When confessing to the person you have a crush on, it can be devastating when they don’t understand what you’re saying. However, if they turn out to take it as a desire to be their assistant… well that’s a completely different story.
Many people’s top series of 2014, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is a comedy about love, manga and the crazy antics of a group of high school students in their day to day life.
The most important part of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is the characters, and they do not disappoint. With a wide cast that feels quite well rounded and developed, the series manages to be more than just a collection of vignettes focused on the manga industry.
From Sakura Chiyo, the leading lady of the series and the unfortunate soul whose feelings never reached her crush, to Hori Masayuki, the president of the drama club who essentially looks after the club’s “prince” Kashima Yu, these characters come from all backgrounds, but are united by Nozaki Umetaro and his manga.
This provides many opportunities for character pieces that truly flesh out the characters and make them real.
Chiyo’s voice actress, Ari Ozawa, gives it her all with her first starring role and knocks it out of the park. Never being too cutesy, but always maintaining a more innocent sounding voice, she adds to the overall feel of the series without taking anything away.
With the lack of Kana Hanazawa in this series, Ari Ozawa manages to prove that there is definitely fresh blood in the voice actress pool waiting to be unleashed. The excitement for what she does next is definitely there.
A look into the world of making manga:
While not as in-depth on the manga creation aspects as Bakuman, this is more of a romantic comedy after all, Nozaki-kun manages to provide information on the drawing and layout side of manga creation that is not often touched upon.
With backgrounds, inking and the roles of assistants and editors being touched upon, this series provides another look at the interesting world behind the creation of these comics.
An important factor for all comedies, but not one that they equally live up to is being genuinely funny.
Instead of cheap gags and forced laughs, Nozaki-kun manages to be funny just based off of the misunderstandings and characters that permeate the series.
Without ever relying on fanservice, the series is also able to keep the humour from becoming crasser than necessary and feels intelligent and well thought out.
It can make someone laugh, no matter how jaded, which is the important thing in a comedy.
Story and Plot:
Now, despite the numerous great character moments in the series, Nozaki-kun suffers under the lack of weight of a plot.
Sure, there are the numerous sub-plots that get brought up over the course of the series, but the main plot – Chiyo’s confession to Nozaki and their growing relationship – gets relegated to the sidelines after the first couple of episodes.
Once the cast expands, time is taken to properly develop everyone, and this is at the expense of having a strong story to go with the series.
However, as this is a comedy, and a successful one at that, it is not as big an issue as it could be.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is one of the best series to release last year. With a great cast of characters, genuinely funny humour and a new up and coming star in the voice acting arena, it is definitely one to check out.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of stories about manga artists or not, this series has something to appeal to everyone and anyone.
Go for it!