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Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san Anime Cover

Score: 7.12/10

Synopsis

Rumors tell about an ageless girl who only comes out at night, living in a mansion in the middle of the forest. Some say that she is a living doll with a soul. Upon hearing these rumors, Akari Amano seeks out this girl, only to find herself lost as she treks through the woods amidst the darkness. A vampire named Sophie Twilight saves her, turning out to be the rumored girl. However, unlike the vampires told in myths, Sophie does not attack humans and instead orders her blood online. Akari instantly becomes charmed with her doll-like appearance and proceeds to abruptly move in with her, thus starting their life together. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san is a nice slice of life CGDCT. It is not wildly humorous, it is not filled with fan service all over the place, and it does not have any big overarching story around it. It a nice simple slice of life with four girls as our main cast. The story is that Akari meets a vampire while wandering around the woods. She gets to know the vampire, Sophie, and decides to live with her.

We have 4 main characters and 2 lesser characters. The main characters are Akari, Sophie, Hinata, and Ellie. Akari is fond of dolls and keeps a lot with her. Upon meeting Sophie, she instantly falls in love with her doll-like appearance. This leads to her sometimes doting on Sophie, sometimes to Sophie’s annoyance. Sophie is a 360-year-old vampire. She is generally calm and she is an otaku. She has lost almost all common sense about living as a human instead of a vampire. Hinata is Akari’s best friend. She is overly fond of Akari. She wants to dote on Akari but holds back. But aside from that, she is just a normal girl. Ellie is another vampire and is Sophie’s acquaintance. Due to being asleep for over 100 years, she does not have the common sense of the present society, but instead still has common sense from that of 100 years ago. The other two lesser characters hardly appear on the anime, so it is not worth mentioning them.

A lot of the comedy uses the misconception of the characters, and of being a vampire. Like about they only drink blood, goes to sleep at the day, and turns into ash when exposed to sunlight. The comedy in this anime is light. Most are just thrown not for big laughs, but a few chuckles here and there. What’s great is that it doesn’t feel like it is trying too hard to make a joke. This anime keeps a good flow of atmosphere and the jokes do not interrupt that flow of events. This is one of the strong points of this anime.

The relaxing atmosphere it gives is soothing and the music compliments this flow perfectly. Along with the flow that is not broken by forced jokes, this makes it a delightful slice of life to watch. Just to let you know, there are some slight yuri bait and minimal fan service. This is a great light-hearted slice of life to watch. It is simple and fulfils its role to be relaxing and induces you with joy. There are not much to talk about in this anime, just a good slice of life done right.

Regardless of how I approach shows about vampires these days, I often try to keep my expectations low. It’s not uncommon that so many vampire tropes relates with horror fiction, romance relationships, and survival dramas. Most of them feels like watching some cartoon with defiled couples in a telenovela. However, watching Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san (Ms. Vampire Who Lives in my Neighborhood) gave me a different impression. Based on a 4-koma, this anime is easy to recommend but not may not be so easy to appreciate. It’s essentially a slice of life series that focuses more on making fun of the otaku and vampire culture rather than a complex story. I’d say the plot is forgivable at best with each episode tying the overall themes together. But really, don’t try to look for any sort of real story development. The storytelling is more about the misadventures of the character cast than anything else. With that out of the way, several things to also take note is humor and character connections the cast establishes with each other. From the first few episodes, it became obvious that schoolgirl Akari Amano takes a liking to a 360-year old vampire named Sophie Twilight. While this strikes as an oddball formula to set up for the series, it works with the fact that the creators wanted to establish an important relationship from the start. Not only does Akari and Sophie develop a close bond, they also begin to share similar interests. The most evident involves with otaku culture. But what evokes hilarity is a lack of common sense from Sophie considering her nature. She still has the mind of a child despite being over 300 years old. The creators made Sophie into an antithesis of a vampire. She’s not violent and has no desire for human blood. While she shares common traits of a generic vampire (like being weak to sunlight), Sophie also enjoys interests of an otaku. These include going to comic conventions and collecting otaku goods. It’s something you’d never expect a vampire would behave but the bottom line is that Sophie is nothing like the vampires you’d see in traditional horror flicks. Oh and she’s not the only vampire. Later in the series, we meet Ellie, a vampire girl who has known Sophie for a long time. One thing noticeable about Ellie is her characteristics that relates more closely to how vampires would behave. The show also pokes fun of Ellie’s personality by making her behave like a brat on many occasions. Still, she’s not malevolent and often acts more like a child similiar to Sophie. Thanks to her new friends, Ellie does learn more about the human society. Beyond that, we also get to meet Akari’s best friend Hinata as she also gets involved with our lovely vampires. There’s probably not many reasons to watch this show altogether but if you’re looking for a humorous slice of life anime, this is one to aim for. As I mentioned before, character chemistry is important that shows how close characters grow together. Akari and Sophie is the most prominent pair as the two become what seems to be more just friends. While this show isn’t truly a yuri, there are definitely moments that suggests a bit more than subtle romance. Akari’s attraction towards Sophie is obvious that even gets played for laughs when she gets nosebleeds. There are also many moments when Akari makes excuses to see her. For the more distinctive humor, the show plays around a lot with otaku context in particular with Sophie’s hobbies. She’s pretty much an indoor girl who spends her time watching anime, reading comic books, and buying otaku merchandise. As she is a vampire, the show also injects humor about her nature such as drinking blood (non-human), being weak to garlic, or sunlight. But as the title suggests, Sophie is pretty much a neighborhood vampire who really is harmless. As the art style also suggests, this anime is decorated with fluffiness and charm. The main female character are made as cute as possible with Sophie being the primary example. At someone her age, she looks like a doll that even other characters comments on. Similarly, Ellie retains a youthful appearance that will be deceptive to the naked eye. However, do take notice that the show has some fan service. While it’s nothing explicit, it exists and some scenes can raise some eyebrows considering the appearances of these girls. As someone who has read portions of the manga, the anime does manage to capture the overall look of the show. This series is probably one that people won’t be talking about for a long time. That’s okay though as I don’t see there’s much really to talk about beyond the character connections and comedy gags. The story really isn’t very impressive from the start and there’s little overall character development. Watching this anime is mostly aimed for those who want to experience a slice of life comedy and a dose of vampiric otaku culture.

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