My Little Monster is a quirky romance about the relationship between an impassive girl named Shizuku Mizutani and a rebel boy named Haru Yoshida. She is given the task to take handouts to Haru Yoshida, since he has been absent since his lifted suspension from their school.
Haru takes a liking to her and agrees to go back only because she will be there. It is possible that he just needed a friend, and it didn’t matter who. His friend reveals he had been skipping class for years and no one could get him to stay. So, the “who” must have mattered. These main characters are both social outcasts and because of their personalities, have a hard time keeping friends. This shared isolation will soon bring them together. With her new buddy and new friends, Shizuku discovers it’s hard for her to focus on anything nowadays.
Shizuku Mizutani is a very obedient student, always studying and always at the top of her class. She is a loner and accepts it, as she never really cares about what others think of her. She has a cold and distant personality and doesn’t seem to like helping others. It is very hard for the other characters to get their feelings across to her because she can be very dense. This detached demeanor is pretty hilarious whenever Haru is trying to express his feelings toward her…she just misses it.
Haru Yoshida is a student who was suspended from school for getting in a fight with upperclassmen. His suspension was lifted but since he wasn’t at fault for the incident, Haru now distrusts the school. If he has anymore absences, he will be expelled. After meeting Shizuku, he returns to school and rarely leaves her side.
At the beginning, he is very aggressive and intimidating; this reveals itself to be a front. Haru is extremely intelligent, but extremely lazy. For example: at one point, he would have scored highest in the grade if he would have put his name on the test. This kid is constantly doing the strangest things and the students slowly get used to his bizarre behavior.
There are several side characters that all have some interesting oddities of their own. Asako Natsume is one of their classmates and becomes one of their good friends. She is clumsy and is a terrible test taker. She is shunned by girls because boys flock to her; she even over eats to look less cute to boys. Another friend is Sohei Sasahara, or “Sasayan”, who is definitely the normal one in the bunch.
He doles out advice and performs well as the sensible character. As do most anime, new characters come about that create love triangles. Kenji Yamaguchi is a student at Kaimei Private School who is very arrogant and prideful. It is a reoccurring joke that Kenji has no sense of direction and refuses to ask for help. It’s hilarious. He is one of Haru’s friends and becomes drawn to Shizuku. I’ll leave the fun details out so you can enjoy.
As for my personal opinion, this is one of my top ten favorite anime of all time. I am so entertained by Haru’s personality that I have watched this anime at least five times. He is one of my favorite characters because he is hysterical, awkward, and unpredictable. Every episode I was dying to see what he would do or say. I also find Haru and Shizuku’s back and forth relationship particularly relatable. They are constantly questioning how they feel about each other and trying to find the “right way” to express it. Relationships can be very confusing and this story definitely highlights their misinterpretations, mood swings, and expanding feelings. In comparison to other shoujo anime, it portrays more deviant behavior, but does not advocate it. There is a special kind of love between Haru and Shizuku where they definitely compliment each other.
The only negative thing I would say about this is a lot of the character development or background stories are left unfinished. We don’t get a lot of conclusions regarding certain relationships…it leaves a lot of questions. The manga is finished though so there might be more answers found there. Also without the almost extreme personalities, I could see this anime being a lot less interesting. The characters are all pretty relatable in some way. I like how many issues they seemed to delve into, even if it wasn’t for an extended period of time. The ending of the anime to me, insinuated that there would be a second season. But for now, we are left with only one.
Japanese Title: Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
NIS America, Inc.
Aired Fall of 2012
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Shoujo
Director: Hiro Kaburaki
Similar Titles: Ao Haru Ride, Kimi ni Todoke, Lovely Complex
Studio: Brain’s Base
Original manga: Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun by Robico
- One of the best entertaining stories
- Not enough character development