Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is about a girl named Chiyo Sakura who has a crush on Umetaro Nozaki. When she tries confessing her feelings to him, she doesn’t manage to get it out right; but by saying what she said, she comes to learn that Nozaki is the author of a shojo manga that she’s read in a shojo manga magazine; he writes under the pen name, Sakiko Yumeno. Sakura becomes Nozaki’s assistant.
Episode Five sees Sakura and the audience being introduced to Nozaki’s editor, Ken Miyamae. Nozaki thinks he’s cool and mature, but it’s obvious to both Sakura and the audience that Ken doesn’t seem to like Nozaki. Later, Nozaki explains to Sakura why he appreciates Ken so much; it turns out his former editor, Maneo, wasn’t much help to him, and always tried to take credit for any ideas that Nozaki had for the manga. We later learn that Maneo is very self-absorbed and is also very vain; however, his vanity is portrayed in a comical way. Yes, Maneo came across as being rather obnoxious, but with the light-hearted feel of the series, his vanity isn’t meant to be taken seriously. And according to the subtitles, Maneo’s name is a bit of a joke in and of itself, because it can be translated to mean “previous” or “last.”
Nozaki also introduces Sakura to a manga by another mangaka named Miyako Yukari, who now has Maneo as her editor. It turns out he has a thing for tanukis, and has insisted that this mangaka incorporate a tanuki into her works. Miyako is a college student who also happens to be Nozaki’s upstairs neighbor. Nozaki and Sakura spend some time with Miyako, and Maneo shows up; after Sakura meets him in person, she truly understands why Nozaki dislikes him so much.
This then transitions into a story about Nozaki getting a call from Ken to go over his most recent manuscript. Every panel that Ken asks about has to do with Mamiko calling out to Suzuki; the editor says he has no idea what Mamiko is thinking, and this is a problem. Nozaki doesn’t seem to quite understand what Ken is asking him at first, and he tries to get Nozaki to think about these questions as if he’s a girl. After the conversation, Nozaki gets the idea that he needs to try to be Mamiko in real life in order to figure out how she would feel.
This leads into a sequence of Nozaki going to school the next day and insisting that Sakura call him “Mamiko”; he also starts acting like her. This ultimately leads to a lot of hijinks, which includes a scene of Nozaki whisking Yu away on a cart while outrunning all of Yu’s fangirls. This sequence relies much more on exaggerated animation than the series usually does, and this helps to make this one of the funniest sequences in the episode. Fortunately, it was Nozaki’s cluelessness about love and relationships that brought about the best humorous bit of the episode; this depiction has been very consistent up to this point, and it serves as a cornerstone for the series’ humor.
I have to say that while Episode Five was amusing, I didn’t think it was quite as funny as the previous four episodes had been. It wasn’t a bad episode, but I didn’t think it was quite as strong. Oh well. Hopefully Episode Six will return the humor level of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun back to where it had been.
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