Hurray for non-derpy animation!

The cold war between Haru and Shizuku rages on; Oshima breaks some of the ice between the main couple while the festival looms large.

Apologies for going silent for almost a week. A fever and diarrhea combo paired with a lazy streak really did me in for this week. Please expect slightly late updates as I readjust. =_=”

For the first time in the series, Shizuku’s main narrator role has been downplayed. As a result, we get to see how Haru views things as he bumps into Fortress Shizuku. Compared to Shizuku’s earlier flip-flop thoughts however, Haru’s concerns are more clear-cut:”Why doesn’t Shizuku like me?”

Stumbling along in search of answers, his own naïve emotions get in the way often. Take his “I love you” to Shizuku. That alone could have helped bridged the rift between them if he had handled it better. Sadly, his impulsive streak foils his plans again.

Luckily, Haru gets some air support from the increasingly cute Oshima. She makes him think about his actions in a less emotionally loaded environment, leading him to realize that Shizuku’s cold attitude wasn’t so selfish. I’m starting to like her helpful but conflicting role, as opposed to just being a simple nasty rival for Haru’s affections. Still, I’m curious about how she will try to win over Haru.

Still, a bigger person of interest in Haru’s aunt Kyouko. From Haru’s flashback, she’s the mother that Haru never had. By lecturing, praising and guiding him, she made sure Haru turned out (reasonably) okay. Yeah, he’s still a mess emotionally at the start of the series, but who knows how worse he would’ve turned out without Kyouko? I really liked how her death was vaguely portrayed too, it’s much more effective than a blunt “She Died” scene. I hope she pops up more in flashbacks later in the series since she seems like a kind yet cool character.

Out of all this commotion, Shizuku’s starting to doubt herself too. Yamaken’s (Blondie) comment about her ‘boring lifestyle’ has made her reconsider her drastic actions from last episode, which is a good thing.

Well, that’s it for this week’s Tonari! Overall, I’d say it’s a move in the right direction. With a clearer (but still tiring) focus, some stellar music (see Oshima’s last scene with Haru) and some fun laughs, Tonari’s getting back to being in my good graces.

Before I end this review, here’s an interesting and insightful analysis on the Tonari series by aniblogger Click of “Pretense With Glasses”. He/she muses on their casts’ common status as outcasts and how they each try to cope with and overcome their loneliness. A good read well worth your time, I say.

Think About-!

How will Oshima try to win over Haru?

Was Kyouko ever an effective ‘parent’?

How will Haru and Shizuku’s relationship progress?