WARNING: Avoid drinking anything while watching. This show is not liable for any snorting of said drink. Side effects may include stomach aches from giggle-fits and shortness of breath...
Story: 8/10 There is a special charm that only short anime possess, such as Hetalia, Chi's Sweet Home and Miss Monochrome. Among these easy-to-watch shows is Tonari no Seki-kun, whose episodes are a mere 7 minutes in length. Each segment is episodic without much of an overlying plot, although there are recurring themes. A creative boy named Seki-kun brings in nick-nacks to class and messes around with them rather than pay attention. Yokoi-san, the girl who sits next to him, reluctantly gets drawn into his activities. Her inner monologue of observations explain his schemes and give significance to small changes. Sitting at the very back of the classroom, the other students and teachers take no notice of whatever dramatic occurrence is taking place; when they do, it usually takes form in some misunderstanding. Much to her chagrin, Seki-kun never gets caught, while Yokoi manages to get in trouble instead. The fact that the two take each situation so seriously only amps up the amusement.
Art: 7/10 There is nothing very special about the animation, except for when it focuses on the games. The art does justice to Seki-kun's elaborate hobbies. The colors are light and happy, and the expressions of the characters take form in comedic ways. The only noteworthy character design is Yokoi, who sports white hair and a candy-colored girl's school uniform. The more detailed manga panels translate cleanly in the adaption. Overall, the simple style works wonders for the anime's simple premise.
Sound: 9/10 The opening is sung by the voice actor of Yokoi, and it's basically her general reactions to Seki-kun's antics. The frantic stream of thought within each verse is sung in one breath, and the fast paced vocals are complimented by lighthearted music. I have never once thought of skipping it. The ending is also addictive, with Seki-kun drumming on his pencil cases and school supplies.
Seki-kun never speaks, so you won't hear much of the seiyuu except for occasional grunts or laughter. Yokoi, on the other hand, is the prominent narrator. Kana Hanazawa does a wonderful job portraying Yokoi, but I did find her voice to be slightly annoying. It's a teeny-tiny mar to the overall execution.
Character: 9/10 You really wonder why a genius like Seki-kun doesn't put his talents and energy into other skills rather than waste time. The audience quickly sympathizes with Yokoi's plight, but like her, are drawn into every game. As the series progresses, we see that Yokoi starts to become more and more involved with Seki-kun's various distractions. This however would be the extent of any character development. I fell in love with this adorable duo almost instantly and I'd like the anime to speak for itself. Supporting characters have a tiny role, but they are amusing additions to the plot nonetheless.
Enjoyment: 10/10 This could potentially be the best comedy of the season, no joke. I'm really grateful to my little brother who introduced me to Tonari no Seki-kun. I'd definitely use some of the nifty ideas to pass time myself if I didn't get caught. Anyone who can pull off the antics should have the right to wear a T-shirt that says "Seki-kun like a boss." The style of humor is somewhat similar to that found in Azumanga Daioh or Lucky Star. I swear, it'll brighten up your entire day =D
Overall: 9/10 Oh gosh, I've started rambling. Anyway - I totally recommend this (especially to younger demographics and people who haven't seen anime before) if your looking for something family-friendly. It's an automatic favorite. Thank you for reading this review and happy laughing.