Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Anime Review : Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

What is Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun?

Also known as Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, The anime follows Chiyo Sakura, a petite high-school girl who falls in love with a fellow high-school students, Nozaki Umetaro. She mustered up her courage to confess, but mistakenly told the man that she is her fan, with the guy handing her his own signature in the process. Unknowingly, this leads to a revelation that Nozaki is a mangaka whose work is famously published in a famous magazine. Now, Chiyo has to help him out while trying to let him know her feelings.

And what do I think about it?

There are several mistakenly known facts about Romantic-comedy anime. First, they supposedly have more comedy than the actual romance, and the love are normally not realized upon by the main couple upon the end of the series. I have come across so many series to see that and sometimes, I was disappointed myself. When you include a romance in a genre, then you would expect to see a lot of romantic interaction between the main character and his/her love interest, whether they are a couple or not. And Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is one of them.

Well, I can’t blame them for it though. Normally, a rom-com routine is where two people, one of them had a crush on the other, interacts with each other a bit awkwardly due to their crush toward each other, and we all love them about it. However, after seeing the Ore Monogatari!!!, my perception towards Rom-Com has changed all-together. This anime might have come out earlier than Ore Monogatari, but I rewatched it just recently, allowing me to look at it with more insight.

Traditionally, a rom-com routine follows a girl/a boy, who has a crush with someone, hopelessly advances to the person in mind, only to either fails hilariously, or had second thoughts hilariously, to our amusement, just like what i said before. And Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun somehow revolutionizes it by creating several things we rarely or never seen before in a rom-com anime, and that worked wonderfully well for me. I normally, but not always, laughed out loud seeing the routine performed by Chiyo and Nozaki since they are so hilariously well-done at times, but when it doesn’t, it felt forced.

The anime follows Chiyo and Nozaki.
And of course, their comedic life with each other.

If there is one thing I absolutely love from the anime, it’s really the comedic routine. I’d say earlier that the anime creates several things we’ve rarely seen right? Well, I always laughed out loud. They are absurd, yet are so damn entertaining. Chiyo and Nozaki struggling in rain, Nozaki’s attempt to surprise Chiyo at school, and of course, the boys spending the night on Nozaki’s apartment, those moments are memorable for me and something I have never seen before. I mean, did you expect the boys to have a girls talk at night on Nozaki’s apartment?

However, this is also the problem for the anime. It focuses too much on comedy, so much that I almost mistaken the anime for a traditional comedy anime as opposed to it’s genre of Rom-Com. Sure, Chiyo is making sure her feelings for Nozaki known to almost anyone and proclaims that he loves Nozaki to all but the guy, but sometimes it felt forced and out of place. Also, characters other than the two I just mentioned did not even get their fair share of rom-com moments, just a handful of moments.

While the comedic routine were great most of the time...
The romantic scenes is significantly lower in sum than the comedy.

Speaking of characters though, they are fleshed out really well and their colorful personality really adds to the series. Let’s start with Chiyo and Nozaki. Chiyo and Nozaki, as the main characters of the story, is developed really well as the series progressed. Chiyo’s antics is also funny, and there is just something about her polkadot ribbons, which makes her so memorable. Even Nozaki agreed with me on the last episode. And Nozaki is a great with his poker-faced antic to be honest, and he, albeit did not say it, might have fallen for Chiyo due to their repeated interaction and Nozaki’s eventual opening up towards Chiyo. However, I just hoped that by the end of the series, their love were realized.

Next, we have the most entertaining character of the series, even surpassing Chiyo and Nozaki. The person in question is Seo Yuzuki, Chiyo’s classmate. Everything that she does just screams comedy to me, as I always laughed and smiled whenever I see the episode is going to focus on Seo in one of the part. She is positioned as a yankee, rule-breaking girl who does what she pleases and Nozaki proclaimed that she is a “Kuuki-Yomenai”, or a person who can’t really read the situation and this antics truly what makes her so memorable and entertaining. And her introduction episode can’t be done much better than what is already presented.

Next, there is Mikoshiba, Nozaki’s friend and a fellow assistant. Maybe his trope is a bit clichéd, that of a pretty boy who loves to hit on girls randomly. However, what makes him so entertaining and not clichéd is that he blushes and is embarrassed to what he said, so much that he even regret saying the things he actually said. At one point, his quotes even makes the normally-staunch Chiyo blushes, and he too in the process, leading up to a very awkward yet hilarious moment. Of course, since he is so lovable, Nozaki just had to put him in his manga and position him as the main heroine of his manga.
Oh, Nozaki met both Seo and Mikoshiba when he is hunting for character ideas.

