「男には、戦わねばならない、時がある。」 (Otoko ni wa, Tatakawaneba Naranai, ji ga aru.)
“There Are Times When Men Must Fight”

It’s an episode of empathy, with Nozaki wielding his empathetic skills to get into girls (& boys) heads, and even play the role of a girl himself. Umeko pyon~!

From the Girl’s PoV

It’s revealing that Nozaki wasn’t able to excel at the galge (dating sim) when he was attacking it from the girl’s point of view. Nozaki is good at getting into girls’ heads (when he realizes he needs to…sorry, Chiyo-chan), which was why his answers were right for a real girl but wrong for the galge. There’s some truth to that, because while girls, like all humans, generally like being let into someone’s confidence and learning about some of their weaknesses (as long as they’re not tiresome or worrisome ones, naturally), that’s not the fantasy galges want to convey. The lesson: empathy bitches, it works! Getting into others’ heads is the best way to understand them and build a relationship, whether romantic or otherwise.

From The Boy’s PoV

Empathy works on guys too. That’s why I was cracking up when Nozaki and Mikorin realized the only appropriate love interest stereotypical super loyal best friend Tomoda (Hino Satoshi) was the protagonist himself! To be honest, it’s mostly commentary about how the best friend character in many dating sims are flat, one-dimensional characters who don’t seem to have a life outside of their relationship with the protagonist, but I liked how Nozaki once against wielded his empathy to get inside a character’s head and figure out not what he [Nozaki] would want for him, but what Tomoda himself would want. There could only be one choice. Let the BL doujinshi all-nighter commence!

The Relatable Mikorin

Unlike prince Kashima, Mikorin became more relatable when it was revealed – well, I’ll say emphasized – that he’s no good at talking to girls. It’s not like they were hiding that before. I really empathized with his concerns, because as an introvert myself, social settings like that were fraught with peril back in high school, and occasionally still are. I wish he hadn’t wussed out and sent Kashima in his place, even though the result was hilariously expected.

Mikorin openly admitting that he doesn’t want to hook up with a girl was a bit odd though. Usually it seems like shy guys want to find a nice girl, they just become emotional wrecks trying to figure out how to navigate a conversation and perhaps run away. Openly admitting it was refreshingly honest, if a bit odd.

With Friends Like These…

Mikorin chose unwisely though, because his friends ended up being useless. It’s hard to blog comedies sometimes because it often comes down to saying “This was hilarious!”. Aside from this being another instance of Nozaki-kun flexing his empathy muscles – though not as well this time – all I can say is that nearly every single gag here was funny. Just watch it, and watch it again! You will come to understand the wisdom of Mikorin as best girl, and Nozaki–erh, Umeko-chan as, surprisingly, best waifu.

Does Mikorin Know?

My question is: Does Mikorin know Chiyo likes Nozaki? It’s hard to believe anyone other than Nozaki-kun himself would miss it, but two things made me think that Mikorin might. First, when Chiyo lit up at hearing about Nozaki’s uncertainty, Mikoshiba realized he had lost. Second, when Nozaki picked the galge girl who looks like Chiyo, Mikorin’s mind immediately went to love. Combines those with Chiyo describing Nozaki-kun exactly and talking about Nozaki-kun, I think he might. Though he seems like he would do something about it if he did, so maybe not after all. I don’t know! Not that we’re liable to get any romantic developments anyway, but it’s fun to wonder.

Popular With Both Girls & Boys

I was talking to Zanibas and Enzo the other day, and Zani mentioned a survey he had pulled up about Japanese viewer’s expectations of summer shows. We may talk about this on a later podcast, but one thing Enzo pointed out was how high Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun was on both the male viewer and female viewer lists – second and first place, respectively. I find it enormously heartening when a show has such crossover appeal irrespective of gender, and here it makes sense. As Enzo put it, it’s a shounen manga (now anime) about a male shoujo artist with a female main character and a host of gender swapped character types. It doesn’t pigeonhole itself, but it does it so well that anyone can, and actively is, enjoying it. Great to hear!

Looking Ahead – More Important (Or Scary) Than a Girlfriend

Next week it looks like Nozaki’s editor will be introduced. For the record, I understand being more worried about your editor coming over than your girlfriend. You’ve got to be comfortable enough with your girlfriend (eventually) to be able to relax, but your editor? No such requirement. Fear the editor forever!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Mikorin fails at dating sims & Mikorin fails at mixers, while Nozaki flexes the empathy that makes him a great shoujo artist #nozakikun 04

Random thoughts:

  • If Mikorin plays galge, does that mean…Mamiko is trying to capture all the girls! Oh noes!
  • Mikorin is so helpless. Talking big, and then crying for help while he talks about socks. Mikorin truly is best girl, and yes, I will continue to say that all season.
  • Finger gun, pow! I don’t blame Mikorin; I would be embarrassed if I ever did that too.
  • Mikorin goes for harem or bust. Or really, just-one-of-the-girls or bust.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Temporally unfocused, Fast, easy, guaranteed, Starting off with a bang, & why you shouldn’t, and Writer, author, full-time author.




