Chizuru Ōshima, Haru, Haru Yoshida, Kenji Yamaguchi, love triangle, Natsume, Natsume Asako, Oshima, Sasahara Sohei, Sasayan, ship, Ship (fandom), shipping (fandom), Shizuku, Shizuku Mizutani, shoujo, The Monster Seated Next to Me, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Yamaken
Ship, ship, ship!
Coming from the word relationship, shipping 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.
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.
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…
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.
- 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.
So Snippy has decided to tackle the “shipping” trend animeniacs hold so dear, has she? Well, you already know full well that as a nation member, it is a requirement to “ship” whenever opportunity knocks.
As for the show itself, I didn’t like the whole bookworm and energetic dude setup of the show because it was nothing new to me. Still, your “review” of the show gave me some incentive to consider it in the future…as long as I have time after finishing my Fall schedule. Let’s not forget Winter either.
Thanks, OG! The bookworm and energetic dude didn’t convince me to watch the show. It’s the lovely Natsume who did. And although I have leanings on yuri, I actually like her to end up with Sasayan. But oh dear how I wish this show has some yuri vibes for me to fully enjoy. Overall, I think it’s a decent show. I can put it with Arakawa and Kimi no Todoke.
Must be one cool dude to have you shipping a subtext het pairing. It’s all good miss Snippy. We need more guys like him in anime. It would make me less harsh on them…but for now, the large amount of idiotic male leads over likable ones is a good thing, I guess. It takes the spotlight off them and shines it on more deserving female leads.
Agreed. Idiotic males and no-sense-of-self-respect type of girls are what drive me away from anime. I didn’t see those here, otherwise I could’ve dropped it.
Thankfully there aren’t as many of latter doesn’t have as many as there are of the former.
You do know how to ship. I’m shipping Natsume and Sasayan as well— that old guy with her is just gross. Also glasses girl and Shizuku. Haru can have the nerdy blonde guy.
“Old” guy?! I didn’t get the impression that he was old, just oldER. He seemed like he was in his mid-20s or something. I could completely understand why Natsume was into him; he just had that cool, adult vibe to him with his laid back personality and mature outlook. And being as he didn’t even show the slightest interest in her, I thought the show made it pretty clear that the two as a pair wasn’t going to happen. Smoking habit aside, I didn’t find the idea of him “gross” at all.
Haru x Yamaken sounds about right, lol. I agree with Marina though, I don’t think Mi-chan is gross, his smoking habit is…
I kind of like how Natsume is having crush on Mi-chan. It’s pretty reasonable for a girl of her age to admire someone older, plus the whole love triangle only shows how gentleman Sasayan is.
Oshima x Yamaken might be an interesting combination.
To me it seemed like a good amount of Yamaken’s attraction to Shizuku came from his initial impression of her; it’s often that first meeting that impacts a couple the most. Here’s this girl who defended a guy who no one else dared to be close to, much less treat like a real friend. Her actions really showed how good of a person she was despite Haru’s rough appearance. She also looked plain cool. Outside of that, I had a hard time justifying Yamaken’s continuing pull to her since she was so brusque around him and overlooked all his advances.
Yamaken is a tsundere playing cool and Oshima is so timid, that might be an interesting pairing especially on how they’re going to spark friction.
I think Yamaken’s attraction to Shizuku is a fascination. He’s so used to getting what he wants and being liked by girls. Then all of sudden, he’s being ignored by this old fashioned but smart girl who rarely shows affection. So I guess that’s what he’s trying to understand. Imo, it’s kind of like unwitting-hard-to-get person is so worth it to pursue. :)
I didn’t even realize that Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun ended, the last episode didn’t feel like a conclusion at all. With that said, that means there’s probably going to be a second season. I’m rooting for Sasayan and Natsume all the way. She might not see it at the moment, but Sasayan is a great guy.
Looks like Sasayan gained more fans than Haru for being a nice guy. Everyone seemed to like him a lot.
