Barakamon – Review – I Love Calligraphy! だいすき!

“投桃报李,千里鹅毛,

                       相逢恨晚,礼尚往来;

先生小姐别生气,明天带你去看戏,

             我坐椅子你坐地,我吃香蕉你吃皮。 ”

-施海梁 上

The title above is a click bait, and plain bullshit, because I hate calligraphy. I don’t care, alright?

Do you know just how irritating it is to a 7 year old kid to write good calligraphy? With a calligraphy brush?? With “proper” technique??! For goodness’ sake I can’t even hold my pen steady at that time! I just can’t appreciate calligraphy,

Hhhnnnnnnnnggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
Hhhnnnnnnnnggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!

I’m sorry. I know, it’s somehow shameful for an Asian like myself to not do proper calligraphy after 8 years of school syllabus featuring Chinese calligraphy, but I don’t care. I have since thrown away my bottle of ink, destroyed my calligraphy brush (Ah, sweet vengeance…) and burned the limitless amounts of calligraphy training books. I sincerely apologize to my teachers who taught me calligraphy, but nope. I don’t care if we Chinese use to write on bamboo stalks or papyrus paper hundreds of year ago.

And 3 – 4 years after smashing my calligraphy brush with a sledgehammer, I will now be reviewing an anime…about calligraphy.

*Rage intensifies*


Barakamon_logo

Handa Seishuu is an up-and-coming young, talented calligrapher. He is also handsome, charismatic and unfortunately, a complete klutz. His brash attitude and emotions get the better of him one day, when a critic calls his work “conformistic” and “unoriginal”. He punches the critic and as punishment, he gets exiled to a rural island, far away from his home in Tokyo. Now far away from the comforts of his home while being surrounded by new faces: weird, energetic villagers, he must overcome his own flaws while rediscovering his drive for the art of calligraphy.

Barakamon 2

Now, in this review, I will have to ditch my usual plot, settings, characters and, animation and sound format, as I feel it will obscure me from properly explaining the pros and cons of Barakamon.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s begin.


First off, this is a slice of life anime. Slice of life is a phrase used to describe depiction of mundane, everyday lives of characters. What all good slice-of-life anime should have in common would be slow pacing, quirky comedy and most importantly, entertaining settings. However, in recent years, the entertainment value of slice-of-life anime decreases as writers conjure up more and more ridiculous settings in an attempt to keep things fresh, while forgetting the ultimate purpose of entertainment itself in the first place. In fact, some even resort to ecchi, or cute girls, just to keep the sales ratings up. While this phenomena isn’t exactly new in anime, I still find this tactic terribly distasteful nonetheless.

xYJVio9

In that light, Barakamon is in my opinion, the best slice-of-life anime to date. (Tanaka-kun Itsumo Kedaruge being a close second, review here) Why, you ask? Allow me to explain.

1) Entertaining Premise

The majority of Barakamon is set in the rural Gotou islands, away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. The islands are inhabited by old-fashioned people who are sheltered from modern society, thus they do not have the same character traits we would come to expect of our characters. The characters are friendly, very lively, unlike our main protagonist, and have an air of innocence around them. For example, towards the end of the first episode, the villagers go over to the main protagonist’s house to help with his settling-in at his house, much to the surprise of Handa himself. These characters live idle and carefree lives, set the tone of the story, and play a part in the anime’s narrative about life and idleness.

Not only are the characters carefree in nature, the accompanying art style and the backdrops are done with mild watercolour colours with smearing effects, giving off a really tranquil and serene vibe. This artstyle is a breath of fresh air, when compared to the bright, contrasting colours in anime today.

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2) Great, Believable Characters

Barakamon is a slice of life anime, therefore unlike shows of other genres, the characters in this anime don’t have interesting backstories or elaborate narration to explain their motives. Normally, these characters would serve as simple plot devices or comedic relief that don’t really feel like real people. However, most of the characters resemble real people, despite some of them having limited screen time. Take for example, one of the non-recurring characters, Yasuba, an old lady who appears just to deliver a few lines of profound insights on life. Despite her limited screen time, her character design and development feels so real as her actions dictate who she is. The show doesn’t only rely on quirky character traits to draw the audience in, but use subtle hints like actions and narration to help develop the character.

