“I’ll Cast a Spell on You”
I haven’t laughed this much for Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun since the first episode – this had me in stitches all the way through and I loved it!
One day while working at Nozaki’s place, Chiyo puts in a CD of a woman singing opera and while Nozaki initially commends the singer on what a beautiful voice she has, Chiyo spoils it all for him by saying that it was Seo singing. After his previous experiences with her, well, he really doesn’t want to have anything to do with her. Unfortunately, Seo is one of those individuals who really just situate themselves into your life, which is what happened to poor, first year, adorable and shy Wakamatsu Hirotaka, played by Kimura Ryouhei and one of the characters I’ve been waiting for. And oh, what a character he is! He’s such a…doormat in some respects but so endearing in others. As member of the boy’s sports club, he laments to Nozaki – who, surprise surprise, used to be a pretty awesome player until he discovered manga, which was totally “cooler” than basketball – about his constant lack of sleep and high stress levels as a result of Seo’s die hard personality on the court and the fact that she keeps ramming into him and throwing basketballs at his face. Poor baby. *pets* That evening, Nozaki gets Wakamatsu to help him out with his manga and accidentally turns on the song that Seo was singing and a moment later Wakamatsu is fast asleep. And so begins Nozaki’s plot to foist off the songs to Wakamatsu but refrain from informing him that his beloved singer with dulcet tones is the girl who’s stressing him out in the first place. *long sigh* Oh dear.
From then on Wakamatsu does his best to try and pump himself up a bit and become more assertive in the face of the whirlwind that is Seo, but he hasn’t got much luck until he de goes to Nozaki for help and tries to get some inspiration from the manga. Again *long sigh* HOW DO THESE BOYS COME UP WITH THESE THINGS? So, Wakamatsu decides to send Seo a letter, asking her to meet him on the roof so he can finally unleash his anger. Unfortunately, his letter and text is oddly fluffy and it ends up looking like a love letter, which Nozaki sort of deadpans over. Wakamatsu and Seo meet on the roof in a very dramatic country-western sort of standoff but Seo doesn’t have an inkling of self awareness and decides that the whole thing is about Wakamtsu finally garnering the courage to ask her for a nickname, which she happily gives him; Waka. I don’t even know…XD Nozaki, watching from the sidelines, cheers him on to get him to stand up for himself, so Wakamatsu unleashes every single ounce of stress in his entire being and demands why she seems to only pick on him and ram into him and throw basketballs at him and choose to attack him out of all the other boys in the club. Nozaki idly comments that Seo probably likes him, but is cut off when Wakamatsu decides to literally throw the gauntlet and then digs in his bag. Nozaki watches in rapt attention and apprehension for this defining moment of his friend but, alas, poor, wimpy Wakamatsu sort of fails at that and just hands her a pair of fluffy gloves, giving off the completely wrong impression. This scene was SO CUTE and I giggled so much because Wakamatsu was just so sadly pathetic and I just wanted to pat him on the head. So, that whole arc went completely wrong and now Seo believes that she’s got an admirer in Wakamatsu and Chiyo is just happily cheering them on.
Cue to the next scene where Chiyo gets an SOS message from Nozaki, excitedly believes that this is the whole ‘nurse him back to health’ part of her life, but no, she’s learnt that these things just don’t happen to her and so she just brings an extra bottle of ink, believing him to have run out. Until, of course, she arrives and really does find Nozaki sick in bed much to her amusing despair. In concession, both Hori and Wakamatsu arrive, also carrying bottles of ink and the three of them just look totally ridiculous as none of them thought to bring any medicine. Nozaki had initially asked them to take his place in bed while he worked to reach his deadline but the three of them assure him that they’ve got it handled. Until, of course, they realise they’ve got to do screen tones, which they haven’t done before. Chiyo and Hori initially reassure Wakamatsu that there’s no hierarchy, even though he’s only a first year, until, of course, they realise he does screen tones really well, and thus inform him that screen tones are a first year’s job! I loved that part! But probably the best part of the scene was where they had to fill in the speech bubbles and therefore had to figure out what the characters would be saying according to their expressions. Asking Nozaki proved semi-useless, as all Hori got out of it was that Mamiko was an irritating character, so he and Chiyo improvised, using Seo and Kashima as sources and writing down what they’d say in the specific situations…. Needless to say, with those two, the speech bubbles were…pretty interesting.
Luckily, once Nozaki was better and had a good look at everything, he immediately requested an extension for his deadline.
The Characters/Episode Highlights
Wakamatsu is adorable. He’s…I didn’t like using the word ‘wimpy’ because it’s completely untrue, but he’s not the toughest when it comes to standing up for himself, and the fact that he pretty much lets himself get bullied by Seo is testament to his…non-strength. He’s just an easy-going and shy guy and I found it so endearing, especially the part where he intended to throw down the gauntlet but ended up handing the mittens to her in that polite manner of his. I was really impressed with Kimura Ryouhei as Wakamatsu and I feel like it’s been quite a while since I’ve actively listened to him in a show. So well done!
Another favourite part was the little anecdote at the end, where Wakamatsu asked Nozaki for more of her music, but upon realising that he must have gone through a whole lot of trouble to get them – in his mind he believed Nozaki sold his body on the streets just to get the USB containing “Lorelei’s” songs, which is all kinds of hilarious – and promises to help him with his manga in exchange. Win-win situation on both sides, I suppose, haha!
My love for this show has increased tenfold with the addition of Wakamatsu who is just such a sweetheart and he’s just one of those people you want to take home and look after and protect from the world. Also, looks like that’s everyone and we’re all gearing up for another round of romance – maybe? – on all sides, or at least the same ridiculous but highly entertaining shenanigans that we’ve been watching up until now. This show really makes my week and I always look forward to it!