This is one of my absolute favourite shojo animes of all time and I will recommend it to anyone, anywhere, anytime… though, they probably won’t listen to me. (ha ha ha!)
So what’s it about?
Umetaro Nozaki is a high school student who has a secret job as a manga artist. He is the mangaka for a popular girls’ romance manga called – Let’s fall in Love. Chiyo Sakura, one of Nozaki’s classmates, has a big crush on him and tells him, but not quite explicitly. He mistakes her confession of love for a declaration of her being a fan of his manga and also recruits her to help out with his manga. What ensues is 12 episodes of shenanigans as you meet Sakura and Nozaki’s friends and witness how Nozaki deals with writer’s block and where he finds inspiration.
To binge or not to binge?
I binge watched Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun because I just couldn’t stop, I found it so hilarious! However, there’s no story really, an end credits scene in each episode ties it to the next (do not miss these end credits scenes, particularly for the last episode) but you don’t have to binge watch it.
Is it a gateway anime?
Yes and no. Yes, because everyone remotely interested in anime should watch it. No, because it parodies a lot of typical shojo tropes and to really appreciate this anime, you need to be familiar with shojo anime/manga.
Dub or sub?
I do suggest subtitles over the English dub. The English dub is very good, they’ve got the comedic timing down and Monica Rial as Kashima is so good! However, to me, Nozaki is extremely clueless and the Japanese version captures that clueless aspect much better than the English version. However, choosing the dubbed version will allow you to understand the jokes better and also concentrate on the animation.
What’s to like?
So much. For one, this anime throws gender stereotypes out the window. In Nozaki’s manga, the inspiration for the male characters are his female classmates and the inspiration for female characters are his male classmates. The most popular person with the girls on campus is a girl and all the boys acknowledge this with awe. Sakura is often jealous of Nozaki’s ‘femininity’. It’s just wonderful how gender fluid this show is. Another interesting thing is that the Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun manga is published in a shonen magazine but it doesn’t quite follow the shonen typecast. However, while it has some semblance to shojo manga, it constantly spins shojo tropes on their head. The animation in this anime is beautiful. Also, I have to acknowledge the OP because I love “Kimi ja nakya dame mitai” by Masayoshi Oishi, TO DEATH. Just going by the number of times I’ve listened to this song, it is definitely my favourite OP of all time.
If you’re tired of shojo tropes and want an anime with great satire, upside down gender roles, a GREAT OP, gorgeous animation and hilarious high school situations, Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun is for you.