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My Little Monster
My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)
My Little Monster
(Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)

Anime Review

Shoujo is filled with romances and slow progress, shy girls and handsome boys. All the trappings are there for a reason, but at times they grow old. However, when a show comes by that tries a new spin on those old motifs, it sticks out. Romance? Comedy? It's all here but the characters make everything work - My Little Monster is its own unique beast.

Shizuku Mizutani is a dedicated student. She studies incessantly, obsessed with being the best in all her work. She enjoys the control she has over it: you simply study well, and you'll do well. Disciplined, icy, and distant, she quantitates and qualifies everything. If it can't be expressed as a math problem, it isn't worth solving.

My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)Which is why Haru Yoshida throws her for such a loop. His lackadaisical approach to school (he's able to ace any test without studying) and overly-emotional personality clashes with her so abruptly she stops to take notice. When she's asked by her school to convince Haru to stop skipping, the reckless boy attaches to her instantly and enlists her as a friend.

Shizuku finds his open emotions and honesty attractive, while in the same breath struggles to rein in his violent side (getting into fights really puts a damper on your relationship). They both have their own problems though, and Shizuku begins to come to terms with a side of herself she hadn't experienced before: her emotions.

My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)Most important part of a romance? The writing! It varies little in My Little Monster. Much of the time the dialogue is frank and sounds much more real than the stereotypical "anime" speech we get so often. Some occasional clever lines stick out, helping embellish the script. Sadly, much of Shizuku's inner monologue is obvious and boring exposition - yet this is toned down in later episodes and is less of a problem as the show goes on.

The cohesiveness of everything and the way the characters are brought into the audience's hearts is one of best aspects of My Little Monster. These characters didn't just spawn on screen the instant the show began, they had lives that went on prior to the story beginning. The director, Hiro Kaburaki (who also directed Kimi ni Todoke, another excellent shojo series), clearly has skills in this arena.

My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)The studio behind the show, Brain's Base, has a solid track record (Mawaru Penguindrum, Baccano!, and more); their work here is good, but nothing standout. But most important is the character design, and this show has excellent art there. All the characters pop and have distinctive looks. I also appreciate that they have real hair that changes, and not a single hairstyle that stays that way forever.

Perhaps the best quality My Little Monster has is that it feels honest. It feels surprisingly real. No one falls in love with the perfect person, and everyone has issues to work through. Acknowledging that makes this show that much better, and if you're looking for a fluffy, adorable, romantic comedy, My Little Monster is the monster for you. Just watch out for the rooster.

Reviewed by Ben Huber, January 2013

Below: Scenes from My Little Monster.

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster

a screen capture from My Little Monster



My Little Monster

My Little Monster Website Links:


Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun anime official website (Japanese)

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia


My Little Monster (TV) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia


Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun entry at Wikipedia



Below: Promotional illustrations for My Little Monster.

My Little Monster

My Little Monster

My Little Monster

My Little Monster

My Little Monster

My Little Monster






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