Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun Weekly Update – Episode 9

Is this showing the distance Haru needs to cross to get to Shizuku?

The loose ends started to pile up in this week’s Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Even though it’s been a month since Shizuku said she’d think about her relationship with Haru, she promptly forgot about thinking about it, and hasn’t come to any conclusions since. And upon realizing this, she doesn’t even know where to begin thinking about it, so she turns again to a person who’s given her advice in the past. No, it’s not Asako, even as desperate as Asako is for Shizuku to turn to her for advice. No, it’s Yamaken, who would rather not be giving her advice on how to work out her feelings with Haru.

Yamaken’s a tough one to figure out. He was never really ‘friends’ with Haru before, but he also wasn’t as blatant about using Haru. And Haru definitely seems to see him as a threat to his relationship with Shizuku, as it’s hard to see Haru reacting so badly to Sasayan or Mitsuyoshi touching Shizuku as Haru does with Yamaken. In fact, Yamaken is just a couple steps up from Yuzan in the way Haru reacts to him at times. But other times, he’s perfectly friendly. And while he tries to give off an attitude of not caring about what others do, cynical and arch, this week he finds himself curious about Shizuku, and wondering if he’s falling for her (oh man, that’s JUST what she needs). And Haru even asks him point blank if he likes Shizuku. It doesn’t *look* like Haru will pummel him for it, but Yamaken’s not saying…

Reading the paper because his store failed… again.

Shizuku’s dad is now a loose end, and is home when he shouldn’t be, and after Haru spills the beans that he’s there, he fesses up that he has (once again) bankrupted his store. For what we learn later on is the sixth time. This is the source of Shizuku’s mother’s absenteeism, since she has to work to make up for the failures of her husband. And she provides a role model for Shizuku, but there are some lessons that maybe Shizuku shouldn’t take to heart. How much closeness can there be between mother and father when mother isn’t home ever? There’s also seemingly plenty of resentment from Shizuku’s mother towards her father, from not mentioning him in her keep in touch fax, to not wanting to speak to him after being told the store failed, to the flashback scene of Shizuku’s mother leaving, announcing that she had to work because their father was a “failure.” This is the woman that Shizuku has modeled her life after, and given these scenes, it’s understandable that she doesn’t understand the place love can have in someone’s life, because there doesn’t seem to be any love between her mother and father. But thankfully, the show hasn’t made Shizuku into a man-hating person, as would be so easy to do with constant denigration.

And just because we need to confuse *more* relationships, the constant duo of Sasayan and Asako get a scene together (are these two ever going to realize that they’re already dating, and just make it official?), at a cafe when ┬ásome girls from Asako’s Middle School come in, see her, and start talking about her. And when she sees them, Asako remembers her time in Middle school, when these same girls were part of a group that she thought were her friends, but as soon as one of the boys one of the other girls liked confessed to Asako, they all turned on her, spreading rumors about her on the way. As she gets agitated and scared, in the way only she can, Sasayan finally catches on and overhears them talking cattily about Asako, but before he can step up and say something, someone else does: Mitsuyoshi. The most stable person in the show, he shoos off the girls, and we get to see the sparkle in Asako’s eyes as she falls for her new knight in shining armor and greasy hair and sunglasses. I think it’s pretty certain that Mitsuyoshi is not going to fall for Asako, although I’m a bit less worried about their age difference (well, if they waited a few years, 15 is a little young for a guy who’s obviously over 21, but 6 years apart later isn’t a problem). Will this spur Sasayan to make a move on Asako? Or will it scare him off?

Yamaken explains relationships, without being sure of what he wants.

The bad is the position that the two rivals for the main couple are now boxed in. Both Chizuru and Yamaken have feelings for Haru and Shizuku, respectively, but instead of being possible suitors, they’ve gotten themselves relegated to the role of actually helping the object of their affection with their relationship with their competition! How long will either of them stand for it? Or will one or both decide to just take whatever attention they can get, hope it doesn’t work out between Haru and Shizuku, and then be in position to make a move?

Yuzan didn’t show up, so no ugly stuff this week. Even Yamaken and Haru got along rather well, and Haru didn’t punch Shizuku either.

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