Chiyo Sakura is a cheerful high school girl who has fallen head over heels for the oblivious Umetarou Nozaki. Much to Chiyo's confusion, when she confesses to her beloved Nozaki, he hands her an unfamiliar autograph. As it turns out, the stoic teenage boy is actually a respected shoujo mangaka, publishing under the pen name Sakiko Yumeno! A series of misunderstandings leads to Chiyo becoming one of Nozaki's manga assistants.
Throughout the hilarious events that ensue, she befriends many of her quirky schoolmates, including her seemingly shameless fellow assistant, Mikoto Mikoshiba, and the "Prince of the School," Yuu Kashima. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun follows Chiyo as she strives to help Nozaki with his manga and hopes that he will eventually notice her feelings.
"Humor has to surprise us; otherwise, it isn't funny."
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is about a girl named Chiyo who tries to confess to her crush. He misunderstands her confession and decides to take her as his assistant, because, as it turns out, he is a romance manga author, and he seeks inspiration from the people he knows to create his characters. Hilarity is supposedly ensues, but doesn't really.
Despite premises like that having been done before, I thought that was an interesting idea. However, comedy anime is unfortunately not very good at remaining consistenly funny, and would rather remain repetitive rather than come up with something new
or original. This is sadly the case with this show.
It has the same problem as a lot of anime comedies seem to have these days, a little something I like to call "punchline decay": it gives the characters one or two personality traits and bases all of its jokes around them. I certainly don't watch comedy shows expecting deep, three-dimensional characterization, but come on. If the characters are merely one-trick ponies with only one gimmick to their name and nothing more, it gets stale quick.
At first, the show is serviceable enough at what it does. A somewhat average character-driven comedy. It has an okay rythm going, introducing the characters and establishing their personality. It's nothing special, but it has potential. At this point, in any other show, I'd expect them to step up their game and add more variety. But this is where it remains for the entire duration. It remains perpetually in its safe spot, never attempting anything new or put any new twists on anything. Same static characters, same changeless interactions, same unvarying punchlines. That is, in my opinion, just lazy writing.
Every single joke that ever gets made in this show always boils down to the exact same punchlines: Nozaki is oblivious; Chiyo thinks a moment with Nozaki is going to turn out romantic, and then it turns out the opposite; Mikoshiba is feminine and gets embarrassed; Seo is rude; Kashima is flirtatious towards other girls, which Hori beats her up for; Wakamatsu dislikes Seo but loves someone called Lorelei, whom he doesn't realize is the same person; etc.
In other words, they're not so much characters as much as they are running gags. But running gags require variations in order to stay fresh, which doesn't happen with the characters in this show. Much like how a harem show has characters that can barely even be called that, made to fit into a specific character archetype, the only novelty in the show comes from introducing new characters that also fit into one character archetype. And much like the very same harem shows, after the show has ceased to introduce new characters and has already beaten all of their gimmicks into the ground, the show has nothing to offer.
To put the character's lack of dynamism into perspective, half of the characters don't even have any personality of their own, and instead their personality is entirely dictated by their relation to another character. Chiyo's personality is dictated by her love of Nozaki, Wakamatsu's personality is dictated by his dislike of Seo and Hori's personality is dictated by him beating up Kashima.
But is there anything else to these characters? Doesn't seem like it. That level of shallowness in regards to personality is the sort of thing that I would expect from secondary characters, not from the (ostensibly) main ones. I even forgot Wakamatsu's name as I was writing this and had to look it up. If a main character is so unmemorable that I forget his name, that's not a good thing.
The show is supposedly a parody of shoujo romance manga, which is part of what got me interested in watching in the first place. I've read a certain amount of those out of curiosity, so I know how dumb they can be. The characters are one-dimensional, the romance is forced, they're all just variations on the same story, etc. If you've read one, you've read them all. So when I heard this was a parody of that, I was looking forward to it.
However, as it turns out, it doesn't really parody romance manga that much. It makes a few obvious jokes about that, while the rest of it is spent parodying (I guess?) what it's like working as a mangaka. Along with that comes jokes about being a mangaka that I've already seen in plenty of other shows where characters are mangakas.
This is where the problem comes in. Most of the parody just boils down to taking romance character stereotypes, changing the gender... and that's it. There isn't anything to the parody beyond that, especially pointless since the same character types had already been gender-reversed in quite a few romance mangas to begin with. Very rarely does the show ever actually do anything of actual substance with the parody aspect, which is a shame, since the show is at its best whenever it does that.
