Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun ReviewKatrina Hummel
Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun is a new romantic comedy series that aired summer 2014, done by the animation studio Dogakobo. Ive actually never heard of this studio but theyve been around since 1978 and have had a hand in helping to animate many a title. They werent the main production studio in many anime I recognized, but from their work on Nozaki-kun, they must have been around for a long time for a reason. They have some really good animators there! The anime is based on the four panel manga currently still running in Gangan Online. For those of you who dont know, four-panel manga are just small little comics like how we would have in the Sunday paper. They dont have a particular deep story line, and just focus on the comedic aspects of whats going on.
Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun, in English is Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, because our main male character, Nozaki Umetaro, is a manga artist whose manga Lets Fall in Love is a monthly serialization in a manga magazine like Shonen Jump. Hence where the name comes from. Sakura Chiyo, is our poor female lead, who has a crush on Nozaki-kun. When she tries to confess her feelings to him, he mistakes her for a fan of his manga and gives her an autograph. Then when the poor girl tries to clarify by saying I want to be with you more! he invites her over and puts her to work on filling in the black spots of his manga. Well I guess she gets what she wanted? Soon, other assistants to Nozaki-kun start appearing and they all have their own part of Nozakis manga to help out on.
The characters are absolutely wonderful! You are laughing at them all the time, and picking a favorite is really hard. They all have very distinct personalities, and their characters, although already in a set development when introduced, have even more character development we the viewers get to witness unfold. Ultimately, this is a romantic comedy anime, so the development we see is romantic at its base, but I found myself actually forgetting about that a lot. I was too busy laughing at the characters just finding weird ways to flirt with, picking on, and just plain denying the existence of the person they have a crush on.
Even though Ive never heard of this animation studio, they did a really good job. The animation was solid, and the colors were bright and fun to match the show.
The Japanese voice acting and music were all really good, the music wasnt super distracting when it did play, and the voice acting all felt like it fit the characters personalities really well. Even Kashima, the girl who looks like a guy had a realistically deep, yet femine voice. I was quite surprised.
Overall I really liked this series. The romance is extremely subtle, so if romance isnt your cup of tea, I think youll find yourself enjoying this none the less. I was laughing so much, and when not laughing out loud, I had a stupid grin plastered across my face. The show is actually quite realistic in regards to what romance happens, because the characters arent really expecting anything, they just want to get their feelings across. Yea they fail a lot (like poor Sakura episode one....) but I think they realize that their friendships are more important to them than advancing anything romantically. I would recommend this to anyone who would just like a good anime for laughs, and nothing too serious. Even the most serious part at the end left me face palming. I have a feeling this series will also be getting a second series as well.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
"Hello! I'm Katrina, a senior in college and major in Japanese. My interests include anime and Japan, but recently also drawing and guitar. I'm looking forward to doing a lot of anime reviews!"
About the Author: Katrina Hummel
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