My lovely friend Maggie and I decided to watch Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun and follow up with sister posts on our blogs. Since we both run Christian anime blogs, we want to infuse some sort of Christian theme into this post, because I believe there is some ounce of moral truth in every story! However, while watching this anime, I had a hard time finding something that was remotely “Christian”.
It was just a fun, fast bright show about friends in high school and the pretty girl who had a crush on the oblivious manga artist. One night I was reading the Psalms, trying to escape my sister’s sleepover party, I had an idea.
Psalm 144:3 says, “Oh Lord who are we that you should notice us, mere mortals that you care for us?”
This verse is explaining how amazing it is that the creator of the universe, the stars in the sky we could never hope to reach, the depths of the oceans so mysterious no man has ever seen, would come down and notice us strange complicated beings. You would think God to be this distant being too great for us to hope to catch a glimpse of, but that’s not the way it actually is.
I think about how great my God is compared to the Greek gods in mythology. How they shout things like, “You mere mortal! You are nothing in comparison to me!” when the truth is that my God can smite those Greek gods like they were dust, but he won’t boast about his greatness. It is already evident in the world around us. The stars proclaim it. The angler fish in the sea know it. God isn’t your untouchable Senpai who makes you shine his shoes. God doesn’t need you to praise him the way insecure humans beings that are only a couple months older then you need. God also isn’t the oblivious and literal male love interest like Nozaki-kun. You can be sure that there will be no misunderstandings as you built your relationship with him. He won’t smile smugly and give you his autograph and whisper misleading proclamations of love, which were really meant for fireworks like some love interests who are actually quite dumb. Yes, God is too good of a character to be part of a shojo manga. He wouldn’t be funny enough to watch! There would be no conflict! Yes, God isn’t apart of any shojo anime life, but sometimes we humans beings are…
In Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, Sakura admits her feelings for the shojo manga artist Nozaki but he misunderstands her and takes her in as his assistant. Nozaki is only really aware of anything in his world that has to do with his manga. He’s always on a quest to find new ideas for his stories. He follows his friends around and writes down their behavior and then puts it directly in scenes between his characters because he’s not quite creative enough to think them up on his own. Or perhaps he’s just too literal and can’t justify writing about anything unless it’s based off of something in real life. He’s oblivious to Sakura’s feeling for him and well, most emotions in general. That’s why he’s always taking note on people and their behavior, because he just doesn’t understand it. He lives in a fake world where the only thing that matters is his protagonist getting the cute guy. He doesn’t have time to notice the stars or anglerfish. His life really isn’t adding up to much, but it’s cute and fun to watch! He’s clueless and strait faced and unaware of how awkward he is.
He creates successful manga because he tries to notice what God notices every day. Such things like raw relationships between mankind in a high school setting. He looks for the interesting things that people do that would be entertaining to an audience, but what’s ironic about his character is that he can never understand it. Psalm 144:3 says how God notices us, but anyone, even Nozaki can do that. But who can understand us the way God can?
Psalm 139:2, “You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.”
Imagine if Nozaki got his heads out of his work and noticed how much his friends especially Sakura, care for him? How much more fulfilling could his life be? Humans do tend to live shojo manga lives like Nozaki-kun. It feels good to live simple lives like that, even thought we’re falling so short of the potential God made for us. Sometimes we don’t give God any notice, we’re too distracted by boys and sparkles. Our lives can really become pointless. But look! God still notices us. More then that, God roots for us! He cheers us on and wants to have a personal connection with us.
Nozaki lives a life where he’s constantly gathering information for his manga. Imagine if Christians lived their lives like Nozaki gathering information from all around us to learn more about the wonders of God? While I say we should learn from Nozaki about the effects of a shallow life, we also can learn how to apply his obsession for something kind of pointless and translate it to something that is productive and healthy for our lives. What if boys had sleepovers and instead of only playing virtual dating games, talking about girls and voting on them in magazines, we took that same adoration and applied it to God who loves us more then any high school girl could?
There’s nothing wrong with talking about girls, I’m pretty sure that’s the way God made boys! But what if we took some time to pop our heads out of the shojo life and really pondered God and how much he notices us? We don’t have to chase after him like we do senpai, he’s right there available to us. Let’s take obsessive notes, draw, and notice each other the way God notices us. Let’s make our shojo lives love stories for God where we actually get the boy!
Read Maggie’s article on Monthly Girls Nozaki kun too and her take on this anime!