「将棋(2) (Shougi 2)
After its one week hiatus, Tonari no Seki-kun returns with one of its best episodes yet. With a great follow up to a previous story and the animation looking cleaner than ever, it felt like everyone who worked on it gave it 110%.
Return of the Evil General! Or is it?
After seeing a familiar shogi board back on Seki-kun’s desk, I wasn’t sure whether or not I should be excited. Luckily, Yokoi was amped and ready to provide all the stunning visuals and compelling story to keep me on my toes. Weaving us a story about a Pawn and his forbidden love with the Princess, I was expecting something along the lines of Romeo and Juliet to play out. Essentially, I was ready to see a pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life in order to protect their forbidden love (or get knocked out of a window).
Luckily, it didn’t end up as a blatant rip off of Shakespeare and instead we got one of the craziest twists ever. And even though Yokoi was the one who was narrating it, we have to give Seki-kun some props for somehow thinking this all through ahead of time. Putting a plastic cover perfectly over a shogi piece? Hiding the fact that the evil general was actually a good guy who was being brainwashed? Somehow finding a piece that flew out the window and bringing it back into the classroom? Really, Seki-kun is taking this whole “mess around in class” thing to a whole new level.
Looking Ahead, Sort of.
In a series like this where there really isn’t an overarching story, I think that Tonari no Seki-kun is doing a great job at drawing us in and giving us a sense that things are building off each other. With the our favorite duo interacting more and more with each passing episode (and Yokoi getting sucked deeper and deeper into Seki-kun’s schemes), it adds a small extra dimension to these shorts. That said, while I wouldn’t expect too much from a mere seven minutes a week, I can honestly say that I’ve grown pretty attached to the pair — something I didn’t expect to happen. Until next week!