I sometimes think about shipping like this, but when it comes to shojo I never really got the hang of it. The romantic dynamic always just came down to the main couple being separate from everyone else, which I suppose is part of why their relationships always felt like they were more interesting. With other ships it was a matter of if they would hook up, but with the main one is was more a question of when.
The main couple always have their own *moment* which sort of make them special but sometimes, for me, this either make or break them. Sometimes they super outshine everyone and the “when” part is tiring that they are becoming so overrated hence giving my affection to the secondary characters.
The thing with Sasayan and Natsume is they’re not potential pair in the beginning. It was somewhat original to see Sasayan didn’t have a potential girlfriend but it meant he did have no purpose to be in this show. Don’t know if it’s just me but I think he don’t have interest for Natsume, he tried to pair her up with his friend. I personally think Natsume fits Mi-chan-san most. Also Shizuku x Yamaken.
As for me, I already sense something with Natsume and Sasayan from the start especially when they first met-up in Michan’s place and went out together…
And, I think I do understand if people aren’t going to like Natsume that much because the story portray her as an air-headed hehe… But to me, aside from her humour, I like her sensible and sincere side. Likewise with Sasayan… I enjoy how both have low-profile characters that’s why I don’t really want to ship Natsume with Mi-chan :)
Btw, I noticed that it’s your first time commenting on my blog. Thanks for dropping by. :)
But Natsume IS the best character. She probably will end with Sasayan though I won’t read the manga for now.
Yep Natsume is the best character!! :)
I also decided not to read the manga since I don’t want to spoil myself. Let’s hope and wait for the second season.
Sasayan X Natsume for me as well. Of cause, this probably wouldn’t happen, but I also prefer Yamaken X Shizuku.
As a yuri fan myself, I’m also going for Shizuku X Natsume, I think they would had much more chemistry then Natsume X Oshima, or Shizuku X Oshima, I think the latter doesn’t even interact much, lol.
Haha… absolutely. I think Shizuku x Natsume combination is so fit considering how harmoniously opposite their personalities are.
For once in my life I’m actually rooting for the other guy. Haru just rubs me the wrong way for some reason. Sure, I bet underneath his troubled exterior lies a heart of gold but I don’t think that justifies some of his actions so far. Yamaken, I feel, fits Shizuku more. Yeah, he’s got a bit of Tsun Tsun going on (it gives him a certain charm I suppose) but that never transforms into something hostile. The Library scene with them is a perfect example. There’s a certain gentleness he shows her when he tries to help her understand her feelings. At that point, I was sold.
As for Natsume and Sasayan, I give them two thumbs up. Mi-chan-san is nice and all (I was rooting for them at one point), but the potential these two have is off the charts. The only thing that’s got to happen is Sasayan needs to grow a backbone, otherwise their not going to get anywhere.
Same here, I’m neither a fan of Haru. I just happened to think that he’s more suitable for Shizuku because he was able bring out Shizuku’s emotions through his immaturity. Aside from that, I think Yamaken is too normal and cool for Shizuku. I’m hoping there’s going to be a better character that we can ship with him. :)
Sasayan is really nice, eh? I think he’s feelings for Natsume is not fully developed yet since he tried to match his friend to her. So yeah, hopefully he’ll stand out more but at the same time, it would be nice if we can see Natsume realizing how comfortable she is with Sasayan and how nice he is to her. I think both need to show some effort.
I tend to really get into anime/manga couples, especially with shojo series, but not so much with Tonari. Part of it was because I wasn’t convinced about Shizuku’s feelings for Haru (her love confession came out of nowhere and seemed contrived to me, especially when she told him that he’s changed her world. He had been nothing but a nuisance up to that point, so I wasn’t convinced that she’d fall for him so fast). The other part was that I just couldn’t connect to Shizuku’s character – I found her to be boring. But I agree with you that Natsume was by far the best character.
My problem is more with Haru. I agree that he’s so nuisance but at the same time I can’t totally dislike him because he shows sincerity and innocence. As for Shizuku, I wasn’t too convince with her confession as well. For me it lacks sparks, however as the story progresses, I’d seen character development from her. Thanks to the side characters, Shizuku’s frequent and nice interactions with them keep the story interesting for me.
