Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume 2 is a four-panel romantic comedy about a girl named Chiyo Sakura who has a crush on her schoolmate, Umetaro Nozaki. During Volume 1, she learns that he is a shojo manga artist who goes by the pen name of Sakiko Yumeno. Chiyo ends up becoming one of Umetaro’s assistants.
Volume 2 starts off with Umetaro getting his manuscript done ahead of time, so Chiyo invites him to do something fun since he has a break. Of course, as one would expect from Umetaro, he never truly takes a break from thinking about his manga. Much of the humor in this portion of the manga is derived from Umetaro’s workaholic mentality, and poor Chiyo doesn’t quite have the fun time with Umetaro that she had imagined. But she obviously must really like this guy if she’s still willing to hang out with him even though he’s expressed his cluelessness about love on many occasions between the two volumes of the series.
We also see Umetaro meeting with his editor, Ken. It’s hilarious just how clueless Umetaro is when it comes to how he should progress his manga story, as Ken’s reactions add even more punch to the humor. But when Ken tells him that he needs to try identifying with his female protagonist, Umetaro spends a day at school trying to act like her. It’s humorous enough to the reader knowing why he’s acting the way he is, but the humor increases when Umetaro interacts with characters who don’t know he’s a mangaka and can’t comprehend his unusual behavior.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume 2 also introduces a new character named Wakamatsu, who played basketball with Umetaro back in middle school. Since we’ve only known the Umetaro since high school, it was hard for me to imagine the character that we know actually playing on a sports team. This is wonderful character development, though, and it shows that Umetaro wasn’t always the type of person that we’ve known him to be in the series. But Wakamatsu finds himself in a strange situation, because Chiyo’s friend Seo practices with the boys’ basketball team, and she always seems to be picking on Wakamatsu. But Seo has a secret, and Wakamatsu unwittingly becomes interested in Seo because he doesn’t know about Seo’s secret. The volume also seems to imply that Seo is interested in Wakamatsu, so this makes for another interesting potential couple at some point in the series.
This volume continues the humor and qualities that made the first volume of the series so endearing. I also appreciated seeing how the new characters that have been introduced in the story find ways to come back and continue tying in with the story. The interactions between Umetaro and Chiyo continue to be delightful, and I find myself shipping these two characters pretty hard. Umetaro just needs to start getting more a clue, though.
If you enjoyed the first volume of the series, then you’ll definitely want to read Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume 2.