My Neighbor Seki(Japanese: となりの関くん,Hepburn: Tonari no Seki-kun?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Takuma Morishige. The series follows a girl named Rumi Yokoi who is constantly distracted by her neighboring classmate, Toshinari Seki, as he indulges in elaborate hobbies and somehow never gets caught in the process. Originally published as a one-shot in 2010, it started serialization in the November 2010 issue of Media Factory's Comic Flapper magazine. Vertical will publish the manga in North America. An original video animation by Shin-Ei Animation was released bundled with the limited edition of the manga's fifth volume on January 4, 2014, and a 21-episode television series adaptation titled Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time aired in Japan between January and May 2014.
Rumi is the main protagonist and narrator of Seki's games. She continuously attempts to pay attention in class but is almost always distracted by her neighbor's antics. She sometimes tries to make Seki concentrate on class by sabotaging his projects, but usually finds herself joining in on them, though Seki misunderstands these attempts.
Normally referred to by his surname, Seki is Rumi's classmate, and is a cheerful but mysterious character who is always playing games at his desk, which at times, include some elaborate setups. His activity bothers Rumi to no end, although he is almost never caught in the act by the teachers. In his desk is a complex array of objects that, if disturbed by anyone but himself, are impossible to put back together.[ch. 9]
Akiyasu Uzawa (宇沢 明康,Uzawa Akiyasu?) is a laid-back classmate who is easily bored and often gets in the way of Seki's activities.[ch. 36]Voiced by:Minoru Shiraishi
Sakurako Gotō (後藤 桜子,Gotō Sakurako?) sits near Rumi and Seki during art class and becomes Rumi's friend. She assumes Seki and Rumi are lovers because of the way they interact in class.[ch. 22]Voiced by:Satomi Satō
Takahiro Maeda (前田 高広,Maeda Takahiro?) is a classmate who sits directly in front of Seki. Because of his height and large build, he blocks the teachers from noticing Seki's activities.[ch. 20]Voiced by:Shigeyuki Susaki
Written and illustrated by Takuma Morishige, the manga began as a one-shot published in the August 2010 issue of Media Factory's Comic Flapper magazine, and later started serialization in the magazine's November 2010 issue. The first tankōbon volume was published on April 23, 2011, and five volumes have been released as of January 4, 2014.Vertical licensed the manga for North American publication under the title My Neighbor Seki, and plans to release volumes every two to three months starting in late 2014.
Rumi is concerned that Seki's domino show may cause a big explosion. Seki role-plays a soap opera plot with Shogi pieces. He polishes his desk. He makes a column out of sand. He makes figures out of go pieces. He plays with cats. He hosts a post office for passing class messages. He makes a huge rook out of chess pieces. Rumi looks inside Seki's desk but cannot fit the pieces back. Outside, Seki makes figures out of the chalk used to mark the lines on a field. He does origami. He plays kokkuri-san, a Ouija board-like game. He knits a cactus. He pulls out toy robots and has them go through disaster preparedness drills. While the class falls asleep to some music, Seki works on a jigsaw puzzle.
Seki plays Fukuwarai. He shows Rumi a card trick. At lunch, he role-plays with octopus sausages. He does another shogi soap opera. The day that Maeda, the guy in front of Seki, is absent, he plays games under his desk by using his feet. The class goes on a hike but encounter Seki's old messages about a demon and a castle. When Seki plays miniature-sized golf, Gotō watches Rumi's interactions and assumes Rumi and Seki are lovers. Seki role-plays with Othello pieces. He plays Jenga. He rolls a cube and makes stories. At swimming class, he has his robots role-play water safety. Outside, he hides in a pile of leaves. He has a group of miniature bears scale Maeda's back.
Seki excavates his desk for fossils and constructs a dinosaur. He tries out a variety of glasses. He pits chess pieces against shogi pieces. He tries out palm reading. When Rumi is absent, Gotō suspects Seki misses her when he role-plays with some paper dolls. He makes a flip book and annotates it with voiceover. Outside in the snow, he fashions a bunny but threatens to have it sink in the ice water, but Rumi saves it. He fashions a stamp seal out of an eraser, but Uzawa interferes. He makes a driving course with an RC car. He simulates a baseball game with magnets. Outside of class, Rumi catches Seki fabricating pictures of UFOs, and meets Seki's sister. Rumi's teacher is worried about Rumi's behavior and prepares a surprise bag inspection, but Seki uses that time to role-play with his robots. Seki has a tea ceremony. He pans for gold.
Seki fashions a logo and tries to brand everything in sight. He pits a rhinoceros beetle against other beetles. He plays a crane game. When Rumi, Seki, and Gotō draw each other, Gotō tries to capture Rumi's feelings, while Seki plays a marble maze game. During the sports day tamaire (ball toss game), Rumi is worried about a beehive underneath the basket. Seki does some sports day events where he paints his nails (and later his hands and feet) to emulate hard conditions. Seki pits Karuta cards against Hanafuda cards in a card-fighting game. Seki decorates a Christmas tree. During a self-study period, Seki naps on a pillow but it has a picture underneath it. On kite flying day, Yokoi spots Seki's robot family doing the activity.
Seki makes dango out of mud. He plays with Shogi pieces, but Uzawa interferes. He plays with a Magic Hand. He customizes a pair of jeans. Both Rumi and Seki's mother visit a lesson in class and Rumi meets Seki's mother. Seki takes care of potted plants. He uses his desk to sell various curiosities. He builds a model railroad inside his desk. He makes several clay figures. The class goes on a trip and Gotō fantasizes again about Rumi's and Seki's "relation". Seki plays with a mini pool table. He tries to fix a stubborn piece of his hair.
A 21-episode anime television series, directed by Yūji Mutoh and produced by Shin-Ei Animation, aired in Japan between January 5 and May 25, 2014 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. The fifth manga volume was released simultaneously on January 4, 2014 with a limited edition, bundled with an original animation DVD containing two additional episodes. The opening theme is "Meiwaku Spectacle" (迷惑スペクタクル,Meiwaku Supekutakuru?, "Nuisance Spectacle") by Kana Hanazawa, and the ending theme is "Set Them Free" by Akira Jimbo.
Over 2 million copies of the manga have been sold as of January 2014. The manga was one of the works nominated in the fifth Manga Taishō awards in 2012.
Karen Mead of Japanator liked that the anime put the detail into Seki's projects rather than the characters, and that while the show could have worked as a three to four minute short, that it gets stretched to eight minutes with opening and ending themes gives it a chance to build atmosphere and tension. Richard Eisenbeis of Kotaku called it "the most basic, yet perhaps most entertaining, anime of the season."