Warning this review may contain spoilers:
So this is my review for 'Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun' or in english 'My little Monster'. This story is quite close to you typical high school story but at the same time it's not, weird right. The story is basically a developing love between the main two characters Haru, who has a past full of twists and turns and fights, and Shizuku, a study nerd who can't leave studying. Along the way a bunch of other characters who come in to surround these two and each had their own part to their love story. The story is actually quite well developed and there is room for a second series. I think they brought each character into the story at the perfect times which in the end helped to create a very good anime which might now be in my top 10. The animation was just spot on, I didn't see any problems and like the manga had a very detailed art. I liked how they stuck just about to how the manga was; the story is quite similar in this way.
The music, I loved the opening had a fast tempo and fun to listen to. The ending I listened to a couple of times just to get to the previews or I would of forgotten about watching them (which made me laugh every time). The voice acting was spot on I think that each voice was quite different and fit each character pretty well. To me the characters were varied and there wasn't really one character that you would hate, each character seems to grow on you even the ones that are meant to be the bad guys. This is a great feature in my opinion.
So in conclusion this is not your typical high school anime, the story as amazing and I personally really enjoyed it. And if maybe it was 25 episodes or in the near future we get a second series that Mark might go up. So that ends this review here, thank you for reading!
My Little Monster, yet another romantic comedy in a season stuffed full of anime trying to fit into that genre, the sad thing in My Little Monster's case is that it isn't strong enough by any means to hold its own against the other, arguably better, shows it was put against. Even if it hadn't fallen into a season like this, it's still quite weak for its genre.
We have our lead female character, Shizuku, and our male, Haru. Shizuku mets Haru after being asked to get him to come to school (he's the type of guy who gets into fights and generally isn't liked all that much, and thus has decided to stay at home). Shizuku succeeds in what she sets out to do, however after spending so much time around her, Haru quickly falls for our young student and all madness breaks out. But this is really where the show begins to struggle, the first couple of episodes work up to the big moment where Haru tells Shizuke that he loves her, to which she turns him down for the moment, and then things go very slowly. It's clear the two characters have some feelings for one another, but not a lot of progress is made in their relationship, which isn't really helped by the fact the two just don't seem suited to one another, and Shizuke would much rather study than get too involved with Haru. The show seems to hope that the comedy it offers will make up for the lack of real romantics, but it tends to get old after the first few episodes and can't continue to hold your interest as much as it may have done at the start.
So what does the show offer to keep viewers? Well, it has to be said that Shizuke actually is quite an interesting character. Watching how she works through problems, such as why she gets so hot and bothered around Haru, or what it's like to have friends, is always amusing and she feels very real in what she thinks and feels. Of course, the fact she'd rather look after herself and study hard can only be looked on as a good thing too. That said, one interesting character doesn't really make a show and nothing else will grab you off the bat and the rest of the side characters, while interesting in their own right, aren't enough to grab your interest. A rival for Shizuke's love is introduced halfway through the series, and while seeing Haru's reaction is highly amusing, the move backfires on itself because again Shizuke is just not interested in a relationship with either of them even if she does have feelings for Haru, to have her really act on them seems to be asking a little too much of the show. But then, summed up that is the show; a slow moving love story which never quite gets there in the end. The characters, setting and story are an interesting idea, but it just can't hold its own against the better shows out there, especially once its comedy loses its charm. The ending is suitably cute and touching for what the series set out to do, but again it isn't quite enough to make it feel like the story was worth bothering with.
When it comes to animation the show actually is quite nice. More attention has been put into character designs than it has any scenery, but that isn't too much of a bad thing as it tends to suit the overall feel quite well. The animation doesn't feel as lifelike as other shows of the genre, but that too works in its favour offering fans of the genre a nice change if they want it.
Where music comes into things the show has a very nice opening and ending theme which suits the overall fun feel of the show quite well. Anything used within the episodes tends to feel overused (even if it isn't the same piece of music, they'll often feel alike), and certain tunes feel just a little bit too soft for a show which is trying so hard to be a somewhat crazy comedy, but it doesn't ruin things by any means.
Overall the show tries its best, the romantic side of things may feel quite lost, and the comedy gets quite old fast, but if you can overlook that and become fond of the many characters it isn't an awful show, just one which got a bit lost on its path and feels like it would have suited just being a comedy perfectly well, at least then enough focus could have been on that side of things where it could have worked really well for all 13 episodes.
I tried to watch this, really. I'm honestly surprised I got as far in as I did. But oh god the lack of a plot, or any redeeming quality for that matter. Absolutely nothing made any sense to me and I could not even pretend to believe that this story was realistic in ANY WAY. This is the last time I listen to anonymous reccomendations, let me tell you. Like, I'm actually pretty mad about this. I'll explain my reasoning:
The story is impressively bad. The first episode has a very sudden love confession between the two main characters, which is a pet peeve of mine already. But the one in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun has absolutely no context. Broken down, it would look something like this:
And then they switch places. A lot, judging by the other reviews written for this anime. I didn't stick around to find out, but apparently nothing gets resolved romantically (even for the side characters, which is pretty sad). Oh, and the forced drama. Some.....thing happens with delinquent's family and he hates his brother and dad and he lives with his cousin to go to school but his dad wants him to quit school and come home and his brother comes to retreive him but his brother wants him to go to school and this apparently makes him evil and adukhdyftukseutierlatorwgjnjkfdhgdf. This is the part where I gave up. They tried to create tension and instead made everyone look really, really stupid.
