Five weeks, three pages of notes, and two all-nighters later, a masterpiece is born (or so Hoshi thinks)~
|So after five weeks I am back with more Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun! It’s been a busy and stressing November that’s also been filled with a lot of unnecessary procrastination (and a few Teen Wolf and Supernatural marathons), which is my excuse for why I’m so incredibly late with this. With five episodes to cover, I suggest we get this post started!~|
Your Quinque-weekly Haru Update
Eight episodes into Tonari and I feel as though Haru hasn’t developed much. Of course, there have been small changes because of his developing relationship with Shizuku, but it’s occurring even slower that I would like. Concerning his violent nature, little has changed. He still acts rashly and jumps into fights with little hesitation. Though Haru’s intentions have always been good, his way of solving problems and bringing justice is so violent, making him look bad and fearsome in front of his peers. It’s all he knows however, and he sees no wrong in it; as long as he’s helping someone, he believes he’s doing the right thing. This is, and has always been, his social problem, which has recently been highlighted a lot more with the appearance of his older brother. Though with his slow development, Shizuku is definitely continuing to instill change in him.
Haru’s smile scenes in episode 4 (in which he went from ignored delinquent to popular shoujo male lead, aha) also brought up an interesting point. I thought it was funny how quick these girls’ opinions of him changed because of a simple smile. It seemed shallow, especially when they quickly went back to being afraid of him because of his violent fight with the upperclassman. It (or rather Haru’s place at the school) showed how quick we are to judge from one’s appearances without bothering to look past it and question what a person really is like. As we’ve seen, just because Haru looks scary and mean doesn’t mean he really is, and because he picks fights doesn’t mean he does it for enjoyment. He is a kind person, like Shizuku said. A repeatedly done lesson, but it’s something we all forget at times. I am frequently guilty of this and find myself embarrassed of prejudges I made with certain people in my life.~
A brother with a sweet tooth, an absent father, and wise words from a dead sensei
Episode 4 finally introduced us to Haru’s family situation, bringing in some family-centered issues to the storyline. Yuzan, who turns out to be Haru’s older brother, makes his official appearance in episode 4 as well, which scares Haru away (as well as Yamaken later in episode 8) for unknown reasons. Something serious might have happened if Haru so badly wants to be away from his brother and act menacing towards Shizuku when she tried to ask him about it. Yuzan definitely has this sneaky aura about him; I already feel that he’s up to no good. Plus, Yamaken’s actions in the recent episode have me even more suspicious of him. Then again, maybe Yuzan’s instilling some tough love on Haru? Anyway, just as I am as curious about Haru’s father and his sudden decision to make him come back home, I am curious about Haru’s sensei that was shown in brief flashbacks in episode 7. She seems to have left quite the impression on Haru, straightening him out for the time that she could and leaving him her advice to remember for the rest of his life. Just exactly who she is and whether she will come up again in the story isn’t clear to me, but I certainly do hope we get to see more flashbacks with her in them. I’d like to see more of her relationship with Haru and how the two interacted.~
Oshima and Yamaken, the seemingly perfect love rivals
Before talking about
the delightful Yamaken, I’d like to talk about my awkward home girl, Oshima; another character that Kana Hanazawa voices that I can relate to. Having missed her first few days of high school, Oshima came to find groups and cliques established in her class, leaving her behind socially. She has a friend at another high school, but unfortunately she hasn’t had the confidence to make new friends. As someone who had to move to a new high school with the majority of students from the same middle schools, I understand how difficult it is to make friends when everyone is in their own little groups. Like Oshima, I lacked (and still lack) confidence to make friends and felt self-conscious whenever I tried to; a majority of the time I waited for people to come to me. Most of my friends (both online and offline) were made because an outgoing friend brought them to me. However, as Shizuku implied through blunt words, we can’t always rely on others to make us friends, or to fix all of our problems. The harsh truth is that we need to fix our own problems when we’re unhappy, as difficult as it may seem, or as difficult it is to change our attitude.
