Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time is the anime adaptation of Tonari no Seki-kun better known as My Neighbor Seki. Created by Takuma Morishige, the ten-volume manga series follows Yokoi who keeps finding herself distracted by her seatmate in school: Seki. Every day he brings some fun item or activity to class instead of paying attention to the teacher. Seki is a kid who has many interests and passions as the episodes roll on, Yokoi soon finds out that his eccentricities have no limits and every day is something new to look forward to!
Anime Adaption Executed Well
This comedic slice of life styled series adapts the manga pretty well and even the opening animation sequence speak to the absurd levels of fun that Seiki gets into, even hilariously animating them both on a light box on his desk and pulling up a mic to record lines for the anime. Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time is an anime adaptation that works well because the episodes are in short spurts of seven or eight minutes or so. This means the episodes are never too long, they never overstay their welcome. Plus as a bite-sized piece of storytelling, they strike the right balance that gives us the charm and fun of the manga so many people loved and read. The very ‘gag manga’ feel of the original works translates well into its anime adaptation to where I really felt it took very little effort to get me invested in watching the episodes as I once read the manga.
The Wholesome Formula
At first, Yokoi is a little Judgemental Judy and keeps reminding her classmates that school is not the time or the place for goofing off but soon she ends up distracted and pulled into whatever Seki has brought from home. The anime is very silly and very wholesome. I like the spontaneous spirit of Seki who just wants to kill time at school and all the fun he and Yokio, by association, get into each day. The episodes are affectionately named periods as in class periods so you can imagine each episode as just another adventure in another class where they sit near or next to each other.
By a few episodes in, you should get a feel for the formula: Seki-kun is doing his thing in a class with all his glorious slacker energy. Yokoi takes notice, the crisis is averted and either Yokio is reprimanded by the teacher, loses her place in taking notes in class, or Seki’s creature or game is destroyed or saved. Also standing at a G, aka the ‘general audience’ rating–Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time is safe to stream when the kids are around. No Attack on Titan levels of angst and violence around to scar the younger viewers in your household and short enough to get a t least a few episodes in a single sitting.
The Stand Out Episodes
There are absolutely several stand-out episodes! Episode six, aka the episode when the school does a disaster drill is when you’ll meet my favorite non-human characters in the show: Seki’s toy robot family who make themselves the stars of the episode! Feel free to see what they end up doing and follow their storylines, not just in this episode but later in the series! Episode 11, is another adventure when a non-human character, another toy of Seki’s, makes the episode a winner, in my eyes. Later In the series, I’d recommend episodes eighteen and twenty as great character development episodes that show off both Seki’s hobbies and Yokoi’s emotional investment in her near-daily interactions with him. Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time is a fun enough anime series to re-watch all the way through or just for these stand-out episodes that do a lot in the short run times that they are given.
Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time is a charming, hilarious short anime series of only twenty episodes that speaks to having fun and using your imagination. With episodes with run times of eight minutes, it is both a binge-able anime and one you can watch at your own pace. It is a silly, wholesome anime that has some continuity with certain characters and items that are fun to connect as the episodes roll on and even has rewatchability if you need a laugh or…just want to kill some time!
Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time can be streamed on the Crunchyroll app and website.