Alternate Names: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Episodes: 12 (English-dubbed version)
Genre: Shoujo, Comedy, Romance
Back in 2017, I came across this anime and decided to review it. Whilst many of my views from that first viewing of the series still hold true, this rewatch review contains several other aspects that I didn’t notice at the time. I also broke down some more information about the anime adaptation because I felt like it. This time around, I also “suckered” my husband into watching it with me which might have impacted some of my perceptions.
When Chiyo Sakura screws up a confession to the straight-faced giant that is Umetarou Nozaki, she somehow manages to get his autograph and is invited to his place where she is asked to become part of a team making shoujo romance manga. Shock-horror, Nozaki is a popular manga artist using the pen name of Sakiki Yumeno. Chiyo will go down the rabbit hole of weirdness and stupidity that is the world of Umetarou Nozaki.
First up, this series may begin with the confession, it expands to a larger cast in an organic fashion. The cast of the anime predominantly consists of high school students and three adults that give us an idea of the business side of the manga industry. The cast is as follows:
- Umetarou Nozaki: Our male protagonist and the object of Chiyo’s affections. He is so focused on creating shoujo manga that he misses the obvious fangirl in his midst… or does he? He has no experience with romantic relationships and what you see is pretty much what you get. He has a younger brother who makes one or two cameos during the anime.
- Chiyo Sakura: The friendly and cute female protagonist who has had a crush on Umetarou since the entrance ceremony of high school. She accepts Umetarou for the idiot that he is and still loves him.
- Mikoto “Mikorin” Mikoshiba: Mikorin is adorable if a bit of a moron. He has issues with girls but made matters worse by playing nothing but dating sims and trying to emulate best friend slash rival Yuu Kashima’s flirtatious lines. He has real issues talking to anyone but Chiyo and Kashima normally. He helps Nozaki with manga and is the inspiration for Nozaki’s character Mamiko because of his shyness. [Mikorin is a good example of nature versus demeanor.]
- Yuzuki Seo: Seo is Chiyo’s friend. She is a force of nature and oblivious to how her actions affect others in a destructive fashion. She takes special glee in harassing Waka from the basketball team.
- Yuu Kashima: Kashima is a young androgynous woman that taken on the role of the school “prince”, delivering cheesy lines to the girls of the school. She also has a bizarre desire to have Hori praise her alone after he invited her to the drama club during the entrance ceremony. She is also friends with Mikoshiba.
- Masayuki Hori: Hori is the head of the drama club. He doesn’t do acting anymore because he has stopped growing. He has a dysfunctional working relationship with Kashima who has to micromanage because she has very limited personal drive. Hori has a working arrangement with Nozaki, wherein he helps with Nozaki’s manga in exchange for scripts for school plays. He helps out at different times to the rest of Nozaki’s helpers as he doesn’t want Kashima learning about it.
- Hirotaka “Waka” Wakamatsu: Waka is a member of the basketball team and is the target of Seo’s harassment.
- Yukari Miyako: Yukari is one of Nozaki’s neighbors and fellow manga author that is also a college student. As one of Maeno’s longsuffering “clients”, she is commanded to draw ridiculous amounts of tanukis in her creations to satisfy his bizarre whims.
- Ken the editor: Ken is Nozaki’s editor. He is round and he comes off as exhausted by those around him, especially the fanboy Umetarou.
- Maeno the editor: Self-absorbed and uncaring of what his “clients” think, Maeno is obsessed with Tanukis and later elephants. He was dumped as Nozaki’s editor a year before the start of the show. Alas, Yukari hasn’t rallied enough willpower to do so as well yet.
Next, we see the use of a social network to give us insight into the cast members. Think of it as the six degrees of Kevin Bacon but with cross-dressers and people with mental problems. This aspect also helped us see several characters in a different light. I was considering using a diagram to show this in detail but I decided against it because I am slightly lazy and didn’t want to learn new software. Instead, I’ve decided to show a few examples in short form, focusing on Wakamatsu and Hori as they relate to Chiyo and Umetarou.
- Hirotaka Wakamatsu – Utemarou Nozaki (former member of the basketball team)
- Hirotaka Wakamatsu – Yuzuki Seo – Chiyo Sakura
- Masayuki Hori – Utemarou Nozaki
- Masayuki Hori – Yuu Kashima – Mikoto “Mikorin” Mikoshiba – Utemarou Nozaki – Chiyo Sakura
Rewatching this series was a lot of fun and I can see myself doing so again soon. Promises are made in the first episodes and those promises were delivered upon with relative ease. It avoided adding too many things that can date it, reducing the cringe value of say a giant cell phone. The humor is light-hearted and playful as well, avoiding mean-spirited mockery that I’ve seen in several other series. Characters are allowed to be themselves, as mentally ill and/or oblivious as they are at times. No apologies are made and the series doesn’t take itself too seriously. That makes for a really fun experience that makes me excited to watch the series again in the not-so-distant future.
Okay, it is time for my ratings of best girls and best guys. The eight students, which includes a college student, will be objectified for the general amusement of myself and others. Some of my ratings will not surprise people that have known me for a while. If you have your own ratings, I welcome you to post them in the comments section.
- Chiyo Sakura: She is kind and accepting of those around her. If only she had enough courage to confess properly to Nozaki.
- Yukari Miyako: Long-suffering and kind, Yukari aims to make others happy. Unfortunately, she lacks enough self-esteem to stand up for herself.
- Yuu Kashima: Whilst Kashima is assertive, her behavior tends to be all over the place when it comes to Hori. The whole “prince” thing is a bit weird as well.
- Yuzuki Seo: Whilst assertive, Seo lacks empathy and care for those around her. One might also argue that her “reality” is different from the objective reality of those around her.
- Umetaro Nozaki: What you see is what you get with Nozaki. Whilst a bit of an oblivious idiot, he is hard-working and seems to care for those around him.
- Masayuki Hori: Whilst his relationship with Kashima is a little strange, he is good-looking, assertive and smart. He is also hard-working.
- Mikoto “Mikorin” Mikoshiba: Mikorin is good-looking but lacks genuine self-confidence when it comes to “the ladies”.
- Hirotaka “Waka” Wakamatsu: Wakamatsu is a bit of an idiot but is good-hearted and good-looking.
This rewatch has placed this series as my all-time favorite anime series. I appreciated the humor and found the characters adorable even years after first watching the series. It also led to me recently picking up the manga series. All in all, I still love this show and look forward to watching it again soon.