Since this was a romantic comedy, I just had to give it a shot. Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu had quite an interesting premise to it. Whenever you get a show like this, it creates a hook to try and reel you in. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Is this one of those shows that succeed or fail with its hook?
Kyoutarou is fascinated by murder… so much so that he daydreams about killing all of his classmates… especially the prettiest and most popular girl at school, Anna Yamada. The plan is to cut her up with a boxcutter until he runs into her in the library. She’s working on their class project and doing a really terrible job at it. All she had to do was make a sign but she didn’t bother tracing anything out first. Lo and behold, she ran out of room for the title so she tried to tear a piece of extra paper to stick on the end. This led to Kyoutarou lending her the very murder weapon he planned to use against her.
By doing this, something inside of him begins to change. Maybe it’s the fact that Anna is about as smart as a box of dead wet rats but something about her just compels him. He blushes whenever he sees her and he sees her a lot because he can’t just look away. Especially when she’s walking to school and starts to get pressured by some random guy to add him on LINE. Even though it’s none of his business and he wants nothing to do with it, he comes to the rescue…. By hurling his bike into the river?
Whatever works, my dude.
The show takes us on this journey as we see Kyoutarou, rather quickly, ditch the whole grim reaper mindset and turn to a new sensation… love… although he struggles to believe that he really is falling in love. Anna, on the other hand, finds herself becoming more and more endearing towards him until she, too, realizes that the love bug has bitten her, too. What unfolds is a rather heartwarming tale!
I think the premise of the story pretty much explains this character in a nutshell. He’s a loner who dreams about killing his classmates. He focuses on Anna because she is the most popular girl in school and a child actor/performer. Slowly, he ends up falling in love with her but has a difficult time believing that due to his severely introverted personality. While he can talk normally in his head, vocalizing his thoughts proves to be a more difficult event to overcome. He easily gets nervous talking about anything but the issue is that we really don’t get to learn about why he became that way until the very end of the season… yes… season. That’s an important distinction because it almost nearly caused me to drop a nuke at the end of this review.
As a main character, I think a lot of people can relate to Kyoutarou. Not everyone is extroverted and outgoing and sometimes you just need that one person to break you out of your shell. Although, I think the lesser percentage of people who fall into the introverted category daydream about killing their classmates so maybe that aspect of him isn’t so much relatable, but the rest truly is. His mannerisms and his growth make you feel attached to him as a character and even though he sometimes has a lack of an outgoing personality, it still makes him really endearing. You find yourself rooting for him throughout the entire season!
I can almost hear the echoes of Adam Sandler in the background of the Deuce Bigalow film whenever Anna is on screen. If there is ever a physical mismatch, this is it but I’m afraid with it being 2023, if I go any further, I’ll get canceled on social media. Personality-wise, Anna is the direct opposite of Kyoutarou. She also loves eating junk food.
No, really.. she LOVES eating junk food.
I have no idea where she puts it all (that’s a lie. I think we all know where it goes) but despite the fact that she’s a child actor, she is really down-to-Earth. She keeps rather normal company at school and with her interest in Kyoutarou, it shows that her feelings are about as real as anyone else’s. Her sweetness is addictive as the sugary snacks she puts away with ease and you soon realize that these two are just perfect for one another. They play off each other so well that their shipping feels more natural than most romance series.
Honestly, I could go on but there’s no reason to. We do have Kana, Kyoutarou’s tomboyish kid sister who eggs him on and tries to nudge him into a relationship in the back half of the season, there is Shou, Kenta, and Chikara… the three class buffoons who add absolutely nothing to the show, and there’s even a bit of a love rivalry that is dead on arrival, rendering it a moot point.
The show made the right choice to put the spotlight on Kyoutarou and Anna from beginning to end because that is the story everyone signed up to see!
Art, Animation, and Sound
I do often sound like a broken record when it comes to slice-of-life shows but there really is no other way to describe them. Shin-Ei Animation did a fine job with the show. Backgrounds are about as good as you’re going to get in a series such as this while the character designs for the main characters were superb. Side characters were a bit generic but they are side characters. They are not the stars of the show so they can be afforded a generic design here and there.
