Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 04

Haru ranks first and Shizuku ranks second in class rankings as Summer break approaches, but Shizuku manages to make up points by contesting an answer with her teacher. When Shizuku suggests Haru stop glaring at everyone, he stops, and every girl instantly falls for him. The constant posse around him makes Shizuku jealous. When he sees Ooshima Chizuru being bullied by an upperclassman, he gets into a fight which he easily wins, but Shizuku gets him out of there before he can do too much damage.

Haru wins a bet, and Shizuku goes with him on a mountain fishing trip along with Mi-chan, Sasayan and Natsume. When they get back, she meets his older brother Yuzan, whom Haru runs away from. He snaps when she tries to pry, but later apologizes. He asks Shizuku what to do for her since she’s always jumping in to save him; she tells him to take her on a date.

Shizuku decided to regard Haru’s remarks last week about the two of them “possibly not loving each other in the same way” to mean “initial rejection!”, and as such believes she needs to do more work in order to make Haru love her the way she wants him to…or something. Doing so proves elusive and matters aren’t helped when she inadvertently gives him sound advice and the slight adjustment in his behavior nets him swarms of comely admirers. Also notable: we were expecting Shizuku to deny being jealous, but instead she doesn’t. So honest!

His sudden popularity makes Haru more unapproachable, until he gets himself into trouble and Shizuku swoops in to put a leash on him, saving him from another possible suspension moments after Sasayan relayed his hopes that this time, this time Haru may be able to get through school. Haru had a brief and vicious stint in middle school, you see, but because Haru once helped Sasayan out, he’s pulling for him. Shizuku is too, clearly, because she acts in his best interests not merely to protect others from the brute, but because she’s in love with him, and believes he’s kind at heart.

Their little post-fight scene when he starts rubbing the bruise on her forehead is brimming with excellent romantic tension, and Sasayan executes a brutal shutdown when he turns the corner to interrupt. Then there’s the Yuzan Problem. Haru “hates” him and goes to great lengths to avoid contact. He won’t say why, but Shizuku thinks there’s something off about the big bro, and we tend to agree. There has to be a reason Haru used to be so short-tempered and vicious, and still has difficulty controlling himself. Yuzan may have something to do with that.

Rating: 8 (Great)

P.S. Advice for Haru on the upcoming date: make it one-on-one. Don’t let it suddenly turn into a double date with a former conquest of yours who’ll corner Shizuku when you’re not looking, berate her, and brag to her about doing erotic stuff with you in the past.

3 thoughts on “Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 04”

  1. That alley scene was really unnecessary. Does the author think that rape subtext is funny? I don’t, and if I was a girl, I wouldn’t invite Haru to my home after that moment.

    1. -While it was a callback to the first episode’s “alley grab”, Haru (thankfully) doesn’t utter the r-word this time.

      -Once the initial fear of being suddenly grabbed passed, and the couple realized they were in a compromising embrace, they backed off each other, and things segued into her interest in his “brother complex”.

      -Remember, Haru spent the night at her house without incident, so there is growing trust here, despite his occasional rough handling of her (which yeah, he really needs to work on.)

      -Shizuku even wordlessly came back after he snapped at her, in an odd but interesting bit of editing – as if she didn’t want the evening to end on such a sour note.

      1. You make good points, but I still think that these sorts of alley scenes were never necessary in the first place. Haru could have just pulled her into the alley without that initial gesture. That the mangaka thinks that the use of such scenes is good or even desirable writing strikes a chord with me.

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