Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun

 

Similar: My Love Story

The Comic Artist and His Assistants

Bakuman.

 

Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: School Life Comedy Romance

Length: 12 episodes, 6 mini-specials

 

Positives:

  • So funny.
  • Instantly likable characters with great voice work.
  • Creative parodies of the shoujo genre.
  • Best failure couple.

Negatives:

  • How does this not have more episodes?
  • Low on romance in main couple.

Never has there been a more hilariously tragic tale of love than that of Chiyo Sakura and her crush on Umetarou Nozaki. Bards have sung dirges, tears were shed, embarrassment was had, yet it never stopped slaying the audience.

Chiyo confesses to her high school crush Nozaki; however, as a shoujo mangaka, he assumes she loves his work and gives her an autograph. Poor Chiyo. Wait, it gets better. He invites her back to his place – “So bold! So romantic!” – to…have her work as his assistant. Classic Nozaki. Unable to stop digging herself deeper, Chiyo ends up helping with research in real life, such as whether riding a tandem bicycle feels romantic to high school girls. She views everything from a shoujo perspective, which makes her perfect for the job.

I felt sorry for her failures in love, laughing all the while. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun lives on the dynamic between Chiyo and Nozaki, the key found in the believability of their personalities and motivations. His work is popular for his ability to tap into the emotions of high school girls, yet he couldn’t be more oblivious about Chiyo’s emotions in person – to be fair, she’s the worst confessor in the world. The opening scene was all I needed to love this anime.

Monthly Girls’ could have easily devolved into ‘the one joke’ territory – never a good outcome. Instead, it hits with new joke after new joke every episode, and even when it taps a recurring joke, a new spin keeps it fresh.

Many of the best jokes come from its deconstruction of the shoujo genre. For example, it shows how creepy all those “romantic” lines are from the boyish girl every other girl loves in shoujo manga, despite being a bitch to them – a trope I hate – and how annoying it would actually be to hang around someone with a gaggle of fangirls. Unlike shoujo manga, here someone is willing to beat the snot out of her. Oh what catharsis is made of. The tsundere is similar. Would people really find it endearing to have an over-aggressive girl attacking them constantly? Of course not!

Not since Full Metal Panic Fumoffu have I laughed this much and this consistently with an anime. I was still laughing hours later when down at the shops for dinner. Hell, I have laughed a dozen times throughout this review in recollection of my favourite moments. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is a great anime.

Art – High

Colourful art. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun uses colour to convey Chiyo’s emotions to great effect. I like the technique of the thought bubbles being in manga style. Creative OP to blend the manga-in-an-anime premise.

Sound – High

The cute, comedic music is good, but the acting shines brightest, especially Chiyo (in Japanese), who I expected would have that annoying squeaky voice given to every short high school girl wanting to be cute. She’s fantastic and her adorable manner is offset by Nozaki’s serious tones.

Story – High

A girl accidentally becomes manga assistant to her high school crush. Funny, charming, creative parodies, likable characters, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is one of anime’s most enjoyable series.

Overall Quality – Very High

Recommendation: A must watch. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is an easy recommendation anyone can enjoy. For maximum enjoyment, familiarise yourself with the shoujo genre by watching the likes of My Love Story, Ouran High School Host School, or Maria Watches Over Us. Of course, reading shoujo manga would be even better.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

CharmHilariousStellar Voice ActingStrong Lead Characters

Negative: None

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