Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Episode 4

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Recap

Mikoshiba stays over at Nozaki’s place and the two stay up all night playing a dating sim. The next day, Mikoshiba is invited to a mixer and seeks advice from Nozaki and Chiyo. It’s all very funny.

Jel’s Thoughts

This was probably the best episode of Nozaki-kun yet as nearly every moment is comedy gold. I am totally sick of dating sim and visual novel jokes but taking it from the perspective of these two totally clueless dudes was hilarious. Nozaki truly has nothing but manga on the brain and his pragmatic approach to the game totally dispelled any romanticism anime seems to attach to VN’s without being dismissive or judgmental. Having Nozaki pick the girl that was exactly like Chiyo was a nice tease too, even if it didn’t amount to anything.

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The B side of the episode was just as entertaining, if not moreso, as Nozaki-kun continues to gently take apart anime gender stereotypes. The comedy was still top notch as I nearly did a spit take when Nozaki walked in with the bunny ears and later Chiyo played along as his hostess club boss/enforcer. I am really falling in love with her character. She’s sweet and kind but she’s no pushover, she’s shown in scene after scene that she’s strong enough to hold her own in any situation. It was also pretty funny seeing Nozaki act like a total whore with the most deadpan delivery possible. He kind of has an easy going laconic vibe to him but he’s not emotionless by any means. His personality just makes it funnier when he really gets into something.

The best bit though by far was Mikoshiba finally admitting he just wanted to be “one of the girls” and gossip in the bathroom. It’s those kind of moments that is shaping Nozaki-kun into something truly special. I appreciated the small bit where his friends realize he didn’t really want to go to the mixer in the first placed and feel bad for forcing him. It sends a nice message that guys don’t have to be ravenous womanizers and shouldn’t be pressured into feeling like they do. Sending Kashima in to pinch hit and steal all the ladies was the perfect way to end it really, keeping the metaphorical ship pointed in the right direction. This episode really confirms Nozaki-kun is my favorite thing going right now, and it could end up one of my favorite shows of the year.

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Marlin’s Thoughts

Another great episode. After Sabagebu and Space Dandy, Sunday is quickly becoming the best day of the week. There’s a lot of trope playing and, as always, Nozaki-kun lambasts them with a lot of charm. The different ways Nozaki plays with the core conceit of Visual Novels was great. I love that they pointed out how approaching a visual novel from the female point of view is probably not the best idea. A game made for men would want to cater to a male mentality. The bit with the best friend just took the cake. It reminded me a lot of the kind of thing we would always joke about when it came to Umehara from Amagami SS. The dude was always such a solid bro to the MC that sometimes it felt like he deserved a girl more than the MC did.

The second act ups the ante, having our characters try to lend their advice to something that obviously none of them have the proper experience for. I like the continuing theme of our characters not having their personalities defined by their genders. Both Mikoshiba and Nozaki have more traditionally “feminine” traits or mentalities, that they find it hard to know the right things to say when the social situation demands they act more “manly”. Gotta love that hostess club routine as well. The Kashima joke at the end could be seen from a mile away, but it was still a great punchline to the whole affair.

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