Hello there, Al here. Today’s review is for a shorter-than-usual length anime, just something to post while I’m busy with school and also while I work on other write-ups that’ll take a bit more time to finish. But despite the short length of this show, I think it’s still an anime worth checking out.
I’m sure everyone who has experienced going to school, had a moment where it became impossible to focus and listen to the teacher ramble on and on. Because of that, we try to find ways to entertain ourselves and kill time.
Seki-kun is just like us, and because he’s at the very back of the class, he has even more opportunities to find something to do rather than pay attention. But what makes him way more different than an average student in class twirling their pen around and aimlessly staring at the clock is the unexpected things he does in order to pass the time. Ranging from making a complicated domino sequence made out of erasers or even creating a dramatic storyline while playing a game of shogi, Seki-kun is filled with ideas for entertainment.
Meanwhile, a girl named Yokoi Rumi, who strives to be a model student, has the unfortunate fate of sitting next to Seki-kun in most of her classes. Despite her having the chore of dealing with Seki and his antics, she ends up being interested in what shenanigans he’s doing, to the point where she herself ironically gets in trouble with the teacher. Class after class, we get to see the creative ways Seki-kun passes time during class and also if Rumi can resist the distractions by her next door neighbor.
This anime is presented in a series of 21 episodes, 7-8 minutes a piece. While it’s definitely a shorter anime than most, the show —even sometimes a single episode— surprisingly was able to really entertain me. And I think one of the main reasons I would say that is because of Seki-kun himself.
As mentioned in the synopsis, Seki-kun passes time during class in a more unique way from what you’d usually see in the real world. The creativity and unexpected nature of what he does and his shenanigans while being at the back of the classroom really shines in this short anime. From creating a miniature golf course from a worn-out desk to even bringing in a live animal to school; there were so many random and bizarre things Seki did throughout this show, sometimes I would think to myself, how was it possible to do all of this without anybody noticing?
Another thing to mention about Seki’s random shenanigans is that some of what he does in various episodes happen to actually create a small, progressive storyline. Most notably the on-going war between shogi pieces, as well as the heart-warming story of a family of robot toy figures, the show often comes back to those events to add more to those particular narratives. And sure, he does some realistic things in various episodes such as knitting or cleaning his desk, but Seki-kun’s actions and Rumi’s inner thoughts do a great job turning mundane things into something fun to watch. One second everything seems normal, another second he could be doing something you wouldn’t even expect.
Seki-kun is a very ordinary person. Nothing really stands out when you look at him and the dude barely even talks. However, when we see him do his time-killing shenanigans, you can really see that there’s more to him than meets the eye. Creative, daring, relatable; despite him not talking or showing any interesting character qualities, I think this anime did a good job bringing life to a character and making them likable and interesting to watch based on his actions.
Yokoi Rumi on the other hand, while she is way more expressive than Seki-kun, she kind of feels similar to Seki-kun himself. She acts and looks like a typical school student but when she’s shown getting more and more interested into what Seki-kun is doing, you can see that she acts a little bit different than normal. Because we see this show in the eyes of Rumi, her sense of curiosity and imagination is shown in a great way and really helps make the story entertaining and funny to watch, thanks to her inner thoughts while watching Seki in class. You could also say Rumi had some character development in this show since each episode, you could tell she gained a little resistance from getting distracted by Seki-kun’s antics.
But another thing to point out is the ‘interesting chemistry’ I noticed between Seki and Rumi. Even though they’ve barely talked to each other, I feel like these two would definitely pair nicely together, really, as any kind of relationship whether that be friends, lovers, or just creative partners. With Seki’s interest in doing many things like acting out scenes with toys and Rumi’s intriguing imagination as shown in her mind when depicting what Seki does, for some reason, I can see the visionary potential they can both have if they work together.
As for supporting characters, there was, like, one relevant side character who added to the story a little bit … but their appearance was so brief, they were honestly a little forgettable.
visuals and arts.
The art style in this show is VERY simplistic. Everything from the character design to the color palette, there’s nothing that really pops out. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing since it still is pleasant to watch and also helps to display the silliness of this show. The animation in this show is, for the most part, smooth and pretty good!
I haven’t seen the show since I first watched it about a year ago but I’m certain Seki never said a word throughout the entire show and if anything, grunted or something along the lines of that. Seki still does have a voice actor, Shimono Hiro … but it’s a little bit difficult to talk about a voice actor’s performance when they didn’t actually say anything. However, Rumi’s voice actress, the talented and popular Hanazawa Kana, did a great job portraying her character. Hanazawa-san’s performance in this show does sound similar to her other roles in anime even though there are notable things about it, such as how well she did various reactions towards Seki-kun.
As for the musical side of things, the background music usage overall was well-executed and the different tracks were featured at appropriate times whether that be a happy or dramatic moment. But the opening and ending themes … just incredible. The opening is sung by Hanazawa Kana, “Meiwaku Spectacle” which’s a very short, speedy, pop track that’s perfect for a show with this short of an episode time. Meanwhile, the jazzy and extremely catchy ending, “Set Them Free” by Akira Jimbo, was an ED I could not skip. It’s impressive to see this kind of show having two really nice songs for the opening and ending themes.
closing – al’s final verdict.
I think this comment I found on a YouTube video pretty much sums up my thoughts on Tonari no Seki-kun..,..
“The formula is so simple, but at the same time so charming.”
— YouTube comment. lol
They are exactly right, that even though this anime presents the simple concept of how some guy passes the time during class, it’s the surprises and entertaining ways he passes the time during class that makes this show so enjoyable to watch. Seeing Seki do all of these bizarre pastimes you couldn’t imagine doing in real life and Rumi end up being sucked into his nonsense, I think this was worth binge-watching one night.
So, if you want to laugh a little bit and/or want to watch something a bit shorter than your regular-length anime, I definitely suggest watching this one.
additional pieces of information.
- Tonari no Seki-kun
Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time
My Neighbor Seki
- al’s review of a tv series, 21 episodes
- first time aired in the winter, 06.01.2014 till 26.05.2014
- from the studio of Shin-Ei Animation
- tagged under the genre of #comedy, #school, and #seinen
tagged under the subgenre of #slice_of_life, #manga, #school_life, and #short_episodes
- the age-rated as G
Thank you for reading! On the topic of short-length anime, I’ve seen a good amount and would love to review more for you guys. But I think that’s all I gotta say for today, be sure to follow #moe404 for more content and keep watching anime!
Until the next review~
© written by sliceofalfredo revised by nesha5971