Btw, thank you for sharing your thoughts :)
No doubts about that – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun gives tons of opportunities to ship so many couples. As for Haru and Shizuku – well it was obvious from the day one that they are OTP of this show, however – I don’t know if intentionally – the way Yamaken’s character was created, made him a much better choice for Shizuku. At least when we think about it rationally, which isn’t wrong considering our heroine’s nature. I think that late episodes of this serie convinced many people that she should end up with composed, rational & ironic Yamaken, rather than with unpredictable, aggresive & crazy Haru. And that is example of an extremely well constructed love triangle – of course you can very soon tell who will be the OTP but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the losing underdog is only some dull and hateful character who exist only to create one tiny obstacle on the way of our happy couple. Nope – in here Yamaken not only seems to be more suitable for Shizuku but many fans prefers him over Haru. That is really something – to create an underdog for whom people root so much. Even better than in Tonari…, you can see something like that in Chihayafuru for example. Plots like that make shipping more complicated but also more interesting and exciting :)
As for Sasayan and Natsume – this show should definitely get a second season. If not for the main characters than for these two. They should give us something more about them.
I had an impression that Yamaken is the most underrated character but now it seemed like majority appreciates his composed nature. From a fan perspective, I’m rooting for him, however story-wise I don’t think he’s the right fit for Shizuku, I think he’s just too good to end up with the heroine and Shizuku would never really clicked with him–like I don’t really see any sparks on those two, which is something I find commendable as far as Haru is concerned regardless of his immaturity.
Btw, I’m glad to know that you’re another Ssasyan x Natsume shipper! Those two are really adorable. It’s nice to see also that you’re a Chihayafuru fan because it’s once of my favourites. :)
It’s your first time commenting on my blog and I really appreciate you dropping by. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)
Couldn’t agree with you more :) That’s why I’m so impressed how Yamaken’s character has been created. He seems like a perfect choice for Shizuku, they have much in common when it comes to their temper and fans respond to that very strongly. However from character development point of view we know that she has to end up with Haru, because that is the only way for both of them to change, grow up and learn something about themselves. With Yamaken Shizuku would never have to change – and the whole plot is about showing that you can’t only live for school/work or even your own, egocentric dreams, that you also need to connect with other people. And for Shizuku, she can learn that only with Haru. Again, that is a great love triangle ;) I love Shizuku/Haru dynamics but on the other hand I’m such a sucker for underdogs and Yamaken is a perfect underdog – we feel that he kind of deserves to win but we as well know that in this story he simply can’t.
Oh, Chihayafuru is right now my absolute no.1 anime – I love everything about this show. Btw, today is friday, so all day long I feel like singing and laughing because it’s Chihaya day and in a few hours I get to watch new episode – seriously, that’s all I can think about right now. That’s mean I’m really hooked, right? ;)
And as for your blog – I really love it :) I’m reading it for a few months now, though I’ve never commented before (I’m planning to change that), because I don’t feel 100% comfortable with my english but never mind about that. Anyway your blog is one of the main reasons I’ve decided to create my own :) You’re a great inspiration and your posts are always interesting and so perceptive… so, great job ;)
True, about Yamaken being underdog… Same here, most of the time I do favour the underdogs. Aside from the sympathy that we feel for them, usually there’s something about their characters that really stand out. For instance, Yamaken’s coolness and intelligence. As for Chihayafuru, Taichi seemed to be the underdog between Arata and him. Between the two guys, Taichi seemed to be working harder, which is one of his charisma that I really like.
And speaking of Chihayafuru, wow I’m glad to know that you’re totally hooked with it. ;) And indeed, Friday is truly one of the best days of the week.
Btw, please don’t worry about your English. I can totally undertand you. In fact, even native speakers have trouble with the English grammar. If ever you’re going to comment on my blog, rest assured that I don’t judge because I also do find quite a few mistakes on my posts. ;)
Once again thank you. I’m super glad to hear that my post became an inspiration for you to start your own blog. To know that is the highest compliment that I can ever get from a reader. It’s really heart-warming. :)