My Little Monster
|My Little Monster|
Cover of the first manga volume, featuring main characters: Haru Yoshida (left) and Shizuku Mizutani (right).
(Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun)
|Original run||August 23, 2008 – June 24, 2013|
|Volumes||12 + 1 special volume|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Hiro Kaburaki|
|Written by||Noboru Takagi|
|Music by||Masato Nakayama|
|Network||TV Tokyo, TVO, TVh, TSC, TVA, TVQ|
|Original run||October 1, 2012 – December 24, 2012|
|Episodes||13 + OVA|
My Little Monster (Japanese: となりの怪物くん Hepburn: Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun?, lit. "The Monster Sitting Beside Me") is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Robico about the relationship between a girl named Shizuku Mizutani and a boy named Haru Yoshida. It was serialized in Kodansha's Dessert magazine from August 23, 2008 to June 24, 2013. An anime adaptation by Brain's Base aired from October 1 to December 24, 2012. It was also simulcast on Crunchyroll.
My Little Monster focuses on the relationship between Shizuku Mizutani, who has absolutely no interests except in studying and her plans for the future, and a boy named Haru Yoshida, who sits next to Shizuku in class but rarely attends school. After Shizuku is tasked with delivering class printouts to Haru's home, she meets Haru, who immediately greets her as a friend, starting their new relationship. Nicknamed "dry ice," Shizuku is renowned as a girl who is emotionless and cold. However, when she met Haru she was touched by his innocence and his lack of knowledge towards human relationships. Though known as a violent and uncontrollable monster, Haru is actually kind and gentle. Haru immediately declares his love towards Shizuku, but it takes much longer for Shizuku to realize and accept her own feelings towards Haru. Together, as two previously unsocial beings, they help each other learn how to care for others and make friends.
- Shizuku Mizutani (水谷 雫 Mizutani Shizuku?)
- Voiced by: Mariya Ise (drama CD), Haruka Tomatsu (anime)
- Shizuku is the female protagonist of the story. She is very diligent in her studies and dedicates the majority of her attention and time to focus on her academics. She met Haru Yoshida when delivering classroom printouts. She maintains a distant and passive demeanor, only changing slightly after her meeting with Haru. He expanded her circle of relations and extended her view and experience of emotions. She falls in love with him later on. She is rejected after confessing her feelings, being able to engage in a romantic relationship only after Haru's feelings are certain. She does not like losing her No. 1 rank, displaying much disdain when Haru continually beats her in exams. Haru sometimes ends up hurting her when he gets jealous or tries to protect her. She has had trouble in communicating with her mother, often worrying of the bother she would impose upon her work. Haru helped close the distance, and her relationship with her mother has improved to the point where she could call her on the phone, albeit nervously, about love problems. Shizuku and Haru officially become a couple in volume 8, although in the bonus comic at the end of the issue they realize that they had pretty much already been a couple before, just never officially put a label on their relationship. Although very serious and considered cold by many for her no-nonsense and blunt attitude, Shizuku nevertheless allows Natsume to affectionately call her "Mitty" (ミッティ Mitti?), a nickname which sprung up when Shizuku helped her learn the right things to study for the midterm retake test which resulted in Natsume considering Shizuku her first true and best friend. She often questions why she likes Haru so much. In the manga, she admitted to Haru that she was jealous of his personality and that he will never understand her feelings. When Haru runs away, she blames herself for it. However, when he returns, he offers for her to explain to him her feelings. Later, Haru tells her that he is going away for a year and wouldn't be back until next spring. Nevertheless, she stills remains faithful to Haru and continues on with her life. She lets Natsume do her makeup for her. At the end of the manga, she marries Haru and has a legal agency.
- Haru Yoshida (吉田 春 Yoshida Haru?)
- Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (drama CD), Tatsuhisa Suzuki (anime)
- Haru is the male protagonist of the story. He is seated next to Shizuku in their first year, although he was initially absent from the majority of the arrangement until his meeting with Shizuku. Despite being a trouble maker, he is a passionate boy willing to help others and make friends. He was able to memorize all the high school material during his absence from school, with this being reason for his performing academically well. He did not like going to school due to his classmates fearing his delinquent-like demeanor and glare. After meeting Shizuku, he takes her as his first real friend and starts to attend school while falling in love with her in the process. His statement is retracted a bit, though, as feelings were only bordering on "like," but not yet "love," unaware as he was. It is only after a bit later in the story that he falls in love with her for certain and they become an official couple in volume 8 of the manga. Haru sometimes ends up hurting Shizuku when he gets jealous or tries to protect her. He also keeps a rooster named Nagoya, later bringing and housing it in school (with the reluctant approval from his teacher). If he presents effort, he attains a great popularity with those around him, the majority of it being with girls. He is very cautious of Kenji because of his attraction to Shizuku. Haru loves Shizuku a lot. He has somewhat of a perverted mind, initially openly saying to Shizuku that he would "do" her and confiding in his "dirty thoughts" about her, but this seems to be more extended in the anime. He is in a different class from Shizuku in the second year, but this does not change their romantic intimacy. He is also feared by his teacher, Saeko, and is always frustrated by her interference in his activities. His father is pretty famous and rich, but Haru hates him. He helps Shizuku over come her fear of talking to her mother. He runs away for two weeks because he thought that he wasn't needed. Haru goes away to another school, but later comes back and marries Shizuku.
