Monday, June 9, 2014

Anime Review: Tonari no Seki-kun

Sorry, sorry, SORRY! Sorry, for the massive delay in getting this post out. Things have been busy for me this pass weekend. We have moved out of our old house and into our new apartment (which still seems like a huge downgrade), but there is still a LOT of cleaning that needs to be done at the old house, which is what me and my brothers have been doing all of the weekend. Unfortunately, I was ill informed about this so I had almost no time to write a review what with going to the house, cleaning for hours on end, coming back to the apartment to sleep, doing it again in the next day, coming back to the apartment to sleep, and then having to go to work. Anyway, here's the much delayed review for Tonari No Seki-kun, A.K.A. Seki-kun, The Master of Killing Time.

You got to admit, the man has talent.
Rumi Yokoi is your average, diligent student. She's serious, she takes notes, and she always pays attention to the teacher's lectures. Or at least she would if it wasn't for the student sitting next to her. Seki never pays attention during class, he never takes notes, and he is never serious about school. What he is serious about is wasting his time, goofing off with whatever project he happens to be working on at that moment. What's more frustrating for Yokoi is that she can't stop paying attention to what Seki is doing since nothing is as simple as just a little game for Seki. Games of Shogi, Chess, Go, and even playing with toy robots isn't as simple as you would think with Seki, and, regardless of whether she wants to or not, Yokoi gets roped in one way or another. All she wants to do is study in peace.

Tonari no Seki-kun is very similar to the various shorts in Animaniacs like Pinky and the Brain. Each episode is only 7 minutes long and involves class starting, Yokoi seeing Seki-kun setting up whatever he is doing at that moment, narrating the proceedings, and things escalate with greater and greater insanity until the end with the standard punchline gag. I usually don't get drawn to series with this kind of set up because the ending is almost always a forgone conclusion (the Brain will NEVER take over the world because his plan is doomed to fail), and after the first episode the formula seems to be set that the conclusion will always be that Seki-kun will get off scot-free and Yokoi will be the one who gets into trouble. However, while that does happen sometimes, the outcome is usually different from episode to episode. Sometimes Yokoi gets the upper hand on Seki, while other times she becomes a participant of the games herself (willingly or otherwise). This helps keep each episode from becoming stale, and forces you to expect the unexpected, which is half of the fun of Seki-kun. You don't quite know what is going to happen next and things escalates so quickly from one event to the next that you don't have time to fully process what just happened before the episode builds upon it. A simple game of Shogi becomes a epic drama about a treacherous general and a game of Go becomes a competition between bears.

I'm pretty sure that's how you play Go.
There isn't much bad to say about the series. It's short yes, both in terms of episode count and episode length (with only 21 seven minute episodes currently) but that brevity works to it's advantage. Each episode doesn't overstay it's welcome, giving ample time to explore the gag to it's fullest and ending with a great punchline for each episode. And with only 21 episodes it doesn't take too long to get through them all, especially given the 7 minute length. Beyond that any other criticism I could levy against the series would be to work against what the series is trying to be, and would be unfair to hold it against it.

Tonari no Seki-kun is a great little series that is fun to watch and hilarious to boot. The comedy never misses and the gags are always something you never quite expect. If you have a few hours to kill, or just a few minutes each day, you should definitely check out  Seki-kun. It is Highly Recommended.

Watch Tonari no Seki-kun on Crunchyroll here:

Until next time (and hopefully ON time)

-Crescent, ROBOT FAMILY!


  1. Sounds great! High school comedies are usually fun, and the short length seems like it would be good for something to watch for a quick laugh. I will have to look into this one.


    1. Hang on, I forgot to post the link to Crunchyroll last night. It should be up now.