Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Episode 2

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Recap

Chiyo meets Nozaki’s friend and fellow assistant Mikoshiba and learns that Nozaki models his characters on real people. To help out, she introduces Nozaki to her friend Seo who doesn’t quite fit the shoujo manga mold.

Jel’s thoughts

I really liked the one on one dynamic between Chiyo and Nozaki in the first episode so I was a bit hesitant introducing another assistant. It doesn’t help that Mikoshiba comes off incredibly obnoxious in his first couple of scenes, which were frustrating regardless of whether they were intentional or not. Once the curtain is pulled back though and you realize he’s essentially Nozaki’s tsundere model the gag is pretty funny. I also appreciate that Mikoshiba’s put back on the shelf until he’s needed again, although we’ll see moving forward if he continues to be a one note gag.

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Seo turns out to be a much more interesting character. I love how she’s so hard for Nozaki to pin down for his character study. I know he ultimately uses her as the “oblivious” character but she has other things going on for her that makes the choice difficult. The bit with Seo handing off the books to escape was also hilarious, proving once and for all that manga is the only thing Nozaki has on his brain. I couldn’t help but compare Seo to Monogatari’s Kanbaru Suruga with the whole tomboy basketball player thing plus Miyuki Sawashiro’s voice, but considering Kanbaru is one of the most insightful characters in her series I wouldn’t take it any further than that.

Perhaps the best aspect of all of this is how observing the new characters affect Chiyo and Nozaki. Both of them formed friendships with people very different from themselves, giving each other a little glimpse of how they think and interact with others. Maybe it’s only a little baby step toward them getting to know each other better but it works really well. It seems the series is creeping further away from romance and leaning heavier on the comedy and that’s fine, but it’s nice to know that their relationship isn’t going to be neglected. This episode went a long way toward easing my fears about adding more cast members without losing sight of that ultimate goal.

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