Anime Box Set Review: Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Limited Edition Box Set

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Limited Edition Box Set includes two Blu-ray Discs, three DVDs, three CDs, a hardcover booklet, stickers, and a poster.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Limited Edition Box Set
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray/DVD
Release Date: March 29, 2016

Chiyo Sakura has a crush on her classmate, Nozaki Umetaro. When she goes to confess her feelings to him, she becomes so flustered she gets out that she’s always been his fan. After a moment, he gives her his autograph; however, instead of signing his name, he signs it as “Yumeno Sakiko.” When she says that’s not what she meant and that what she meant to say is that she always wants to be with him, he asks her to come with him to his place.

Sakura goes with Nozaki to his place and learns that he’s an author of shojo manga. She also figures out that “Yumeno Sakiko” is his pen name, and that she’s seen his work in the monthly shojo manga magazine that she reads. Nozaki asks Sakura to help him out with the art. He also later reveals that he’s been keeping an eye on her, because he’d seen the work she’d done on a poster at school. She also comes to learn that nobody else at school knows what he does. While he’s tried telling others, they don’t believe him.

As Sakura works with Nozaki, he starts being inspired by some of the things she says. And the more that Sakura helps Nozaki, she learns that he hasn’t experienced his first love yet, but that he’s given quite a bit of love advice to girls when they ask.

The cast of characters for this comedy grows as the series progresses. There’s Mikoto Mikoshiba, who helps Nozaki with his manga by filling the backgrounds with flowers to bring out a character’s charms. Mikoto is popular and flirtatious with girls but is actually shy and prone to embarrassment after making bold statements.

Yuzuki Seo is Sakura’s friend, who has a brash personality that often offends others. She also cannot read atmosphere or context when dealing with other people.

Yu Kashima is Mikoshiba’s best friend and classmate. She’s a tall girl with a “prince” personality, and she has a lot of girls who fawn over her because of it. Masayuki Hori is the president of the drama club, as well as Nozaki’s assistant on background work. Yu is in the drama club with him and he tends to react violently if she disrupts the club. However, he does favor her.

Hirotaka Wakamatsu joins Nozaki’s staff to do screentones, and he has issues with Yuzuki because of the stress she’s put him under from her participating with the boys’ basketball team and causing problems.

There are also some supporting characters who are involved with Nozaki’s manga, such as his current editor, his former editor, and his upstairs neighbor who is also a shojo manga artist.

I really enjoy the humor in Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, and it’s a series where the jokes don’t get old. The characters are endearing. It’s a series I’ve been able to enjoy even more with repeat viewings.

When it comes to the release itself, the Blu-ray has 1080p High Definition / 16×9, and the audio is available in English DTS-HD Master 2.0 and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The episodes are available with both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and an English dub. I admit that I’ve only watched the Blu-ray Discs that came with this set, so I can only comment on their quality. But I had no complaints with either the video or the audio quality.

When it comes to bonus features, the biggest attraction is the Nozaki-kun shorts. These shorts animate one of the story arcs that appeared in the manga after the story that ends the anime series. In Japan, these were released as an OVA. These shorts capture the charm of the series, except they’re in shorter pieces rather than in one episode. The intro to the shorts is cute, with a chibi Sakura running and tripping. A whole bunch of chibi Nozakis come along, in various outfits that he has worn throughout the series.

The other extras are the Japanese promos, the Japanese commercials, and a clean opening animation and a clean closing animation. Pretty standard stuff, really, but still enjoyable enough.

There are three CDs in this box set. The first disc is made up entirely of character songs and instrumental versions of the songs. The second and third discs are the complete soundtrack for the series. But for the “complete soundtrack,” it just includes the background score. The opening and ending themes are not included. While the lack of the theme songs is a little disappointing, the series still has some very memorable and impressive background score. I’m glad to have the background music, but if I want the theme songs, I’ll need to chase down CD releases in Japan with them on it.

Of the remaining bonuses, the stickers and poster are nice, but I was much more interested in the hardcover book.

Even though it’s on the pricey side, I’m glad I have the Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Limited Edition Box Set. Not only do I have all the episodes, but I also have a lot of the music associated with the series. If you aren’t as interested in the extra bonuses and just want the episodes, then I would recommend sticking with the standard release for the series. But if you like CDs and other extras, then I would recommend tracking down this box set.

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