「ドキドキ、たりてる?」 (Dokidoki, Tari Teru?)
“Do You Have Enough Excitement?”

Maeno really is the worst character in the cast. Fortunately plenty of kawaii Chiyo-chan saves the episode.

Doki Doki in the Rain

Undoubtedly the best part was the first third in the rain, where Nozaki-kun and Chiyo experimented with different ways to stay dry. So much blushing Chiyo! I live for the comedy here, but especially the comedy born from character eccentricities, and whether that be Chiyo & Nozaki’is or Hori-sempai & Kashima’s, I loved those scenes. Plus some adorable Chiyo reactions, HNG~! It does my romantic soul good.

Maeno-san is the Worst

Editor Maeno is, without a doubt, the worst character in the cast. Notice how he only received one cap this week? That’s because he doesn’t deserve any more. Down with Maeno! Maeno sucks!

There are two facets to Maeno. First is why he’s not a funny character. His actions are so egregious that they don’t make me laugh, they make me cringe…and they’re not so off-the-wall as to make me laugh anyway. I’m only cringing! They would work if he was more zany, but he’s not. They would work if his suggestions were more wild, but they’re not. As is, he inhabits a negative zone too close to reality to be funny. He’s just uncomfortable.

But as a lesson in what a bad editor can do… I’m reminded of that one episode in the first season of OreImo, where the story takes the piss out of the anime industry even though it’s an anime. The anime producers are trying to meddle with Kirino’s anime even though there was (presumably) a reason why it was popular. I talked about this the last time Maeno appeared, but as someone who is fanatical about retaining control and appropriate compromise, Maeno strikes at the worst an editor (or publisher) can do. When they become overlords who can tell you what you can (and cannot) do, a bad one can warp your work into something you come to despise. As a cautionary tale, Maeno boils my blood, but appropriately so. He’s not funny though, and that’s an argument for reducing him to a rare appearance, not having two-thirds of an episode dedicated to him.

Treating Your Characters With Respect

Fortune favors us, because I may be the best (and/or only) writer at RandomC who can speak to some of the themes in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. Take the passing comment from Chiyo to Nozaki after she gushed over the signed picture she got from Miyako-san:

Please treat your characters with more care.

I don’t know if I can adequately describe how crucial this is. Nozaki tried to basically whore his characters out to give a fan (Chiyo) what (he thought) she wanted, and that’s something the conscientious storyteller should never do. Fanservice is a delicate thing, because when it does harm to your characters, you do irreparable harm to your story – and that’s why I, though I’m known as the ecchi writer around here (I’m not the ecchi writer! I’m the fantasy writer *tsun*), rarely indulge in fanservice in my own work. To pervert your characters into something they wouldn’t be in pursuit of the love of shallow fans is just…wrong.

Like I said, I don’t know if I can adequately explain this. Without having those characters in your head, and being the sole steward of their lives, it’s hard to imagine. Tsubaki Izumi-sensei is speaking from personal experience though, and it shows.

Looking Ahead – The Beta Couples

Next week it looks like we’ll get more from Yuzuki x Waka and Hori-sempai x Kashima. And I’m fine with that! I feel like there’s more of a chance of actual development between them than there is for Chiyo x Nozaki. Plus they’re all funny to me, as long as they’re not Maeno. That bastard.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Chiyo x Nozaki in the rain is good. Maeno, not so much. Less Maeno & less tanukis make for a better #nozakikun 09

Random thoughts:

  • Nozaki is a good artist. Even if he can’t deal with Yuzuki, he knows a good idea when he sees it.
  • Honestly, I identify with Nozaki. He’s just not thinking about romance in regards to himself. If he was, I think he’d recognize Chiyo’s feelings quickly, or even be interested in her…or so I hope. He’s just focused on his work. I can understand that. Also, the sailor uniform. I understand, Nozaki-kun!
  • They’re patting Chiyo! So kawaiiii~!

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Just plain fun, Don’t have enough time, Work you love, and Completely unbiased.




  1. Chiyo’s thought process in the first half of this episode (with apologies to B. J. Thomas):

    Raindrops keep falling on my head
    The guy I like’s also a little bit braindead
    Why won’t he notice me?
    Oh, raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
    Keep a-fallin’

    ‘Cause he convinced me into the rain we’d run
    With no umbrella his blazer couldn’t get it done
    We both just got wet
    Oh, raindrops keep fallin’ on my head
    Keep a-fallin’

    But then she came, Seo
    Umbrella tossed toward me
    I’m so lucky!
    It wasn’t long till up I went
    Yes, with Nozaki!

    Umbrella I held over his head
    And that surely meant my face then started turning red
    He held it for me
    Though he dripped it upon my brain, I’m not complaining
    I’m so happy
    I still walked with Nozaki!

