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Ship, ship, ship!

Coming from the word relationshipshipping has been a trending term among anime fans. Why would it not be? Love is beautiful… and even more wonderful if romance is part of the picture. Ship is the idea in which two characters, fictional or non-fictional, are in an intimate relationship. As every shoujo-holic knows, the doki doki feeling makes the show emotionally engaging and exciting.♥

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is one of the shoujos that I followed last season. Initially I didn’t see anything special because its whole idea is simple—it’s the generic meet-up  make-up  hook-up format with sprinkles of humour and weirdness—Haru is an immature, violent guy and Shizuku is a cold-hearted, anti-social nerd. Both are bizarre and funny, but what enticed me to continue the show is the nice cast especially its interesting side characters. In many occasions, I was cheering more for different couples than Haru and Shizuku.

Tonari - Sasayan x Natsume

For instance, whenever things are going to a monotonous direction, Sasayan and Natsume usually step into the scene to make things interesting. They are the ideal nice guy x cute girl couple belittled by the whole wackiness of the show. They don’t steal the spotlight; they are lovely because both characters don’t have extreme personalities but possess something simplistically charming. Sasayan is just an ordinary baseball player but a true gentleman, and Natsume is academically below average but a caring friend but most importantly a blogger—how can you get cooler than that? I’m so hoping in the end, they would be together.

Aside from than, adding Mi-chan into their shipping creates an even more interesting love triangle twist.

Oshima, Haru, Shizuku, Yamaken, Natsume, Sasayan

Further, there are times that I found myself rooting Yamaken and Shizuku because Yamaken shows more poignant varieties of characterization than Haru. Although Haru is a better fit for Shizuku, it’s not so hard to favour Yamaken’s cool and witty closet tsundere persona, who’s confused of his feelings, compared to Haru’s aggressiveness and naiveté.

Speaking of Haru, he also happened to be the love interest of the megane girl-class rep named Oshima.  Their ship might have some supporters but since it’s pretty obvious that there’s no real competition going on among these three—making their love triangle lacklustre—it would be much better to have Oshima x Shizuku pairing.

As a yuri fan, part of my wishful and delusional thinking whenever I’m watching anime is to have cute girls do cute stuff together.  So instead of having Shizuku x Haru x Oshima weak dilemma, it would be better if we have Shizuku x Oshima instead. One is obviously sadistic and the other is masochistic—come to think of it, a follow-up doujin would be nice…

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun - Shizuku x Haru

Thus in so many ways, it’s interesting how media unleash our fandom and evolve our lenses to produce such appreciation. A lot of times we get so emotionally attached with the characters that we end up creating our own notation to express our enjoyment. More fascinatingly, this form of fandom often turns into our customized romantic version of the story.

As in the case of Tonari, the show offered me different pairings to ship that made me value and enjoy the show.


Side Notes:

  • Here’s hoping for a second season.
  • I still yet to read the manga.
  • Natsume is my favourite character last season~
  • Other shows that I’d seen this year that have many great shipping potential are Honey and Clover, Kokoro Connect, and Shinsekai Yori.