「バイオレンスVSプリンス」 (Baiorensu VS Purinsu)
“Violence vs. the Prince”
The baka female prince and her angry but reliable sempai join Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun’s colorful cast of characters.
Twists On Common Character Subversions
Take a standard trope. Let’s say the pretty boy. Now subvert it. It turns into the pretty boy who is actually a girl. But if you subvert that trope often enough, it becomes a new in and of itself trope. So how do you keep it fresh?
You tweak it slightly again, and that’s what Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is good at doing. We saw it last week with Mikorin (sensitive pretty boy…in a girly way) and Seo (sporty girl who’s oblivious but also a great singer), and here we see it again with Kashima Yuu (Nakahara Mai), the rare female prince who isn’t doing anything to hide the fact that she’s a girl. No pants for this prince! It’s not that she’s acting like a guy, it’s that everyone else treats her like a guy, even the boys. She also avoids the trap of being “perfect”; yes, she can throw out embarrassing lines better than anyone – take note, Mikorin – but her common sense is at near-Yuzuki levels. Where other shows are content to start with cliches, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun differentiates its characters in interesting ways immediately.
Let’s see how much trouble I can get into here. You know how most of the time with slapstick comedy it’s the guys who are taking the damage? Especially in anime, where it’s almost always girls metting it out after some (usually accidental) perverted act? I like seeing the shoe on the other foot. Not because I like seeing girls kicked in places untoward, but because it’s another example of how Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun does things – slightly tweaking the standard formula to produce laughs. And it works! Yuu is exactly the kind of character who needs to be belted upside the head once in a while, and Hori Masayuki (Ono Yuuki) is perfect for the job. Gender equality means everyone gets to be on the receiving end of comedic violence once in a while.
What I’m perhaps enjoying more than anything else is how rich Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun’s characters are. Comedies can risk making their characters two-dimensional when everything is played for laughs, but Nozaki-kun doesn’t fall for that trap. Yuu may be a baka prince, but she’s a great actor, and while Hori-sempai’s height was the butt of jokes, the truth is that he’s decided to watch and nurture Yuu’s acting abilities rather than take the spotlight himself. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun respects its characters, making them more than just an assembly of interesting personality traits that can be harvested for jokes, until they feel like, well, people. And that’s a lot more interesting because, as outlandish as they can, I feel like I know them.
Looking Ahead – Usamimi Nozaki-kun?
I’m not sure what to think about the preview, save for the notable dearth of Chiyo. Is it going to be a Nozaki & Mikorin episode? No Chiyo or Yuzuki? Am I okay with that? Yeah, I’m okay with that. Viva la Mikorin! (And Nozaki-kun, I guess.)
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The baka female prince & her angry sempai join the cast. I would never let Yuu meet any of my girlfriends either #nozakikun 03
- Yup, Nozaki-kun’s manga is definitely ruined for Chiyo. She’s getting Mamiko and Mikorin completely confused with each other. That cheater!
- I was waiting to see what Yuu would have until she forgot that one girl’s name and glossed over it by calling her Hime. It’s the little things that help us relate to her.
- Mikorin ended up as the heroine again. Mikorin is Nozaki-kun’s eternal heroine. Oh noes!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Fast, easy, guaranteed, Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t, Writer, author, full-time author, and Disorganized ≠ creative.
I’m looking for an artist for commission work. If you’re a talented illustrator, email me at stiltsoutloud(at)gmail(dot)com with samples. If I like what I see, I’ll tell you about the job. If you’ve already contacted me, please give me some time to respond. And yes, this is a paying gig.
Full-length images: 30.