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One standout character would be Kotoishi Naru, a 7-year old child who befriends Handa, the main protagonist, in the beginning of the show. She is a child, through and through, therefore she acts like a child. Brash, loud, naughty, everything you would come to expect from a child. Despite her childish nature, she still plays an integral part to the story. She is what I would call the personification of the carefree nature of the Gotou Islands. She barges into people’s lives without second thoughts, is highly energetic and lively, and provides the unpredictability of a child in the story. There is never a dull moment when Naru is around, which is why this 7 year old child is undoubtedly the best character in the anime.

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The main protagonist on the other hand, feels the most unrelatable in the beginning. He is personification of modern society: shut-in, unsociable, selfish and cold. However, as the story progresses, he is able to grow as a character too, eventually becoming the Sensei the rest of the cast know and love. The only problem I would have with this character though is that sometimes his motivations is not understandable, especially towards the end of the show. At times, he says one thing and yet, does the other, and that kind of ruins the show a teeny bit for me.

3) Good Writing and Pacing

While most slice of life anime these days tend to wander off into nothingness, this show didn’t feel like it was meandering. In fact, it had a slight sense of urgency as the show gives us a glimpse into the life of a calligrapher. He lives and breathes calligraphy, and when he is unable to produce a decent work of art, he becomes desperate. In a sense, that tiny detail in the mostly irrelevant plot is able to give the show it’s drive and propel the story forward.

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I also enjoy the one piece of art per episode format. By the end of each episode, Handa produces a piece of calligraphy which summarizes the events and his emotions throughout the episode, which makes the calligraphy part of the show a lot more enjoyable then I thought it would be. However, towards the end of the show, the writers ditch this format in favour of the plot. The last two episodes quickly loses steam as the show becomes something new altogether. I understand this sudden change in pacing is required to move the story forward, but I felt it could have been a lot better if it was tweaked and modified a little.

Conclusion:

All in all, Barakamon is a masterfully done slice-of-life anime with enjoyable settings, entertaining comedy that didn’t always relying on quirky character traits and an eye opener into the world of Japanese calligraphy. And of course, how can I end a review about Barakamon without mentioning the best child character ever: Kotoishi Naru. Seriously, I would say the show is worth watching just because of this 7 year old child. Despite a few minor setbacks in the writing department, Barakamon is still one of the best, if not THE BEST, slice-of-life anime in the world.

Barakamon 2

I’m going to give Barakamon a rating of:

8.51 (Great)


I started watching this show because Handa-kun came out this season, but to be honest, I’m don’t see much of Barakamon in this prequel. The comedy feels somewhat forced and I find the lack of interesting characters really saddening. Is it going to be another slice-of-life comedy anime set in high school? ‘Cause I feel like that’s going to be boring.

Anyway, I’m halfway through rewatching Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin, so I can finally give a decent explanation as to why I thought it is the most underrated anime of all. Also, this season’s Alderamin in the Sky is also pretty underrated too, though that’s to be expected because of it’s long name and seemingly bland character design.

Anyway, till the next review, cheerio~

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Ben-to – Review – A Nihilistic Atomic Love for Packed Lunch (Gone Sexual)

Disclaimer: If You’re Underaged, It’s Best That You Stay Out Of This

In a land far, far away…

Saitou, the peerless Muscle Detective has discovered the mystical, divine food, known to mere mortal men only as…

bento

 

“BEN-TOU”

But, right now, standing between Saitou and the mystical food, known only as bento, is Orthrus, the fierce two-headed guard dog from Greek mythology and his long time nemesis, The Security Guard Serial Killer!!

“You will never get past me,” said the serial killer. “I have already won!”

“What are you talking abo–”

Suddenly, Saitou felt a chill ran down his spine and his whole body began tingling. His vision began to blur and the sight of his arch-nemesis no longer invoke a feeling of dread but a pleasurable feeling.

“Haha! How do you like this new aphrodisiac of mine?”

“You…treacherous…”

“Hahahaha! Your body betrays you! Behold, the Muscle Detective, trembling before me, ready for some training!”

As his vision fades away, Saitou began dreading the lecherous things the serial killer will do, and fearing for his own sanity, he started to plead: “Please…insert…gently…”

Ben-to 1


Oshiroi-san will be proud of this review.

Ben-to 1

Summary:

Satou Yoh, (not Saitou) a high school student walked into a supermarket to buy dinner, but somehow after he came to his senses,  he was bloodied, injured and lying on the supermarket floor. He had no ideas as to how he was injured and all he remembered was an unknown kuudere/girl wearing a school uniform looking at him from outside the supermarket. Later the next day, he went back to the same supermarket trying to regain his memories, only to beaten unconscious again. This time, it was revealed to him by a supermarket employee there that he had unknowingly tread upon a battlefield among Wolves for half-priced bentos (boxed meals).

