Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun - 08
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The only thing better than an immature male lead is an equally immature female lead.
One of the biggest reasons I got hooked on the Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun manga before the anime aired was Shizuku. There are female leads that are strong and interesting, and then there's Shizuku: the emotionally immature girl with tsundere tendencies.
I guess it's this type of personality that makes her more likeable for male viewers. More often than none, shojo heroines come off as victims or shy girls needing to be rescued - the tried and true clich - rarely are they as stupid as the male lead. Now Shizuku isn't quite Haru levels of crazy/stupid/immature but she's far from perfect.
In many ways Shizuku is just as emotionally damaged as Haru. Though not evident now, her sole focus on studying has a reason behind it. Her life has also been affected in such a way that she's incapable of loving someone without the fear of having her grades suffer. In some way, it's just as bad as Haru's problem.
The episode wasn't all about Shizuku. Well it was, but Yamaken was featured a lot more than usual, for some obvious reasons. Whether it's to mess with Haru or not, it certainly would make sense for him to fall in love with Shizuku since Haru's got Oshima pining after him. Kind of like a last obstacle to clear before the couple actually get together.
Five episodes left for the romance to occur! The ultimatum has been set not and Shizuku's on the clock. Assuming that she'll find a way to love Haru - it wouldn't be shojo without it - she'll have to step out of her comfort zone and that's what the next episodes should cover. Yet another good episode from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun; a solid performance throughout.
Final Note: I didn't discuss the punch because I'm sure if you hated episode one for the controversial reasons, you'd hate it for this also.