- Asako Natsume (夏目 あさ子 Natsume Asako?)
- Voiced by: Yuiko Tatsumi (drama CD), Atsumi Tanezaki (anime)
- Natsume is a girl in the same class as Shizuku and Haru. She has poor grades and doesn't have any friends outside of the internet. She primarily has an online life with mostly online friends. She initially asks Shizuku to help her with the midterm retake test in order to pass, which excuses her from remedial classes and allows her to attend a community gathering to meet her online friends. Shizuku initially refuses, but Haru decides to help her in exchange to attend the community gathering. However, she has difficulty understanding Haru's tutoring, causing Shizuku to eventually teach her. Regardless, the community meeting does not go well and her grades remain as is. Natsume treasures her friendship with Shizuku and Haru very much, also displaying slight/occasional possessiveness in their romantic relationship if something were to interfere. She was bullied and ostracised by her friends and classmates in the past, due to her popularity with the boys. She falls in love with Mitsuyoshi Misawa and is often comforted by Sōhei Sasahara when her love attempts fail. However, due to her major insecurities about boys, she has gotten into fights with Sasayan at times because she thinks his gestures of comfort (something she had never received before without an ulterior motive) are his attempts to woo her, thus in her mind he considers her worthless. She is shocked when Sasayan confesses his love for her and is unsure how to handle a love confession from a close friend (even though he said he is okay just staying friends, due to his knowledge that she is still in love with Mitsuyoshi).
- Sōhei Sasahara (佐々原 宗平 Sasahara Sōhei?)
- Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto (drama CD), Ryōta Ōsaka (anime)
- Sasahara is a boy in the same class as Shizuku and Haru. He is a popular boy in the baseball club and is often referred to as "Sasayan" (ササヤン?). He asks Shizuku how she got Haru to attend class because he attended middle school with Haru and he skipped that for 3 years in a row. He takes ownership of the rooster, Nagoya, only to return it since his cat is terrified of it. He cares about Haru, and doesn't want a repeat of what happened in middle school where Haru stopped coming to school. Although being considered very popular in school (much to the envy of Natsume and Haru), his core group of friends consist of Haru, Natsume and Shizuku. He especially bonds with Natsume and becomes her confidant throughout her attempts at finding love. Shizuku finds his constant cheeriness unnerving, while Haru considers him to be his best friend. Although always cheery, Sasayan can be especially blunt when it comes to his friends, such as giving Natsume truthful (but harsh) advice about falling in love with Mitsuyoshi and opening Haru's eyes about Shizuku's true feelings. Whenever he and Natsume fight (in part because she thinks his attempts at comfort are a come-on), he feels hurt that she only sees him as an "enemy" and not a true friend. However, he later falls in love with her and confesses his feelings to her in volume 9, even though he knows she is still in love with Mitsuyoshi.
- Kenji Yamaguchi (山口 賢二 Yamaguchi Kenji?)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (drama CD), Takuma Terashima (anime)
- Although he initially uses him, Kenji is one of Haru's friends. He attends the same cram school with Shizuku. Initially, he finds Shizuku strange but gradually falls in love with her and tries to win her affection. After being rejected by Shizuku, he distances himself from her despite his unchanged feelings. Later in the manga, after Haru runs away, he confesses to Shizuku that he likes her once more and says to her that he'll never make her worry. Shizuku considers this but later tells him that she cannot return his love. Later on, they mutually become friends. He also appears to have a poor sense of direction. His peers refer to him as "Yamaken" (やまけん).
- Chizuru Ōshima (大島 千づる Ōshima Chizuru?)
- Voiced by: Saori Hayami (drama CD), Kana Hanazawa (anime)
- Chizuru is member of the committee class, chosen because she wears glasses. She was helped by Haru after he beat up an upperclassman who was picking on her and after Haru said she was a nice person, she fell in love with him. She is very shy, a little pessimistic and anxious, and even though she likes Haru, she always gives him advice when he can't understand Shizuku. She is in the same class as Haru in their second year, and the class appoints her as the person to discipline and control Haru. Later, she works as a student teacher, but fails. Shizuku's brother has a crush on her.
- Yū Miyama (宮間 ユウ Miyama Yū?)
- Voiced by: Kana Asumi (drama CD), Sayuri Yahagi (anime)
- She is Chizuru's friend from middle school. She had met her boyfriend in middle school and accepted his confession the day he was about to move to another school. Although they don't see each other too often, they go on "dates" by playing MMOs together. She's proudly stated that she and her boyfriend have great teamwork.
- Yūzan Yoshida (吉田 優山 Yoshida Yūzan?)
- Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (drama CD), Yūichi Nakamura (anime)
- Haru's older brother, whom Haru seems to dislike. He keeps a rock in his room from when he and Haru were younger. The rock hit Haru and Yuzan said it was from the moon, to which in this memory Yuzan states that Haru hates him. Shizuku replies that Haru does remember because Haru has rocks in his room also. Haru runs away at the presence of Yuzan. He enjoys teasing his brother. Yuzan claims Haru has a brother complex, though this is denied by Haru himself. He came to take Haru back home upon their father's request for Haru to attend a nearer school where he has more leverage, although Yuzan does want Haru to continue going to school with Shizuku. It was stated that he was jealous of Haru because he was smart and was happy when Haru left. He blushes easily at women who flatter him. Later, in the manga, Yuzan starts to pay more attention to his father's view point of him. Yuzan has a thing for sweets, which he later shares with Shizuku's brother, Takaya.
- Mitsuyoshi Misawa (三沢 満善 Misawa Mitsuyoshi?)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (drama CD), Tomoyuki Higuchi (anime)
- Haru's cousin who acts as a fatherly figure for Haru, looking affectionately after him. Haru (and later Natsume) calls him "Mi-chan" (みっちゃん Micchan?). Mitsuyoshi often goes on trips with Haru and his friends, later earning the attention of Asako Natsume. Natsume eventually confesses to Mitsuyoshi, but he rejects her because he said he doesn't hold romantic feelings for her. Despite this, he does have genuine feelings for her and rejected her because of their ten year age difference after being prompted by Sasayan. He and Haru got into fights because he made Natsume cry and later because Haru went away without telling anyone.
- Iyo Yamaguchi (山口 伊代 Yamaguchi Iyo?)
- Voiced by: Yū Kobayashi (drama CD)
- Iyo is a first year attending the same school as Shizuku and Haru and is Kenji's younger sister. She is very aware of her good looks and uses it to prove a point sometimes. She falls in love with Haru, immediately thinking of him as "cool" upon first meeting. Iyo refers to herself in third person and is rather vain by comparing the superiorty of superficial appearance between Shizuku and herself, as well as thinking all boys have feelings for her. Though she gets jealous, she knows to sometimes hold back and doesn't hate or dislike Shizuku personally. Later, she goes on a date with Yuzan, in which her brother drags her away and yells at her for her "terrible taste in men." She is scared of her older brother and his friends and is usually left behind. She doesn't know that her brother likes Shizuku, but knows that he is in love with someone and got rejected. She wishes for her and her brother to find love with someone who wouldn't reject them.
- Takashi Mizutani (水谷 隆司 Mizutani Takashi?)
- Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu
- Shizuku's father. He is usually the one from Shizuku's family who has taken good care of her ever since her mother left the family. Shizuku's mother never really had the chance to take care of her daughter because Takashi is a "failure with work". Thus, Shizuku's mother had to work and never had much time to spend with Shizuku. Shizuku's mother often calls him "that man" or "that failure of a father/man".
- Takaya Mizutani (水谷 隆也 Mizutani Takaya?)
- Voiced by: Ayumu Murase
- Shizuku's little brother who has the same face as his sister and is mostly quiet. However, in the last chapter of the manga, he's in high school and is taller than many of the characters. He loves his sister greatly because she takes such great care of their family. He shares his love for sweets with Yuzan. It is also stated that he was in love with Chizuru in middle school as well as in high school when she was a student teacher, but later stopped pursuing her when Chizuru admitted that she had a boyfriend. They later unite at Shizuku and Haru's wedding, where Takaya confesses his love for Chizuru and claims that he won't give up.
- Yoshino Mizutani (水谷 吉野 Mizutani Yoshino?)
- Shizuku's mother. She is not displayed much in the anime. She is a hard working women and supports her family. She often never sees her family due to work. When it was Shizuku's birthday, she couldn't make it due to a storm. Shizuku, though used to it, is always disappointed. Later, with Haru's help, Shizuku starts talking to her mother more on the phone and asks her for advice.
The manga series is written and illustrated by Robico and published in the Kodansha magazine Dessert. It was serialized between the September 2008 issue, published on August 23, 2008, and the August 2013 issue, published on June 24, 2013. The series has also been released as 13 tankōbon volumes between January 13, 2009, and August 12, 2013. A limited edition version of the final volume was bundled with an OVA episode of the anime series on DVD. The series has been licensed in North America by Kodansha Comics USA, who released the first volume on March 11, 2014, with five volumes released as of November 18, 2014.[needs update] A spin-off manga series was published in Dessert between August 24 and November 22, 2013. Its chapters were collected in a 13th volume, released on January 10, 2014.
An anime adaptation was announced in the July 2012 issue of Kodansha's Dessert magazine. The series was produced by Brain's Base under the direction of Hiro Kaburaki with Noboru Takagi as script supervisor. It aired between October 1 and December 24, 2012. An OVA episode was released on DVD with the final manga volume on August 12, 2013. NIS America licensed the anime for release in North America. The opening theme is "Q&A Recital!" (Q&Aリサイタル！?) by Haruka Tomatsu and the ending theme is "White Wishes" by 9nine.
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