Ben-to 1

Wolves, a term used to call people who fight over these half-priced bentos, gather at supermarkets nationwide in Japan to test their wits and hone their skills for the ultimate price: the half-priced bentos. One particular Wolf, known as the Ice Witch is the strongest of them all in the Western territory, and it turns out that the supermarket Satou frequents is the hunting ground for this Wolf. And for some reason, he is recruited into the Half-Pricers Association by the Ice Witch to train as a Wolf himself.

Plot & Settings:

Okay, I want to get this out of the way: The plot is garbage, and delightfully so. Seriously, did you read the summary above? I can spot 3 or 4 cliches right off the bat and I haven’t even gotten to the part where they fight over cold, half-priced packed lunch yet. I mean, seriously, what the heck is going on? The writers know the plot is complete garbage, from the premise to the cliches and nonsensical plot elements, and delightfully emphasizes on it. The best thing about this show is that it doesn’t take itself very seriously, casually inserting bundles of jokes up the show’s alley. *wink*

That said, if you’re in it for the plot, you had better just leave. There is nothing mind-boggling, nothing thought provoking, and sure as hell, nothing interestingly sophisticated. If you’re looking for complexity, I suggest you leave.

FelW6en

The show often attempts to increase the melodrama of the plot to unbelievable levels, then all at once crashes it with its humour (mostly sexual). Running gags, illogical situation and casual inappropriate sexual jokes are run-of-the-mill elements of the show, and alongside the overly melodramatic rubbish plot, it makes for a rather awkward but enjoyable show.

The first half show of the show was quite enjoyable, in fact, as a comedy, it even made me laugh out loud quite a number of times. But, when in the second half of the show, the serious plot elements started to kick in and the show starts taking itself seriously. As a result, the later half of the show becomes rather preachy, annoyingly drawn out and downright ecchi just for the sake of it, making it seem like a very long, awkwardly sexual advertisement for supermarket chains.

Ben-to 1
Tch-hhahhahahahhahaha

The action in this show is decent. Some diehard fans say this show’s action is phenomenal, but in my opinion, it is pretty bland. Aside for two breathtaking fight scenes involving the Ice Witch and another Wolf (ves) (keep your eyes peeled for those), the other action sequences were very short and not well-choreographed at all. Most of them were too short and aside from a few close up shots of the characters fighting, nothing really interesting happens at all. The most disappointing one of all is the finale fight sequence, cutting right to the end and just showing us the result of the fight. Come on, man, it finished right before it started!

Characters:

Like the plot and the settings, these characters are also garbage, most of them in a good way, some not so much. Let’s start with the good ones.

First of all, the main characters. Satou, is your typical main character, dumb, dense and a very obvious plot device. No backstory, no sophistication required, just him being dumb would be good, because due to deus ex machina plot elements, everything bad that happens, happens to him. A banana peel? He slips on it. A train ticket? His to lose. A maniacal, even comical security guard with a penchant of inserting 9V batteries into people? Well, I think you get the point. Basically, Satou is the butt of jokes. In a way, he is an integral part of the comedy, and his dumb antics and (sexualized) commentaries are quite funny. However, at the end of the day, he is what he is: a plot device.

Ben-to 1

And basically, everyone in this show is a plot device. You have the Ice Witch, a kuudere type character who is awfully strong, but from time to time, displays a weak (read: cute) side to the viewers. Then, you have Shaga, the mischeivous cousin type character who is borderline annoying but actually a thoughtful person. Of course, we have the comic relief characters like the fatso, OshiroiShiraume Ume etc.

Then, you have the supporting cast. They are there for no purpose whatsoever, aside to provide the usual exposition on the past. Then, there’s the twin sisters, Sawagi Kyou and Sawagi Kyou, introduced in the later half of the series. These two, especially the elder one, are incredibly annoying. Their actions do not justify their long ass screentime at all, and the show becomes unbearably annoying when these two are on screen.

Graphics & Soundtrack

The graphics are decent to say the least, it’s not the best but it’s not too bad either. David Productions, known for their work with Inu X Boku SS and JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken, shows a level of consistency throughout this show and some (read: SOME) of their fight scenes were exhilarating. Credit should be given where it’s due, and I think they did a pretty good job at animating this show, at least for a small production studio like theirs.

