Manga: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Unfortunately for Sakura, Nozaki's more interested in the composition of the image.

"My name is Chiyo Sakura, 16 years old. I asked the boy that I like out, and he gave me his autograph."

Lovestruck high-schooler Chiyo Sakura confesses to her crush, the tall, handsome and mysterious Umetaro Nozaki, who whisks her away to his house - but not for the reasons you'd expect. Turns out he's a renowned Shoujo manga artist and thinks she's a fangirl who wants to be his production assistant! Hijinks ensue as Sakura takes up the role to grow closer to the oblivious Nozaki and meets an array of friends and classmates, each of whom impact on the manga Nozaki creates in their own special way.

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun) is a web-published yonkoma shounen gag manga from Izumi Tsubaki, the author of Ore-sama Teacher, published in GanGan Online (Daily Lives of High School Boys, No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular) and in print by Square Enix. A drama CD was released in 2013, and an anime adaptation by Dogakobo began airing on July 7, 2014 as part of the Summer 2014 Anime season. The anime is available for streaming on Crunchyroll and licensed by Sentai Filmworks and the manga is licensed in the US by Yen Press.


Tropes in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun include:


  • Adaptation Expansion / Adaptation Distillation: The anime usually follows the manga strips it chooses to adapt pretty faithfully (especially in the first 2 and a half episodes) while building on the scenes from the manga, and it gives (a little) more plot by further emphasising Sakura and Nozaki's relationship (such as the anime-original ending). However the order of the chapters adapted also changes frequently and some chapters are often altered or have scenes left out in order to fit more chapters in the episode.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole:
    • Nozaki is sick in episode 6, and Sakura, Hori and Wakamatsu have to guess what Mamiko would say. Mikoshiba isn't even mentioned despite Sakura knowing that Mamiko's personality is based on Mikoshiba's. The manga does explain Mikoshiba's absence; Nozaki had stated that since Mikoshiba is buying or playing a newly-released Dating Sim, his cell phone will be turned off. This part was omitted from the anime, leaving a plot hole.
    • All the gags in Chapter 61 revolve around how Sakura and Nozaki are ignorant of smartphones and their apps due to only owning older clamshell phones. This makes little sense to those more familiar with the anime, which showed Sakura always having owned a slate smartphone and Nozaki owning a flip smartphone model common in Japan.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of shoujo manga and its making.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Parodied in Chapter 32 when Nozaki receives an over the top Dating Sim from his editor and decides to play it with Hori and Wakamatsu. The trio soon becomes amazed by the persistence of the female lead in chasing the cast of largely Jerk Ass guys.
    • Also why Nozaki decides to come up with a "bad boy" character in Chapter 30, because they seem more appealing.
  • All Men Are Perverts: In chapter 49, judo club members want some illustrated how-to's for grappling. Mayu draws some based on Nozaki's shoujo-style art, but the rest of the club boos, claiming they're not sexy enough. Mayu has to use Mikoshiba's racy manga and figurines as models, with increasing levels of racinesss as fellow members demand more fanservice.
  • Always in Class One: Averted. Only Sakura and Seo are in "class A" of their respective grade. Everyone else is in a class with a different letter.
  • An Odd Place to Sleep: The flashback of their first meeting shows Sakura first met Nozaki when she was late to school and she saw that he had fallen asleep on top of the school gate while climbing it to get into school, since he was also late.
  • Arson, Murder, and Lifesaving: Wakamatsu's list of complaints towards Seo include always hitting him with a basketball, always making him run errands, always making him carry her stuff, and giving souvenirs to only him.
  • Art Shift: In the anime, scenes from in-universe manga are depicted as still panels made to look like they were actual printed pages from said manga.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 46 has everyone going to the beach, and of course there's some lampooning of the typical events that happen there.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The flashback of their first meeting in Chapter 48/Episode 12 shows that Sakura fell for Nozaki because he helped her over the gate when she was late for her first day of school.
  • Beleaguered Assistant:
    • Although Nozaki's a pretty competent mangaka, he nonetheless acquires a cast of assistants who put up with his eccentricities. Of course, they each have their own share of eccentricities. Hori takes the cake in being the most beleaguered of his assistants. Where the others are merely in charge of things such as inking and adding tone or effects, Hori is landed with the task of drawing all of Nozaki's backgrounds because Nozaki doesn't know how to draw them himself. And on top of that Nozaki doesn't even give adequate instructions on what needs to be drawn most of the time.
    • In chapter 59, we get to see that Mayu is even too lazy to reply to cell phone text, and entrusts his schoolmate Kobayashi to text on his behalf.