Also ironic (hypocritical?) is that the aspects of romance manga that get parodied, such as being formulaic, or the characters lacking substance, also apply to this show, and this tends to make a lot of these jokes lose their intended punch. If all a character has to them is that they subvert a stereotype and has nothing else to their personality apart from that, that really doesn't make them any better than the one-dimensional stereotype that they're supposed to be parodying.
And much like many other anime comedies, the show indulges in punchline explanation a lot, one of my biggest pet peeves in anime. Take for example the scene where Kashima gives Hori a ride. The joke, which is that she accidentally put on a bull mask rather than a horse mask, is explained not once, not twice, but four times, the latter three of which are in a row. This isn't so much a problem with just this show in particular, as much as it is with an unfortunate amount of anime comedies. Do the showmakers just lack confidence in their audience's ability to understand a joke, so they just resort to spoon-feeding them the punchline rather than just letting it speak for itself? Either way, it's pretty annoying, even moreso than a laugh track.
Admittedly, there were a couple of moments I thought were hilarious: the dating sim in episode 4, and the boxes in episode 8. However, in both of those cases, I thought the rest of the episode was mediocre, for reasons which I already outlined earlier. And even then, while these two scenes were funny, I didn't feel like it was worth watching the whole show just to laugh at only two scenes and be bored for the rest. I can't help but feel like even if I had dropped the show, I wouldn't have missed out on anything.
All-in-all, this isn't a horrible show, but it's definitely one of the weaker comedy animes I've seen. It's too formulaic, the characters are all one-note and have no depth, the parody is barebones, and there isn't anything here that hasn't already been done (and in many cases, better) in hundreds of other shows. The characters are mildly funny at first, but their lack of personality beyond one singular character trait, as well as the show's utter lack of variability in terms of humor, leads to the show running out of steam long before it ideally should.
The show, theoretically, has a lot of good ideas, which could have ended up resulting in a genuinely clever show, but it never attempts to actually do anything with said potential nor does it take any risks, merely relying on the same 5 or 6 jokes with no thought involved, and ends up a mediocre comedy, just as forgettable as the very same romance mangas that it supposedly parodies. At the very least, it's cute, but I tend to like shows when they have more substance than that.
If you're fine with repetitive humor, then watch this if you'd like. Otherwise, if you're looking for something original in terms of characters and humor, you're better off looking for something else instead. There's certainly worse shows out there in regards to this, but there's also far better ones as well.
If you're looking for an anime with romance and relationships, this isn't what you're looking for. If you're looking for an anime with endless hilarity and gags that runs off love and romance, this is what you're looking for. This anime thrives off misjudgments and the characters.
Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is an anime thats been the laughing central of this summer. With the theme of manga-artists becoming more popular lately such as, Manga-ka to assistant-san or mangirl ,it's becoming much more attractive and interesting to watch. This is a gem that's becoming popular due to its laughable characters and misinterpretations that occur all the time.
story follows Sakura, a girl who tries to tell her crush that she likes him, but gets misinterpreted and ends up becoming his assistant. She often tries to get closer to him, but always gets misjudged and makes for some hilarious comedy. The story follows their life at school along with some other cast members to make the show enjoyable and a lot more entertaining to watch as a whole. With the running gag of it being comedy, some things may seem predictable, but it still stays original and has comedy in every episoded.
The characters are all really unique in their own way and is the strongest part of the show. With all the different characters you get hilarious situations that really makes the show stand out from the rest that's airing and one that takes comedy to the next level with their personalities.
You have Sakura, a girl who tries often to get close to her crush, but is always misinterpreted. She's a great person who makes the show better with her retorts and delusions that she thinks is going to happen, but the exact opposite happens. Over time she develops a bond with Nozaki and really makes for some friendship and gave a light feeling to make you smile at every scene.
Second you have Nozaki, a manga artist and one that people often misjudge. Since he stays up to draw and produce manga, he looks like he gets into fights, but really is only just aches and pains from the constant drawing and late nights. He's oblivious to Sakura's feelings and really makes up for some hilarious reactions that he gives to what he thinks she's doing.