The soundtrack, for me, was the cherry on the cake for me. It had a wide variety of genres and the most memorable ones were the ones when they complimented the show really well. The soundtrack was, by no means, like Yuki Kajiura or Sawano Hiroyuki, but for a comedy show like this to offer such a ingenious platter of soundtracks is surprising. The hilarious opera soundtracks during comedic scenes complimented the scene really well, and the techno soundtracks that go alongside the fight scenes were gripping too. Now, if only we had more good fight scenes to begin with.

Ben-to 1

Conclusion:

I have heard quite a number of people on the Internet saying this is the best show in anime. I beg to differ, as I have seen quite a lot of good and great shows, and this is nowhere near greatness. I must admit, it is pretty good in the beginning, but it was ultimately bogged down by the dredgingly slow later half of the show. However, it is a bite-sized piece of comedy anime that is quite enjoyable and is the kind of show to watch if you are feeling bored.

That said, this show’s humour cannot be appreciated by everyone, and some might find it unappealing. The lack of complexity and coherent plot may tick some off, but overall, this is a pretty decent comedy action anime.

So, after meticulously calculating the points awarded for plot, settings, characters, graphics & soundtracks, and of course, my personal enjoyment, I present you the rating for Ben-To:

7.66 (Decent)


I hope you guys enjoy this review and next week, we will be seeing the end of the masterpiece that is Koutetsujou no Cabaneli, so, you can bet I’ll be praising the heck out of it. Sakamoto desu ga is also on my hit list, although technically we still have to wait for the Blu-Ray for the final episode.

So, thanks for reading, and as always, I will see you in the next one. Ciao~

Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless – Review – Still Waters Run Deep

Sorry about the previous Tanaka-kun is Always Listless review. That was flat-out a troll.

Sorry not sorry.

AND TO THE BATCAVE- I MEAN, THE REVIEW! ->


Tanaka-kun Itsumo Kedaruge

This comedy, slice-of-life anime revolves around the life of Tanaka, a highschool boy known for his incredibly listlessness towards everything. He is in fact, so listless that he proceeds to avoid any possible event in his life that could possibly potentially force to budge from him being lazy. He is everything a lazy bum is, lazy and weak.

Thankfully for him, he has his trusty companion, Ohta, to provide assistance whenever it is needed. This would include situations like when Tanaka falls asleep during lunch break and never wakes up even if the bell rings. Even though he is so lazy, everything turns out smoothly for Tanaka. But, his lazy peaceful highschool life is interrupted when…

Plot:

…nothing happens. Well, technically speaking, something did happen. Tanaka meets new friends along the way, including a potential love interest. Various events that you would come to expect from a high school slice of life comedy happens in the show, like the cultural festival and a fire drill. These events set up for comedic situations where characters interact with one another.

Tanaka-kun 1

In a sense, nothing of consequence happens by the end of the show. Tanaka doesn’t change in any way, Ohta and the rest of the supporting characters do not change at all. Which brings me to what I believe is the show’s main appeal.

Settings:

High school may not be the most original setting ever. Over the years, high school in anime has been portrayed as this extraordinary place where miracles happen. Be it meeting a love interest, joining a sports club and entering the finals, or even uncovering the truth behind an age-old myth about the school, high school is the place where things happen.

Tanaka-kun Itsumo Kedaruge strikes a contrasting portrayal of the anime high school by showing us a high school in which nothing really happens. Sure, there are the usual events like the festivals, but in contrast with other shows, nothing really dramatic. By the end of the day, nothing worth mentioning really happens. The writers also took note of this trend and subtly sneaked in a few meta-commentaries on issues like that.

Well, even if you can’t appreciate such things, fret not, because this contrasting setting paves the way for the main draw of the show: very uneventful, yet entertaining situations.

Characters:

Tanaka-kun 1

The characters provide the color and the vibrance of the show. If the show’s settings is the canvas, then the characters will be paint. Tanaka will be sky blue, Ohta will provide various shades of green and the rest of the cast introduced later throughout the show will introduce more and more colour in the picture. In the beginning of the show, it may feel kind of dull and uneventful, but gradually, by the end of the 12th episode, you will see the completed painting: a vibrant landscape painting with peaceful skies and lush, colourful meadows.

