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Manga: Tonari no Seki-kun

Rumi Yokoi is a normally studious girl... who sits next to apathetic Toshinari Seki, who spends the day playing his highly creative games. As much as she wants to ignore them, she cannot help but get sucked into his stories and schemes. Hilarity Ensues.

Tonari no Seki-kun ("Next to Seki-kun") is an ongoing 2010 manga written and illustrated by Takuma Morishige for Media Factory's Comic Flapper compilation. The series later received an ONA and a 21-episode anime adaptation of 7 1/2-minute shorts for the Winter 2014 Anime lineup courtesy of Shin-Ei Animation.

This manga provides examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: Gotou's shared the spotlight on a couple of occasions, with her own fantasies about what's going on between Seki and Yokoi.
  • Adults Are Useless: You have to wonder how oblivious the teachers are sometimes. At one point, Seki even starts playing with two cats.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Seki is one, and Yokoi's brother seems to be one as well.
  • Apathetic Teacher: During one music class, the teacher plays a piece that causes her whole class to fall asleep.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Seki came to learn that just because Yokoi is sweet and kind doesn't mean she has no backbone.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Despite the setting being a mostly mundane school slice-of-life, some of the things Seki manages to achieve are literally impossible. Yokoi even lampshades on it.
  • Bland-Name Product: The clock seen at the front of the class is a Selko.note 
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Seki never pays attention in class, but is so extremely skilled in a wide range of hobbies that, at one point, he even made an animated TV commercial during class.
  • Cassandra Truth: When Yokoi gets in trouble for not paying attention during class, she attempts to tell the teacher that she got distracted by Seki goofing off. Of course the teacher thinks she's making it all up, because Seki cleans up very quickly whenever the teacher looks; when Yokoi saw that all his stuff was replaced with books and papers, she just gives up.
  • Character Development:
    • Unusual for a gag manga, but Yokoi is seen becoming stronger and more assertive over the chapters. Seki is aware of that, believing at one point her angry spirit has come to haunt him and get him to stop playing his games since she was too sick to come herself. Despite the actual complete lack of any threat, he complies.
    • Later on Seki begins to work Yokoi's involvement into his stories while the latter has generally stopped trying to persuade the former to stop his stories and pay attention to class.
  • Covert Pervert: Gotou's imagination regarding Seki and Yokoi's relationship can get a bit sexual at times.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Seki loves this trope. Usually the side getting the curb is the more sympathetic side.
  • Curious as a Monkey: Yokoi just wants to study. At the same time, even if she tries her hardest, she will get interested in what Seki is doing.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Yokoi's susceptible to this, particularly around cats.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Happens regularly to poor Yokoi, since Seki is fond of Downer Endings.
  • Expressive Hair: Gotou. She loves grabbing her hair to reflect her state of mind.
  • Facial Dialogue: Yokoi is apparently fluent in Seki's nonverbal language.
  • The Gadfly: Uzawa, even if it tends to be unintentional.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Gotou and Seki's little sister.
  • Gold Fever: Happens to Seki once. He cures himself after he unintentionally made Yokoi cry when he accused her of stealing.
  • Green Eyes: Mischievous Seki has a pair of green eyes to match his personality.
  • Heroic Mime: Seki will never say a single word. Yokoi is more than happy to fill in the blanks.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter/episode is called a "period", as in a school period, going 1st period, 2nd period, 3rd period, etc. The anime also adds a title, describing what the episode's about.
  • Imagine Spot: Once a chapter. Seki is the one playing and crafting but Yokoi, at the very least, has as much imagination as him.
    • It's actually amusing to see what happens once someone else notices Seki's games. Yokoi will always follow along with him, while Gotou actually thought he was playing because he'd been arguing with Yokoi. Gotou also has a lot of imagination though, but only concerning love.
  • Implausible Hair Color: Yokoi is a white-haired schoolgirl in an everyday setting.
  • Ironic Name: One meaning of Seki's name is responsibility.
  • I Wrote Our Story: The anime's opening credits feature Seki making an anime about him and Yokoi. He even gets Yokoi to say the last line of the OP ("stop it").
  • Jerkass: It's downplayed, but does Seki really need to make all his characters suffer like that?
    • Uzawa can also fall into this. While not an outright jerk, he has a habit of grabbing people's belongings, usually Seki's, without asking permission first. Even while they're using them.
