Typical rom-com manga plotline. Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, girl attempts to confess to boy, boy completely misunderstands what she’s actually trying to say and instead of accepting or rejecting her love, hands her an autograph made out from a famous and popular girls’ manga artist, who actually happens to be him.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun follows the misadventures of the eponymous Nozaki-kun, a popular shoujo mangaka, and the
poor unfortunate assistants he recruits to work for him. True to its placement in the romantic comedy genre, this means adding a plethora of other characters and their romantic misadventures, too.
The fourth volume of Nozaki wraps up the remaining plotlines that made it into the 2014 anime, although some chapters’ content diverts from what made it into the animated series, and this volume starts to move away from scenes viewers would be familiar with.
One of the best things about Volume 4 is that it introduces a few characters who aren’t seen in the anime: Nozaki’s younger brother, Mayu, and his parents. While Nozaki’s parents don’t really stick around very long, his relationship with them is great, and the scenes with Mayu are a ton of fun.
Another nice thing about Volume 4 for more dedicated fans and/or collectors is the inclusion of character info at the end of the volume. There are pages dedicated to more information and details on the school uniforms and all 7 of the core characters in the series. There are also two bonus strips after the character information pages.
The Nozaki-kun series is set up in a 4koma style, which can be described as almost a manga-style comic strip. Each chapter has a number of 4komas that create a plot thread, although Nozaki-kun is still a gag manga. If you’ve made it to Volume 4, I’m guessing that the 4koma style isn’t distracting, but for those thinking about jumping in who aren’t familiar with the style, it could be slightly disorienting at first.
Volume 4 marks the ending point of the plot covered in the anime and the starting point of everything else that comes after. With many volumes out now in Japan of this comedy manga, what viewers would be familiar with is just a starting point.
I always recommend this series to avid fans of manga and anime, mainly because it references so many tropes of manga and anime in general. It’s also an excellent series for those who love lighthearted comedies of error and one of my most highly-recommended manga in general.
Story: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Art: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Feliza Casano has watched all of the Nozaki-kun anime three times. She founded Girls in Capes and currently edits and writes for all sections of the site. In her approximate 2.3 hours of free time each month, she loves watching anime, reading science fiction, and working on her novels-in-progress. Keep up with her antics at felizacasano.com and follow her on Twitter @FelizaCasano.