Tanaka-kun 1

Despite this show being a comedy, there are not many moments where you actually laugh out loud. In fact, I don’t think I laughed much throughout this show. However, it is not the humour but the charisma and the laid-back atmosphere of the show that is the main draw for the show. In a way, after every episode, I was left with a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart and a smile on my face.

Graphics & Soundtrack

Tanaka-kun 1

Visually, this show is not strikingly beautiful in any way. Like the purposefully bland setting, the visuals in the show use very simply colour palettes. In most cases, they use lighter colours, with white serving as the main backdrop. Even the title is simple, the words written in black and blue with a white backdrop. The soundtrack is also very simple, with a few main songs used repeatedly for every episode, most notably the simple, upbeat piano piece. The sound design team cleverly uses timely stops and deharmonized chords to indicate a change in tone, making the tracks sound familiar but not repetitive.

Conclusion:

Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless is a self-conscious, self-referential and relaxing but unorthodox slice-of-life anime. It’s entertainment value in the end, still relies on the viewer’s perspective. While I myself enjoyed this show quite a lot, some viewers may see this as an uneventful and boring show.

Tanaka-kun 1

And so, with everything said about this show, I now present you the rating:

8.22 (Near Great)


And now, the end of my reviewing spree. I’m currently finishing up Ben-to, the anime and I’m enjoying it, to my surprise. I think a review is in place, and I’m looking forward to review because reviewing it would prove to be a challenge.

So, till the next one, ciao!

Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless – Review – Lazines is nt an xcus

Hey.

Um…can I just give a rating?

Nobody cares about it anyway, I think.

Hmm…I am that sort of person.

Listlessness is not an excuse to be lazy? What is that?

*Sigh* I shouldn’t have made this blog, maybe. So much trouble.

Here’s a review?


Tanaka-kun Itsumo Kedaruge

Tanaka-kun Itsumo Kedaruge revolves around the titular highschool boy who is a lazy bum and his friends.

Plot:

Nothing of consequence happens in this show. Just 12 episodes of Tanaka‘s high school life and events like fire drills and cultural festivals.

Settings:

High school.

Characters:

Tanaka, an incredibly listless highschool boy. OhtaTanaka’s friend with a large physical build but a quiet demeanor. Ohta often carries Tanaka around in school when Tanaka is feeling tired or lethargic. Ohta would make a good friend IRL. I don’t want to spoil anything for you guys so I will leave out the rest of the cast. It’s troublesome to explain anyway.

Graphics & Soundtrack

Feasible, I guess. It’s simple and not irritating. Good enough.

Conclusion:

It’s pretty good. You should watch it.

10 (Good)

Bye.

Real review here.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – Review – Comedic Romance Or Romantic Comedy?

In Japan…there was a boy named Haru. And he…

Fell in love.

Then…Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 2

A chicken. Yeah, there was something about a chicken. If I’m not mistaken, he fell in love with the chicken. Wait, no, that doesn’t make sense! What was the name of the main female protagonist again? This is a shoujo anime, right? So, what was the name…

Oh yes! I remembered! It was Nagisa!

Hmm…Nagisa?

Nagisa-Furukawa-okazaki-nagisa-17223617-640-480

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on, Nagisa, wrong anime!

Oh yeah, I remembered! Nagoya! Nagoya, not Nagisa… what was the last name again? Mizutani? Nagoya Mizutani!

Yes, that’s it! Nagoya Mizutani fell in love with…the chicken? Why, CHICKEN? STAY AWAY, CHICKEN!! GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

Now, where was I? Ah yes…

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 1

What-Meme-13


And…back to the review.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

Summary

[Note: Spoiler alert for Episode 1, nothing much though]

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is a shoujo romantic comedy anime that revolves around Shizuku Mizutani, a first year honor student who has the best grades in her year and excels academically. However, aside from that, her looks are bland and boring, and she is cold towards other people, which gives others the impression that she is a scary person. And despite her grades and intellect, she sits in the far right corner of the classroom by the window, where harem forming delinquents normally sit.

498acfb304cc26bafe398f48216ab1b2

Anyway, as it turns out, her seat is next to a “problem student”, Haru Yoshida who hasn’t attended school since the first day. When her homeroom teacher (who is somewhat aloof) asks her to pass handouts to Haru, she reluctantly agrees (in exchange for a new study guide) and goes to the arcade center that the truant resides in. Haru, upon seeing Shizuku, flees from the arcade center, as if she is the harbinger of doom and Satanic demons. She, dumbstruck by the boy’s evasive attitude, passes the handouts to his guardian and heads to the nearest saloon to get a new look since her existing one is terrifyingly scary. (Joking, she is actually going home.)