  • Beta Couple: Kashima/Hori and Seo/Wakamatsu - they even beat Sakura/Nozaki in the fanbook pairing poll, winning 1st and 2nd places respectively.
  • Bifauxnen and Lad-ette: Seo and Kashima. The former is a very rough and abrasive lad-ette who frequently gets called to play in sports team (especially basketball), while the latter is a charming flirt who gets nicknamed "Prince" and has a bunch of fangirls.
  • Bishōnen: Most every guy in the series to date, aside from Miyamae. Though Nozaki is a bit overly muscled by normal standards, to his despair (he can't use himself to model for his manga because he's not the right body type). Even for Miyamae, he's fat only when Maeno is in his life; at times he's away from Maeno he can fall into this trope as he becomes skinnier.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The first season of the anime ends with Sakura watching fireworks with Nozaki and thinking that while she's happy she got close to him, he still only sees her as a friend. She decides she's happy with that for now. The overall tone is less comedic and more wistful than Chapter 38 of the manga, which covered the festival but did not have a fireworks scene.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Stationery:
      • Pilot becomes Pallet.
      • Uni becomes Inu.
      • In episode 6, Sakura brings in a bottle of ink named 朋開. It is a spoof of Kaimei (開明), a major brand of carbon ink.
    • Pocari Sweat becomes Pucari Set.
    • PS becomes"PD."
    • Sony becomes Tony.
    • Pepsi becomes Papsi.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind:
    • Mikoshiba asks Nozaki to help him practice for a mixer. He quickly regrets that decision. He then gets Sakura to set an example of how a girl would act at a mixer. She also turns out to be a really bad choice.
    • Kashima asks Mikoshiba how to get Hori to notice her more. Using vast experience with this situation, his advice boils down to essentially being an aggressively clingy girl. Surely enough, Hori later complains to Nozaki and Sakura that Kashima was being "super annoying as of late".
    • What do you get when a person who's never played "King's Game" tries to play with other people who've never played "King's Game" before? The Anthology Extra Chapter, of course.
    • Subverted when Kashima asks Nozaki for help on understanding the concept of having an unrequited love and it works, despite Sakura believing that this trope should have very much have been played straight.
    Sakura: Why has it been made possible?!
  • Blue with Shock: Often, especially when Nozaki is up to his hijinks.
    • When Sakura reads the fanfic Nozaki and Mikoshiba made in Chapter 8.
    • When Kashima is carted away by Nozaki in Chapter 15.
    • When Sakura pulls off Nozaki's fake hand in Chapter 31.
  • Book Ends:
    • Chapter 1 opens with Sakura confessing to Nozaki in a classroom by saying she's "his fan", which Nozaki misunderstands and responds to by giving her his autograph. It ends with Sakura trying to confess to him again in a classroom... but again, all she can say is that she's his fan, and so Nozaki gives her another autograph.
    • Chapter 16 opens with Kashima speaking to Mikoshiba about how Hori seems to be more distant, and Hori speaking to Sakura and Nozaki about Kashima being annoying. It ends with them speaking to the same people, except Kashima thinks she understands Hori better, and Hori laments that Kashima seems to really hate him.
    • Chapter 51 opens with Nozaki catching Wakamatsu being inspired by a shoujo manga he's reading for summer break goals, and he tries to take it off of him while scolding him to stop referring to the manga. It ends with Nozaki catching him reading another shoujo manga that inspired his previous Out of Character behaviour, and he scolds him again in the exact same manner.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: When Mikoshiba is shanghaied into being a model for Sakura's art club, most of the girls let him do poses appealing to them. Sakura has him imitate Nozaki at work, other girls have him do stock sexy poses ... and one girl has him pose as a guy crawling pathetically after an angry girlfriend after breaking up due to his infidelity. Said girl looks upon the scene with a very pleased smile, weirding out the rest of the club.
  • Brick Joke: Early in Chapter 29, Nozaki explains to Wakamatsu the dangers of working with screentones, such as dropping a knife on one's thigh. The chapter ends with Wakamatsu dropping a knife on his thigh.
  • Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them
    • Hori's relationship with Kashima often consists of him yelling at her or complaining about her, but if she ignores him for less than a day his mood plummets enough for people to start worrying about him.
    • Wakamatsu, in a distinctly divided example, gets extremely stressed out by the way Seo treats and acts around him, and yet he's outright said he can't live without "Lorelei" (Seo's voice) to help him sleep.
  • Chick Magnet: Mikoshiba and Kashima both have a lot of fans, though Mikoshiba gets embarrassed if he tries flirting back while Kashima is so popular with girls that she seduces everyone around her with superficial charm. Also Suzuki, which is expected since he is the male lead in Nozaki's manga.
