Anime: Monthly Girls
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: March 29th, 2016
Retail Price: $69.98
When a romantically awkward girl named Chiyo Sakura is introduced in the anime series Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, she plans to reveal her crush despite him not knowing of her existence. As Chiyo is given the opportune moment, she changes her tune and the conversation is somehow misinterpreted as a job application for the young man she’s vying for. Nozaki (her crush) is actually a famous shoujo manga under the guise of Yumeno Sakiko who has accumulated fans for his talent. Just seeking his companionship, Chiyo tackles the position of assistant for Nozaki and takes whatever time she can receive. With things quickly proving to be a humorous tale of romance, you immediately grasp the overarching tone of the anime.
Monthly Girl's Nozaki-kun is told in the span of 12 episodes (but let’s hope there is more to come,) with each introducing a fun and zany new storyline whenever possible. An admirable trait of the series is how anytime you notice it begins to depict serious or cliche anime qualities, it subsequently makes fun of the concept to remind you that it is fully aware of typical anime tropes. The humor is sharply written and finds unconventional ways to interject comedy in regular storytelling. Using Nozaki's position as a manga creator is something reminiscent of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, giving plenty of manga parallels to guide the narrative. Taking a fan-girl approach to his work also portrays the overwhelming attachment youth can have for their idols. Of course they stay in a comedic lane, but still find a way to depict a worldwide-cultural trait developed by intense fans.
The series contains multiple entertaining characters with their own eclectic attributes - with my favorite supporting character being Mikoto Mikoshiba. Mikoshiba is Nozaki's best friend, spending most of their time together in sometimes ridiculously odd situations. He seems like he exudes charm and confidence, but the young man is actually expresses a shyness after repeatedly getting himself into predicaments because of his choice words. His sexuality is questionable on numerous occasions, and his friendship with Nozaki adds a little fuel to the shipping fire. Yu Kashima is another character with importance, known as the "prince" of the group for her more masculine appearance and romantic ways with the women. Wakamatsu is another character that I enjoyed, despite having a smaller role and only a slight following. He fills the athletic role of the group, but also a romantic intrigue that sets him apart from the stereotypical role. This group of friends each have their own unique traits to fill out a diverse selection of lead characters, and supporting characters as well.
Nozaki is easily the stronger leading character between him and Chiyo. From first impressions, a strict or smug vibe could come from his character art alone, but Nozaki couldn’t be any more developed than he is. From his specific way of doing things, to his desire to submerge himself into his artistic inspirations, Nozaki is adorable all the way through. Moments where he added his peculiar methods included trying to exhibit emotions of a character he wrote, taking food photography for reference, or even creating a story that catered to an unrequited love stemming from a video game. I sincerely appreciated that for the most part Nozaki was an open minded man, who also placed a high value on what brings the manga creator happiness. It’s entirely plausible why the series centers around him and even in the final moments he finds a way to answer a long running question with comedic excellence.
Being a series that tackles manga as well, the art for Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is required to be above average - and the anime puts in the extra effort. The animation is gorgeous, and each character has artistic qualities that make them individually strong. Some of the settings are drawn with the best memorable moments of the anime, with detailed surroundings and beautiful environmental based artwork. The series takes perfect color splashes to complete the feel for the animation, including bold hair and eye choices to spruce up the uniformity that school centric series can develop. The English dub cast includes Ty Mahany, Juliet Simmons and Scott Gibbs filling the three primary figures in the anime with perfect timing and direction. The Sentai Filmworks release was clearly handled with care and they made sure to have a complete collection to appease the large number of fans who enjoy Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun. From the first episode to the final scene, there is a blend of romance, comedy and the creativity necessary to produce an impressive series. Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun is available now on DVD and Blu-ray so make sure to pick up a copy of the worthwhile anime series!
Overall Score: 8.6/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
-Nozaki was a great character to learn about for his well-rounded persona.
-Anytime Chiyo started to slightly bug me, they would add humor to shift my emotions on the fan-girl.
-Mikoshiba is a character strong enough to have his own spinoff series for his innerworkings and extremely entertaining ways.
-The final scene was a perfect way to show the overall energy the series gives off.
-Adapt more of Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun please!