Nozaki wants to add some excitement to his manga so he tries to surprise Chiyo with a series of pranks for inspiration. The boys all crash at Nozaki’s place when a storm shuts down the trains, giving him the perfect material for a new slumber party scenario.
As the episodes have rolled by and there have been so many other things to love about Nozaki-kun, it never even occurred to me that we would come back to Chiyo’s initial confession. So I was rather delighted to see how things are coming full circle, particularly as my concerns for any anime ending adapted from an ongoing manga are starting to creep in. It was really sweet to acknowledge how comfortable our main pair has become with each other, not through some melodramatic shared trauma or other unrealistic circumstances, but through good ol’ fashion spending time together. Nozaki’s little pranks were not only funny, particularly as Chiyo reached mass levels of paranoia, they also make you wonder, “just why is Nozaki working so hard to make a manga Chiyo will love?”.
That leads us to our second half slumber party which more directly questions Nozaki’s feelings. The rest of the cast are pretty obvious in their mutual attractions, but Nozaki has yet to be addressed. He’s spent the entire series being an observer so it’s rather fitting that he’s now the one being observed. I must admit having him fall asleep when the Big Question came up felt like a huge cop out, but since we are only one episode away from the end I’ll take it.
It’s all coming down to final episode, which looking at the preview (bonus awesome points for having Nozaki’s manga characters narrate) could elevate this series from just “great” to one of my favorites ever. I know I shouldn’t take the bait with that final image of Nozaki making a move, but they can’t possibly be so cruel as to go that far and not let poor Chiyo get SOMETHING out of it, right??? I’ll be disappointed if they pull the rug out from under her one last time, but no matter what happens I will be even more sad seeing such a fantastic series come to an end.
I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but this episode was fantastic. I love it when a show is able to keep the hits coming week after week. The best use of deadpan characters is to have them do absolutely silly things while having no reaction. That is basically Nozaki’s best act, and this episode milks it for all it’s worth. I love how Sakura gets so rattled that she expects something to be coming every time she’s with him. It made that last line that much sweeter when she realizes he just wants to spend time with her. The second act just keeps fanning the flames, letting us know that Sakura’s feelings are pretty obvious to everyone. I also like how they get into talking about girls. Talking about romance is a normal stereotype for girls, but honestly I’ve found the same kind of thing just as likely to happen when you get enough guys together too.
It’s a bit lame to have Nozaki asleep for the big question, but I suppose this show likes to keep some of its cards close for the final act. Having said that, nothing has ever made my heart wanna pound straight out of my chest than that last bit of next weeks preview. I’ve been trying to reign myself back into cautious optimism, but damn does that look exactly what you think it looks like. I’m going to be very disappointed if it is some kind of bait and switch, but I won’t be too heartbroken about it. Nozaki-kun has remained an absolutely wonderful show, and even if the main pair don’t get together, I’d still recommend it on its heart and its humor any day of the week.