    It wasn’t long till up we went
    In his apartment
    The raindrops stopped falling on my head
    But, oh, he’s so mean
    Again my face is turning red!

    Posing’s not for me
    ‘Cause, that fuku’s gonna make me so embarassed
    Oh, Nozaki
    Keep it away from me!

    1. I just noticed. The timestamps say Stilts posted this article at 10:11. Your comment was posted at 10:15.

      Good lord, did you come up with those lyrics within four minutes? O_O

      Ruri Random
  2. DISAPPEAR!! DISAPPEAR FOREVER!! (*Voice as if from Higrashi)

    On the other, less painful and blood pressure rising, side, gotta love Hori’s Kashima sensor.
    Be wary, fangirls, a doting parent (*COUGHloveinterestCOUGH*) won’t be blinded by your tricks. XP

  3. I’m with you on Maeno, Stilts. I just can’t find him funny. He makes me shudder.

    At least the first third of the episode had an abundance of Chiyo being too adorable for words, as well as the ending.

  4. The most evil villain of the season returns… Poor Yukari, poor Nozaki, poor everyone. I wonder if we will ever see Ken and that devil working together.

    The rain part was so sweet, yet funny. Seeing all the typical tropes butchered was somehow really satisfying an Chiyo was almost too adorable there.

  5. Yeah, I just wanted to slug Maeno whenever I saw him, especially when Yukari does try to call and get things done her way only for him to twist things around and, in the end, make her think it was all her fault to begin with, making himself out to be the victim of her actions. I just wanted to reach through her phone and strangle him as soon as he started pulling that BS and it just broke my heart when she lost her smile and started apologizing.

    This episode also made me wonder if her…


    …”overly cheerful attitude” is perhaps just a mask to hide her own sadness over having to deal with such a thing, constantly having her work all but hijacked by Maeno and turned into something different than what she wanted. (But given the genre, I’m probably really over-thinking it.)

    Thankfully there was plenty of Chiyo and smiling Yukari to keep me happy.

  6. The Maeno debacle is quite similar to editor harassment suffered by mangaka Watase Yuu when she was writing the early chapters of Arata: The Legend manga.
    She stated in her blog that her former editor constantly shot down her story ideas, forced her to insert his own, and would insist she redraw a chapter to his specifications unless she wanted to suffer reprisals.
    The editor was later replaced with a better one though.

    1. That was depressing, and makes me even happier for my decision to avoid controlling editors altogether. I’ll succeed or fail on my own abilities (with appropriate editing – which is often taken, because I have the decision and I respect my editor), not have someone else bulldoze it and make life hell. Those editors deserve to be punched in the noodle.

  7. I wonder if the author is just messing with us at this point with that sailor uniform. At least the internet has risen up to that particular demand.

    Anyway, I don’t hate the particular type of cringe comedy that surrounds Maeno, myself. Sometimes it can be fun to utterly despise a character and feel bad for another. Especially when it’s very much relevant to the industry this show’s about.

    That said, the first half is better. But no wonder, because it’s one of the funniest parts the show’s had to date. Not only was it fun to see the two interact, but also because it went out of its way to make it the least romantic way this could’ve played out. Or at least, romantic in the classic way, I suppose it would be memorable if nothing else. From umbrella problems to height problems to car splashing rendering the venture pointless, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. And it was hilarious! Poor, poor Chiyo.

    And no screencap of angry Chiyo at the end? Awww.

  8. Maeno is my least favourite character too. I think the problem is that his character is pretty much one note. Almost every other character is subverting some kind of tropes, but Maeno’s thing is just being a really really really REALLY terrible editor. I know that Ken is quite one-note too as he basically exists to reflect on Nozaki’s weird logic, but he isn’t annoying. Maeno is like a black hole, sucking zany entertainment from both the characters and the viewers.

  9. i can declare with confidence that episode 9 is the currently the best episode for this anime… that insane attack they made towards rain then retreat after and the moment when nozaki imagines things and let the rain pour to chiyo’s head? made me rolled the floor and laugh big time… REPLAYED it again, and I STILL LAUGH.

    and also, one can say now, this anime is definitely one of the hidden GEMS in this season!!!… who would thought that an anime that is listed as “moderate expectation” is making huge waves parallel to that of SAOII?

    anyway hoping that this anime is longer than 13… because dogakobo can definitely rake money on this “money machine” comedy anime.

    The Last Idiot
  10. I haven’t been able to watch this episode thanks to the Great Firewall + RL events, but I was so looking forward to Nozaki’s attempts at romantic ideas in the rain! (Or more like, how many ways can you fail at it).

