I LOVE this manga! One of the best and non-stereotype shojo I've read. The art, the story and most of all the characters are very appealing to me.
I gotta admit that the characters in this story are the strongest point of this manga. Shizuku, Haru, Natsume, Sasayan, Yamaken and his trio gang, Ooshima, Micchan, Yuuzan and their familis; They’re all awesome and special in their own ways well… except for few ones but they’re still lovable and adorable XD Every each of them especially the main characters get great character development, something that hardly exists in typical shojo manga ( I don’t read that much or it’s just I always end up picking wrong mangas with shitty characters =,=) but at the same time, the progress didn’t ruin their original self or turning them into someone else instead they just become a better person with the same old personality and attitude (Gawd, just how many shojo heroines who are strong-willed at the first part of the manga becoming annoying, whining, indecisive girls as the story goes on esp when they finally realize their feelings. But I'm yet to see this in Shizuku) Well, this part is hardly shown now but in few more chapters, we’ll see it especially with Haru’s character and with Shizuku in dealing with her very first love relationship in the future.
Since Tonari no Kaibutsu -kun is a character driven story so automatically the story is moved by its characters development and actions. But with Haru’s family issues, Shizuku’s mother and Micchan/Natsume/Sasayan relationship, at least we can anticipate something for the plot and story.Plus, this manga is only on its early stage so it’s too early to say that this manga is slow and the author has more room for the story development. I hope it wont be too long or dragging or dramatic wtv. Just sweet and cute, the way it is. Not to mention, it is a slice of life manga which is targeted to younger audiences too, so the story is just involved in everyday of teenage student’s life, no need for intense or twisted storyline, I think.
Okay, I like the theme that the author plays out in Tonari; romance, friendship, family, and individual theme, they’re just balanced and mixed so well and appropriate for girls teen-targeted manga. They’re not too simple or too complicated for weak teenage brain like mine to receive XD The physiological theme involving characters development also can be seen through Haru’s character, an abandoned child, wild, uses violent and fists to solve problem, unsocial boy that slowly changing into better, stable emotional person with the help of his friends and Shizuku of course. Yeah, it’s quite usual and ordinary in most of shojo story but Robiko sensei managed to display Haru’s mental growth distinctly throughout the story. Same applied to other characters too but Haru is the most interesting IMO.
Cute and pretty art. With Tonari I don’t get dizzy or blind by reading too much panels and dialogues. Art is important to attract new readers, it’s sad when a manga with good story didn’t get more attention than it should because of the art. I’m glad that Tonari get beautiful and cute art to attract the audiences. Reminds me of Ouran, as much as I love it, I got pretty hard time to read and nearly put me off because of its drawing. I’m relieved that I got the patience and kept reading because Ouran is awesome^^
so, if you're searching for a warm, light love story but at the same time, you want the enjoyment from its story, I highly recommend this.
*As I'm very lazy this is just my review from another forum so some might have read this.