The animation was about what you would expect from a TV anime. No sakuga to be found here but nothing seems choppy or out of place. Everything felt pretty natural and kept you invested in watching the story unfold.
The Sound was a bit on the generic side; however, there were a few flashes of brilliance here. Typically in a slice-of-life series, the sound is meant to be a form of ambiance, but there were a couple of tracks that stood out that actually get stuck in your head. One of which is the ending when you get the “Karte” title screen. You knew it was the end of the episode and segmenting the title into multiple parts and sprinkling them in within the ending sequence was a brilliant decision on the director’s part. It actually pulled a bit on the heartstrings because it always happened in some of the most emotionally intense moments of the episode.
So, the sound design on this one gets a few extra points for that extra effort
This is where I was going to drop the nuke.
The ending to any series is paramount… and I said on social media that “tomorrow’s episode” (which means I said this on a Friday night) would be the difference in me giving this a 4.5 or a 2.5.
Had I not seen that a second season was green-lit before I watched the final episode, this review would have been much, MUCH different. Because there is a second season, I am fairly sure it is safe to reveal that, no, they do not end up as a couple at the end of their 12-episode run. But… because there is more on the way, this is 100% forgivable.
As you can imagine… I am a MASSIVE fan of romance stories. To me… if you are going to put something on television… REGARDLESS OF THE SOURCE… it is your responsibility to send the viewer home happy. If there was no second season, then this would have been a non-ending ending and I would have absolutely hated the decision to go in that direction.
I would hate it because more often than not, a studio may go with a non-ending ending while banking on another season happening and then it doesn’t. Then the show gets left unresolved.
But Josh! Aren’t you always saying that anime is nothing more than an advertisement for the source material? Wouldn’t that entice people to go out and buy the manga?
Yes. BUT… there are people who don’t read manga. There are people out there that only watch anime. This kind of ending would have screwed them out of a conclusion to a story that they could have been emotionally invested in.
Be that as it may… as you can probably tell, I highly enjoyed this show but it wasn’t without its faults. I really think that they ditched the whole “Kyoutarou wanting to murder everyone” gimmick too quickly. Did I expect it to stick around for the entirety of the show? No. But I do think that they could have carried it forward for another episode or two and had his murderous tendencies fade out a bit more slowly rather than such a hard stop like that.
Another thing is the teasing aspect of the show. While the ending to every episode was really cute and made you want to see them get together, I think it was overdone too much. There’s good teasing, and then there is teasing that just becomes super annoying after a while. How many times are you going to get our hopes up and then go into the next episode without anything to show for it other than another 23-minute build-up to another tease and starting the cycle all over again?
Don’t get me wrong… the endings were some of the best parts but it just got too tedious to sit through them because you knew they weren’t going to get together. I’m not one where I demand instant satisfaction or anything but there were quite a few times the trigger could have been pulled to where it would have felt natural but it never was. Abusing the teasing aspect can quickly transform feelings of “OH! IS HE GOING TO CONFESS!!!?” into something akin to “OH, COME ON! THIS IS GETTING ANNOYING!”
This show started to stray into the latter. Some people find it cute and adorable and get their thrills off of endings like that… and I do too… to an extent. After a while, I don’t and this show turned good frustration into just plain frustration and that’s not a good thing.
Outside of that, I really enjoyed Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu and thought it was one of the best romances that I’ve seen in a while. Definitely will be picking up season 2 when it drops in January 2024.
Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu
Boku no Kokoro no Yabai Yatsu is a really cute and fun show about overcoming an introverted personality and finding love. While it overdoes the teasing aspect a little too much, it still tugs at your heartstrings and makes you feel things that you once thought were lost.
Great main characters
Very wholesome despite the premise
Episodes ending in a tease gets a little old
Main character’s gimmick is dropped a little too soon