Adapting the original "" manga by Takuma Morishige in anime form, looks like it will to be one of the better comedies this winter season.
The story is all about school girl Rumi who spends most of her time in class both awed and shocked at the elaborate games her classmate Seki plays on his desk. Much to Rumi's exasperation, the boy never seems to get caught by the teachers, but to make matters worse for her, she is the one who gets scolded for not paying attention instead.
The first episode of "Tonari no Seki-kun" was hilarious and reminded me of "Nichijou". Both shows seem to share a similar, simple art style along with more alternative comedy brought by oddball characters.
Next to excellent comedy, and the stark contrast between Seki's steadfast behaviour conducting incredible games in class compared to Rumi's normal reactions of being baffled as well as worried, the series really takes it to the next level thanks to Hanazawa Kana's excellent voice work as Rumi.
Her performance helps carry the series by adding depth to Rumi's character, making her reactions feel as if she were an avatar of the viewer expressing their awe or disapproval to Seki's incredulous actions as well as disbelief when Rumi is the one scolded for misbehaving instead of the real culprit.
Am quite fond of Hanazawa Kana's voice work, she also voiced Charlotte in "IS: Infinite Stratos", Kanade in "Angel Beats!", Kobato in "Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai", Matou in "Black Rock Shooter", Mikan in "To Love RU", Mayuri in "Steins;Gate", Ruri in "Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai" and Nadeko in "Bakemonogatari".
Hanazawa Kana will also be starring in several other series this season, for instance as Manaka in "Nagi no Asukara", Kosaki in "Nisekoi", Ruka in "D-Frag!" and Mayuka in "Buddy Complex".
Although at first glance the simple plot and its limited setting may suggest the series could get boring, doubt this will be the case as the episodes are just slightly over five minutes long.
With such a brief running time, have no doubt that "Tonari no Seki-kun" is a comedy anyone can pick up and enjoy, so I do recommend it to all those looking for a good laugh.