Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 12: The Year Draws to a Close

Natsume drops by the batting center to give something to Sasayan. Of course, Mitsuyoshi is there and she has trouble talking to him, let alone having eye contact. A friend of Sasayan's, Yanagi, gets teased about liking her but Natsume gets irritated and is rude to him, for which Sasayan scolds her. Then Sasayan guesses that Natsume is in love with Mitsuyoshi although Natsume denies this. Haru soon arrives to cheerfully announce that Shizuku has promised to go on a picnic with him next year. What he doesn't seem to realize is that a desperate Shizuku came up with the suggestion so he would leave her alone during the rest of Christmas break.

Christmas came and went and the friends are all busy with their own activities -- Sasayan with his baseball friends, Shizuku with cram school and her family, Haru with Mitsuyoshi, Oshima with her friend, while Natsume spends all that time online, pretending to have so much fun but really she's very lonely. Then she gets an unexpected call from Shizuku, wanting to know how to record the New Year Special for her brother. Natsume soon drops by Shizuku's house with Haru in tow and the three have a dinner of hot pot and sleep through New Year's Eve. However, at around 1:00 a.m., Natsume gets a call from Sasayan inviting them to come to the shrine, which is packed with people. There they find the usual suspects: Sasayan and his friends, Oshima and Yuu as well as Yamaken and his own group of friends.

Much later, they all move to the batting center's roof to watch the sunrise. While there, Natsume finally has her talk with Mitsuyoshi about love in general and how the right kind can help two people grow together. Natsume impulsively asks Mitsuyoshi to grow up with her. A speechless Mitsuyoshi watches Natsume walk away to join her friends. Unknown to both of them, Sasayan hears the whole thing.

I cannot believe this is the second to the last episode. Surely, we need a second season? Because things are not going to get resolved by next episode. I mean, what? Are they going to end with Haru and Shizuku deciding that they're a couple but then doing exactly the same thing they've been doing this whole time? This thing with Natsume and Mitsuyoshi...actually this was tastefully done. Natsume has a crush and she can't help it. And honestly, I really can't say that Mitsuyoshi isn't swoon-worthy because he is. That speech he made about love alone would have gotten me. But Sasayan, boy, don't. You're too precious to fall for generic girlfriend right there. Actually, Natsume reminds me of Hachi from Nana. When I think about it, she has the personality and story of a main character in an anime series, and I find it interesting that she isn't a main character in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. Instead, we have two side character materials as the main couple. Pretty clever reversal, show.