I don’t think that most shows would be able to make something as mundane as polishing quite funny. In fact, I don’t think that most shows would even try to do such a thing. Thankfully, Tonari no Seki-kun is not most shows.
After an elaborate domino maze and a completely unorthodox shogi game, one might expect that Tonari no Seki-kun would continue with the outlandish (though still somewhat realistic) premises that we’ve come to know and love from the series. Instead, episode three, “Desk Polishing”, is much more low-key. Nonetheless, it remains just as good as its forebears, and through its simplicity it allows for some actual character development. Well, sort of.
My first two reviews for Tonari no Seki-kun were way more lengthy than I ever intended them to be, so I’ll try to keep this short. How hard can that be, right? The episodes themselves are only around eight minutes each, after all.
“Desk Polishing” was about, well “Desk Polishing”. The people making this series don’t lie with their episode titles. Now, I can’t recall ever having to polish a desk in my entire life, but I must say, if it is anything like how this episode makes it out to be, it could be a surprisingly interesting way to waste time. Or a good way to get rid of a shogi board drawn in marker on a desk, naturally.
With “Desk Polishing”, the focus lies less on the event taking place and more on the interactions between Seki and Yokoi. I mean, we aren’t talking about deep conversations here or anything – after all, Seki-kun hasn’t said a single word up to this point – but the episode does serve to establish two things. One – Yokoi is interested in Seki-kun. I don’t mean that in the typical anime romance way, rather, my point is that Seki’s actions are more than just a distraction to Yokoi. As much as she may protest said behavior, she does seem to think that Seki-kun has a good side as well. Well, perhaps until the end of this episode, at least. Two – Seki-kun is quite aware of Yokoi’s interest in his behavior. He is distant from every other classmate, but he does seem to be opening up to Yokoi.
“Desk Polishing” was perhaps not quite as hilarious as “Shogi”, but not many things are. It was still a thoroughly enjoyable episode, in a series that is establishing itself as perhaps the best pure comedy of the season, and certainly the best “short” anime of the season. The pacing of the series remains absolutely superb – the episodes don’t feel too limited for the material, which is a common issue in short series. Hanazawa Kana is fantastic, as usual, and the animation remains completely effective, if not exactly brilliant. The OST continues to impress, as well, and that ED is really catchy. All in all, this was another quality installment of an addicting series.
Episode Rating: 8/10 – Great.
- I really do feel sorry for the guy who has to sit in front of Seki-kun.
- I really don’t think that Yokoi is paying any more attention in class than Seki is.
- I’ve had short hair for most of my life, so I never really got why people were so annoyed by static electricity. After growing my hair out a bit, though, I definitely feel Yokoi’s pain. Seki really went with the nuclear option, didn’t he?