Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun [Ep. 2]
Our heroine Shizuku mulls over relationships; an annoying chicken and a cute gal introduce themselves; finally, Shizuku gives an answer to Haru’s confession.
Confusion and Growth
We’ve seen how Shizuku can be cold and single-minded in the pursuit of her goals, like in her elementary school flashback. This episode, however, really hits it home by showing Shizku agonizing about her newfound friends (and boyfriend). From her father’s shop to the school’s rooftop, she thinks (and hyperventilates) over the ‘noise’ distracting her from her studies. Eventually, she accepts this new situation of hers, making the episode title of 変 (change/weird) all the more fitting. All in all, I liked how they portrayed Shizuku’s internal conflict. The drawn out process makes it a tad more realistic. You don’t change overnight from an introvert to a happy-go-lucky extrovert, right?
Still, I have some reservations on Haru. He keeps professing his love to Shizuku, but I’m still not yet convinced. His feelings seem sincere, but I want to see whether his actions speak louder than his sweet and impulsive words so far. Seems evil, but hey, I wanna see some sparks fly in a show about romance!
Of course, who could miss the cute and bumbling Asako? As a student, she’s totally hopeless, but she does seem to bring up some burning questions for Shizuku to answer. Throughout her quest for a passing grade, Shizuku merely refuses Asako’s pleas. Finally, when Asako reveals her loneliness, Shizuku realizes that she’s beginning to relate to other people’s feelings and agrees to help out. Quite a nice friendship development along with the romance, I think.
Still, I’m still not buying the ‘nice but lonely girl’ vibe she’s giving off. Unlike characters like Sawako whose appearance drives away people, Asako doesn’t have any trouble with her looks. In fact, she speaks fine with strangers like Shizuku and Haru. She does give an explanation (I’m just too cute…), but it sounds too ludicrous to be true! Her semi-NEET habits were also quite surprising when they were revealed-she doesn’t look the part at all. In any case, I’ll be keeping an eye out for this interesting girl and the sparks she’ll create in the Haru x Shizuku relationship.
There’s also Sasahara. He’s didn’t do much except for promising to ‘take care’ of Nagoya the chicken, but expands Shizuku’s circle of friends a little. Judging from the ED though, he might be paired with Asako in the future. Heaven forbid, he might even make Kaibutsu a love quadrangle if he goes for Shizuku! Now that would be a fine drama to watch.
I am not fond of mascot/animal characters in anime or any other medium for that matter. At the best of times, they are annoying and forgettable like Teddie from P4; at the worst of times? Let’s just say I have a few spare burial plots lying around. Unless they are plot-significant, I find it very hard to justify their appearances. Sadly, Nagoya the chicken falls into the ‘plot-useless and distracting’ category so far by moving the focus away from Shizuku and delivering hit-or-miss humour. I hope he does something relevant in future episodes or I’ll be forced to bring out the knives.
What do you think of Asako? Will she pose a threat to our first couple?
Live or Fried Chicken? Why?