Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun – 07

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Wait – so those guys were there the whole time?

It’s pretty hard to go wrong when you build an episode around Mikorin, and Gesshounoku certainly didn’t this week.  But I have to confess that Nozaki-kun himself is starting to grow on me as a purely comic character.  He’s one of those straight-men who’s so straight (though not too straight to say “Make sure you tell me if you pose naked” to his best friend) that he laps straight and goes into comic.  Kind of of a tsuboke, if you like.  Or a bokkomi

The fist chapter this week focuses on Nozoki’s complete lack of a life outside manga.  When he finally has a day off, what does he dream of doing?  Cleaning his apartment and restocking his supplies.  There’s a bit of Sheldon Cooper in this one, an almost manga-savant element to his nature – and the thing is, he’s perfectly happy with his one-track life.  It’s torture for Chiyo because she still clings to the fantasy of what she thought Nozoki-kun was, but for him it’s perfectly natural to relate everything to how it impacts his work.  That’s not the most natural thing in the world for a second-year high schooler, of course, but it seems to me that part of Chiyo’s agony comes from the fact that she’s trying to fix something that isn’t broken – sooner or later he’ll grow out of this himself.  But that’s really too serious a discussion for this sort of series…

Chiyo’s attempt to broaden Nozaki’s life is a trip to the mall (the visual of Sakura’s natural stride causing her to have to run to keep up with the totally oblivious Nozaki is hilarious), which systematically sees Nozaki turn everything (clothes shopping, movie, model shop) into a research opportunity.  Of note here is the chance meeting with Mikorin at the model shop, where he’s deeply immersed in the perusal of bishoujo figures.  It’s the nature of this show’s peculiar perspective that it’s hard to know just what that says about him, except that he’s incredibly defensive about it and morally outraged that Nozaki would use figures for something so utilitarian as character models for his manga.  Chiyo does score a post-“date” invite back to Nozaki’s room, but it turns out he just made too much food.

This segues neatly into the second chapter, which again features modeling – except this time the model in question is Mikorin, and it’s the Art Club that wants him.  When Chiyo asks him Mikorin has no trouble robustly declining, but when one of the girls he doesn’t know asks he reflexively falls into one of his shoujo cheese lines and volunteers himself.  I could watch Mikorin helplessly perform and then gag for years and never get tired of it, but there really is more to the character than that.  His helplessness when forced to confront the consequences of his persona is both hilarious and gut-wrenching, and this case is no exception.  He tries to research the night before, but with only bishoujo figures to draw on it’s not much help.  On the day of destiny he’s posed in various fantasy poses (none too racy) by the various members of the Art Club, including Chiyo posing him as Nozaki-kun.

Naturally Nozaki himself shows up, and that’s when things go to comedic eleven.  Rather than rescue Mikorin he’s eager to join in, except he naturally turns this into a manga research project too.  Eventually he poses everyone in the club as if they were in a dorama, and then when it’s all over Mikoshiba haplessly responds to an expression of gratitude by promising to come back and pose nude.  My favorite part of this is the reaction of the two guys in the club to this news – all the more funny because they haven’t said a word and I actually never realized they were there in the first place.  Poor Mikorin – being the best girl is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it…

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3 comments

  1. U

    isnt nozaki basically a workaholic…that is a problem, he need to rest and wind down every now and then, or risk burned out, and other health hazard

  2. E

    A nude model next time. You are so dead, Mikorin, hahaha.
    While he is the best girl in this anime, I am also glad that Sakura gets more appearance this week. She's a rare female protagonist in shounen manga, and I wish it's done more often. There is some implication that Nozaki is the protagonist, from watching previous episodes, but no, he isn't, because he is archtype of a workaholic person, also we don't get to see his inner thoughts. The one whose inner thoughts we most of the time is Chiyo, also she's the one with most normal behaviour among the casts.

  3. w

    Literally laughed as soon as I saw Mikorin's face. The mangaka has created an especially excellent character with him. He feels completely fresh and new.

    Nozaki is getting steadily quirkier, but I also think this is just one of those series where everyone gets a shot at both Boke and Tsukkomi. Kinda like real people, they all have their blind spots, so they all get their turn at being the silly/serious one. I feel like it understands how that routine is supposed to work, as opposed to many comedys which seem to use it as the anime equivalent to a laugh-track .

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