Here we are, Day 3 and the half way point for Shorts Week. Hope you all have been keeping up, because today we are reviewing Tonari no Seki-kun! As always, beware of the potential spoilers as you read the review.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: The original manga revolves around a girl named Yokoi who sits next to a boy only known as Seki-kun. During class, Seki-kun continues to not pay attention and instead creates amazing little distractions, such as a detailed golf course with the course’s hole being a dent in his desk, or an entire dramatic war being played out by paper shogi pieces. Yokoi often finds herself getting reluctantly interested in his games, even though they always seem to end up getting HER in trouble with the teacher! -MyAnimeList
As is the common trend with shorts, there is really more of a premise that stays constant while each episode is its own self contained story in Tonari no Seki-kun. This anime is admirably consistent in its premise, with each episode playing out in basically the same way. It mostly is just Yokoi watching Seki do whatever he is up to and distracting her. With this in mind, it is easy to see how the anime could begin to feel very repetitive. However, Tonari no Seki-kun is not really meant to be watched all in one binge, but more like two or three episodes, and enjoy it for its random and silly humor with a relaxing vibe.
There is honestly not a whole lot of substance to the characters of Tonari no Seki-kun. Seki is probably the most interesting personality wise, yet the anime focuses most of its attention on Yokoi. All that being said, low substance characters actually work for this anime. As a short that is suppose to be relaxing to watch, it makes sense not to invest too much in character development. The characters are also not completely devoid of any development, with the primary two having pretty established personalities.
The animation is a little bit different than standard animation nowadays. It is a much more simple style, which fits with the mood and themes of the show, but can take some getting use to.
Much like the animation, the soundtrack fits well with the show, and is even a bit surprising (like Seki-kun!). The opening has quite a bit of variation that make it an excellent way to set the mood for each episode, with the ending being equally as fitting to close out.
Since there is not a lot of substance to the anime or its premise, the themes are fairly limited in scope. The show definitely puts an emphasis on creativity, and our responsibility to embrace our creativity. Seki lives this out, as he does some pretty wild things with otherwise ordinary objects or games. The short also possibly pokes fun at the Japanese school system in general, about how boring or painful high school can be despite it suppose to be the students “wild and youthful” days.
Final Score: 7.8/10
Final Grade: C
This show is so much fun!!! I really enjoyed my time with Tonari no Seki-kun. I really enjoyed that the concept was simplistic (and relatable as a student myself), yet had a lot of potential avenues of crazy exploration. It was always exciting to see just how far and how many different things Seki would do, and of course how Yokoi would react to it. There was always a creative spark present, and while the show can get a little old if you watch too much of it at one time, I would still say that I always enjoyed watching it. The two main characters were funny in their own way, and it was a lot of fun watching them interact through the various shenanigans. I must also say that the soundtrack is nearly perfect. You can just tell that the composer was having a lot of fun working with these quirky scenes. The music is surprisingly diverse and fits each moment perfectly (especially the quirky and humorous parts). The opening and closing are also a joy to watch, and don’t even get me started about the Robot Family song. Overall, Seki-kun was a great time. Definitely my favorite of the shorts so far.
Final Comments: Despite being very repetitive, Tonari no Seki-kun proves to be a relaxing watch with its simple concept, characters, and animation that most people can find easily relatable.
Thank you all for reading! Our next anime short to review is going to be Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken. If you want to see what shorts we have already reviewed, and are going to review in the future, check out the schedule in our Bonus Post Announcing… Shorts Week. Also, join us on our Twitter @RishRaffReviews for more Shorts Week fun and updates.