Anyway, Oshima has certainly become the unexpected love rival that’s tugging at my heart strings. She’s not the typical bitchy shoujo rival, but rather an innocent one who ended up in the wrong love triangle. She seems to have fallen for Haru in a similar way to Shizuku, at least in that his appearance in her high school life has started a change in her, as well as given her an escape from her social predicament by being able to confide in him. I also love the jealousy she stirs up in Shizuku, even if it is unintentional. I was hoping she would end up hanging out more with group, but those awkward (albeit hilarious) outburst scenes from both Oshima and Natsume, who’s probably on the default best friend setting to go against her friend’s love rival, and the knowledge that Haru has feelings Shizuku (and vice versa) have kept her out of the circle.
As for Haru’s rival, there’s Yamaken, who’s been expressing some interest in Shizuku through all the episodes he’s been in. Yamaken and Shizuku definitely fit together with their serious attitudes, intelligence, and bluntness. However, he’s more flashy than she is, as well as more of a troublemaker and a bit conceited. It makes him a great contrast to Haru, who’s the complete opposite. Not to mention they already are at odds with each other, which makes for some entertaining interactions (as seen through the accidental Shizuku punch in episode 8). Yamaken, to me, is the the typical ‘perfect for the main female character’ rival that matches up well with the female lead, possibly causing some of us to anguish over deciding who would be better for her when we like both. So far I like his character, but whether I’ll be crying over whether I prefer him to Haru, I have yet to figure out until more of Yamaken is shown (probably in episode 9, which I have yet to watch).~
New emotions, more progression, and then…break up? (a.k.a your quinque-weekly couple update)
Our main couple these past few weeks have gone through quite the loopy roller coaster. In episode 4 and 5, their relationship was progressing wonderfully; they were actually getting closer! Shizuku began to experience new emotions like jealousy, which she almost looked happy to be feeling for the first time (at least in the beginning). She also felt genuine anxiousness for the possibility that Haru may leave, and willingly touched him for comfort. But after seeing Oshima’s love stricken face, Shizuku eventually resided back to her old self in episode 6 with her decision to stop loving Haru. Of course, this declaration happened right at the time Haru began to have romantic feelings for her, taking us on a reverse loop. Since then it’s been different between the two with them essentially going back to their rocky relationship at the beginning of the series.
I thought it was funny how nonchalant Haru was about Shizuku not having feelings for him anymore and Shizuku was about ‘dumping’ Haru on their ‘date’. You can definitely see the difference between this couple to a typical shoujo/romanctic drama, etc. couple because normally this sort of thing would be this devastating, dramatic, moody time in the series that would drag on and on. However for Shizuku and Haru, they simply accepted it without any dramatic emotions and Haru only moped about it for a bit before pursuing her again. They are one of the most oddest couples I’ve encountered, which is why I love them so much. But with Shizuku’s recent decision, I know I won’t be seeing them as a couple anytime soon.~
Shizuku and her struggle to find the road to travel by
Shizuku has always been a fun character for my lazy brain to analyze, even more so in these past few episodes. She went from having these romantic feelings for Haru and becoming daring in the pursuit to capture his heart romantically, to letting all of those feelings go and retreating back to her old self. As I said before in the previous topic, episode 4 and 5 showed her relationship with Haru was going in a good direction; she was happy in her own way. I think Oshima, her falling status in test score ranking, and her original feelings of hesitation are what provoked her to start questioning the direction she’s been taking lately.
Shizuku has been struggling for some time now about the path she’s chosen to follow. She’s walked down a bit of the other path and found something new, something she likes. Yet, she continues the road she’s vowed to stay on. She’s stubborn and wants to concentrate on one path, afraid to trail off it again and get lost. Meeting Haru and the rest of the gang has her confidence shaken; Haru’s, Yamaken’s, and other’s comments have started to eat at her slowly. She’s been so sure that she’s been on the right path, but now, is it truly it?
