Welcome to my short winter anime rant post! Why a mini and not a thorough cover of winter anime? Because first of all, I’ve always been a more manga-oriented person. Second, I don’t watch anime as extensively even though I love it(kind of overlaps with point one but oh well…). Third, I only watch what I like, as in, I don’t really bother to check up on things that I don’t normally venture into(which is kind of hypocritical, unless people HIGHLY recommend it). Fourth point is unnecessary, but watching everything is a bit insane.
If you found the top part of this post pointless(which probably is) please read on!
The one thing in common between these three anime(besides being romance & shoujo) is that I followed all three of the manga series right from when they were serialised. When it was announced that all three were getting an anime this winter season, I had this hipster moment and obviously I couldn’t help but cry out to people that “I TOLD YOU SO.” It’s quite satisfying to know that manga that I’ve followed from the beginning(back when no one even heard of them) managed to receive anime adaptations. I guess in that sense it kind of tells us avid manga readers that they’ve made the cut(shallow comment).
Now to the anime. Only one was impressive. The other two were pretty disappointing and I’m kind of holding back a nasty word to describe them. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun exceeded my expectations. Kamisama Hajimemashita was average though it did have it’s little bright moments(nevertheless disappointing). As for Suki-tte Ii Na Yo, don’t even get me started. Pardon my French, but I thought this was absolutely horrid to put quite bluntly. At one point I saw a glimmer of light at the middle but boo…
I initially written a more comprehensive post but I decided to give each of these series an individual post since I was going way over the limit of a rant.
I’ll start from my absolutely favourite to the the absolute hated.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun | The Monster Seated Next to Me
So let’s start with Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.
The voice acting was amazing, the animation was amazing and the music was amazing. Tonari(which I will refer to now here onwards) did everything right in my book. It created a whole new dimension that had adapted the manga, but also stretched further to develop the manga’s world. It had it’s random and bizarre little moments that kept the anime entertaining and relieving it from some of its emotional density. The anime made everyone’s story much deeper and personal than I expected, and that just makes me give the anime another added tick. It’s really nice to see how Shizuku’s character in particular grows in terms of her relationships, especially in love. Her voice actress was conveyed Shizuku’s emotions so naturally and honestly, especially in times when she’s in a love dilemma. It’s been a while since I revisited the manga right from the beginning, but this anime adaptation made Tonari a really beautiful story and considering its predominantly about high school, I think its a major feat.
What particularly struck me was the music, I don’t mean the OP or ED, but those touching moments where Tonari’s epic piano tune just comes in and melts me away. I thought it that releasing it for fall/winter was incredibly appropriate with that in mind. Watching Tonari was like breathing in nice cold air in winter but knowing you’re nicely wrapped up, not indoors, but outdoors. It’s kind of mystifying.
Tonari’s essence in a song:
My informal rating, 2 thumbs up.
Kamisama Hajimemashita | Kamisama Kiss
Kamisama is a mix of good and bad, but what it does bad, it’s just horribly bad. This adaptation was pushing the bishounen studs thing like, WAYYY too much. I swear first three episodes I wanted to slap the heroine’s face. For the most part, all I remember is her drooling over Tomoe and we get all these ridiculously sparkly scenes of how kind and awesome Tomoe was. Whoever purposed to push these factors to infinity to beyond seriously needs to be shot. I knew romance was going to be a superstar of the manga, but I was hoping Kamisama would also get a little more Natsume Yuujincho treatment in regards of the historical and cultural contexts. I thought they beat the bishounen studs thing so hard that it made all the serious parts so pale. Especially the traditional music, it felt a bit superficial.
On the other hand though, whenever the anime wasn’t being extremely sparkly in regards to its male characters it was actually very decent and entertaining. I especially loved the dragon eye arc. One honourable mention is Kurama’s entrance music that never fails to make me burst out laughing, like seriously, it’s such a fantastic parody of J-rock.
My informal rating, one thumb sideways, one thumb up sideways(if that makes sense…).
Suki-tte Ii Na Yo | Say “I love you”
Finally, Suki-tte Ii Na Yo aka ‘Say “I love you.”
If I didn’t read the manga, I might’ve had a better reaction to Suki-tte Ii Na Yo. It reminded me of the other million, shoujo, high school romance animes that exist already and although they’re not exactly boring, they are extremely DULL. But wait a minute, Suki-tte Ii Na Yo isn’t DULL. I gave a near perfect rating when i reviewed the manga. This anime adaptation absolutely mutilated the manga and ate it, and spat it out again like 3x over. Relationship developments were a core to the manga and I feel like the anime just merely brushed the surface. Outsiders might enjoy Suki-tte Ii Na Yo, but avid fans of the manga, it is an absolute disappointment.
This was like Kimi ni Todoke 2.0 but Suki-tte Ii Na Yo isn’t about the purity or the innocence! Sure, the heroine might have similarities but Suki-tte Ii Na Yo is about real hot passionate love. This was an imaginary cloud with silver lining than the down-to-earth, solid and realistic story in which made the manga stand out. The way they handled smut in this adaptation was so horrible they might as well get rid of it if they want to attract the younger audience. The manga was far from innocence and purity, the mang-aka’s main body of work lies in smut.
The best thing about the entire anime was the ED. Suneohair really captured the essence of love in the song(don’t be cheesed out) and it really felt Suki-tte Ii Na Yo, too bad the anime couldn’t live up to it, not even by an inch.
My informal rating, one thumb down, other thumb sideways.
Thus concludes this rant post and tune in to my more detailed posts dedicated to each one of these series.