  1. https://randomc.net/image/Gekkan%20Shoujo%20Nozaki-kun/Gekkan%20Shoujo%20Nozaki-kun%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    Them chibi versions sure are cute. I wonder how the rest of the cast would look like.

    That’s why I was cracking up when Nozaki and Mikorin realized the only appropriate love interest stereotypical super loyal best friend Tomoda (Hino Satoshi) was the protagonist himself!

    Oh great…still having a bit of previous anime season fever,
    and now I’m picturing Hase x Shougo (ノ ̄ω ̄)ノ
    (Isshukan Friends for those who aren’t familiar with the names)

  2. Mikorin best girl seconded. He is the true main character of this story. Mamiko~

    He’s actually quite popular with girls, as well. I don’t think he’s shy so much as he’s emotionally unable to deal with women romantically, and chooses not to for the most part.

    I really liked the Tomoda sketch. I always tend to like the pervy best friend character better than the protagonist of harem anime, so I really liked seeing him given the (hilarious) attention he deserves.

    1. There’s some truth to that. It’s like Mikorin isn’t comfortable taking the “male” role (male in quotation marks because gender norms are artificial constructs etc etc), so when he can be his heroine-level self, he’s okay. That requires him being “one of the girls” though, which doesn’t work in a romantic situation. Or so he thinks.

      1. He’s the kind of guy who’s afraid to order “girly” drinks at a bar, even though all he really wants is an Appletini (easy on the tini).

        …Kashima might actually make a good ‘boyfriend’ for him..

  3. Tomoda!!!!!

    Priceless as usual.

    Next week, three great new characters will come on stage. (You can see them in the preview.)

    The mangaka has done a great job creating characters that are believable (mostly), funny, and flawed. (Because flaws are where the comedy is at.) More importantly, the anime’s staff has done an incredible job of adapting the manga to anime so that the anime keeps the same high level. (Which is apparently harder than it seems!)

  4. Mikorin best girl. He’s even placed on the girls’ side on the OP while Kashima is on the male side.

    Next episode, the editor, Miyako-san, that other guy who’s name should not be mentioned, and tanukis. Lots of tanukis.

    Lastly, TOMODA!!
    Just noticed that it can be read as Tomo-da. And I believe Tomo means friend. Nice one.

      1. Both tomo and tomodachi mean friend. The former one is mostly used in more formal situations though.
        But nicely spotted, I always miss this stuff watching the first time.

      1. She’s at the top of my list of fav characters as well. Hell, I’ve started freaking dreaming about her!

        On another note, it’s nice to know this show has so much crossover appeal between genders. Not too surprising either, because it feels like its geared towards both genders in every way. It affectionately parodies the entertainment of both sides, it has appealing and funny characters of both genders and it’s very well executed to boot. Sure wouldn’t mind more shows like this.

  5. Good, good, all you can fight over Mikorin.

    *Puts Chiyo in his pocket*

    I already mentioned this before, but I really like Chiyo’s voice, it fits perfectly imho.
    Damn i love this show, perfect replacement for me for Tonari no Seki kun to cheer me up

  6. At first I was wary while going into this episode, because most of the comedy this far had been from gender-bent character archtypes, and there were no new characters this type around. Well, except Umeko and Tomoda, of course.
    I was glad to see my worry was unwarranted. (In hindsight, it was stupid to worry about a Mikorin-centric episode)

    Mikorin wanting to join on girls’ talk was probably the best part.

    Also, Tomoda for the best bro of the season.

    Next episode, we get reaction out of Nozaki-kun and… Tanuki?
    If this was normal shoujo, I would say the woman in the preview is the editor. This isn’t normal shoujo though, so it could be anyone.

  7. Oh god, the tanuki.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    And the way Nozaki-kun interacts with his editor is just… I can’t wait. That poor man.

  8. I think Mikorin doesn’t want to hook up with a girl, because he just suffers from too much pressure in putting on the persona he thinks he needs to put on in front of a girl. Dunno why the poor guy tortures himself lol, maybe under too much Kashima influence?

  9. I kinda wish Mikorin was voiced by Sugita, simply because watching Sugita and Nakamura playing videogames together is amazing. Though really, I’m not sure Sugita could play the best girl that well.

    As Enzo put it, it’s a shounen manga (now anime) about a male shoujo artist with a female main character and a host of gender swapped character types.
    And don’t forget that the original manga is written by a female shoujo artist. The gender levels of this plot are insane.

  10. This episode sealed the deal for me. Mikorin is my favorite character. I’m so glad this show has done so well thus far. I was laughing non-stop the whole episode.

    As for the mixer scene, did those guys really think bringing Kashima was a better idea? They clearly don’t understand how much girls dig her lol.


    Show Spoiler ▼


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