Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun – 06

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It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun.

The thing I really like about this series is that even when it’s not making me laugh outright, it’s always a little skewed.  Nothing is ever normal or straightforward – an assumption or a cliché is always being flipped on it head.  That means it’s pretty hard to get bored with this show even when it’s not being really funny, which is a pretty useful quality for a comedy to have.  We’re only halfway through the first season (and it seems pretty safe to use that qualifier now based on the sales indicators, though it may be a while before there’s enough manga for a second) and I can’t say whether Nozaki-kun will retain that quality once everything becomes that much more familiar.  But for now, that’s definitely the feeling for me.

I think that quality is especially important for this series, because I don’t find it hilarious as often as I do my absolute favorite anime comedies – but I do find it amusing on an alarmingly consistent basis.  The latest inmate in the asylum – and I believe the last major cast member to be introduced – is Wakamatsu Hirotaka (Kimura Ryouhei).  He’s a first-year student in the Basketball Club, who went to middle school with Nozaki-kun and drops the bombshell that the latter was the star player back then, but due to concern over his precious right hand (which is vital for Nozaki-kun for a different reason than for most high-school boys) chooses not to play the game any longer.

It seems as if we don’t hear Kimura Ryouhei as often as we used to a few years ago, and most often in smaller roles – and that’s too bad, because he’s really good.  He can do comedy equally as well as drama (which makes him ideal for shows like Gin no Saji and Mawaru Penguin Drum, which have plenty of both) and his comic sensibility is perfect for this show because it’s grounded in a profound sense of earnestness.  Wakamatsu-kun is definitely a “good boy”, a kind soul who’s so stressed out (not least by the terror Seo is wreaking amongst the boys’ basketball team) that he can’t sleep at night.  This casts Nozaki-kun in a rather different role than we’ve seen him – that of the sensible (well, mostly) and concerned sempai, sacrificing for and worrying about his kouhai.

The relationship between Seo and Wakamatsu is another in the gender-flipped and then double-reversed riddles wrapped in enigmas that Gesshounoku specializes in.  Does she like him?  Does he like her?  Her actions on the basketball court – constantly ramming into him and beaning him with the ball (not really basketball there, Seo-chan) suggest a grade-school boy with a crush.  Then she takes him to family restaurants and forces him to let him buy him food.  As for Wakamatsu, he continually sets out to try and set her straight about how she’s making his life hell, but his innate niceness stops a confrontation and makes it look as if he’s in love with her.  This builds up to his getting the idea to challenger her to a duel from reading “Let’s Fall in Love” (if not already established, a bad idea to source for life’s lessons) but “challenging” her with a stereotypical love letter.  But when they meet on the roof and he finally vents all his frustration in stunningly blunt terms, she completely tunes him out and decides he’s called her there to get her to start calling him a nickname.  Waka?  Matsu?  Kama?

There’s a whole lot of WTF in that relationship, which is about par for the course in Gesshounoku.  And this is all complicated by the fact that the only thing that Waka(matsu) can use to get to sleep is “Lorelei’s” operatic performances – and he has no idea that Seo is actually Lorelei.  After (Waka)matsu throws Lorelei in Seo’s face as an example of proper female ideals, her response is “Could you say that one more time?” – which kind of suggests…  No, I won’t even try to understand.  As a last resort (Wa)kama(tsu) pulls out the gloves he intended to slap Seo across the face with as a challenge, but ends up giving them to her as a gift.  Maybe you shouldn’t have read the shoujo manga…

There’s another sketch here too, with Nozaki-kun falling ill and sending out an SOS text to Chiyo, Hori and Wakamatsu – leading to much disappointment from Chiyo when she finds out she wasn’t the only recipient, and that she misread the intent and brought ink to a sick person.  This isn’t nearly as memorable as the first skit but there are some funny moments.  “Rookie” Wakamatsu is better at applying screentones than “veterans” Hori and Chiyo, and all of them manage to generally make a stew out of things, mostly by sourcing their image of Seo for the female lead’s motivation, and Kashima for the male.  In the end Nozaki-kun has to ask for a deadline extension anyway, though I would have loved to have seen Ken-san’s reaction if he’d seen the submission as is…

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Nozaki-kun - 06 -31 Nozaki-kun - 06 -32 Nozaki-kun - 06 -33


  1. A

    Noazki-kun so far has been a huge hit or miss for me ever since it started, and this seems to be firmly related to whether Nozaki plays the tsukkomi or the boke in the joke.

    That is to say, Nozaki's groans of agony during Waka's speech about Lorelei completely made my weekend.

  2. Yes, those were great. I have a growing appreciation for Nozaki's considerable strengths as a comedic character and not just a straight man. And it's becoming clearer to me that he and not Chiyo is effectively the main character, if not the protagonist.

  3. R

    I think I'm just much more easily amused because I laugh very easily at a lot of the jokes and silliness in Nozaki-kun

  4. w

    So you're saying it's a kinky world, eh? I'd have to agree.

    I thought the rooftop scene was pretty hilarious. I didn't laugh out loud until Waka dropped the 'family restaurants' line, but that delivery was just perfect. Didn't expect it at all, but then everything suddenly fit perfectly together. Kimura Ryohei's probably my favourite male seiyuu, so it's always nice to hear him as well. He has deceptively good range. Oh and Nozaki's tortured groaning in the background was also great.

    The second sketch was weaker, but still very good. I like how the show keeps switching and mixing its cast members into different combinations. Really could have done with some Mikorin though, especially for when they needed to write Mamikos lines. The next episode preview makes me happy.

  5. g

    I guess I can spoiler this one? Maybe Enzo will snip it.
    But there was omake to this part where Nozaki has explained to Sakura – Mikorin is busy because he is playing new gagles, Nozaki knows because he has printed the newest sheet with games' releasing days.

  6. g

    * tfu, of course galges

  7. E

    Seo is quite an amusing character.
    Even though she's implied to like Waka, she used his gift to slap a fly.
    That's awful.

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