|"WHERE'S MY FUCKING RISOTTO!?"|
A new character is introduced in this episode, Natsume Asako, someone who, in common terms, would be classified as as not only a weirdo, but a completely clueless dumber-than-dumb girl who puts the stereotypical dumb blonde to shame. In fact, Asako can probably be classified as the anti-stereotype, the first character of this kind I've ever seen. Socially awkward, self-proclaimed as cute, with beyond terrible grades, it's obvious why she doesn't have friends in real life, especially after barfing out all the monja she ate while asking Shizuku and Haru to help her study. I don't think I've ever seen any girl barf in a shoujo series, so this is definitely a first for me. I nearly died laughing, especially since I replayed that particular scene two or three times. Absolutely priceless. She'll make an excellent side character who I'm sure will bring even more laughs to the show. Furthermore, there's no need to worry about her being a romantic rival, since Haru bluntly proclaimed that it would never happen.
|Mother of god that's attractive|
I lied. There were actually three new characters introduced in this episode. The first being Asako, the second being Nagoya, a rooster adopted by Haru on the way to school. I mean, let's be frank, this has got to be the strangest thing I've ever seen in a show like this. What's even stranger is that the way the rooster is integrated into the scenes is simply hilarious. Bursting out of Haru's shirt? Driving the teacher insane causing her to constantly yell at Haru in a mad frenzy while holding the rooster in its box? Honestly, it's just hilarious.
The third character, is this seemingly nice baseball player who was also introduced, called Sasayan who claims he went to the same middle school as Haru.
In regards to the episode itself, it seems like the animation has drastically improved in many scenes in comparison to the first episode. The detail in all the scenes, including the characters themselves, seems to have gone to another level, so in that sense it's definitely very pleasing to watch as far as the art and animation go. In regards to the pace of the show, it's still sprint forward rather quickly, maybe even a little too quickly for my tastes. Not only has Shizuku already returned Haru's feeling by declaring her love for him, she's also opened up to the idea of being close to people, or making friends in general, a complete 180 degree turn-around compared to her old self. This is definitely a great aspect when looking at it from the perspective of character growth, and keeping the show fresh, however this could potentially rush ahead too quickly, with Shizuku losing some of her original character which in my opinion, is something that I enjoyed watching to a certain extent. Nevertheless, now that their relationship is official, the focus will probably shift to the maturation of Shizuku and Haru's relationship. This quick pace does enable less beating around the bushes, so the story does feel very direct and straightforward, which isn't exactly a bad thing. A quick-paced storyline is perfectly fine as long as there are enough interesting aspects, or enough strong comedic aspects to go along with it, which is what is happening here with Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
Watching Shizuku and Haru together is just the most heart-warming thing ever, and Brains Base is totally establishing themselves as one of the best studios out there. The past two episodes have been nothing but laughs and smiles for me, and I'd even say that this is my favourite show this season. Definitely hoping to see more.