Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun [Ep 6]
Oshima joins the gang; Shizuku cuts some ‘dead weight’ and Haru mucks about…again.
I don’t know exactly why, but this episode hit all the wrong notes for me. For the first half, the episode starts out okay by introducing us to the shy but endearing Oshima. By the end of the second half, however, Shizuku’s and Haru’s relationship gets stuck (again) in the same loop of scenarios.
At the beginning, Haru says she likes Shizuku. Then, when Shizuku admits this and confesses to Haru, the latter says he has doubts about loving her as a girlfriend. Then, when Shizuku tries to win him over, we get sidetracked into a somewhat meaningless subplot with Yuzan (who is apparently the good guy now).
During this latest episode, Shizuku apparently gives up while Haru starts liking Shizuku again. And to top it all off, Oshima appears as a rival for Haru’s affections. With all this building and tearing down of developments, I’m starting to feel kind of confused and annoyed. What’s the point of following a love story where every step is swiftly back-tracked? There was a little subplot about Shizuku’s absent mother, but that wasn’t enough to cover for the dysfunctional storytelling so far.
On the other side, why does Yuzan say that Haru’s a coward? He’s been pretty forward with Shizuku so far. Well, except for that one glaring topic-DOES HE LOVE SHIZUKU OR NOT?!?!
Besides those issues, in the scene when Shizuku says that she just wants to be friends with Haru, the cheery soundtrack paired with this serious/depressing scene was just dissonant and unfitting. Tonari has some ‘serious’ tracks at its disposal, so why not use those for more dramatic scenes? Also, what’s with the derpy animation and art? I’m really disappointed with the overall quality drop for this episode…
As for more positive developments, the ‘shy girl’ of the cast finally introduces herself as Oshima. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time she’s actually named in the show proper. She’s a normal person, but with a serious lack of confidence-almost like Kimi ni Todoke’s Sawako. Ironically though, when it comes to communicating something between two estranged parties like Haru and Shizuku , she just goes berserk and says what’s on her mind. That outburst was the highlight of the episode for me. I hope she’ll slowly develop as the series plods along. Fingers crossed her good start won’t bog down into like the current mess that is Haru x Shizuku.
All in all, Tonari Ep 6 has really made me question the performance of the show up till now. Here’s hoping that it bucks up with the storytelling and at least maintains the animation quality for the rest of the season.
How are you finding the relationship between Haru and Shizuku?
Oshima’s here! Your thoughts?
Anyone familiar with the original source? How does it differ from the anime?