I definitely did not expect to enjoy Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun as much as I did. It’s advertised as a romantic comedy, and I generally prefer dramas to anime when it comes to that genre. Strangely, much of the focus actually isn’t on the main leads’ romance– there’s not much development on that front. The episodes delve into the mindset of a manga creator instead, allowing viewers to witness, at least secondhand, the creative process that occurs.
Maybe it’s because I had started this series right after watching an awful episode of Battery, but I thought the characters were so much more… interesting. Sure, they had exaggerated personalities, but the result was achieving a vivacious, lively atmosphere, in contrast to the almost empty feel Battery gives.
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Our protagonist Nozaki is a high school student and manga artist who draws shoujo. Although he’s quite talented at the craft and is a published artist, he’s ironically dense at detecting the affection Sakura, our female lead, has for him. And perhaps because of this, he is only able to channel his feelings to the male lead in his manga, and the love interest remains shrouded in mystery.
His romantic inexperience may be seen as a roadblock to his manga writing, but looking from another perspective, it is really his advantage. He observes his friends’ relationships as reference and even ends up inadvertently furthering them in some instances. Sakura, in some ways, is his muse and inspiration for adding depth to the character of the manga’s female lead. He earnestly tries to understand Sakura and asks for her input in his manga-writing as well.
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tl;dr: The humor is actually funny instead of overtly trying to be so, the animation is fitting and pretty, and plot moves along at a relatively fast pace. And it’s only 12 episodes, the perfect length to marathon!
I almost wish I could write a post filled with emojis and gifs instead to express my appreciation for this show. The words don’t quite fit my emotions.