Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (My Little Monster): ANIME REVIEW

Scrolling down the Shoujo genre on My Anime List, I stumbled upon a rather interesting show from 2012. The slice-of-life/shoujo/school anime promised a cute romance and good comedy in 13 episodes. Question is, did the anime actually hold on to the things it promised? "My Little Monster" is quite unusual for an anime title but as such, it clearly caught my attention. Now, without further ado, the review to Tonari no Kaibutsku-kun. Enjoy!



STUDIO: Brain's Base
GENRE: Romance, Comedy, Shoujo, Slice-of-life, School
EPISODES: 13
LINKS: MY ANIME LIST | PV TRAILER 

PLOT AND STORY LINE 📜

Most of the shoujo anime we know involve one shy and socially awkward character on one, and a popular and outgoing character on the other side of the romance. But what happens if neither of the characters is socially awkward nor shy, but still don't have any friends because of their 'special' behavior? Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun gives the answer in a fresh anime atmosphere that really shows that the producers tried to make a different shoujo show.
In the middle of the story we have Mizutani Shizuku, a rather apathetic girl who cares about one thing only-her grades. But her cold nature would soon start to fade after she meets the violent troublemaker Yoshida Haru. Much to her surprise, there is a lot more to Haru than just his violent behavior, which she would eventually find out after the two become really close.
Even though Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun differs from other shoujo anime in terms of characters, other elements are still present. So, you get for example, not one, but two love triangles involving the main characters in only 13 episodes. Which brings us to the next point-the ROMANCE.

When it comes to that, it is like TNKK committed a serious crime in the shoujo world by putting a clear love confession right in the beginning. I know, shocking right? To think that a shoujo anime character would confess his/her feelings right in the beginning and so omit confusion and awkward moments between the two main characters, is absolutely barbaric (*meme material*). Kidding, even though one side of the romance is clear, the other one gets pretty confused not knowing what to do with the new feelings and so ruins all the potential the show actually had.
From there on, the show literary goes nowhere. The main story line gets all messed up, the romance part slowly fades as the main characters grow further apart and all that leads to a unfinished story that had the chance to hit it big. I don't know what happens in the manga later on, but they could've at least made a decent season finale. In this way we are literary left with nothing.



On thing that Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun did extremely good, is the comedy. Haru is an extremely funny  character and all he does is just hilarious. So, you might not enjoy the story and the romance of the anime that much, but it is perfect if you just want to chill and have a good laugh.

CHARACTERS 👦👩

Just as it happens in a lot of the other shoujo anime, most of the characters in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun have superficial personality and a minimum of (or even non) character development. Just the two mains, Shizuku and Haru had more depth in their personalities and some detail in character, but the rest is just...meh. Asako was the annoying side-kick, Kenji the pitiful side-kick, Yuuzan (Haru's brother)who was about to put some drama in the anime but nothing actually happened in the end, and there was Sasahara, who literary showes up every here and there but doesn't actually contribute to the story. I was also annoyed by Shizuku so I won't be talking about her, but I did love Haru. As said, he is a hilarious character that contributed the most to the comedy factor of the anime. He also doesn't get any character development but I like him just the way he is.



ANIMATION AND STYLE 🎨💻

In short, the animation was quite satisfactory and enjoyable to watch but it was the style of the anime that made it look this good. Especially the detail in the character design like hair and eyes and the backgrounds were so amazingly done. I certainly loved it and thumbs up for that.

CONCLUSION  📌

Despite having the potential to be an amazing anime different form other shoujo shows, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun remains an average show whose story literary goes nowhere. No story development also means no development for many of the superficial characters. Still, TNKK had an ace up its sleeve and it was the main character of the anime-Haru. He was the reason I actually liked the show and the reason why most of us might actually enjoy it. I wouldn't recommend it, but it is still a fine anime that won't be a waste of your time if you actually gave it a shot.



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