Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun – 08

The day of the school festival arrives, and Haru, Shizuku, Asako and Sasayan are running a house of terror. Yamaken bumps into Shizuku while she’s breaking, and when Haru sees them together, Yamaken teases him and Haru accidentally punches Shizuku, who gets angry. Asako tries to offer her advice, but Shizuku blows her off. Yamaken then lends her advice, and when he spots Yuzan in the school, steals her away to a classroom where Haru later goes seeking advice from Oshima. Yuzan enters and there’s a standoff, and Haru retreats outside. Shizuku follows him and make up. After apoligies and the conclusion of the festival, Shizuku asks Haru to give her more time to figure out their relationship.

This series’ first episode impressed us with how much Shizuku and Haru progressed as a couple in such a short time. Since those heady beginnings, Shizuku’s grades have suffered, and she’s been essentially backtracking ever since. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it would be somewhat unrealistic for two people with so little experience connecting with others to fully connect with one another too fast and easily. It’s been a bumpy ride, and both sides have made mistakes. This episode further analyzes their current situation, and also heavily involves the people closest to them. Natsume, Ooshima, and Yamaken all contribute to the analysis.

Yamaken spends a lot of time with Shizuku this week (and his cheekiness gets her punched) but she finds his remarks perceptive, and the two have the very slightest of flirtations this week. It’s clear Shizuku has the hots for Haru (and Haru is more than enough), but Yamaken may have more of an itch for her than he’s letting on. We also liked how both he and Haru reacted similarly to the presence of Yuzan – which leads credence to Haru’s insistence Yuzan has been – and still is – a bastard. As for Shizuku’s designs on Haru – she basically stalls for time. That itself proves she feels she owes him – and herself – more than a final rejection based on cold practicality. Humans need passion too.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

P.S. Shizuku has narrated in past episodes, including the first – suggesting all of this is in the past and this is her recounting of it – but she doesn’t narrate in this episode.