Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Episode 01 Review
Streaming Allegiance: Crunchyroll
Reconnaissance Report by: Ellen Li
Progress: Episode 01
You would assume, from its title and watching the first minute of the show, that Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun would be a something along the lines of your stereotypical shoujo romance anime. And you’d be right, in a sense. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun does kicks off with our female high school protagonist, Chiyo Sakura, confessing her feelings for the titular schoolmate Umetaro Nozaki in the typical, blushy-blushy, “oh, I’m so nervous, I hope he likes me back” way, but that’s about where the shoujo-ness of this series ends. Once Umetaro gives his response to Chiyo’s confession, you’ll know instantly that Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun isn’t going to be at all anything involving shoujo bubbles and sparkles (unironically, anyway).
Chiyo fails to adequately confess her feelings to her crush in such a horrible way that rather than getting an actual response for her confession, she instead receives an autograph from Umetaro. That’s what you get when you tell someone you’re a fan of theirs, I guess. As it turns out, Umetaro is actually the prolific mangaka Yumeno Sakiko, who not only has won awards for their wonderfully captivating stories, but has also been lauded for depictions that are said to mirror exactly how girls feel. Thing is, though, Chiyo doesn’t exactly find this out until after she’s spent 4 hours at Umetaro’s house inking pages of his manga for him and closely examines the autograph that he gave her. While the idea of a teenage boy being a shoujo mangaka is surprising enough, the biggest kicker is probably the fact that Umetaro himself admits that he’s never once been in love before.
But the laughs don’t just stop there, no. Chiyo, in an effort to remain by Umetaro’s side, decides to continue helping Umetaro as an assistant for his manga, Let’s Love!, which runs in a monthly shoujo magazine. For example, in order to help Umetaro brainstorm a suitably romantic scene for Mamiko and Suzuki – the heroine and her love interest, respectively – during their walk home, Chiyo gets ultimately roped into riding a tandem bicycle with Umetaro through town. As expected, it’s an utterly ridiculous scene since, let’s face it, tandem bicycles aren’t exactly all that romantic in the first place, and trying to make them fit into a shoujo manga goes as well as you would think, given someone as ridiculous as Umetaro.
While the first episode does start out a bit slow, the laughs that had my sides nearly splitting are well worth the watch. This show isn’t afraid to make fun of itself, no doubt, and I can only expect to find myself rolling on the floor laughing at the episodes to come.