Come for the innocent, first love story, stay for the rooster~
|Of course when I finally find a show that I have great connection with, I get bombarded with assignments and midterms…Anyway, three episodes in and I’m still completely in love with Tonari’s storyline and gorgeous animation. Now let’s see what’s been happening with Shizuku and Haru in this week-late post!~|
-New faces and newly changed faces-
We were introduced to some new faces in episode 2 with the bubbly additions of Asako and Sasahara. Asako to me is the personification of the general personality of people on tumblr: silly, socially awkward, and slacking in studying just to attend to her online friends. She’s the perfect addition to our socially awkward duo. Meanwhile, Sasahara seems to be out-going and more of a ‘normal’ high schooler with being in the baseball team; an odd addition, but he ends up fitting well with the group. Episode 3 had Yamaken and his band of thugs reappear, but with a surprising change of heart to reconcile with Haru. Yamaken seems to have other motives though as he gets quite close to Shizuku towards the end of the episode. My suspicions of him being the rival are at a full blown high, but why does he like Shizuku? Maybe her cold, blunt charm got to him, or maybe he simply feels like taking Shizuku away from Haru? Every thing is still up in air with Yamaken at this point, but I know somehow he’ll become a staple in the story. I’m eager (almost impatient now) to find out more about him and why the Tonari fans on tumblr like him so much…~
-Loneliness and lucky meetings with our social outcast characters-
What attracted me most to this show, as I’m pretty sure I’ve said before, is the fact that a majority of the characters are social outcasts (anti-social, socially awkward, hoodlums). There are similar twists from some shoujo manga I’ve read (I.e Sukitte Ii na yo); however, it’s usually only the female or male lead who has this problem, while their friends and the people around them are ‘normal’ and have ‘normal’ social lives. Tonari deals with the social outcasts, their problems and emotions as social outcasts, and how they manage to grow and experience more by meeting others like them.
Haru and Asako have both suffered from loneliness, longing to have friends and do what normal high school friends do, like hanging out over the weekend and eating out together. In Asako’s case, she decided to do whatever she could just to be close to people and took the modern route of making friends online. Haru, meanwhile, found a bit of solace with Yamaken and his gang, even if they kept asking him for favors. He’s also probably had to suffer from being misunderstood with the bad boy/delinquent aura he has (that could have not always been there, but there’s still so little I know of his past so it’s all speculation). With similar anguish, of course Haru and Asako would hit it off and try their hardest to attend this offline meeting. Shizuku’s initial reaction to their odd determination has me thinking that maybe the reason why these two were attracted to Shizuku is because she’s cold and indifferent to what others think about her, while they worry about it and feel the pain of being rejected by others.
For Haru and Asako who have tried hard to make friends and failed in some ways, meeting Shizuku was truly lucky. They, including Shizuku, have gained a number of friends through quirky situations and are going through new life experiences together. Despite their personality differences, the group as a whole has been brought together through the similarity of being social outcasts and become good friends (with the possibility of something more in the works for certain people). I’m sure more will flock to this group as the show progresses, and what a lovely sight it’ll be.~
-Shizuku’s change of heart and growing romance-
Tonari’s second episode definitely was a focus on Shizuku’s changing outlook on life and her world. Her selfish, cold nature is beginning to melt the more this quirky group of people flock to her. She is also beginning to sympathize and understand the feelings of others; potentially realizing that she’s felt the same feelings before, but never really confronted them, as seen through her sudden willingness to help Asako with studying. Not only does she help Asako, but Haru again as well in episode 3 by spending a day from her weekend to help the group with making a chicken coup. Her sudden change of heart in helping others even had Haru noticing.
At the same time all this goes on in episode 2, Shizuku’s confronting the possibility she might be liking Haru after their sudden kiss. She only becomes confident of her feelings for him at the end of episode 3; a bit surprising for her character. I think Shizuku’s feelings for Haru come from the fact that he’s opening her up to the world she ignored for a study session at the library. He’s changing something in her just as she’s changing something in him. In the end though, it turns out the cold character has more romantic feelings than the character who confessed his love first. I’m guessing this means Haru loves her in a sisterly/motherly way, which is why he was so relieved when she lied (and could explain why he’s so quick to trust her); or maybe he loves her in some other way I don’t understand yet. Either way, that’s another delay on the long road for this duo to become a couple. However, I like that the progress of their love is slowly paced. The feelings and confessions may have come quickly, but the true romance is slowly progressing as they are slowly maturing together.~
-Haru: increasingly interesting and mysterious-
So obviously there would be more to Haru then his smiley, odd self; he’s quite perceptive, as Shizuku noticed, which surprises me a little. I’d love to see a more serious side of him, and with the appearance of this guy named Yuzan, I might get just that. His appearance has also made Haru’s past increasingly mysterious to me. First off, why is he avoiding Yuzan? Why does he stay with the guy who owns the batting cages? Why is he alone without any parents? Just what has happened before meeting Shizuku that has lead to the Haru we see now? I’m always curious about the back-stories to characters I like, so I know I won’t be able to rest until at least some snippet is shown.~
So far, each episode has gotten better and better with another promising episode ready to continue the pattern next week. The new characters added to the show have certainly made it livelier and more comedic. Honestly, one of my favorite parts was Nagoya the rooster and his saga of finding a proper home where no one will eat him, which was a funny touch to these past two episodes. Overall, as you can tell, I’m more than satisfied with these beginning episodes.
One last thing I’d like to add, which is another reason why I love Tonari, is that the story doesn’t focus on just the romance between our main characters, but focuses on the other characters as well. It’s not just one chapter they’re focused in and then only seen in glimpses across the series, but all throughout. It does get a little frustrating though when they don’t cover so much of the romance and (lately) having to wait till the end of the episode to see any progress. That’s the price I pay for wanting side-character-focused episodes, I guess. Hopefully we’ll have a Haru-focused episode next week before my impatience explodes into a rant on a post. Until next week then~!!