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.
In this volume, some of Nozaki’s manga assistants are starting to figure out which friends have inspired which of the characters in his manga, Let’s Fall in Love, while his mangaka friend Miyako gets inspired by her college friends. Later, Nozaki needs some bullying references and loops in Sakura and Mikoshiba for help.
Here we are, in my seventh review of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, and no one is more surprised than I am that my patience for the 4koma and largely plot-free style has totally held up. And, what’s more, this series is still funny.
While a lot of US fans became familiar with the series based on the hit 2014 anime, the anime only covers storylines between Volume 1 and Volume 4, but arguably the most hilarious parts of the story are found after the anime adaptation ends. Volume 7 contains some of my favorite moments in the series, from some hilarious sidebars about the two editors at the magazine Let’s Fall in Love runs in to an ongoing miscommunication between Kashima and Hori.
Every volume more or less shows a different couple stealing the show, and in Volume 7, Wakamatsu and Seo are obvious winners. Chapter 66 is essentially about the boys’ basketball team trying to figure out what to “do about” Seo, and the solution Nozaki helps Wakamatsu come up with is… we can call it “effective.”
In fact, it’s so effective that watching it unfold can’t help but make you chuckle. And it brings out a bit of a dark side in Wakamatsu, which is somehow even funnier.
As a reader who tends to enjoy more plot-driven stories, I still find that Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is going strong at Volume 7. The series is ongoing in Japan, where eight volumes have already been released. (Volume 8 will come to the US in July.) Despite a lack of continuing plot, the volumes hold together with a series of ongoing gags and insight into how manga is made from both an artist (mangaka) and editorial perspective.
Another nice thing for readers who seek this type of thing: this volume contains three pages of extra manga at the end of the book, which includes the strip inside the back cover. There’s only one two-sided page of colored illustrations, but one of those illustrations is a great group shot with all 7 of the main characters, while the main illustration is a really pretty one featuring Seo and Sakura, also featured on the cover.
With every volume, I wonder when Nozaki-kun is going to run out of steam, and thankfully the answer has been “not yet” up until now. It also deals humorously with many aspects of creating manga, which makes it a good series for fans of the medium. I would definitely recommend Volume 7 to returning readers, and the series as a whole to readers who enjoy ending a volume with a smile.
Story: 5 out of 5 stars
Art: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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