The next day though on her way home from school, Haru kidnaps her and interrogates her about her origins. After identifying her identity, Haru somehow arrives to the conclusion that she is his friend and starts attending school.

Somehow.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 5

Plot & Settings

Most avid anime viewers would immediately identify anime by its genre, and more often than not, decide whether or not to watch a particular anime just based on its genre. A shoujo anime either turns potential viewers away (mostly male audiences) or draw people towards it, mainly because shoujo anime are mostly infamous for its incredulous and cliched settings. While this anime’s settings are both ridiculous and cliched at the same time, it draws a good balance by turning some tropes on its head. It incorporates comedy elements seen in comedy anime like Nichijou and Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou into its story telling, which makes for a brilliant blend of enjoyable rom-com.

Tonari no Kaibutsukun 1

However enjoyable the comedy elements may be, this is still a shoujo anime, and thus the compulsory romantic elements still exists. However, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is more comedy than romantic as the romantic portions of the plot gradually runs out of steam. The relationship between the two main characters is quickly developed by the first few episodes and nothing really happens for the remainder of the anime.

As a result, the plot loses steam after a few episodes and by the ninth or tenth episode, the show just deteriorates into a goofy slice of life comedy. The show attempts to add flavour by introducing side plots involving the secondary characters, but nothing is really covered in the anime since it was cut short abruptly due to its length of 13 episodes and a obvious sign by the studio in charge, which reads: “READ THE MANGA DIMWITS”.

There was no conclusion, a bloody big mess and a lot of loose strings, which is a major setback for a show that offered much promise and entertainment in the beginning.

Characters

As I said earlier, the main characters are the focus of the series in the first few episodes and by the end of the show, they are the most fleshed out. However, after that few episodes focusing on their relationship and inner conflict, most of Haru and Shizuku’s showtime is spent on dishing out more running gags and they don’t get much development after. Credit must be given where it’s due, though, as at a point in time, I genuinely felt for the duo and wanted things to work, but they rarely change and move on from their initial state of mind and it’s frustrating to watch them remaining the same for much of the show.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 6

The rest of the characters though, seem to be decorative and don’t serve much purpose aside from comedic relief, which isn’t a good thing. Until, of course, the writers decide to forcefully bring into the spotlight and add depth to their already one-dimensional character design. This endeavour fails, naturally as these side plots felt more like distractions than entertaining sideshows.

There is an exception, though. Not all secondary characters are one-dimensional as there was one that caught my eye: Kenji “Yamaken” Yamaguchi. He is essentially bratty, spoilt, angsty teenager born with a silver spoon character. In the beginning, he is portrayed as an ill-meaning person but as the show progresses, he gets more development and becomes more relatable.

Animation & Soundtrack

The studio responsible for adapting Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is Brain’s Base, which is also responsible for animating Natsume no Yuujinchou and popular Durarara!!!. While the animation in the show isn’t phenomenal, it does have the consistency in quality that the studio is known for. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun may not have the sparkle and dreamy textures shoujo anime is famous for, but it makes up for it with consistency and charm.

DurarDurarara

The soundtrack on the other hand, compliments the visuals well, though it may not stand out on it’s own, but then again, this isn’t Yuki Kaijura, you know.

Conclusion

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun promises much in the beginning, but runs out of steam later on with a series of hit and misses in the character design department. Even with it’s failures, it still manages to present to us a fresh and upbeat take on the shoujo genre, one that is entertaining to both shoujo lovers and skeptics.

After meticulously calculating the scores awarded for plot, settings, character development and, animation and soundtrack, while also serving a bucket of steamy, aromatic KFC (Sorry, Nagoya…), I shall award Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun with a rating of:

7.2 (Mediocre)


I apologize for the long wait for a new review, though at this point, I’m sure no one is waiting anymore. Anyway, I was busy because I had to attend interviews for my university admissions, and preparations for the interview are overwhelming at times.

This season’s anime series are all quite good. I enjoyed Koutetsujou no Cabaneli a lot, while I found unsuspecting good shows with Sakamoto desu ga and Bungou Stray Dogs. Even though it’s way too late for a seasonal post, I am looking forward to reviewing Koutetsujou and Sakamoto desu ga.

So, till the next post, cheerio!