Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Weekly Update – Episode 6

Is Chizuru getting stuck in between Shizuku and Haru?

Shizuku is trying to come to grips with her feelings. This tightness in her chest, the blushing when she looks at Haru, all of this is distracting her, and she’s losing her effectiveness in studying and taking tests. And on top of that, it seems that Haru is spending more time with Oshima Chizuru (the dark-haired meganekko) and she obviously seems to have an attraction to him, and that’s starting to make Shizuku feel jealous. So she has to figure out what to do. And her decision? Ultimately, she decides to stop being in love with Haru. Compartmentalizing her feelings, she puts them away, throws them out, gets rid of them, and gets on with her studying.

*What* did she say?

But there is more than one person in love, and Haru doesn’t really know how to react when Shizuku tells him that she’s no longer in love with him. It’s seemed the trajectory in the last episode and a half has been for Haru to be getting closer to feeling in love with Shizuku, and now, she’s told him, in her typically blunt manner, that she’s fallen out of love with him. This solves her problem, but what is Haru going to do? Will this be Chizuru’s chance to make a move on Haru? Will she actually have the guts to do it? Or will we go back to a similar situation to the early episodes, where Haru loves Shizuku unrequitedly? There would definitely be a difference this time, because Shizuku seems much more comfortable with Haru as a friend now. But I’m definitely thinking that the pendulum will end up swinging back, and Shizuku will fall back in love with Haru (Wow, *that’s* a bold prediction! No, not really, but maybe this time the period of their pendulums will actually overlap).

Asako trying to get Shizuku to confide in her.

This episode also had a lot more of Asako and Sasayan, to the benefit of the show. After they had been very background the last few episodes, Asako is desperate to be a girl friend for *someone*, and she’d like it to be Shizuku. She wants Shizuku to confide in her, to ask her questions, to be close to her. And that’s just not who Shizuku is. Asako, despite being a pretty outgoing-seeming person, really doesn’t have much in the way of friends. Her internet friends aren’t really close, and seem to be a lot of guys anyway. And she just doesn’t seem to really be a popular person at school. Maybe that’s why she fits into a group with Haru and Shizuku. But being put on the outside by Shizuku, she starts getting down, and lets that be known to Mitsuyoshi, Sasayan, and Yuzan. Mitsuyoshi, who definitely is the most worldly of anyone in the show, tells her not to worry, and eventually Shizuku will want to talk, probably because she’ll have trouble with Haru soon.

What brings Asako and Sasayan to the Game Center together?

And speaking of Sasayan and Asako, they definitely seem to be together a lot, comfortable with each other, and compatible. Will they ever become a couple? Are either of them looking for that? Or would they just all of a sudden realize they want to be more committed? I definitely would like to see that, and think it would be nice for them. *romance goggles ON!*

I wanted to make special note of Hanazawa Kana’s voice work for Chizuru, also. This is the first role I can recall her having where she puts a really different emphasis on the character’s voice, so much so that it doesn’t just stand out as a usual HanaKana voice (which I tend to associate with Kuroneko, since that’s the one that recall most often). The somewhat breathy / breezy quality that her characters frequently have isn’t there at all, and I really like it (I like that quality, too, but it tends to make them sound very similar). After her role as Ichiko in Binbougami ga, this is another solid departure from a standard for her (although if you like that style, Tsunemori Akane in PsychoPass is a much more similar voice to the ‘usual’ one).

Can Shizuku really turn her feelings on and off like that? I think we know the answer to that, as most people have felt that bite of love that you just can’t shake off, no matter how much you try to refocus. We know Shizuku fought hard initially to not fall in love with Haru. And it’s not like Haru’s done anything (well, except stall on being more romantically in love with her) to push her away. So she’s just trying to turn off these feelings like it’s a switch or a spigot. And if she does that, will the loneliness that we see her have in flashbacks, where she spends Tanabata alone at home with her dad, because mom couldn’t make it home from work, and brother was asleep, or where she realizes the goldfish she’d like to have never were gotten, finally overwhelm her? She really doesn’t know what she’s in for, does she.

And will Chizuru make her move? She’s definitely got a crush on Haru, but when push comes to shove, she yells at him for not understanding that Shizuku is love with him and that’s why she’s avoiding him. Can she get enough confidence to actually tell him?

The only ugly this week was Haru’s face when Shizuku told him straight up that she didn’t love him anymore. The poor guy certainly wasn’t expecting that.

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