となりの怪物くん – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
studio: Brain’s Base; licensed by: n/a
genre: romantic comedy
quick summary: the school bully energetically befriends and pursues the school “studybug”, much to her annoyance and confusion.
I love lovey-dovey, doki doki anime. I’m a romantic at heart, after all. No matter how unrealistic, I always get caught up in kokuhaku (confessions). Meeting under the blossoming sakura trees and confessing your undying love to your sempai as the wind blows gently and sakura blossoms flutter all around you. And, oh, your sempai has always loved you, too! Chu~!!
Okay, seriously? Confessing your love point-blank to someone you probably don’t know very well? Um, no. And getting accepted immediately? Probably not. And being happily ever after? Please. Even I, the sap that I am, have limits. That’s why I love Kaibutsu-kun so much. Here is a romantic comedy that treats love like it really is: confusing and unpredictable and messy. Really messy, actually.
There’s nothing about Kaibutsu-kun that I don’t enjoy (unless you count the fact that I really, really wanted a second season!) The relationships between the characters, their interactions with each other, the tender truths in their words and actions, everything is real. (Okay, maybe Haru’s personality is a bit over the top, but even his emotions are painfully real.) It’s a sweet, funny story that I can watch over and over again.
The Kaibutsu-kun anime covers about half of the manga series (which is coming to an end this summer and will include an OVA! yay!). The anime ending is a little open-ended since it isn’t exactly the end of the story so I’m left to speculate about what happens to everyone. But that’s okay. Maybe the manga will be translated into English so I can read it. I absolutely prefer a semi-abrupt ending to the alternative: the animation studio disregards the manga and either changes the ending or creates an entirely new ending. This has been known to happen, and it’s almost always horrible. Maybe the OVA will tie up some loose ends; or maybe the anime will get a second season! A girl can dream ^_^