‘Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun‘ is a 2014 slice-of-life comedy anime based on a manga written and illustrated by Izumi Tsubaki. The show was produced by the Japanese animation studio Doga Kobo and was licensed to Sentai Filmworks for a release in the United States.
Chiyo Sakura (Juliet Simmons) is a Japanese high school student who confesses her love to her stoic classmate Umetarou Nozaki (Ty Mahany) by telling him she is a “fan.” Mistaking her meaning, he gives her an autograph revealing that he is the writer of shojo romantic manga short stories using a pen name. Seeing her skill as an artist, he hires her as an “assistant” to help him polish his work. From here, she meets his best friend Mikoto Mikoshiba (Scott Gibbs), a ladies’ man who gets embarrassed by the attention he receives. Background artist and aspiring playwright Masayuki Hori (Adam Noble) and his rival Yuu Kashima (Monica Rial), an actress who is adored by her fellow female classmates, are part of Nozaki’s inner circle. Hirotaka Wakamatsu (Cameron Bautsch) is a basketball player who is in love with “Lorelai” a singer he has never met, but unbeknown to him, she is Sakura’s best friend, the brash Yuzuki Seo (Joanne Bonasso) whom he fears. Chiyo gets to know Nozaki and helps him with ideas for his stories, though she starts to wonder if he is just using her for inspiration or if he feels the same way as she.
As a writer, I identified with Nozaki a great deal. Granted, he writes in a different genre than I do, but how he gets inspiration, goes people watching, or does social experiments so he can make his characters more relatable. It is a bit exaggerated, but I definitely felt the connection in that sense.
I have to comment on the voice acting by saying that everyone does a great job. Juliet Simmons and Ari Ozawa voiced Sakura in the English and Japanese versions respectively. They are the standout performances. Both of them did a good job with the role, showing her insecurities, her concerns, and the love that she has for Nozaki within the plot.
The show does end in a cliffhanger. With only twelve episodes, the show comes to a conclusion where you wonder where the romance will go. With this in mind, I enjoyed the show. The comedy is spot on, the plot pulls you in, and I enjoyed watching these eccentric characters work together and learn about each other. I do hope it gets a reboot or they do a second season as I find the story charming and relatable.
Check out the trailer below:
This review is based on the dub.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some minor foul language, Violence, Disturbing themes
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This article has been updated from a previous version.
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