My Neighbor Seki (となりの関くんTonari no Seki-kun) follows a girl named Rumi Yokoi who is constantly distracted by her neighboring classmate, Toshinari Seki, as he indulges in elaborate hobbies and somehow never gets caught in the process.
Review: / 5
Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of this anime first:
It’s super short. At 21 7-minute long episodes, this series is a collection of mini-glimpses into the lives of Rumi and Seki at school. This brevity doesn’t allow for a lot of development, neither in plot nor in character, which makes this show (and this review for that matter) difficult to gauge. It’s what I would call a surface series. There’s no depth here, no underlying meanings or big themes. I’d like to say that this isn’t a bad thing; it’s actually a good thing when we consider that’s what it’s marketed as. To me, it’s very authentic in the way it delivers light-hearted, comical and shallow escapism. This really is a good show if you just want to turn off your brain for a while, or if you are having trouble concentrating. Because the episodes are so short, it’ll probably be easier to consume then some other intense works. There’s no anime hangover, either, because you don’t get overly attached to the characters or invested in the plot.
This all being said, the lack of character development and cohesive plot leaves me a bit peckish. I need a little something more to chew on in order to keep going in a series. While it was amusing to see what Seki would come up with, the realism of him never getting caught was so far stretched. I know that’s the point, but it still lost a bit of credibility. It was never really explained why he didn’t get caught, which added to it’s unrealistic tone. Not seeing them grow was difficult for me as well. As a person who needs characterization like other need air, it was sometimes straining to stay with flat characters, especially when the episodes didn’t seem to connect.
Ultimately, this show is all right. It’s fair. It’s fine. It’s simple and easy, and in a way that’s what makes it charming. I enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t super flashy or intense.
Let me know what you think in the comments below! Do you know of any other anime like this? Are there any other slice of life anime series that do a better job at representing those simple and easy characteristics while still portraying round characters or a plot line?
Watch on, Annieme-niac!