With Oshima, Shizuku’s jealously is putting her in the wrong direction, at least romantically. She’s new to this feeling, which can be quite hurtful, and doesn’t want to feel it, so she first tries to stop herself from falling anymore in love with Haru to get rid of her jealousy and anxiousness. Then there’s the main reason for her sudden decision, which is that she’s been falling behind in her studies. Shizuku is afraid of not completing her goals, as she regrets getting so distracted from studying. She’s sacrificing the new love and fun she’s experienced so she can complete these future goals. I feel that the success of her mother is prompting her to do just as well, but Shizuku has been taking it a little too far by normal standards.
I also think with Shizuku, if she doesn’t see clear results, she backs out. If she gets no rewards, she backs out. Being together with Haru, from her point of view, is more trouble than it’s worth. Haru still acts very much like a child, despite her efforts, and it isn’t getting solved quickly. She’s gotten some reward (new experiences, a new appreciation for certain things in life), but the pains of love may have been the last straw. By devoting her high school life to studying, she gets a clear reward of having a bright future with an outstanding career like her mother. Overall, it comes down to a problem with love and relationships during this point in one’s life where you’re start to plan your future as high school comes to a close. For Shizuku, would she be willing to give up on her future goals for a significant other so early in her life? She made her decision clear in episode 8 with her quick conversation with Natsume and the quote, “I think it’s stupid to let him influence my life.”
A bit early to be guessing, but after writing all of this, I think Tonari’s message on love is to not totally give up on love, to make compromises with your significant other, and to help each other grow. If we look at Shizuku’s mother, as successful as she is, she still had time to fall in love, get married, and have children. I’m assuming she had to compromise with her husband to take on/continue on a career that would unfortunately keep her away from home and her children. Shizuku can walk down both paths, but she hasn’t learned how. Both main characters are selfish in their own ways and have yet to really understand what each other wants out of life or what they want out of their potential relationship. Because of that lack of communication, I think a good romantic relationship just can’t form at this moment, as much as I want it to. However, just being together as friends now is good for them as they can help each other mature; a romantic relationship can then form from there. Of course, that’s going to take some time, and I doubt an anime of the shoujo genre is going wait for both of them to mature before getting them together officially. It’ll make for some great dramatic moments though if they don’t.~
Though I’ve been delaying these posts, I’m still thoroughly enjoying Tonari. The show though is kind of getting repetitive for me since Shizuku’s change of mind about Haru. It’s back to what we had in the beginning, so I can’t help but feel a little less enthused with new episodes. I’m hoping the semi-new characters start to stir up more shenanigans, drama etc. to bring some more pizazz to the storyline.
I have to admit episode 8 was probably one of the most entertaining episodes these past few weeks. From haunted house antics, to Shizuku getting punched right in the face, to Yamaken/Shizuku and Haru/Oshima interactions, it had a great mix of comedy, silly shenanigans, and character development. What I liked particularly was that they managed to focus a little on Natsume’s and Shizuku’s friendship. Throughout these episodes, Natsume has been shown trying to be the best girlfriend for Shizuku, probably assuming that they would be giving each other advice, chit-chatting about crushes, and so on, like normal friends. Unfortunately, as we know, Shizuku isn’t really the type of person to share such things or be the perfect girlfriend Natsume might have imagined, and ended up hurting Natsume’s feelings on her first attempt to give advice. It was nice to see Shizuku apologize, showing that she’s being more considerate of the feelings of those around her. Overall I just love their friendship and hope just as much as Natsume that she will be able to confide in her more.
Well, that’s it for this back-up post~ I’m pretty sure I might I have missed some important dialogue, or forgot to connect certain things, so I apologize for my sloppy writing. Episode 9 will have its own post, as you can see, that I hope to get done by Friday. Until then~!!