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Splitting episodes in half seems to be a popular thing to do nowadays, and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is just as good as the rest of them.
I'm a fan of the bitter-sweet. All happy and easy-going in the first half and then the sudden turn into the serious is something I quite like to watch, so for me this episode was good. There was certainly a lot of development in the plot and the characters are really coming together.
Oddly enough we learn about Shizuku's damaged past in a very comedic manner. This partly works because of the present situation and then the drama kicks in and it's actually decent enough to not be overpowered. Shizuku's finally the attention of the development, which was overdue. There's only so much Haru can change, not to mention the other love interest......
Yamaken-kun has now fallen for the bookworm in a very ironic turn of events. This was one of those moments where you don't know what to think, much less say. When I read the appropriate chapters of the manga, it certainly felt like it came out of the blue and it was never really an interesting part of the story.
More drama has been phased into the series with the rest of the episode: a fragment of Natsume's past, Yamaken's feelings, Shizuku's childhood. Natsume's little scene wasn't very well placed, especially since it had a very random outcome involving Mitsuyoshi. Other than her scene, the drama is working quite well.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun is interesting in this way. Personally, I detest mixing genres that much and more-so when it comes to any kind of romantic series. Teen drama is the most boring plot in any anime for me, but this series makes it work. Natsume's problems are probably the most outlandish - too pretty, so no friends - but the cast is a cornucopia of dysfunction that make for an interesting watch.
The love portion of Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun has taken a back seat in some way. It's still and I hope to see it return in grandiose style sometime soon.
Final Note: Love that beginning.