    In regards to Maeno, I respect the mangaka for continuing his character as he is, since we all have to come up against people who are just *shudders* horrible and yet they manage to succeed in life! (at times, succeed in ruining ours) At the same time, without his antagonistic role, a lot of the humor of Yukari’s luckless struggles with the tanuki
    would be lost. And for me personally, her chapters are some of the funniest.

  11. What would you call fanservice that’s character appropriate though? Unspoiled fun? I recall hearing about that artbook with Mikorin with rosy backround, and a certain somebody with their face buried in the thigh of another.

    1. Then it’s not fanservice…or it’s not only fanservice. If it’s a natural outgrowth of what the character would do in the situation they’re in, that it seems intentionally added to please the audience is nearly coincidental, or at least so thoroughly cloaked and/or justified that it doesn’t seem like it.

      Recall the battle versus Jibril in No Game No Life. Was that fan service? To a degree, but it was so thoroughly justified by what Kuuhaku would do and what is possible to do within that world that it doesn’t feel like it was thrown in just to please the fan. That’s just good storytelling at that point.

  12. “What would you call fanservice that’s character appropriate though?”

    A drug.

    *mainlines HorixKashima and SeoxWaka fanservice*

    I’m saving the ChiyoxNozaki for later, if I’m still conscious.

  13. Nozaki is so stoic and focused on starting his career that it’s notable when his emotions show through. When he (along with Yukari) is overcome by Chiyo’s cuteness at the end of the episode, I though: “Why aren’t you aware she’s like that always!?”

    His most interesting reaction to Chiyo is in the art store. As Chiyo browses for paints and brushes, he squats down and watches her for a bit, then says, “If this were a bookstore, this would be the literature corner. You look cool just being in it… Your main focus is watercolor, Sakura?” The sequence made me think he’s more aware of her than he lets on.

    1. He is aware of Chiyo…just not romantically. He’s not even considering that because he’s so focused on his career. He’s definitely aware of her as a friend, colleague, and even a girl I think.

    1. I don’t think I have. I’ve always lived in cities where everyone drives everywhere, so it’s usually a dash between vehicles and buildings when it’s raining. Plus I’m a nice guy, so I would hold the umbrella, lol

  14. My problem with Maeno is a little more basic than yours in that I find him to be a one-note gag. And I think it’s one of the less funny jokes overall, so I tire of him quickly.

    “…because I may be the best (and/or only) writer at RandomC”

    I really thought you were just gonna end the sentence there 😛

    1. I’m not that egotistical! (Here. Our other writers are awesome ^D^)

      And yeah, Maeno definitely is one-note. Hopefully he finds another one…or just goes away and stops bothering us 😛

  15. I can not help it. I really love how the Voice Actors give this “Pixels” so much Soul, that sometimes i forget that they are not real 🙂

    *Bow in Respect* You are Amazing, Voice Actors…. and of course Mr. Background Music-san

  16. I don’t know if I can adequately describe how crucial this is. Nozaki tried to basically whore his characters out to give a fan (Chiyo) what (he thought) she wanted, and that’s something the conscientious storyteller should never do. Fanservice is a delicate thing, because when it does harm to your characters, you do irreparable harm to your story – and that’s why I, though I’m known as the ecchi writer around here (I’m not the ecchi writer! I’m the fantasy writer *tsun*), rarely indulge in fanservice in my own work. To pervert your characters into something they wouldn’t be in pursuit of the love of shallow fans is just…wrong.

    When i begin to rant over to much Ecci, in some Animes here (not in Nozaki-kun. but example in Rail Wars 07, when the other Girl not Sakurai, doing stretch warm ups in her “bloomers”) i have the same idea in my Mind what you wrote down

  17. While I find Maeno-san a bad person, I don’t think I despise him as much as most people do. Sure he’s not the funniest, but I feel like it’s his eccentric passion for tanukis and his obvious incompetence as an editor budging into people’s work does help drive some humor for other characters who have to deal with him. At the very least, the tanuki segment brought some adorable chiyo moments, like her loving the character that Miyako san drew that looks like Nozaki, and that deadpan moment “You should treat your characters better” drew pretty big laughs from me. All in all Nozaki hasn’t failed to bring laughter every episode. Although I am on the boat that I don’t really want to see too much of Maeno-san since I find all the other character interactions much more entertaining to watch.

  18. I love Maeno, because he’s so awful. His uncaring, manipulative, narcissistic nature is amusing… mainly because I don’t have to work with him. And he causes some funny reactions. (Sorry if he strikes a little too close to home for some of you, but I enjoy awful people like him.)

    Maeno gives us Nozaki’s weird relationship with Ken, and his relationship with Miyako is based on a mutual dislike of him. He’s a great foil and a stimulus for things to happen.

    The tanukis are awesome in their terribad-ness as well. I LIKE the idea of reminding the reader that not only are mangakas sometimes incompetent, but so are their editors, too.


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