Why I Dropped Tonari no Kaibutsu-kunPosted: October 23, 2012
Oh god I haven’t written a post in like three months. How do I WordPress again?
Anyways, I’m writing this as a post because I didn’t want to just jam it into one sentence and post it on Twitter. There’s still not a whole lot to say, but I think it deserves a few short paragraphs rather than 140 characters.
Also, sorry for taking so long to actually write something. School has been school, but I’ve also been looking into other things that could result in actually gaining some income, so that obviously also takes priority over writing stuff.
I have a couple of problems with Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, and I also have a couple of compliments for it. The lead male’s actions were questionable, and the first episode felt like a show of its own, but the character’s actions being questionable were what the show was going for, and the show was funny when it wanted to be.
So for the first two episodes, everything balanced out mostly, so I was left with a show that could swing either way for me, or just remain stuck in limbo forever.
Then the third episode happened.
Well, actually, lets back up for a second. I was actually annoyed by the end of the second episode, when Shizuku confessed to Haru, because there was absolutely nothing to warrant it. “Oh hey, my world is kinda different now that I actually hang out with people. I THINK I LOVE YOU.” No, dammit, that’s not how it works. I would’ve been okay with it if the message being conveyed was how two antisocial people were so secluded to the point of mistaking friendship for love, but that’s obviously not what the show was going for. However, it’s my policy to give a show three episodes before dropping it, so I thought maybe it could turn itself around.
NOW the third episode happens.
The first warning sign was at the very start, with a generic scene of Shizuku becoming tsundere and taking back her confession. I was actually somewhat okay with this, because it gave the show a chance to label her confession as a spur of the moment thing, and on reflection she didn’t actually feel that way. Of course, that’s not actually the case.
Near the end of the episode, Shizuka confesses again, and means it this time. Haru says he doesn’t think his feeling of love is the same of hers, and then we get this gem:
This is fucking bullshit.
For one, this is a shameless gimmick used by authors to artificially extend their series until the sales get too bad to keep going. They’ll just be stuck in their current position while going through a bunch of stuff until the author eventually has to make a final arc where the feelings are reciprocated. Essentially, you could watch this episode, and then watch what I’m assuming will be in the last episode, and you won’t have missed a damn thing. Everything from now until the end is basically filler.
The other, bigger reason is because… well actually I’m not sure if misogynist is the correct word, but Japan has found yet another way to make the plot about a girl waiting on all fours for the man to come around. The show even started as being about the unsocial guy learning how to feel things and interact with people, which honestly makes this switch look even worse.
It doesn’t help that all of these confessions feel completely shallow. The one exception is Haru confessing the first time, because he’s never been exposed to these kinds of emotions at all, so it’s overwhelming to him. As I said before, Haru hasn’t even done anything to warrant Shizuka’s affections. If anything, he’s done things that should prevent her from liking him.
“But it was an accident!” Fuck you, no it wasn’t. He let his aggression get the better of him to the point of not even wanting to listen to her and resorting to the one thing he knows: violence. It’s not even like he immediately felt remorse for what he did and apologized, like that one scene in Kokoro Connect (by the way, did I mention Kokoro Connect is a pretty damn good show?), instead he continued going forward and beat up the guys in the room.
And what happens after Shizuka tells him off, and she studies for her midterm and gets first?
YOU FUCKING SHOULD.
This is one of those shows where what the characters say they feel completely contradicts what it seems like they should feel given the actions that take place. Now, I’ve said before that dialogue is important for understanding a character to the fullest, but that’s only when it matches up with their actions. If what a character says or chooses to do is in contradiction to what they should logically feel considering what takes place, that’s called shitty writing. It means the author can’t portray a message correctly in a way other than blatantly saying it to the reader’s or watcher’s face.
But you know the worst part? This actually fucking works on people.
Look at Twilight, for crying out loud. Try reading the book without automatically trusting what the characters say and you’ll see how full of shit their choices and words are and how bad a writer the author actually is.
…Oh god, did I seriously just bring up Twilight?
Anyways, the way these kinds of authors make up for this is by having SUPER WITTY FUN TIME EXTRAVAGANZA one-liners that inevitably make it into GIFs on Tumblr and get spread around like the fucking plague. Usually because the quotes “omg so relate to me <3333333”, except only when they’re taken out of context of the show. Because if they were taken in context of the show, it wouldn’t relate to anyone, because their choices and what they say make no fucking sense considering what actually happens.
So that’s why I dropped Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.
Good to be back!
…Well, sort of back.