Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun – Anime Review
Synopsis: It’s the age-old tale: the girl’s into a guy that barely knows they exist. While all Sakura can think about is Nozaki, all he cares about is his manga publication deadline looming over his head. She unwittingly decides to help and become his assistant. Little did she know, but she now works for one of her favorite mangakas. Only she’s a he! And that’s the strange part; Nozaki is the creator of the popular shojo manga, Let’s Have a Romance!, under the alias of Yumeno Sakiko. (Official The Anime Network Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun quickly establishes itself as a purely comedic show right from its first episode cold open. Based on a 4koma manga, the jokes come hard and fast as the show presents its extremely comedic approach to the many one sided romances and everyday lives of its high school cast, a handful of whom also either are in the mangaka profession or end up aiding in the production of manga.
Tom: Nozaki-kun easily turned out to be one of the strongest comedy anime from 2014. While many comedies vary heavily with consistency episode to episode Nozaki-kun remains uniformly strong throughout its run, delivering a wholly wonderful experience. It helps that the entire cast of characters are a blast, making them wonderful to follow as the story is peppered with twists you wouldn’t normally expect. From the clueless Nozaki and love struck Sakura to the beloved and difficult Kashima and the young man constantly put out by her troublesome persona, Hori there’s a wide variety of characters to love.
Linny: The ensemble cast of Nozaki-kun is its strength, with personalities clearly differing from each other, offering all sorts of comedic opportunities that makes it likely that viewers will find a character or two to really grow fond of. One could roughly describe them all as idiots in their own ways, their main gimmick usually their cluelessness or lack of skill and finesse in a given field or situation, but that differs so much from person to person that they end up feeling more unique than alike. And best of all, given the rather silly and playful vibe, the show still manages to do a great job of helping viewers connect with its cast through their love lives or other personal issues.
Tom: Praise aside, the love story between Nozaki-kun and Chiyo, our main couple the show is centered around, is rather predictable and never actually goes anywhere. If you’re hoping for some kind of progression, know instead their relationship remains entirely stagnant. Thankfully the show doesn’t well on the ‘will they or won’t they angle,’ instead putting more focus on the interactions between it’s plethora of other cast members, like Wakamatsu and Seo’s highly misunderstood relationship, or Mikoshiba’s self-embarrassing flirtatious nature, allowing the world and its characters to feel full and fresh.
Linny: Considering that Nozaki-kun is based off a 4koma, it deserves a lot of praise for preventing itself from feeling like a bare bones presentation of minute long skits, something 4koma based comedies can often be guilty of. One could even use it as an example of an anime really adding to the charm and appeal of its source manga, and justifying its existence. The only major downside I can think of, besides the aforementioned predictable romance, is that at the end of the day, Nozaki-kun isn’t for those who dislikes comedies that are mainly a parade of gags and punchlines as the overall story does lack real progression.
Tom: Nozaki-kun boasts top notch animation and music that adds to the already strong comedic offerings. Without a doubt Nozaki-kun is one of 2014’s best titles and well worth going back for.