Another week, another Tonari no Seki-kun. Except this week’s episode, “Eraser Stamp”, represented a bit of a break from this series’ normal formula. By leaving the usual setting of the show and introducing a new character to interact with Seki-kun, “Eraser Stamp” managed to freshen things up a bit and prevent the series from feeling repetitive.
The first noticeable thing about “Eraser Stamp” is that it isn’t set in the usual classroom that all the past episodes have taken place in. Rather, “Eraser Stamp” takes place in what seems to be a science room of sorts, with Seki sitting across from Yokoi. The room doesn’t quite allow for Seki-kun to get up to his usual elaborate antics, due to its set-up. Regardless of that fact, Seki does manage to find something to do (besides paying attention) in the form of carving a name seal out of his eraser.
Since the anime started with a rather intricate set-up in the form of a domino course, I initially thought that most subsequent episodes of the show would feature Seki-kun engineering similarly fanciful Rube Goldberg-esque creations. However, it is clear by this point that Seki isn’t too concerned with showing off or anything – he simply likes to spend his time on random tasks, from board games to eraser carving. This episode featured what was probably the most “normal” activity on the the part of Seki-kun that we’ve encountered so far, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable.
What prevented “Eraser Stamp” from falling flat goes beyond the chance of scenery, though. Up to this point, the only person to really interact with Seki-kun has been Yokoi, the protagonist of the series. However, this episode introduced a new active character in the form of Uzawa. Like Seki, Uzawa is the type of person who is in constant need of a distraction during class. Unlike Seki, however, Uzawa is a rather free-spirited individual who has no problems messing with other people or their belongings in order to provide himself with such a distraction. Uzawa’s absent-minded antics are in many ways the opposite of Seki’s focused activities, and as a result, Uzawa is the first person we’ve encountered who is able to (unintentionally) put Seki off of his game, whether it is through messing with his supplies, taking his fingerprints, or in the end, accidentally breaking his carefully carved eraser seal (which was within its carefully created eraser seal case).
As much as I love his polymathematical procrastination, it is fun to see Seki-kun put in the same sort of spot that he frequently puts Yokoi in. And, more generally speaking, it is nice to change things up every once and a while. The enemy of series like Tonari no Seki-kun is repetitiveness, so I expect that we’ll have more episodes set outside of the main classroom like this every now and then. I definitely look forward to seeing more of them, as well as more of Tonari no Seki-kun as a whole.
Episode Rating: 8/10
- Yokoi and Seki are in despair.
- I can see why Seki-kun doesn’t need to pay attention in class – he is already clearly skilled enough to get a job in the real world as an artisan of sorts.
- Seki really likes erasers. I guess they are versatile. That, and his brand shares his name, which is always nice.
- One part of me really wants to read the manga, whilst another part wants to avoid it so that I am continuously surprised by the show. I’ll probably give in and read the manga. I am rather weak-willed, after all.