The Nardio Anime Review
Is Tonari no Seki Kun Worth Your Time?
Yes. It’s so much fun.
What Should I Watch it on?
You can watch Tonari no Seki kun on Crunchyroll. It’s a completed series so you can easily blow through the whole season in an afternoon.
What Did We Think Without Spoiling it?
Tonari no Seki Kun is a fun, short anime that will make you smile. You can enjoy the episodes in isolation or as part of the slightly loose story/plot. Every episode really shines because it’s something we can all relate to – being bored at school (or for adults, at the office).
Why it Works?
You just can’t help but smile at Seki-kun’s antics and the reaction of his “studious” neighbor Rumi. If Seki-kun were a real boy in US school’s he would likely be diagnosed with ADD because he never pays attention in class. Each episode focuses on how he deals with boredom in class. This ranges from polishing his desk to setting up a “mail service” for the class to playing shogi. It’s obvious through his antics that he is a very intelligent child who doesn’t find classwork stimulating. Beside him is Rumi Yokoi a girl with an impressive imagination. While watching Seki’s play, she visualizes elaborate battles and can’t help but get sucked into his activites, which leads to her not playing in class. The dynamic between the two is wonderful as Rumi gets more and more involved in Seki’s play under the guise of getting him to focus his attention to the lesson at hand. Eventually her stares are misinterpreted as looks of love by one of her friends with this joke playing out over a couple episodes.
While Seki might have his name in the title, it’s Rumi who literally carries the show as she is the only one who speaks and whose thoughts we hear. The voice actress does an excellent job showcasing the range of emotions she goes through from annoyance to squeeing over something cute. The simplicity of the animation works to the show’s benefit as it really highlights Rumi’s expressions when she does get angry or happy. As the show progresses you meet a couple other students in class including Rumi’s friend Sakurako Goto and Akiyasu Uzawa, Seki’s mortal enemy as Uzawa often gets in the way of his activities. For as short as each episode is (around five minutes) there’s a nice bit of continuity as things like the Transformers family and the Shogi and Go games make several apperances. It’s a nice little touch that draws you back in and sets up the rest of the events for the episode. Rumi’s interest and involvement in Seki’s games also plays out in the series as her grades end up dropping.
Do I wish the episodes were a bit longer? Sometimes, but honestly the short format just works perfectly for Tonari no Seki kun. The jokes don’t drag on and even the weaker episodes are fun because the show has no time to linger on the duller moments. Instead, you get an action and (imaginary) drama-packed snippet of a brief moment in time. There’s a good dose of humor in every episode and because each episode is so short, you can breeze through the entire season. I highly suggest spacing out the episodes though.
Oh and just as a side note, the opening and closing song are ridiculously catchy I often found myself tapping my foot to the beat.
I wish there were more episodes! Other than that, nothing. It’s perfect for those days you need to lighten your mood or simply for days you just need a good laugh.
- 21 episodes
- Available on Crunchyroll