The art style is nothing new to the 2014 style, yet brings out details that makes it better than some of the anime airing. With all the details in the characters clothes, to the beautiful scenery that they go through in their situations, it brings out a sense of comedy to support the bickering and the interactions between all the characters. With the art being one of the strong points, you have beautiful details in every aspect that they bring to the table. The characters all have unique features and traits that belong to them and wonderful backdrops such as the school, or just at their house.
The opening is nothing to be praised for, but is super catchy. The background music for this anime is one that supports the mood that the anime gives off perfectly. The opening and ending gives off the perfect feeling to start every episode and is one that I never skip. The voice actors are all really well and give the characters life to make the anime as enjoyable as possible. The voice actor for Sakura is relatively new to voice acting, but does a wonderful job portraying her character and is one of the best in the show.
Overall this anime is one of the best of Summer 2014 line up and is definitely worth watching. With it's wonderful characters and hilarious situations they get themselves into, this is one that brings out the comedy in the simplest things. You have the standard 2014 art style, yet it makes it better by adding details to make every quality shine and make it so everything stands out to the fullest. The OST is wonderful and support each scene perfectly and the opening is so catchy that you just can't help but enjoy listening to. I recommend anyone who didn't check this out yet to start watching it.
It's a rare thing to find a romance anime that appeals to both a male and female audience. It is even rarer to find one that does so without sexualising its characters.
Gekkan Shoujo gives us hope for the stagnant, often juvenile climate of the romance genre. It doesn't rely on obnoxious misunderstandings to keep the two main characters from joining together (although misunderstandings do still exist with a sense of self-aware humour), nor does it need onsen scenes, pantyshots and implied homolust to keep the audience's attention towards its characters. All it's interested in doing is giving the audience a good laugh while nudging a
few heartstrings along the way, and it does so with its head held high.
A quick glance at the synopsis would be enough for some to roll their eyes and dismiss the show as 'Yet Another Shoujo Anime'. An innocent girl attempts to confess to the boy she likes in an empty classroom room dyed of scarlet (the setting of seemingly every confession scene in anime), only to find out that he is actually a famous shoujo mangaka. And one of her favourites, no less. Uh-huh. Right.
But Gekkan Shoujo knows better. It is aware of its absurd premise and the clichés inherent to the genre. It embraces them, plays with them with a clever sort of irony, never taking itself too seriously nor forcing its viewers to feel a certain way. At its core it is certainly your typical shoujo anime, but the way it handles itself is quite the opposite.
The story primarily follows the events of Chiyo and the titled Nozaki. Chiyo, perhaps reluctantly, but nonetheless willing to follow the company of the boy she likes, assists Nozaki in his daily tasks as a mangaka, hoping one day he might realise and respond to Chiyo's feelings. Gradually she begins to understand that Nozaki doesn't quite live up to the 'cool, handsome and composed' image she had of him, and that in reality, he is so lacking in common sense that it is a mystery how he was even serialised in the first place.
Nozaki's obliviousness is undoubtedly the show's main source of laughter. In one scene, Nozaki accidentally draws one of his characters above the ground and, having the issue pointed out to him, draws a random box underneath the character, nodding his head and acting like everything is now right with the world. He then starts drawing boxes underneath the character in every scene afterwards, which understandably results in one of Nozaki's friends yelling to him how it makes no sense for the character to be carrying around and standing on random boxes all the time. Nozaki's response? "Right. I have to add an explanation."
The comedy works so well because Nozaki's train of thought always makes, at least in his own little world, a slight fraction of sense. He just has no idea how people actually behave and ends up misinterpreting the actions of others in a completely asinine, facepalm-inducing and yet hilarious manner. That's not to say that each joke is masterful and clever, or even that all of them work (because a few certainly do fall utterly flat), but the simple manzai format works in perfect harmony with the ridiculous premise of the story. It knows how to make fun of itself while still holding onto a semblance of sincerity.
One of the more respectable aspects of Gekkan Shoujo is how it also focuses on its side characters beyond the usual 'idiot friend', 'strict class president' and 'arrogant love rival' archetypes. Hori and Wakamutsu in particular are two characters who would normally be treated as nothing more than background fodder in the average anime for not having a colourful character design or 'wacky' personality. But in Gekkan Shoujo they are given important roles and treated with about as much attention and respect as Nozaki and Chiyo. They even have their own love interests who play relevant roles on their own (as opposed to simply being a plot device, as many often are in anime). There's a surprising amount of complexity to the character dynamic despite the general simplicity of the show's format.
