Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Weekly Update – Episode 7

Haru almost constantly surprises.

Shizuku is not in love with Haru. She told him that last week, and she keeps telling him that this week. Of course, when she told him that, that’s when Haru realized how much in love with Shizuku he is. So even though she’s asking him for a standoff distance of 2 meters, and vows to not let her guard down around him, he’s still around, and now trying to win her heart again. Along the way, he gets plenty of advice from Asako, who is really shipping ShizukuxHaru, and also from the unlikely source of Chizuru, who despite having a huge crush on Haru, can’t bring up the guts to actually confess, even after he says he got shot down by Shizuku. She’s getting friendlier, but can’t make the next step.

Could Yamaken replace Haru on the teeter-totter?

And now, excuse me a slight digression into “relationship metaphor dynamics”. While I used pendulum imagery to describe what I thought Shizuku and Haru’s relationship was like (two pendulums with different lengths will swing with different periods, but will be in sync at some point), this week the show pulls out a teeter-totter metaphor, showing a desktop toy repeatedly (in my opinion, it was a bit heavy handed, even) to symbolize the tipping balance of their relationship. I thought this was a bit inaccurate and a little overused. If their relationship is a teeter-totter, then what state would actually allow them to be a couple? Is this trying to say that if they are balanced, as a couple, that’s an unstable situation, and that the stable state of their relationship is one person up on it, while the other person is down? Right now, we’ve got Haru up, trying to win Shizuku’s heart, and Shizuku is down, trying to keep Haru at arm’s length (or longer, at 2 meters) to keep from getting distracted. Will they ever be at the same level?

Would any english speaker write those last two sentences?

Although it has to be said that for most of the episode, Shizuku’s strategy of keeping Haru from distracting her is working. On her cram school’s latest practice exam, she scored highest in the class – a class that Haru’s ‘friend’, Yamaken, happens to be in. He has a different perspective on friends, and claims to hang around with idiots because they’re fun to look down on. Shizuku can definitely see the attraction to this attitude, and will it be enough to sway her? Can she be that cynical? Or will her outright honesty prevent that sort of twisted mental image from developing?

A late encounter.

But at the end of the episode, Haru finds Shizuku waiting for him, to give him a package from Asako. Why does she wait for him? She could have just left it with Mitsuyoshi, couldn’t she? But seeing him gives him the chance to talk to her, and to try to make a move on her. But as he’s going in for a… kiss? lick? I don’t really know, but I know it would have really turned Shizuku against him, he remembers Asako’s words – “Nothing is more repulsive than being touched by a guy you don’t like” – and pulls back. But his closeness has definitely affected Shizuku, who hurries off with a blush. As we wondered before, how much can she really fight against the feelings she has for Haru? Nobody can just turn that on and off like a switch, and she’s had to work pretty hard to try to keep them off.  Will she fall for Haru again… before he decides it’s not worth it or gets scared off again?

Sometimes Haru’s foibles are a little too much to really believe. This time it was the licking. Far beyond Asako’s caution that being touched is repulsive, being licked by *anyone* is a very repulsive thing to experience, even if you like that person (except in *very* certain circumstances). But Haru does it once, and looks like he’s trying again when he stops himself. It’s hard to believe that Shizuku didn’t see it coming the second time, and my initial thought at her blush wasn’t that she was falling in love again, but was embarrassed and repulsed by his attempt to lick her.

Haru has been through some pain. This week we see his “aunt” Kyouko who for a short time was his mentor and caretaker. She tried to socialize Haru, somewhat, and she did apparently instill in him the desire to learn and know things, and perhaps that’s what makes him so good at retaining things he’s studied. But unfortunately, she passes away after just a few brief scenes, and who knows what that did to Haru, if he was opening up to her, and then having her disappear from his life. She does recognize the pain he has, and wishes for him to find someone that will ease it for him. How different would he have been with more time with her? Would he have been nearly the social outcast he currently is?

2 thoughts on “Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Weekly Update – Episode 7

  1. I find their on and off relationship pretty frustrating but I suppose their background stories make up for that erratic detail. And I didn’t realize until now just how much of an impression Yamaguchi made on Shizuku. After all, she did practically invite him to that festival. Next week’s episode sounds like fun! 😀 I look forward to your post.

    • Yes, he’s got quite the different outlook from the other new friends that Shizuku has, and it might be the kind of attitude that can be alluring when you get frustrated with, say, Haru’s antics, or Asako’s pushiness. But then I don’t know if she gave him the tickets because she wanted him to come, or because she thought it was what Haru would have done, like she said.

      And I agree, I much prefer a relationship that gets together and stays together, but we can’t have that in all the shows (or most of the shows). I do like that this show doesn’t really tease us with a lot of “near misses” as far as them getting together. It’s frustrating when they’ve got different feelings and both switch, but that’s the nature of it.

      Thanks a lot for commenting!

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