  • Cliché Storm: In-universe example with Nozaki and other authors' manga. The plot and characterization of their works frequently overlap.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Officially at the school, first years will have green bows/ties and Inside Shoes, second years have red, and third years have blue.
  • Comic-Book Time: In the Long Runner Nozaki shows to Chiyo in Chapter 61, the heroine just moved up one grade in 20 years of run.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • The foundation of Nozaki and Sakura's relationship, at least regarding... their relationship. Whenever Sakura tries to drop a romantic hint, Nozaki often uses it for his manga or misunderstands in some other odd way.
    • Nozaki is really poor on perspectives, and screws up on the characters' heights. When Hori points this out, Nozaki says different characters were standing on Scully Boxes in all the scenes. Hori then complains that nobody will carry boxes with them all the time, and Nozaki responds that he'll just have them say boxes are popular in-universe at the moment.
    • Kashima seems to think that Hori's special way of dealing with her whenever she pisses him off is because she's his "number one". Sakura is quick to point out otherwise.
    • Occurs in chapter 6 (episode 3 in the anime) when Kashima points out that Hori stopped growing and he hits her with a prop:
      Sakura: Kashima-kun, are you an idiot?
      Kashima: (lying on the ground with blood on her head) No... strange as it may seem, I'm the highest in the grade...
    • Chapter 20 (second half of episode 6 in the anime) has Nozaki both down with a fever and an impending deadline. His doctor told him to sleep in his bed, so he asks his assistant for help...by taking his place to sleep in the bed. Happens once more when Wakamatsu then responds that he can't do it because of his insomnia.
    • Hori expresses his annoyance at Kashima and when prompted he explains how she's been leaving him a piece of girls' clothes/accessories in his locker every day... what gets to him most is that all of the items combine to make a pretty nice outfit.
      Hori: Isn't she amazing?
      Nozaki: Why does this make you like her more?
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: The ending theme of the anime has several examples. Since the song was sung in Sakura's voice, this may imply her frustration over Nozaki's obliviousness. Many Chinese fansubs just use powers of -1 to simplify these lines.
    The opposite of the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of fortune
    The opposite of the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of hate, well, the opposite of that
    The opposite of the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of the opposite of hate is...
  • Creator Career Self Deprecation: Izumi Tsubaki is an established shoujo manga artist and in this series takes light-hearted jabs at her own profession. Nozaki making all his male characters look alike pokes fun at her own tendency to reuse the same character designs in her manga, with Nozaki's character design itself being one that shows up prominently in Ore-sama Teacher and Magic Touch.
  • Creator's Favorite:invoked Nozaki zig-zags this with Suzuki. He likes Suzuki's visual design, and will use it for new characters when he doesn't have a model. He's also firmly behind Suzuki and Mamiko's relationship, such that he can't see them with anybody else. However, the only thing he likes about Suzuki is his visual design; he doesn't seem all that interested in him as a person, and finds his name snark-worthy.
  • Creator's Pet:invoked The tanuki mascot characters are an in-universe example. Maeno pushes for them to be in every story Miyako makes, and she doesn't mind (to a certain degree). They are hated by everyone else, to the point where one is featured being violently destroyed by Sakura and Hori in the anime's opening.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • In chapter 5/episode 3, Mikoshiba mentioned he is now friends with Kashima because of this trope. Specifically, he was decidedly defeated by Kashima in everything.
    • Nozaki assumes this is how Sakura and Seo became friends. The reality is more mundane — they were just sitting next to each other in class.
  • Delayed Reaction:
    • It takes Sakura four hours to realize Nozaki is a mangaka. She even helps him with his manga the whole time!
    • When Mikoshiba's practising mixer etiquette with Nozaki, Nozaki's first question practically treats Mikoshiba as a girl. Mikoshiba only complains about this after answering that question as if he was a girl.
    • An omake shows Hori assumed upon meeting and recruiting Kashima that she was a guy - despite very obvious signs that she was a girl, like wearing the school skirt. It was only until he saw her walk into the girls' bathroom that he realized her gender.
    • In chapter 60, while talking about how Kashima's ignoring of Hori has severely affected the latter, Nozaki confides to Sakura that if she were to give him the cold shoulder, he'd also be dealt a great shock as well. She quickly reassures him that she'd never do that, and it isn't only until much later that she realizes the implications of what he had said.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: Seo is hired by sports clubs because she has zero sportsmanship, and as a result it reforms their teamwork and such.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In the anime, the scene where Kashima tries to sing is rendered in black and white, in the style of an old film reel.