I suppose if there was one thing to criticise about the characterisation, it would be the inconsistency of Mikoshiba. He's handsome, eloquent-- so much so that virtually every girl in the school is head-over-heels for him-- but at the same time he is portrayed as introverted, socially awkward and obsessed with otaku hobbies, to the point where he uses eroge to study real-world interaction. The latter aspect of his personality does not feel convincing in the slightest, so his comedic scenes often fall pretty flat. To feel comedy is to empathise with the characters, and there was little to no empathy between me and Mikoshiba.
Those watching strictly for the romance will likely find themselves disappointed, because, really, aside from a small handful of scenes, maybe three or four, it is virtually non-existent. The most heartwarming thing about the show is not the idea of the two slowly becoming a couple, but that Chiyo still loves Nozaki from the bottom of her heart despite finding out about his glaring flaws. The love here feels genuine, far more so than most 'serious' romance anime where the girl screams at the guy when he stops acting like a prince. Progression itself isn't what makes or breaks the romance in a story.
Gekkan Shoujo is visually pleasant. The characters (particularly the males) are drawn realistically, and while it does still portray them all as idealised and attractive, it never goes overboard by drawing them in lewd or excessively 'moe' scenarios. The sound on the other hand is nothing special aside from the opening track, although, to be fair, it is a pretty great OP. It captures the silly yet relaxed nature of the show exceptionally well, and by the final episodes I found myself thinking it sacrilege to skip it.
Sure, while it may not be doing anything outstanding enough to be remembered decades in the future, Gekkan Shoujo is still an excellent experience for anyone who simply wants to relax and have a few laughs. It doesn't bombard the viewer with melodrama or degrade its characters through fanservice, and what little romance there is is handled with care and sincerity. That it also happens to appeal to so many people at once without leaving anyone uncomfortable is perhaps just a bonus.
*WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS, BUT NOT HEAVY SPOILERS*
The idea behind the story is not an entirely bad concept. Of course it has become a generic plot idea to base an anime on creating a manga. I mean c'mon, it seems like every year there is either an anime or a manga where the theme is based on creating a manga. However, the way this show presents the manga creator and the interactions between him and his assistants can be quite warm on the heart.
So, why does the story get a lower score from me? Because of HOW it tells this story and how it
all goes to shit at a fast paced speed.
The story goes something like this....
The main character is Sakura Chiyo, who happens to be in love with the most painfully aloof guy in the entire fucking world, Nozaki Umetarou. One day Sakura confesses her love to Nozaki while they're at school. Because of the fact that Nozaki is either in complete denial, or possibly stupid, he assumes she's a fan and signs an autograph for her despite her not even asking for one. So, this eventually leads to Nozaki asking Sakura to become his assistant since she's an artist herself. Obviously, like any other generic anime female character would, she doesn't try to explain to him what she really meant and she agrees to becoming his bitc...I mean assistant.
Now the thing about this plot is that it heavily revolves around the interactions the characters have with one another. This is why I say that despite the IDEA of the story not being a bad one, it's told in one of the worst ways possible. Why is it told in one of the worst ways possible? Because majority of the characters you meet throughout the series make you cringe.
Let me just start off by saying which character I like the most, and that would be Mikoto (Mikorin) Mikoshiba. It is surprising that with such poorly written characters that Mikorin managed to stay consistently well written and consistently entertaining. You see, Mikorin is obviously supposed to be the hot guy of the show (and the guy Sakura should have chosen, but that's for another story). Even though Mikorin is considered very good looking, he is a complete otaku dweeb who gets painfully shy around a group of people. Some have considered his character too far-fetched and that if someone was that good looking then they would not behave like such a socially scared nerd, but that is all far from the truth. We cannot simply dismiss a character because he doesn't appear realistic, or just because he doesn't fit other generic anime stereotypes everyone seems to be used to.
Mikorin is definetly one of the better written male characters in a slice of life anime, and he was the main reason I was able to finish this series.
Now you are probably wondering what was so wrong with the rest of the cast if Mikorin was so great. Just keep in mind that this is purely based off of what I consider to be my objective reasoning as well as subjective reasoning (because nobody in this world can be 100% objective all the time).
Let's start with Sakura, who was not terrible nor great...she was who she was. Her entire existance is based on the fact that she loves Nozaki. There is really nothing else about her that makes her standout as an individual character other than the fact that she's the main character (and kind of cute at times).