But yeah, story sucks. NEXT!
The animation is pretty decent, all things considered. It's probably my favorite aspect of the anime overall. The drawings are quite consistent. I think I only noticed a handful of derpy faces during the 5 episodes I saw. The actual drawing style itself is quite nice, not moe at all, a delight for those purists out there I'm sure (wink wink nudge nudge). Honestly, everything seems pretty standard to me, but then again I was kind of distracted by the glaring faults that are THE STORY AND THE CHARACTERS, A.K.A. THE MEAT ON THE BONES, SHALL WE SAY.
Pretty much the same story with the sound as with the animation, pretty average. I'm notoriously bad for not really paying attention to the sound quality/soundtrack of anything ever. Like, it has to be good, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt good, before I'd notice a thing. However, I did note that the voices did not seem to fit the stereotype of the characters they were protraying. Whch is good? I think? I mean to say that they did more for the characters than the writing did, they made them feel 1.5 dimensional rather than just 1 dimensional. No whiny "Oniiiiii-chan!"s to be heard!
Wow, after writing all this I almost feel bad about being so negative. Almost. The characters of Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun basically took the weird storyline and made it difficult to explain to sane people (and on top of that you have to explain why you're watching it, too!). I don't even know where to start about the characters. Time for more handy bullet formatting!
I don't really have anything left to say at this point. Obviously, I severly dislike this anime, but I hope my super opinionated "review" doesn't sway you from watching this if you really want to. With that being said, feel free to commiserate with me in the comment section if this review moved you to tears, that finally, someone understands the emotional pain that is Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Now, I stayed up waaaay later than I intended to just to vomit angry words onto the internet, so I'm going to lay my sad soul to rest now.
(I've never written one of these, can't you tell?)
I liked it in the beginning because the show wasn't a sad music type of romance, it was goofy with a little serious which was entertaining because i don't really like the romance genre that much. I was into it until maybe episode 5 or 6 when harus feeling seemed to be devalued and I was waiting for someone to get their feelings hurt or for Harus brother to come back and mess everything up but nothing happened. For the rest of the show nothing happens it's just that one chic who's name starts with an M being unable to understand her feeling and that pissed me off. It's one thing to not know how you feel but it's another to make Haru think you're in love with him and thinking about where you want your relationship to go meanwhile you're confused about about everything and just downright annoying, but then suddenly turn it around and have haru confused also?? Like lol no this show only has the capacity for one love interest because of its sort of one adventure per episode nature, being introduced to new character after episode 5 or 6 made it seem forced and more like an obstacle to step over rather than a choice that's been there since day one. I liked the show, don't get me wrong, it's just the fact that their entire relationship seemed to back track and all the episodes were basically filler because nobody does anything that changes the story. Then when we think we've made progress they end up in the same mindset a few episodes later as if the problem WASNT fixed 20 minutes prior. It's a good show though.
I'll admit to being a pretty big sucker for shoujo, but what really endeared Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun to me was Shizuku's startled reaction, the one where her pigtails stood straight up in the air, as well as Haru's hilariously random behavior. Even better, I think this show is an example of Shoujo Done Right, and is free from a couple obnoxious tropes I will mention later.
Story: Lighter on plot and heavier on character development, although it wasn't the huge or meaningful type of development; mostly just looking at the difference between Shizuku in episodes 1 and 12. I thought event sequences/timing were a bit muddled in their focus, probably a result of widening the number of characters the show focused on, and of course we were left with a bunch of loose ends at the end of episode 12. Obviously the manga goes on, and I actually might just look this one up to read. Viewers may be intrigued that Shizuku and Haru sort of play a tennis match with confessing to each other, without much of a conclusion on their future or if/when/how they get together (although you could rightfully argue that they essentially are together by the end of the show).
Animation: Delightful. There were some really good instances of depth and lighting, even on the last episode.
Sound: Pretty good, but I didn't like all the voice actors for the side characters.
Characters: Lovely and each with their unique quirks, which all served that comedic-meeting-of-personalities in a way that reminded me a lot of Durarara or Kaichou wa Maid-sama. Not all of the characters were explored fully, but I thought it was a well-rounded group. The development was there, and I'm glad it erred on the side of weaker development instead of on the side of exaggerated development as a result of melodrama (which the show was lean on in general anyway).
Shizuku in particular is a refreshing female lead who is still figuring out her feelings at the end of the show, and seems happy to plug along at her own pace rather than rushing to a conclusive confession. The show is also happily free of the "bitchy female love rival" trope, as well as free of the token kidnapping of the female lead by an enemy of the male lead.
All in all, this is an entertaining little series. The overall tone is comedic, but it doesn't shy away from breaking into some more serious and romantic moments, which makes the show more touching than sappy. If you already dislike shoujo, I don't think this show will change your mind about it. If you like the genre but are sometimes frustrated with its predictability and tendency for melodrama, then you are in for a treat on this one.