「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
- 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.