Time for another  Troubling Shojo Romance, boys and girls!

Shizuku Mizutani is the straightest of all straight-laced students; she has zero interest in making friends, liking animals or having anything to do with anything that isn’t maintaning her no.1 academic position. Haru Yoshida is a delinquent who was suspended from school and refuses to return. As luck would have it, Shizuku is tasked by a teacher to deliver print-outs to Haru…who instantly latches onto her, declaring them friends. And then, more than friends. Despite Shizuku trying her hardest to ignore him, she eventually finds herself unable to, especially after he starts coming back to school because of her. Of course, the two end up with a bond of sorts.

ok

Well, this sure was a mixed bag. I tend to go into most shojo stories(when I actually watch them) kind of wary as it is as I can’t stand the vast majority of what I have seen, and although Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is mostly decent it definitely has its issues. It’s a shame, because the characters are mostly interesting, the animation is pleasant enough and the opening is one of the most visually interesting I’ve seen from this season so far. It has a pretty good grasp on humour for the most part, and it has the potential to be an all around good story.
But Haru’s over-enthusiasm and initially entirely unwanted contact with Shizuku is definitely going to rub some the wrong way. He refuses to leave her alone. He’s propelled to violence if he thinks she’s in danger – even when she says she isn’t. He punched her in the face accidentally and didn’t notice.¬†He ‘confesses’ to her by telling her he likes her ‘in a sexual way’. And, of course, towards the beginning of the episode he threatens to rape her if she doesn’t follow him so he can show her a dog he found. It’s, well, it’s uncomfortable.
Luckily, towards the end of the episode Haru is already showing evidence of respecting her wishes (even if he doesn’t want to back off on his attraction to her), and the opening’s key motif of Shizuku holding him on a leash is certainly interesting. Shizuku is also, usually, able to let him know that he’s being a dickweed. It’ll probably take a few more episodes to see exactly where this is going and whether this relationship will develop in an interesting way or just go straight to Skeeve City. I hope it’s the former, because these characters are pretty endearing, issues aside, and I’d like to see if Shizuku teaches Haru how to not be a dick. Also, I must admit I’m pretty interested in the chicken that features so heavily in the opening (and the end of the episode).

I just realized I didn’t include one ‘normal’ cap of Shizuku in this whole review, even though she’s usually making a deadpan face.

Out of 5,

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