Streaming Allegiance: Crunchyroll
Reconnaissance Report by: Ellen Li
Progress: Episode 07
As much as I hate to say it, with so many lovable and colorful characters, even a series as meta as Nozaki-kun can start to feel predictable in its gags after a while. After all, those who are genre-savvy enough – or, at least, familiar enough with the series – can guess what it is they can expect once the premise has been introduced. (Or perhaps that feeling is reserved for those like me, who have read the manga already, and feel that there are other more interesting gags they’d prefer to see animated.) Thankfully, as I mentioned before, episodes 5-7 keeps things a little less predictable by bringing in 4 new cast members.
Episode 5 sees to the introduction of 3 out of the 4 new characters. The first, who was mentioned in the ending eye-catch/bonus of episode 4, is Miyamae Ken, Nozaki’s current editor, and the target of Nozaki’s adoration and admiration (but not in the BL sense, mind you). The second to arrive is Maeno Mitsuya, Nozaki’s previous editor. The contrast between these two characters is almost hysterical – hilarious, even – and you can understand why it is exactly Nozaki fanboys over his current editor so much. Whereas Miyamae plays the always reliable, why-am-I-surrounded-by-such-moronic-weirdos straightman, Maeno is the incompetent and irresponsible airhead who doesn’t seem to care about what other people want/think.
Maeno’s current victi- I mean, charge is another shoujo manga artist by the name of Miyako Yukari, college student and Nozaki’s upstairs neighbor. Through her experiences we see just how much of a plague Maeno is as an editor: her manga are riddled with tanuki (Maeno’s favorite animal, apparently), her original ideas for HER OWN SERIES are thrown to the wayside to make room for Maeno’s, and the last but not least of Maeno’s crimes includes completely losing one of her manuscripts. Still, Miyako takes it all in stride, which can be expected of someone as much of a pushover as she is. What a shame. You have our condolences, Miyako!
Episode 6 rounds out our castlist and brings it to a whopping final count (for now) of 10 – not including the protagonists of Let’s Love!, Mamiko and Suzuki – with Wakamatsu Hirotaka, a first-year student and Nozaki’s junior from the basketball club. Unfortunately, Wakamatsu suffers from insomnia due to stress from his activities at the basketball club caused by who else but Seo, wreaking havoc during practice matches between the boys’ clubs and girls’ clubs. Through a series of events, Wakamatsu ends up becoming one of Nozaki’s assistants in exchange for an .mp3 of “The Choir Club’s Lorelei” singing. “Why?” you may ask. Well, Lorelei’s (Seo) singing can almost instantly put Wakamatsu to sleep, curing his insomnia. And as it turns out, despite signing on to do little more than erasing pencil marks, Wakamatsu himself turns out to be a pretty darn capable assistant, outclassing even Hori and Sakura when it comes to applying screentones, much to the chagrin of the two upperclassmen.
Being a fan of the manga, I can’t help but wonder why it is that the editors were introduced before Wakamatsu, as it is reversed in the manga. Granted, with a series like Nozaki-kun – where chapters are all 4-panel comics and anyone can jump into the middle of the series and still not be completely lost – continuity has little importance, and given how (arguably) minor 3 out of the 4 characters being introduced are, I suppose the order of introduction ultimately doesn’t really matter. Just a minor nitpick from a fan of the series – though I suppose this does demonstrate some character bias on my part.
Nevertheless, episodes 5-7 don’t disappoint when it comes to bringing the humor, especially in episode 7 when Sakura and Nozaki have a day off and end up finding Mikorin browsing the bishoujo figurines section of a store. As they try to console Mikorin about his hobbies – nothing to be ashamed of – we learn that Nozaki himself has figurines of his own, with no clothes, to boot! Granted, Nozaki’s figures aren’t quite as scandalous as Mikorin’s, as his not only lack clothes, but they lack faces as well, being little more than the ball-jointed figure models artists use for posing reference.
For those watching Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, there’s no reason I can see for you to stop and I must encourage you to keep going! And for those who aren’t, well, why haven’t you started yet? Hop to!