Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 8: The Obligatory School Festival Episode

It's the obligatory school festival episode and Shizuku's class has decided to set up a horror booth. Shizuku plays a zombie nurse while Yoshida is some kind of vampire with a particularly vicious blood-lust. Yoshida's friends from the Kaimei Academy are among their visitors (Shizuku having earlier given her extra tickets to Yamaken). Yamaken gets lost and is helped by Shizuku but Yoshida gets jealous, prompting him to punch Yamaken only to miss and end up punching Shizuku. This causes an angry Shizuku to declare that Yoshida should stay two meters away from her. Afterwards, Natsume tries to comfort Shizuku but gets rebuffed, causing Natsume to cry and be comforted by Mitsuyoshi, who is there with Yuzan. Meanwhile, Yamaken brings Shizuku to an empty classroom in an attempt to get away from Yuzan. Yoshida, with Oshima in tow, has the same idea and, thus, Shizuku witnesses Oshima's love confession to Yoshida. Granted, it wasn't a clear confession but Shizuku is clearly bothered by this. Yoshida soon discovers their presence, causing another bout of jealousy, which is nevertheless interrupted by Yuzan's arrival. In his excited state, Yoshida unintentionally hurts Oshima before making his escape. Shizuku finds him later and the two of them admit that they both made mistakes -- Yoshida for hurting Oshima and Shizuku for rejecting Natsume. After apologizing to Natsume and being forgiven by her, Shizuku returns to work at the booth and the rest of the day unfolds without any further drama. That evening, after catching Shizuku trying to touch her hair, Yoshida demands an answer from Shizuku regarding their relationship and it is then that Shizuku admits that she is afraid of loving Yoshida so much that she would lose her focus. But after sharing a romantic hug, Shizuku asks Yoshida to give her more time to think about their relationship before giving her final answer.
I'm still enjoying the love story between Shizuku and Yoshida. I love that it's not dragging and from the onset, the characters have already confessed their feelings so there is no ambiguity here. It's just that Yoshida and Shizuku are so socially inept that they don't even know how to begin to have a relationship. Add to that their habit of misunderstanding their own feelings and being so painfully awkward, and the two of them together are a recipe for a beautiful disaster. You can argue that it's probably not even love but loneliness. The two of them have been lonely for so long, they don't know how to act with other people around and maybe misinterpreting their happiness at finally having someone to talk to for "love," but it's precisely because of that that there is no doubt in my mind that they belong together. This is true even though Shizuku has a formidable rival in the likable Oshima and Yoshida has an even more formidable rival in Yamaken. So it looks like the show is going for a love square with these four, but really, I'm rooting for Yoshida and Shizuku all the way.
On another note, the sparkles in the scene between Natsume and Mitsuyoshi is making me nervous. Please, show, don't go that way. Mitsuyoshi is too old for her and I can't see the two of them together without getting pedophilia vibes. Don't pair Natsume up with the baseball boy either because that would be too convenient.