Monday, 8 October 2012

My Little Monster - Episode 2

The opening episode of My Little Monster did more than enough to establish where the affections of the crazy yet lovable (when he wasn't threatening people, at least) Haru lays - so what about Shizuku's feelings?

Certainly, Shizuku is really struggling to get to grips with her emotions after Haru's confession and kiss, meaning that she finds herself increasingly distracted from her normal studies and work, seeking to do anything to get away from the pounding in her chest and the thoughts swirling in her head - emotions which Haru's continued presence certainly doesn't help with.

It seems that just such a potential distraction might have fallen into Shizuku's lap in the form of Asako Natsume, a good-looking girl by her own insistence (she's modest too, if you haven't noticed) who is nonetheless as thick as two short planks when it comes to studying - a situation which leaves her needing to resit her latest tests (as does Haru, because he forgot to write his name on any of the papers), in turn threatening to ruin a chance for her to attend an offline meeting of her online community, in itself a rare opportunity for this friendless girl to make some friends.  Natsume's pleas to Shizuku all fall upon deaf ears however, as our protagonist has no interest in helping anyone out, and has no idea why this girl is making such a big deal about making friends anyway.  It's a lesson that she slowly but surely begins to learn however, between Haru's continued attentions and Asako's desperation to pass her make-up tests... is it just what she needs to get a handle upon her own feelings?

While it would be easy to dismiss My Little Monster as "typical shoujo fare" at this point (and to be honest it pretty much is), I have to confess that Shizuku steals the show and manages to prevent the whole series from falling flat - watching this cold-hearted girl who has no interest in anybody other than herself grow, mature and develop is really rather enjoyable, particularly given her own narration over the story as it unfolds which in itself helps build her up as very much a likeable character for all her foibles.  Whether this, coupled with the show's rapid-fire pacing, will be enough to continue to drive the frankly implausible relationship between herself and Haru (who is a difficult character to believe in, let alone root for) remains to be seen, although at least Natsume's addition to the cast seems to balance things out a little more.  I'm still on-board so far for all of the controversy surrounding episode one; I really hope that My Little Monster doesn't let me down in the long run.

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