Remember the name of Gangan Online, the online manga publishing arm of the Gangan brand. The manga that have been turned into anime that came from Gangan Online so far have been Watamote, Daily Lives of Highschool Boys, Barakamon and some crappy 4-koma about cute girls that nobody watched. Now they’ve got Nozaki-kun, which judging by the buzz I’m seeing will also prove to be popular. I do have some early reservations about Nozaki-kun though that I hope won’t come to fruition, or else it will end up in the pile of bad 4-koma anime from Gangan Online and nobody wants to be part of that pile.
Nozaki-kun is a parody of shoujo manga tropes. It uses the framework of a girl hopelessly in love with a shoujo manga artist and uses that conceit to explore dumb shoujo manga scenarios and change them in ways to make them funny. The scene where a girl stands on the back of a dude’s bike and grips him around the waist because he’s so tough and smells good? Can’t be having that, riding like that is illegal. Let’s instead try turn the concept of riding of a tandem bicycle into a romantic experience, which when presented in Nozaki-kun comes across as faintly ridiculous.
Now all Nozaki-kun needs to do, and this is worth putting in bold, is not become the damn thing it’s supposed to be a parody of. It’s fine to start some characterisation. That will help add to the comedy. But don’t do the things that you’re mocking. It makes me feel embarrassed for the creators when they do that. It’s like when Gintama spends 20 episodes parodying goofy shounen logic and then goes and pulls a 3-4 episode arc of goofy shounen logic with a straight face. They are always the worst parts of Gintama. Don’t spend an episode mocking shoujo sparkles then have the main character be covered in shoujo sparkles with no punchline. Winking at the audience when you pull this shit is not enough. Don’t have the main girl be surrounded by a bunch of attractive men and say “omg this is like a shoujo reverse harem manga lol” because that’s not funny.
Then again, what I’ve described there is basically what Ouran High School Host Club does and people inexplicably seem to love that show. People also love Gintama, even the bad shounen arcs that completely clash with the tone of the entire rest of the show and undermine all the jokes it made up until then. Sometimes I wonder about you lot and your terrible taste. You all have terrible taste in anime. All of you. Why can’t you have refined and sophisticated taste like me. Oh woe is me and my superior taste in Japanese cartoons. Nobody can understand the suffering I go through. The least I can do is deliver these pearls of wisdom that are my blog posts. Bow down before me oh plebeian ingrates and worship my words and my magnificence!