Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume Three continues to humorously develop Nozaki, Sakura, and the other characters in the series.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume Three
Written by: Izumi Tsubaki
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Volume Three begins with Mikoshiba being asked to participate in a group date. Of course, Mikoshiba acts all cool and agrees to go, but after the guys leave, he regrets acting that way. He turns to Nozaki to help practice for the group date. Well, let’s just say that Nozaki himself has never been on a group date and only knows anything about them from manga, so his ideas aren’t really helping. Sakura shows up in the middle of this and tries to help, but because she’s so hung up on Nozaki, she’s really not much help, either. The most amusing part of this story, though, is actually the ending. That’s not to say that the rest of it wasn’t funny, but that final punchline makes the setup worth it.
The next story focuses on Nozaki’s editor, Miyamae, and the relationship between him and Nozaki’s former editor, Maeno. While we’ve seen both of these adult characters in the previous two volumes of the series, they had never had a chapter that focused on them and only had the main characters in a minor role. Here, we learn that these two have known each other since at least high school, so they have more of a history than just working together as shojo manga editors.
A little later in the volume, there’s a story focusing on Miyako, the college age mangaka that lives upstairs from Nozaki. We see her at school and how her classmates are getting the wrong ideas about her from what they’ve seen of her. Nozaki and Sakura get to play bigger role in this story, and one of Miyako’s classmates really gets the wrong idea as she overhears their conversation. The classmate’s misunderstandings provide much of the fodder for the comedy here, but it’s actually quite amusing and it didn’t get old to me as I read the chapter.
Wakamatsu and Seo get a story of their own, with Seo inviting Wakamatsu to go to the movies with her. Since Nozaki has been using them as a basis for a couple of the side characters in his manga, he encourages Wakamatsu to go and tell him what happens. Seeing Seo watching the movie was amusing, since she doesn’t understand social cues and reacts differently to various scenes than is usually expected. And then when the two talk later, you would think they hadn’t watched the same film.
Nozaki’s inability to draw backgrounds is the source of humor for another chapter in Volume Three. This time around, he’s having a hard time keeping where his character are sitting straight, which causes a lot of continuity errors in a draft he’s working on. Sakura and Hori’s attempts to help him fix this issue have comedic consequences. While this chapter tackles an issue we’ve seen with Nozaki’s art before, it still found a way to address it in a different way and still provide ample humor.
We also get a couple of chapters that have a focus on Kashima. In the first one, Hori wants to put on a musical and expects Kashima to be the lead. There’s just one problem… Kashima is tone deaf. Sakura and Nozaki take her to Seo in the hope that she can help Kashima learn how to sing. Let’s just say that it doesn’t go well, and Wakamatsu ends up with a misunderstanding by the end of it. The other story that focuses on Kashima sees Hori filling in for an actor at rehearsal, and the scenes with Kashima aren’t going well because he can’t separate Kashima from the role she’s playing. Nozaki and Mikoshiba get involved as well, and the comedy here works well and fits with the vibe of the rest of the series.
There’s also a story of Nozaki and Mikoshiba doing research on “bad boy” types by trying to act like them in order to develop a rival for Suzuki, the protagonist of Nozaki’s manga. Neither one of them really knows how to act like one, though, so there are humorous results. Another story involves Nozaki, Wakamatsu, screen tone, and Seo, which gives an opportunity to show more of the dynamic between Wakamatsu and Seo. The story of Sakura finding chocolate in the freezer that she had intended to give Nozaki on Valentine’s Day brings the focus back onto Sakura and her interest in Nozaki, which we hadn’t seen much of during this volume.
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun Volume Three continues the humor and hijinks that readers have come to expect from this series. At this point, it seems like most of the important characters were introduced in the first two volumes, and this volume works at trying to find little ways to provide some kind of development for most of them. I was impressed to see that the adult characters (Miyamae, Maeno, and Miyako) were focused on and developed a little here as well.
If you’ve read and enjoyed the first two volumes of Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, you’ll definitely want to read Volume Three to see what else these characters get up to.
Additional posts about Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun: