Tonari no Seki-kun is a very lighthearted, funny anime if you are looking for a quick and meaningless hour.
The main character, Seki, doesn’t speak throughout the series, save for a few ‘shhh’ and ‘huh?’. The speaking and reacting is saved for Yokoi, Sekis classmate.
Yokoi is portrayed as a studious girl, but easily distracted by Sekis antics. She often becomes engrossed in the activity as well, creating a story in her mind about what is happening, resulting in missed classwork.
Every episode Seki seems to bring a new, odd item to class and somehow manages to get away with fiddling with it for the duration of the class. His antics usually begin lighthearted enough, such as playing shogi, before turning sinister, like when the red knights betray the red king and join the black king. There’s a mutiny in the red kingdom the prince kills the king and wears half of the shogi piece on its head. The twists are quite dark for such a fun anime.
Yokoi usually catches onto the sinister end game and thwarts it by flicking an eraser at the items or gluing the shogi king back together so he can reclaim the throne.
Often there is an unspoken battle between Yokoi and Seki. He tries to prevent her from interfering in his game, while she fights for him to pay attention in class or to stop being a monster.
Now if you are looking for an anime with originality, nice character progressing and dramatic cliff-hangers… you are in the wrong place. Each episode is a cookie cutter episode. There is absolutely no character progression, and each episode is wrapped up in the 7 minute time slot.
Each episode consists of:
- Yokoi noticing what Seki brought today.
- Yokoi watching Seki play innocently. She creates a scenario based on what’s happening, humanizes the game pieces.
- Sekis game takes a dark turn. Yokois internal picture follows that dark turn.
- Back and forth between Yokoi and Seki, Yokoi wins, saves the tortured imaginary characters
- Teacher asks one of them for an answer to a work question.
- The End.
The comedy is soft and fun while maintaining that small hint of mystery. Each episode it is a new toy, a new mini adventure, and a lot of good fun. It is 100% a light anime, and it is enjoyable to watch on a day you aren’t feeling the most attentive. There is no plot twist, no climax, not really any push to see the next episode other than that its funny.
This is what I am thinking Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan will become. Overall the series was not terrible. It was quite enjoyable. It was short, to the point and uncomplicated.