Nozaki is someone who is mentally unaware of almost everything around him, despite him being this so called amazing manga creator. He comes off as so bland and so unaware of social cues that it begins to infuriate you by the second episode. We all know his character isn't supposed to be this sporadic and overally emotional guy, but his drab demeanor could have benefited from some sort of development of his personality.
Since the two main characters are obviously nothing special, and since the entire plot is based upon Sakura's love for Nozaki, the series was in dire need of some dynamic characters. Although, the series could have possibly been better without the rest of the cast altogether...
You have Yuzuki, who happens to be great at sports and great at singing despite being even more aloof than Nozaki. That's right boys and girls, we couldn't have just one severely obtuse character that already intensifies the frustration factor. Instead, the creators decided to give us two severely obtuse characters, hooray!
There is also Yuu, a girl who hits on all the other girls at the school and makes all the guys jealous of her "swag". I actually thought the idea of her character was quite enticing, but the writers fell flat with keeping you entertained by her.
There is also the worst character of this entire fucking series, Masayuki...we'll get to why he's the worst a little later.
The last person I will name is Hirotaka, the character that nobody gives two damns about. The only reasons why I am mentioning him is because of his interaction with Nozaki and Yuzuki.
I would name everyone else, but the rest of those characters either don't matter and should have never been in the series in the first place, or they were there because they HAD to be in the series but they didn't contribute to making the plot any better.
From watching this series it appears as though the creators wanted to defy typical anime stereotypes that are shown in every other series known to man. There is only one problem, they decided to take these stereotypes and simply switch the genders...which makes them what? Still stereotypes!
Instead of Yuu being a man who gets all the girls, her character is a woman. And despite Masayuki being the opitomy of an abusive tsundere piece of shit (which is a more common stereotype for female characters in anime) his character is a man.
Masayuki always seems to be annoyed with Yuu for absolutely NO reason, and if he has a reason it is never ever justified. Now, I am already uncomfortable with how physical female tsundere characters can be towards other male characters, but when it is the other way around it becomes even more uncomfortable (especially since the ONE thing that seperates men and women is physiology, and unfortunately the general amount of women are not able to physically handle a hit from a man). Masayuki is constantly punching and kicking Yuu around, despite Yuu never really doing anything for it to be deserved. However, the creators are trying to convince that since Yuu seems to be into other women and because she comes off as a male character that we should all be okay with this already fucked up stereotype of beating up people you call your friends (or those they have a crush on). Normally you see in other anime that when a female character hits a male character it is okay because of the fact that it is a woman hitting a man, which is already not okay. However, the stereotype is switched here and we should all simply except it because a female character is considered "barely female" so long as she behaves like a man *rolls eyes*.
You can claim that I may be reading into it, but even if their interactions don't require anyone to read into that deeply it doesn't stop it from being exaspirating to watch.
You also have the interactions between Yuzuki and Hirotaka, whom depending upon who you are, had probably contributed to some of the more pointless scenes of this series. Yuzuki could have been entertaining by herself, but the fact that she was dragged down by Hirotaka's obsession for why he thought Yuzuki would pick on him added to the amount of frustration I already had for this show. More often you see in other anime series that cliche of the male character coming across as if he didn't like another cliche female character, even though he did actually liked her (which I guess we are to assume was the case here). However, I could have excused this cliche so long as there was some sort of development between the two...but there was none.
Speaking of character development, did I mention there is none?...abso...lutely...none.
Now, I was willing to look past that flaw, but the problem is that these characters are so poorly written and their interactions are so cringe worthy that if each one had developed in a fervent way then it could have saved the plot.
The only character that was a well written cliche and wasn't in dreadful need of development was Mikorin and his "otakuness".
This series had the opportunity to defy cliche stereotypes and create a great and unique slice of life anime. Instead the writers not only contributed to these cliche stereotypes, but they made them more profound.
Keep in mind, this is a more popular aime series and is well loved by many fans. So my reasons for not liking it does not reflect the way you as an individual has to feel about this series.
I say give this a shot regardless of how I feel, but no amount of convincing will change my opinion on why I gave this show the rating that I did.
SIDE NOTE: I heard from a friend that they happened to enjoy the manga more than they did the anime. So I suppose that is always worth looking into.
The senpai/kouhai relationships in Japan might seem confusing and hard to understand at first, but once you dig into them, you'll discover that they aren't complicated at all. Read on to get one step closer to your favorite anime senpai/kouhai...