Show: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun— Genre: Comedy, Romance— Episodes: 12
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (English title: Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-kun) is a romance comedy centered around Chiyo Sakura, her crush Umetaro Nozaki, and his other assistants. Sakura confesses her love for Nozaki, but he mistakes her as being a fan and when they go to his house she ends up inking manga pages for him. As she leaves she figures out that he’s actually a popular shoujo manga artist with the pen name Sakiko Yumeno. Figuring that even though Nozaki is too dense to notice her feelings despite his line of work Sakura decides to work with him in order to spend more time with him and get to know him more. In the course of the anime more characters are revealed that are either Nozaki’s other assistants or serve as inspirations for his characters.
This anime aired from July 6th to September 21st, 2014 in a twelve episode season directed by Mitsue Yamazaki. Dogakobo is the animation studio that animated Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and they’ve animated shows like Yuruyuri, GJ-bu, and Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist. The opening is a jazzy and catchy song called “Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai” and is performed by Masayoshi Ooshi. The ending is “Uraomote Fortune” and is performed by Ari Ozawa. In North America Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is licensed by Sentai Filmworks and can be seen on crunchyroll.
Normally I’m not into romance comedies, but there’s a reason I love this anime. This anime breaks a lot of stereotypes with the characters. The main character, Nozaki, is completely oblivious to Sakura’s feelings and misinterprets a lot of her words and actions. Despite his rather aloof looking face he’s quite eccentric when it comes to his manga. So much so that the other characters often get caught up in his antics in the search for inspiration or examples. He even fanboys over his editor. While he is male he plays the role of the typical shoujo heroine. Meanwhile the actual heroine of the anime plays the “straight man” or tsukkomi role. She does have her shoujo moments mostly when trying to confess to Nozaki though so it’s not complete. She does have to deal with everyone’s antics though as she is the most normal character of the series.
The rest of the cast is paired off other than one person, the third character we’re introduced to: Mikoto Mikoshiba affectionately called Mikorin. Mikorin is an assistant to Nozaki and appears to have a punkish and flirty attitude. However he’s actually shy and quickly gets embarrassed afterwards. Unbeknownst to him, Mikorin is actually the character inspiration for Nozaki’s heroine. He has a “Kohai notice me” relationship with Sakura. Other breaking of normal stereotypes is Masayuki Hori, president of the drama club who is tsundere with his crush, Yuu Kashima. Kashima also breaks stereotypes as she is the “school prince”. Hirotaka Wakamatsu of the basketball club also has tsundere characteristics as he’s in a love/hate relationship with Yuzuki Seo a very blunt, rude, and tomboyish character.
Not only does this series rewrite character stereotypes, but it also makes fun of situational stereotypes. For example sharing an umbrella. In case with Nozaki and Sakura they attempt to share, but their height differences leaves them both soaking wet. While with Kashima’s popularity she ends up in a mass of umbrellas that block the road. There’s so many other situations that happen yet don’t turn out as expected.
Onto the voice actors. Nozaki is voiced by the excellent Yuuichi Nakamura who has played as several main characters such as Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier, Tomoya Okazaki from CLANNAD, and some supporting characters such as Ringo Tsukimiya from Uta no Prince-sama. Meanwhile the seiyuu for Sakura, Ai Ozawa, has only had one main role as Nosomi Moritomo from The Rolling Girls and two other supporting roles. Ozawa is the only really new seiyuu as the rest of the cast has multiple main roles. Miyuki Sawashiro, Ryouhei Kimura, and Yuuki Ono to name a few from the rest of the cast.
Over all I give Gekkan Shoujo 8 out of 10. Mostly because Sakura and Nozaki do not truly break away from the typical roles they’re in. The other parts is because I want more of this series. The last episode cameos character that are from the manga so I feel that while it can be taken as a declaration of a second season it’s in bad taste to do so in that method.
Amatsu Otome moved down to Florida late December 2013 and has been attending Sante Fe in order to get enough credits to get into UF by Fall 2015. She’s an avid anime watcher, part-time gamer, part-time cosplayer, and full-time college student.