Striking The Right Note: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Oh, man, if you have never seen an anime, this make this the one you watch. Trust me on this, folk, you won’t be sorry.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is a comedy series, revolving around high school student Chiyo Sakura as she finally works up the courage to ask out the boy she has a crush on, Umetaro Nozaki, only to have him give her his autograph in return. Turns out, Nozaki is the writer and artist on a popular shoujo manga, and thought she was a fan. Before she knows it, Shiyo is getting drawn into hsi world, assisting him as an inker, and meeting his rather eccentric group of friends and helpers. Determined to show the socially awkward Nozaki she is in love with him, Chiyo finds herself getting caught up in the lives of the people around Nozaki, changing ehr life, and her world view, forever.

For those that don’t know, a shoujo manga is basically a romance comic book aimed at teenage girls. This is a pretty common, and popular, genre in Japan.

What’s notable about Nozaki as a series is that it is a hysterically funny comedy, while also being a savage deconstruction of both anime and manga cliches, character archetypes, and gender politics. It’s probably one of the smartest, most well written animes out there, all while taking absurdist comedy to new heights.

If you are a writer yourself, this is a show you really have to see, just for the way it takes apart cliches we all use. It will absolutely make you rethink not just how you write, but what you write.

Everything begins at the opening, of course, and in this, Nozaki nails it. Not just with the manga to anime transfers of the characters, but with the epic tanuki battle scene. Recasting the characters as almost superheroes battling the dreading tanuki is a thing of beauty, simply because of the way it symbolically rejects stereotypes, cliches, and overused ideas in a single, hilarious moment of absurd super heroics.

The art supplies moving to the music is just gravy, really. Brilliant, beautiful gravy.

The opening theme song, “Kimi Janakya Dame Mitai”. from Masayoshi Ōishi is the perfect song for this show, too. High energy, warm, and matched with perfect visuals, it tells you exactly what you are going to be in for. A fun, yet thought provoking ride behind the curtain of the shoujo manga world.

Final note: Kashima is life. That is all.


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