgh, if she gets any more serious, I might just end up liking her more than Mitty. That’s gonna hurt in the long run.

      • November 14, 2012 at 4:34 amKinny Riddle

        There’s also Haru telling her “Hey, I don’t think we’ve met since you talked about my balls.” LMAO

      • November 26, 2012 at 8:09 amyumeruhime

        oshima is oshima! i think no matter what happens, i will ship mitty. even though oshima’s likeability increases each episode :)

  • November 13, 2012 at 5:07 pmKaka

    Thanks for the post! I can’t wait to see how Shizu will confront her feelings once again next episode. I kind of understand why Shizu is acting like this. Emotion is a very scary thing if the only thing you had been relying on was ration. Well, time to step out of the comfort zone :D

    • November 13, 2012 at 5:14 pmKaka

      Oh… I forgot to comment on the see-saw metaphor! I think it appeared twice: once when Auntie Kyoko was lecturing Haru, and the other time is when Shizu ran away from Haru. Would it be implying that relationship between people is a constant struggle?

      • November 13, 2012 at 5:32 pmZanibas

        I actually interpreted it as Mitty’s attempt to balance herself on the seesaw, without needing Haru to be on the other side balancing it out.

        I never did fully get the fish pond metaphor either though…so my interpretation might just be crap :P.

        Also, thanks for the thanks, you’re welcome! ^^

  • November 13, 2012 at 5:14 pmgol

    yea more going on whole he said she said & yea shizuku is so tsundere on haru.

    give class rep seem slowing getting to haru as well & looking more haru’s past hmm wonder what next?

    • November 13, 2012 at 5:41 pmZanibas

      gol/uyp/kfp/hjs/ckt, although I have to reread your comments like 10 times before I fully understand it, I appreciate your consistency in commenting! Thanks~

      For the rest of you regular commenters, I’ll thank you all properly soon enough! :P

  • November 13, 2012 at 5:49 pmZanibas

    Before I forget, I would like to make a side-shoutout to the music this episode. The piano rendition of White Wishes was done very well, and the show introduced many new tracks this episode, many of which I look forward to when the OST comes out! The soundtrack is just so bubbly and cheerful during the comedic bits, yet sweet at the same time when things get a little more emotional.

    Nakayama Masato, I love your work <3.

  • November 13, 2012 at 6:38 pmWuz

    Am i the only one that laughed my cheeks off during this part?
    http://randomc.net/image/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    Natsume’s sudden personality change cracked up so much.

  • November 13, 2012 at 6:39 pmSivus

    Nice Eva reference, Zanibas

    • November 13, 2012 at 6:42 pmSivus

      Even if the reference is a touch extreme ^^:

      • November 14, 2012 at 3:29 amZanibas

        True. I’ll give you that :P

  • November 13, 2012 at 6:45 pmEntrav

    Blush blush.

  • November 13, 2012 at 6:51 pmasfadjask

    Haha! I love Haru’s moe filter for Shizuku at the end! It was very hilarious! I also laughed at when Natsume said and emphasizes that there’s nothing more repulsive than being touched by a guy you detest. It’s like she knows how to go through Haru’s thick head!

  • November 13, 2012 at 7:18 pmXumbra

    Zanibas, I’d like to mention that if licking doesn’t fly in IRC, then you’re clearly hanging around the wrong channel :P

  • November 13, 2012 at 7:29 pmKira526

    Ah, another case of bad timing. I’ve been there! But I like that this show touches on the fact that sometimes people don’t fall in love at the same time. It also demonstrates how characters grow at different rates. And as much as I love when those two are getting along, I can’t help but enjoy it when they push each other’s buttons. I’m proud of Haru for catching up and truly admitting his feelings! Now all we have to do is wait for Shizuku to get back on track ^^;;

    And as for Yamaken, I don’t dislike his character even though…
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • November 13, 2012 at 7:43 pmdimasok

    Natsume really needs to go back to her old hairstyle..

    • November 13, 2012 at 8:40 pmjunglepenguin

      She did, somewhere in the middle of the episode.

  • November 13, 2012 at 8:45 pmCybersteel

    Natsume is sooo cute can’t believe it’s Tanezaki Atsumi’s second time as a seiyuu and first time playing a main secondary character!!!

  • November 13, 2012 at 8:46 pmjunglepenguin

    http://randomc.net/image/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    http://randomc.net/image/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun/Tonari%20no%20Kaibutsu-kun%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2032.jpg

    Doesn’t matter which side of herself she’s showing, because Natsume is always, ALWAYS adorable. (Though slightly more so when she’s dere.)

  • November 13, 2012 at 9:24 pmTez

    Dat Scowl!

    Natsume must have channeled her “My Little Gangbanger” character

  • November 13, 2012 at 10:01 pmbeeboobeeboo

    Tomacchan vs. HanaKana in any show is the best.

