Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Episode 3

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Recap

When Chiyo discover’s Nozaki’s background artist visits him late at night, she investigates to see if he’s spending time alone with another girl. While hanging around Mikoshiba, she meets some new friends from the drama club.

Jel’s thoughts

I don’t think Nozaki-kun is trying to make any grand social statements but it is definitely doing some interesting things with gender, or at least gender roles as defined by manga. All the cast members outside of the main couple have some kind of trait that would normally be associated with the opposite sex: Mikoshiba is a tsundere, Seo is the oblivious and inconsiderate friend, Kashima has masculine physical features, and Hori is well, short. It’s a refreshing bit of honesty that could carry Nozaki-kun to higher heights than a simple romantic comedy. Intentional or not, the author is highlighting the silly patterns that have developed in manga and anime over the years, where you can simply say the gender of the target audience ā€“ shoujo or shounen, seinen or josei ā€“ and you immediately have some idea of what you’re going to get. If the ultimate message is how archaic those definitions have become, then we might have something special on our hands.

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Getting more specifically into this episode, I love the new cast members. Who would have thought we’d actually get a pretty anime guy that looks kind of like a girl turn out to ACTUALLY be a girl? I found myself instantly invested in Kashima and Hori’s relationship as it seems to already be well established. In particular, their little half confessions in talking to Chiyo and Nozaki separately were adorable, making the post credits scene a really sweet way to cap off the episode. The only thing that felt out of place was the violence. I’m usually fine with comically exaggerated love taps but the way Hori outright punches and kicks Kashima feels slightly uncomfortable. I don’t think they would have taken things to that level if Kashima was built like your average tiny anime girl. They try to smooth things out by showing Kashima actually enjoys getting hit, but it was still excessive.

There’s not quite as much Chiyo and Nozaki in this episode, but as I said last week showing other characters gives Chiyo a mirror to examine her own feelings. It was pretty cute seeing her attempting to resist Kashima’s charm and not blurting out her own silly shoujo manga line. While she mostly plays the straight woman I love her bold streak, asking Hori about briefs and diving into the script reading without hesitation. I’m sure we’ll get back into the main relationship once the cast gets settled, so I’m not too worried on that front, instead I’m feeling very optimistic about the direction Nozaki-kun is heading.

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Marlin’s Thoughts

Nozaki-kun has really been hitting all the right notes in its ongoing tongue and cheek ribbing of shoujo tropes. I love how Kashima basically is Mikoshiba, but without any of the self-awareness. I think the interesting thing about every character so far is that they have some kind of artistic talent that goes beyond their satirical personality quirks. The jokes are there to ease them into the cast, but it seems like the show is also giving us time to get to know these characters as more rounded people as time goes on. Mikoshiba has already shown a lot of personality just in this episode, showing part of his life outside of helping Nozaki-kun, and getting to see what he thinks of later developments.

I’m really uncomfortable with the violence comedy. It almost makes it seem like Kashima “deserves it” or something, but it just comes off as disturbing and puts me off of what is otherwise a really funny episode. It’s made even weirder by the fact that clearly they’re both attracted to each other. Domestic abuse is never funny. If it was just like a light smack on the head it wouldn’t be as bad i suppose, but its the sheer violence of it that makes it hard to handle. I was very surprised to find Hori to be a fellow student. The way he dresses and how he looks, I was expecting him to be an editor or something. Being short never stopped Tom Cruise’s acting career, but I guess being short in Japan is more like being in the low 5′ range instead of 5’7″.

4 thoughts on “Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Episode 3

  1. I agree with Marlin that I found the violence comedy in this episode (and violence comedy in anime in general) to be a little disturbing. I know it’s intended to be funny and not serious at all but… well, that’s my problem, I guess. It’s also one of the many reasons that harem shows, for example, tend to make me uncomfortable – violence comedy of course occurs elsewhere too, but it seems especially prolific in male-orientated titles.

    Other than that though, I’m surprised at how much I’m actually enjoying this series, which I only picked up on a whim a few days ago. Someone else on my blogroll made a comparison between it and Love Lab, which I likewise went into with terrible expectations but ended up vastly enjoying.

    • It is the same studio as Love Lab and it is much better than the premise sounds, but other than that its a pretty different show. It’s probably my favorite thing this season, although there’s a few contenders I haven’t gotten to watching yet.

      • Huh, I didn’t realise it was the same studio. But yeah, I meant similar to Love Lab in that I went into both expecting cliche slapstick comedy and trashy fanservice, and instead got/am getting genuine laughs and little to no fanservice at all.

        • There are quite a few nearly fan service free comedies this season. I’m really enjoying Sabagebu which is totally over the top comedy, no romance, and is actually based on a shoujo manga.

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