I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Yukari Hashimoto -- Sono Koi wa, Shojo Manga Sarete Yuku(その恋は、少女漫画化されてゆく)

Happy Monday to all! Last night, I saw Episode 12 of the 2014 anime "Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun"(月刊少女野崎くん...Girls' Monthly Nozaki-kun)which ended up being the 5th or 6th time watching the entire series again. I don't think I've repeated any other show as much as I have this one which goes to show how much I've enjoyed the (mis-)adventures of Nozaki, Sakura, Mikorin and company. Apparently, the manga is still going with the relationship between the artistically talented but otherwise dense Nozaki and the ever-smitten Sakura with perhaps just a smidgen of progress on the latter's side. I'm still hopeful for a second season, although as it has been 4 years since its premiere on TV Tokyo, my hopes may be waning faster than Sakura's ardour for ol' Nozaki-kun.

I wasn't all that surprised by the ending of that final episode although like a lot of other fans, I kinda wanted to throttle Nozaki-kun and knock him about the head like Biff did to Marty McFly:


Heck, I think even self-absorbed Mikoshiba was aware of Sakura's huge love for him. But hey, the manga hasn't had a resolution one way or the other, so neither can the anime.

Well, perhaps the catch screen above may be the final frame of "Gekkan Shojo Nozaki-kun" someday, but until that awaited shot actually happens, we can still enjoy the song from the official soundtrack that I've often felt was Sakura's theme. The official title is "Sono Koi wa, Shojo Manga Sarete Yuku" (That Love Is Being Turned Into a Girls' Comic) which seems to describe the entire arc of the anime. Created by composer and arranger Yukari Hashimoto(橋本由香利)for Volume 1 of the soundtrack, I think the track has that feeling of a day in the life of the high school girl as well as her affections for the big lug.

Looking through YouTube, it would seem as much as some of the fans have grumbled about the wrap-up to Episode 12, there also seems to have been some requests for the music that accompanied the scene for Sakura and Nozaki sitting on the monkey bars while the festival fireworks exploded above them. Apparently, that piece which is a variation on Sakura's theme is titled "Yakusoku no nai hōkago"(約束のない放課後...After School With No Promises)which is on Volume 2 of the soundtrack. Listening to this one and "Sono Koi wa, Shojo Manga Sarete Yuku", I got the impression that they wouldn't have been out of place in the soundtrack of a live-action romantic-comedy on Japanese TV.

However, immediately after the slightly bittersweet "Yakusoku no nai hōkago", Hashimoto follows up at about 18:03 in the video above with a fun and bouncy version that replaces the regular ending theme "Ura-Omote Fortune"(ウラオモテ・フォーチュン). As the rest of the other characters get their final appearance at the festival, I wondered if Hashimoto had been partially inspired by Dexy's Midnight Runners when this piece galloped through the ending credits before returning to the softer version with the two leads. I'm not sure whether this ska-like take made it onto Volume 2; I couldn't find it on Volume 1.

Well, until a Season 2 comes along, there's always watching the special episodes at the beach.

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