Tonari no Seki-kun Review

Tonari no Seki-kun Review

During our glorious years of school, we've all found ourselves staring off into space, plagued with boredom from that one boring history lecture. And soon you find yourself fiddling around with your pencil and suddenly the back of your notebook looks like a grand canvas to you and you start doodling a cartoon war.
But doing just the corner of that one little page does not satisfy your hunger for entertainment, so you decide to do a flipbook animation. You get so absorbed into that profound moment of absolute brilliance after it's completion that you don't notice the teacher standing right next to you and then "BAM!" with a hard smack on the back of your head, you are brought back to reality. And now you have extra homework on top of that one assignment that you forgot to do because you were busy playing video games all night. AND there's a test next day. Man! It's one of the reasons I feel glad that I'm a grown up now. But then I remember how much of a pain it is to be a grown up and... nevermind.
So, Tonari no Seki-kun is a short anime based on a guy goofing around during class and the girl sitting next to him trying to stop him. But most of the time, the girl ends up getting in trouble instead.
Now, this isn't about doodling characters or the pen fights on your desk like you would usually do, this is anime we're talking about. So things are going to be truly truly outrageous (random Taric reference, just give him a rework already Rito). Our protagonist Seki-kun aka "Master of killing time" brings something new to the table (literally) with every episode. And these things can range from sand to a Robot family to living animals. Now, a guy playing around with toys during class is interesting but it isn't that interesting. This is where the female lead comes in. And to be fair, the female lead Yokoi (and her VA Kana Hanazawa) single handedly carries the whole show. Since the protagonist doesn't talk, Yokoi does the job of explaining every situation via her internal monologues. She sees him playing around with his toy ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), goes on to give her slightly exaggerated reaction, explains everything about the game (because the games aren't normal most of the time) and then she either meddles with the game or tries to stop Seki-kun so he wouldn't get caught. And that is where all the fun lies.

Tonari no Seki-kun Gif 1

All of the games here are the games which will definitely get you into trouble if you were to play them during class. I mean, if you just randomly take out 100 or so erasers from your bag and start setting them up like dominoes (with some extra stuff for difficulty), you're sure to get detention if not an expulsion. Or if you whip out a pair of cats from your bag during class and expect to get away with it (we all know cats are a-holes, they're cute but they're mean). What makes these "games" so entertaining is that they are always elaborate, intricate, imaginative and well thought out. And they often don't follow the normal rules either. The games might be unconventional, but they're realistic. For example, a game of shogi quickly turns into a re-enactment of an actual war with pieces betraying the king or it becomes a love story on the battlefield. Now throw in Yokoi's wild imagination coupled with Kana Hanazawa's amazing voice acting, and you've got first class entertainment material to enjoy.
Speaking of Yokoi, besides the usual games, there is this subtle chemistry between the two main characters here. While most of time Yokoi tries to ignore Seki-kun during class, she always ends up finding herself involved in those games and often couldn't stop herself from interfering. Seki-kun on the other hand, remains quite most of the time but often 'expects' some sort of a reaction from her and does respond to her actions too. Though his motive for making those elaborate games is always to kill time. At least, that's what it seems like. You can always pretend that he was trying to get her attention from the start and now that she has noticed him, he can't help but do it over and over again (Can you ship them? Hell yeah!)

Tonari no Seki-kun Gif 2

Tonari no Seki-kun was done by the studio Shin-Ei Animation. They've done some of the most famous anime like Perman, Doraemon and Crayon Shin-chan. Even though they aren't exactly well known for their quality animation, they've done a good job here. Sure, there isn't a whole lot of detail here but the character designs are nice and fluid and the school backgrounds look okay. For a 7 min short anime, this is more than enough. Same goes for the background score. I've already talked about Kana Hanazawa's amazing talent as a Seiyuu (she does the opening for the show as well). And the ending sequence is pretty good too.

So, there you have it. A nice 7 minute short anime, catered to entertain you with it's imaginative premise. This is really really good. I highly recommend this, you'll do a lot more than just kill time with this one.


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