  • Jerkass God: What Seki often is to Yokoi's eyes.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Or rather Like Brother, Like Sister. Seki's little sister is as playful and skilled as him, and she also has the natural talent to get Yokoi interested even when she didn't plan to.
  • Mood-Swinger: Oh boy, is Yokoi subject to this. It's lampshaded by Gotou in the manga and made blatant by the anime.
  • Mr. Imagination: Seki.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: On the outside, Seki is playing. On the inside, stories of epic proportions are taking place. At least, they're treated as such.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Seki was once so engrossed in a story, he actually made Yokoi cry. He stopped his game immediately, to her delight... then started another one.
  • Names to Know in Anime
  • Nice Girl: Yokoi in a nutshell. It's amazing the lengths she'll go to when protecting Seki's toys from his evil.
  • Not so Above It All: Yokoi is gradually leaning on this as the manga continues.
  • Not So Different: Despite how differently they treat their studies, both main characters are very similar. Yokoi is even seen playing along several times. It's not surprising people believe they are a couple.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Rumors about Yokoi and Seki being together started when a classmate saw Yokoi putting a letter in Seki's locker.note 
  • Old Shame: Seki treats his works when he was a child as this In-Universe. He's not helped by his classmates who keep mocking what he did, unaware he actually was the maker. Then, he subverts it, oblivious to the ends Yokoi had to go to in order to spare him the humiliation. Then we witness Yokoi going evil for the first and only time.
  • Only Sane Man: Yokoi thinks she's this, even though she's just as likely to get sucked into Seki's Zany Schemes as he is to start them.
  • Punny Name: Most characters have one.
    • An alternate character for Seki means "seat," making the title "The Seat Next to Me."
    • Yokoi Rumi can be read as "yoko iru mi," meaning "looking from the side."
    • Part of the kanji for Meada's and Gotou's names means "at the front" and "at the back," respectively.
    • Uzawa is a pun on "uzai" ("annoying"), and his given name Akiyasu is one for "akiyasui" ("loses interest quickly").
  • Satellite Character: Everyone who is not one of the two main characters.
  • Serious Business: Absolutely everything, for both characters. The greatest example goes for the robot toys. Yokoi will treat them like real human beings and do absolutely everything to protect them from harm. Same goes for Seki who is getting way too invested in his stories.
    • Mention also goes to the occult for Seki, who completely freaks out when a classmate messes with his Ouija Board, and knitting for Yokoi:
    Yokoi: It's not a simple crochet, it's an afghan double hook!
    • It's lampshaded by Yokoi's friends after she spent a whole night making cards to thank her friends when all they did was encourage her via little notes.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Occasionally, a chapter will feature a conclusion where neither Yokoi or Seki "wins".
  • Shipper on Deck: Due to misunderstanding Seki and Yokoi's interactions and her own overactive imagination, Gotou not only assumes that Seki and Yokoi are together, she's convinced they've already gotten physical with each other — even in class. She decides to support their "relationship."
  • Ship Tease:
    • Gotou's imagination aside, there have been actual hints of Yokoi liking Seki, most notably when she wanted to see him in a certain pair of glasses because she thought he looked really nice in them. In later chapters, Seki's mom openly approves of Yokoi being around her son since she's just as exasperated with Seki's antics.
    • The anime OP, which is Yokoi complaining about Seki messing with her feelings with his antics.
    • The two page manga illustration of Seki and Yokoi in Emperor and Empress Hinamatsuri doll costumes.
  • Shogi: Seki doesn't so much actually play shogi as create elaborate scenarios around the pieces, at one point pitting shogi pieces against chess pieces.
  • Shout-Out: Episode 13 of the anime features Seki being a Titan while eating his lunch.
  • Signature Move: Yokoi flicking her eraser.
  • The Silent Bob: Seki.
  • The Slacker: Seki, in regards to his schoolwork.
  • Spanner in the Works: Uzawa, much to Seki's dismay.
  • Taking You with Me: Happened once. Yokoi sure didn't like being scolded for Seki's goods.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Downplayed, but Yokoi has been showing more evil grins as the series goes on. Due to dealing with Seki.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In Seki's case, anything supernatural makes him shake like a little girl. Yokoi has used this against him before.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One story featured it with a dash of Our Zombies Are Different, since those happened to be weak to sunlight.


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