  • November 13, 2012 at 10:30 pmNitro

    i can’t believe it, even if i did read ahead in the manga, i still had to do a double-take on that ending bit. it was so perfect.

  • November 13, 2012 at 10:49 pmFT5Havok

    I wonder who is that lady that Haru keeps referring to and I want to know their story…

  • November 14, 2012 at 4:01 amKingofConquerors

    fuck, that sudden change of thought of Mitty about how she considered Haru and her feelings for him was surprising…the transition might be jarring, but i gotta admit i kinda like this direction, since somehow Mitty blushed even moreeeeee…..(love her when her face goes red!!!!)

    that blonde guy can be a real deal for Haru, i expect a face-off between the two….

    fuck, i love this show!!!!(Sakurasou is still the romance of the season though….)

  • November 14, 2012 at 4:37 amKinny Riddle

    Shizuku is so adorable. She may act cold and strive to maintain her rationality, but her feelings betray her, and it is a joy to watch.

  • November 14, 2012 at 6:49 amGiNoKo

    I like our main couple. What is driving me mad is their attitude; because they are dragging down Ooshima in their turnmoil. I was glad that she realized she was a third wheel and decided to let the lovers their space. However all this “we are on; we are off” as a couple is going to drive her insane and she will look like the evil character trying to disrupt the main couple. When (at this moment) the reality is Haru and Shizuku insecurities driving them apart and not Ooshima.
    I love underdogs go Kana errr Ooshima :)

  • November 14, 2012 at 7:13 amKinny Riddle

    BTW, I just can’t help but LOL like mad when I saw the English sentences scribbled on the whiteboard in ~9:55.

    “I have a cock. It’s atrocious.
    I have a cock. Its name is Nagoya.”

    One of the best examples of being unintentionally funny. Especially if you take out the second part and quote the first part out of context.

  • November 14, 2012 at 7:53 amSin1505

    Mitty is so adorable!

  • November 14, 2012 at 2:18 pmTorami

    “I can’t get drunk from banana juice!!” Oh Natsume, you’re so awesome xD
    But really, seeing Mitty denying her feelings is both frustrating and enjoyable to see…but I hope she’s going to sort her feelings out next time.
    And I love the moment when Haru was thinking about kyoko’s words and seeing Mitty behind the window…that was sweet ^^
    Seriously, watching romance stuff is very bad for me now, since I sort of got rejected the other day, but I’m still watching all the romance stuff…do I like to torture myself or something?! Well, atleast this show can cheer me up somehow. Go Monja Mondays! ^^

  • November 14, 2012 at 2:49 pmmac65

    Man oh man! My denial/stress meter for Mitty is running at 110%. I don’t think It can take much more of this!
    (Anyone remember that Angel Beats! episode with the stress meter?)

    The interesting thing so far is that Oshima is looking seriously good. I wonder how far they (the writers) will
    let her go before loosing out to Mitty — but, who says that even has to happen? I mean, guys are generally thick,
    but eventually Mitty’s nos will get through to him. Damn, Oshima is very cute, too.

    One thing I did take away from the episode is how prevalent fighting is in their lives, and how little they’re
    shocked by it (when Mitty walked past those boys getting beat up). So, Haru’s not exceptionally bad from the norm,
    but exceptionally good at fighting.

  • November 14, 2012 at 4:28 pmThe_Chigger

    I’m so sick of tsuntsun Shizuku. Haru should ditch her completely and get it together with the entirely more-appreciative Oshima.

  • November 14, 2012 at 10:59 pmFantasy

    More kawaii Natsume pls

  • November 14, 2012 at 11:03 pmLifeless

    Mitty’s character reminds me so much of tsuntsun nagi(kannagi)

  • November 15, 2012 at 7:53 pmgrey

    wow i really like their girl uniform design!

    anyway, wow. this show man! what a great adaptation. i read this manga about a year ago and put it on hiatus due to slow releases. but i remember this chapter clearly. it was definitely one of my favourite moments. and it was so nice to see it in movement ;-; they really adapted this episode panel by panel.

  • November 17, 2012 at 7:17 amColonelMiim

    it’s decided :p my favorite shows this season are (1) magi, (2) kamisama hajemimashita and (3) tonari! love each one of them :p I wish someone here would cover kamisama hajemimashita!

    • November 26, 2012 at 8:16 amyumeruhime

      LiA occasionally has posts on kamisama. they did say kamisama is so direct it doesnt need coverage, and i agree. at least on tonari, there’re symbolic references so they definitely need some explaining.
      personal bias: (1)psycho pass (crazy plot), (2)tonari (likeable characters, awesome character development) (3)magi (for its epic faces and super wonderful chars)and so on~~

  • November 26, 2012 at 8:13 amyumeruhime

    NOOO– people should appreciate mitty for who she is, even if she is troublesome to deal with.
    TONARI HAS THE BEST CHARACTERS, i actually dont have one i hate, that’s a FIRST for me! XDXD