Seo stood as the most entertaining character for me.
So is Mikoshiba.

Other than those four… There’s Wakamatsu who is rather weak and submissive towards Seo, but tries so hard to beat her yet always fail miserably at it. Wakamatsu was mildly entertaining, but cannot be compared to the previous four I just mentioned.

Then, there’s Kashima and Hori. The two characters that I am not fond of. First, Kashima is a girl who is masculine in appearance and acts like a playboy, as she hits every girl she came in contact with, and always succeeds at doing so. First of all, I don’t really like masculine-looking girls that much. And second of all, her antics somehow irked me the wrong way. Then, there is Hori, the only third-year character in the show. What makes him memorable is his short stature and his violent tendency towards Kashima. Sure, Kashima looks like a guy, but there’s a limit of how freely you can act in front of the girl. They both seemingly had feelings for each other, but their antics made me feel that it doesn’t really matter.

Still with characters, this can be seen as a reverse-harem story for me. Why? The only female who is feminine enough to be called a girl are only Chiyo, Yukari, and Mamiko. Seo, at times, acts like a guy, and Kashima is a full blown guy wearing a skirt, and even Hori mistook him for one. Just a trivial statement though.

Much like other romantic-comedy anime, the plot moves very slow and of course, surely thanks to the advancement in relationship between Chiyo and Nozaki. There’s not much I can say for the plots though, as it is fairly non-existent other than moving very slow. It is not a problem though, as other romantic-comedy anime has this kind of problem as well. 

After that, we have settings. The settings are bland to be honest, limited only to Nozaki’s apartment, the school, and several places only appearing once or twice. However, the background was drawn wonderfully well and was great too, so I am okay with it. And there’s the music. The music is upbeat most of the time, fitting the series’ absurd moments at times and I love it.

The plot moves fairly slow, to be honest.
Most of the time, the setting are Nozaki's apartment, which is too generic for me.

However, the core strength of this animation lies in how beautifully-animated and handled this series is by Doga Kobo. As a matter of fact, this might have been the series that puts Doga Kobo on the map and places them as one of the top studios in Japan. It was very beautiful to see the character moves and works, as well as the carefully-handled the animation was as there was no faulty at them. I normally see a faulty in animations, such as how static their movement was and how lower the quality of it at times, but I don’t see it from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. And it was all thanks to Doga Kobo.

Voiceworks are excellent in my opinion, as it is star-studded with several well-known voice actors. 
However, the best work of the series really has to go to Ari Ozawa and her stellar performance as Chiyo. As this was one of her first-ever lead role she ever get, she thrives on the role and as a result, her popularity has shoots up as well. Her voice truly fits Chiyo’s upbeat personality and the way she voiced her absurd moments is also entertaining as well. Then, we have Yuuichi Nakamura as Nozaki. Nakamura’s listless voice truly fits the poker-faced Nozaki and his stature as a man who is younger than he looks. The rest were okay, but Miyuki Sawashiro’s performance as Seo is also good, in my opinion.

The anime was handled by care with the staff of Doga Kobo, which is to my liking.

All in all, it was a great show, an excellent show made for perfection. It was carefully handled by Doga Kobo, who knows the potential of this anime, but was too bad that there is not sequel announced yet as of the writing of this review. The characters of the anime were lovable and entertaining, and the comedic routing were marvelously done and I absolutely loved the series. The problem of rom-com is still visible on the anime and of course, somehow it almost lost it’s identity as a rom-com and tends to go overboard with the comedic routine.

There is also insight of making manga being made into light by the anime, and there was several well-known things, such as how pushy the editor is, how deadline is killing the mangaka, and how several real-life situations factor to creating a manga. That was well-done to be honest. And the manga bit was entertaining too.

Really reccomendable to everyone, even the casual viewers, due to how tame and easy-to-understand the series is, and how entertaining it is to everyone. It’s hard to turn down invitation to watch this anime to be honest.

The good : Great theme. Comedic routine are well-done. Characters are fleshed out really well. Colorful character design and beautiful animations. Provides several insight of how manga is handled when it is published on a famous magazine. .

The bad : Too short for an awesome series. Falls hopelessly towards comedy anime instead of a romantic-comedy anime. Several character antics are annoying.

Highlight moments : Chiyo and Nozaki’s moment left and right.

Final score : 4 out of 5. Too short to be honest. Direly needs a sequel in order to fulfill it’s potential.

It was indeed a great anime, though a sequel is really needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment