Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Review

monthlygirlsStory:
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…

Violence:
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.

Language:
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.

Nudity:
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.

Theology/mythology:
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
Screenshots:
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No Game, No Life Review

no game no lifeStory:
Sora and Shino are known in the gaming world as simply “Blank,” an ominous player as yet undefeated. But when the two siblings receive a challenge online and win, they find themselves transported directly into a game world they’ve never seen before. The game turns out to be a world where killing is off limits and the way nations “war” against one another is through various mini-games. But the cards are stacked against the siblings this time as they end up on the side of other mortal characters with no magic abilities and no real ways of cheating their way to victory, something all the other nations have no problem accomplishing.

Violence:
Considering that this show doesn’t allow killing, there isn’t too much violence aside from slap stick. You do see blood now and again as some “games” allow characters to be “killed,” though only for the duration of the game itself (so it’s not permanent). Also, some of the slap stick ends with a character bleeding from a head wound (who knew pounding one’s head into the stone floor could do that?), but it doesn’t stick as it’s for comedy’s sake only.

Language:
Although I’ve heard worse, this anime certainly doesn’t avoid bad lanaguage either. Every now and again you’ll hear a d-mn, sh-t and a b-word of one form or another. Although, it’s still far less common than your average American TV series.

Nudity:
The worst aspect of this show by far goes right in this section. The fanservice is extensive and nearly got this show a WZ. Very nearly. Aside from the random panty shot, you also have to put up with the big busted female characters, shower scenes with soap barely covering the details, games played where the loser must strip and an entire scene where a game played renders all female characters nude, but without details. Think of colored silhouettes. Although details are kept out of these nudity scenes, they’re still insulting and inappropriate. As are more than a few comments, jokes and such. Be prepared. This show is rated YA for this section all by itself and this is a strong warning spot. If any of this bugs you, skip this title.

Theology/mythology:
In the world the siblings find themselves in, various “gods” exist that once ruled the gaming world and one, Tat, now rules over even them. However, even though they are considered “gods,” they aren’t really worshipped as such. They are treated more along the lines of “they’re out there and are powerful” and that’s about it. So there’s no indoctrination. And, again, this is all in a game world, so it’s not “real” anyway.

Personal impression:
If this show wasn’t so strife with fanservice, it’d make its way to my Top 20 list of shows. Because, story and character-wise, I highly enjoyed it. But there was that fanservice, and as I mentioned above, it’s pretty bad.
But putting that aside, this show has a great set up, even if it does take a bit of time to take off and find a good pace. Genius gamers is nothing new to anime, but the addition of all other players being able to cheat and use magic while they cannot makes for an actual challenge. While you know they can likely pull it off, it’s extremely impressive to watch how they do so, despite the enemy trying every dirty trick in the book to beat them. The theme of humanity needing to make up for their “weaknesses” by playing smarter, not harder, is pushed throughout the show and actually makes sense. Although I could have used a bit more character growth for our heroes, the set up for more story and depth is there for season two, should that come to pass.
And I certainly hope it does. With bright and beautiful art and settings, alongside some throughly entertaining battles of wit and skill, this show was a fun ride, despite the stupid boob jokes here and there. If it only had more to the end besides a cliff hanger…

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Fantasy, action, comedy
Company: Media Factory
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
Screenshots:
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