Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Review

Chiyo Sakura has fallen in love. But when she attempts to confess her feelings for her crush, Nozaki, he kinda sorta misunderstands. And Chiyo ends up sitting in his apartment as his manga assistant. Well, she did want to get closer to him…

There’s very little violence in this show as it’s a slice-of-life comedy. Some gag jokes might show a bit of blood, but it’s small and never permanent.

Again, light stuff here. The usual d-mns and sh-ts with maybe one instance of a b-word. But it’s not heavy at all.

Again, nothing to fear here. Even though this is a romantic comedy, we’re spared any of the coarser clichés, like shower scenes and such. That said, there is a character that is female, but often acts male and is frequently cast as a male character in plays. This causes a little bit of gender confusion in a few spots.

Nothing really here to comment on either. One character sings very well, so she is compared to an angel and a siren more than once. But that’s about it.

Personal impression:
Ah, finally a wonderful show to share with you all! After the gross disappointment that was Capitan Earth, I needed this show badly. Originally I didn’t have too much hope for it as it was a shoujo comedy. And most shoujo comedies are just sorta funny. Not gut-busting. But this show definitely hit a high note and I couldn’t have been happier with it. Even the ending, which didn’t really conclude the romantic side of the show, didn’t give the show any negative points. After all, since most of the show leaned so heavily on comedy, and the personality of the male love interest is more dense than lava rock, it made perfect sense to leave the romance open ended. It also provided an opening for more seasons in the future. Something I really want to see and am crossing my fingers for.
Overall the art and music are pretty typical. Nothing really amazing and nothing boring. But the characters’ personalities, especially Sakura’s bluntness and Nozaki’s inability to think outside the manga-verse, make this show one of the best comedies I’ve seen since My Ordinary Life. If you find shoujo clichés laughable, you’ll love over half the comedy in this show. And even if you don’t know much about shoujo as a genre, Nozaki-kun is a great great little comedy to enjoy. Especially that entire sequence with the bike. And in the rain. And pretty much the whole thing, really.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genre(s): Comedy, slice-of-life, romance
Company: Media Factory
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Extra: Fall 2014 lineup

Other bloggers have noticed that this streaming season is abnormally slow, more so than ever before, and I agree. Often I start out sampling around five or six shows, only keeping three or so on my viewing list to finish. This time, however, I only managed to find interest in three shows to sample. And while they look decent enough, there’s no doubt that this is going to be a rather dry streaming season.
As such, I’ve taken on a few shows to try that have already been out for various amounts of time. But more on that later. For now, let’s got over the fall shows!

whensupernaturalWhen Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace 
I must say, I didn’t expect this comedy to be all that funny. But it has some decent enough jokes, though quite a few are very dead-pan, so be warned if that isn’t your thing. There was definately a slight Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya air to it, though it’s even less serious of a show and has the “carefree” feels amped up far higher. The characters are all pretty predictable and straightforward, with the art and music being nothing unique either.
There are some surprisingly serious aspects to this show, however. And I was shocked to find how well done they were. Though we’re still a bit too early in the show to have a great deal of stock in the characters, seeing one character broken hearted after a misunderstanding, trying to hide her tears of disappointment by looking up and blinking rapidly, actually connected a bit with me. It’s extremely hard for a comedy based show to get stong emotional reactions out of an audience, especially this early on, so I gotta give em props for that. Even so, this kind of show really can’t be expected to be too serious too often. And I worry that it might dissolve into a show like If Her Flag Breaks, a series I never even finished due to it forgetting it was light comedy and trying to be far more serious than it had any right to be.

yona-of-the-dawnYona of the Dawn
Gotta have a shoujo for the season and, thankfully, this one looks like it might actually have a decent story and heroine! Although shoujo series set during this era/setting (this appears to be a fantasy realm based loosely on feudal Japan) tend to be painful to get through due to their overabundance of cliché material, I’m giving this one a shot due to simply having that few options this season.
And I’m glad I did. Unlike most shows of this genre, the dark elements of the plot are actually touching the heroine and, for now, being taken quite seriously. The flash forwards also show the heroine so vastly different in personality from the “current” (aka her past self) version you see most of the time, that there seems to be promises of decent character development. An element I’m looking forward to a great deal. Only time will tell if this show can keep on track and not be derailed by the pull of romantic clichés, however.

gugureGugure! Kokkuri-san
Like When Supernatural Battles, Kokkuri-san is largely a comedy. And it is indeed rather amusing. However, like the before mentioned show, this one also attempts emotional depth rather fast. A bit too fast. We’re talking last half of episode one. And while I admit to being rather cold hearted at times, I think most viewers, no matter how gentle in heart, will find the last half of that pilot episode a bit… off. The entire drama of it hinges on the relationship between the two main characters. However, we’ve had all of twelve minutes with them. Their relationship is nearly non-existent.
That said, the comedy was decent enough to warrant me giving it another episode or two more. Let’s just hope it sticks to comedy though. At least long enough to establish a solid foundation.

And now two shows that are already complete:

wolfsrainWolf’s Rain
On Artemis’s suggestion, I’ve begun trying out a classic in the anime world. And though I’m only one episode in, I must say, it’s impressive. 80’s era opener aside, the show is visually gorgeous and the characters are a bit unexpected and the plot a question mark. Both good things in my case as all too often characters and plot are easy reads episode one, making it hard for me to want to keep watching.
Although only time will tell if this show can be reviewed on here (the violence is rather high), it’s nice to see a bit more effort put into a show. Instead of just updated visuals and little else.

magicawarsMagica Wars
At only four or so minutes an episode, this show is hard to peg. I mean, it seems like a run of the mill magical girl show. And, honestly, the only thing going for it right now is the pretty art. That’s about it. It’s still a bit early for me to tell what it’s trying to do. Or even if it’s doing much of anything at all. There’s a decent chance this show will be dropped, but it’s a weird one (I mean, why was this funded?) so I might stick with it for a bit for curiosity’s sake.

Captain Earth Review

Daichi’s father was a captain. A space captain who fought to protect the earth from invaders. Years after his death, Diachi finds himself back on the last island his father was on. And ends up meeting, and awakening, a young girl who may be the key to earth’s last defense.

This is (supposedly) a mecha show, so violence is a must. That said, there’s not too much blood flung around overall. Aside from some bloody noses and gun shot wounds you never get a good look at, the violence is pretty tame really.

The usual TV14 stuff is here in force. The d-mns, sh-ts and occasional b-words. It’s not excessive, and no f-bombs as I recall, but there all the same.

Ok, so this is the worst aspect of this show. So, aside from more than a few absolutely pointless swimsuit scenes, thin nightgown scenes and Hana being naked in some weird lifepod of fluid before being awoken (without details, as usual), there’s a shower scene with the heavily endowed female enemy and she walks up to her partner completely naked, cause, ya know, why the heck not? Oh yeah, did I mention the whole end part where Hana has to be butt naked to control the ship jumping into hyperspace cause boobs and butts and, again, why the heck not? Did I mention that while there is no detail it’s still uber disturbing because a huge gun is riiight in the crotch area and it really makes you wonder why in the world did I even finish this show? Oh yeah, because I’m far too stubborn for my own good.

Aside from genetically altered psychopaths spouting the age old Hitler trash about being the “superior humans,” not much here to say.

Personal impression:
Pride comes before a fall. Legit, kids. Listen and learn well from my mistakes. This show sucked hard. It sucked very hard. And I really should have dropped it around episode two or three. Because episode one really wasn’t that bad. But two and three pretty much destroy any good stuff set up in the first episode. I saw the warning signs and ignored them. Partly because I wanted to write a review for you all and partly because I really wanted to believe studio Bones could make a good original show. I’m sorry. They can’t.
Aside from the horrendous tub of clichés used in the show, the amount of actual mech combat is just plain pitiful. Most of the show is drama and technical garbage punctuated with the occasional bit of pure stupidity. “Designer children?” Really, Bones? And an enemy organization called “Salty Dog?” That’s a dive bar you go to drown your sorrows, not a group to be feared. Also, using a tin can to talk to your boss is something I expect out of a parody, not a show that’s really trying to be taken seriously as a mech show and a drama.
And ohhhh the drama. That’s what’s going down while mechs aren’t on the screen. Which is about 90% of the show. I hope you like flat chested energetic girls and big chested “pure” girls and overly cute and obnoxious mascot characters because you’re going to choke on them. A lot.
Oh and don’t even get me started on getting any answers to questions posed in the very first episode. See that blue haired chick in the screenshots? Yeah, noooo clue who she is. NEVER explained. It’s like the first episode was made by a guy trying to get funded for this epic idea, he passed out after making episode one, and then a half asleep manga writer hyped up on caffeine and too much ramen was pulled in to write the rest.
Suffice to say that this was one of the worst mech shows I’ve seen in a long while, even the art and music is mediocre, at best. So why did I stick with it? Pride. It’s a bad thing, kids. I was at episode 12, thinking I was about done and in the clear for review writing when they just kept coming. I realized too late the show was 25 painful episodes long. Had I known beforehand I would have to go through that much, I would have dropped it long ago. I should have dropped it regardless. But I thought I could power through. And I did. But at what cost? At. What. Cost.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 25
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Mecha, fantasy, drama
Company: Shochiku
Official streaming: Crunchyroll