  • Die for Our Ship: In-Universe, Nozaki first played Mikoshiba's Dating Sim game using Suzuki's name — he unfortunately took it too seriously and opted for the bad option for all the scenarios (like telling a girl to get lost and kicking another girl). His reason for doing so is as follows:
    Nozaki: Suzuki only has eyes for Mamiko!
    Mikoshiba: Why the hell did you pick that name?! Change it right now! Start over!
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • Best friends Kashima and Mikoshiba are in many aspects this to each other. They both have unisex given names, subvert many typical characteristics of their respective gender, and are known around the school for being flirty chick magnets. They also are almost the exact same height. However, they also have many traits that are the exact opposite of each other. Kashima's a friendly Jack-of-All-Trades genius while Mikoshiba is a socially inept Shrinking Violet whose only "talent" is playing video games. Their hair also parts in opposite directions, and are the colors blue and red, which somewhat evokes a Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamic. Ironically, it's blue-haired Kashima who's the extravert and red-haired Mikoshiba who's the introvert.
    • This also applies to some of the characters of Nozaki's manga. Mamiko is based off from Mikoshiba's shy but determined personality and two side characters are based off from Seo and Wakamatsu; the girl having Wakamatsu's niceness and the boy having Seo's brashness. The said side characters' relationship is also based on the Seo-Wakamatsu dynamic.
  • Ditzy Genius: Kashima and Wakamatsu have the first and second best grades of the main cast respectively, with Kashima being the school's #1 student and Wakamatsu being within the top 30. They also have the least amount of common sense in the main cast.
  • Dramatic Irony: Seo and Wakamatsu's relationship is based on Dramatic Irony. For starters, he dislikes and barely tolerates her, but is in love with Lorelei after only hearing her voice, except Seo is Lorelei. Nozaki can be seen first cringing and then curled up in mortification when Wakamatsu begins talking about how great Lorelei is to Seo, intending it as an insulting comparison. Later, several characters begin shipping their manga counterparts together, apparently including an oblivious Wakamatsu!
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Sakura displays this look when she notices that Nozaki used Mikorin as the basis for his heroine in episode 2. Said heroine acts exactly like he does, which causes her disgusted reaction.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Parodied in the "Secret Days" dating sim, where the female lead pursues guys whose problems range from "acts rich but their father's company actually went bankrupt" to "actually being Satan".
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Early colored art of the manga (as shown in the current page image above) showed Sakura's hair as pinkish and her ribbons didn't have polka-dots. Later colored manga art has her color scheme closer to the anime's.
    • Hori was, in his first few appearances, inconsistently drawn with his sleeves unrolled, even while he was working (and sometimes they would switch from being rolled to unrolled from one panel to the next). Nowadays his sleeves are basically never drawn unrolled except in chapter cover or color artwork.
    • Mikoshiba's first appearance in Chapter 3 actually has him wearing his uniform mostly properly (a buttoned shirt with the tie), only missing the blazer or sweater most of the other students wear. Afterwards he dresses like he normally does in the anime, with his shirt unbuttoned over a t-shirt.
  • Ensemble Cast: While most of the story is framed through Nozaki and Sakura's work on his manga, a fair chunk of the screentime is also shared with their friends.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: In-Universe, when the guys playing a dating sim together they don't care much about the heroine or protagonist, instead focusing on how the protagonist's friend is a really great guy who sacrificed his whole time in high school helping the protagonist with his love life. They instantly resolve to write a doujinshi with him as the main character so he can get a girlfriend too, but he had no strong relationships with anyone but the protagonist so it became a yaoi doujin instead.
  • Enthralling Siren: This trope is briefly mentioned in chapter 11 (adopted in episode 6) over the origins of Seo's nickname, "Lorelei."
  • Epic Fail: Wakamatsu wants to complain to Seo in Chapter 14 (adapted in Episode 6). It's just that he fails in so many things, it practically becomes a Love Confession, especially for those who know who "Lorelei" is.
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • As of episodes 10 and 11 (and Chapter 40 in the manga), pretty much everyone in the main cast has caught on regarding Sakura's crush on Nozaki, except, of course, Nozaki himself.
    • Nozaki, Sakura, and Mikoshiba, along with most of the drama club and many of their nameless classmates, all know that Hori and Kashima are at the very least particularly partial towards one another.
  • Exact Words: In Chapter 48, which takes place prior to her "confession", one of Sakura's classmates asks her to stop mentioning Nozaki, so she starts referring to him in epithets, like "the ex-basketball club member" or "the person in seat 14 in classroom A". Her classmate quickly surrenders.
  • Eye Catch: Different each episode, and are typically related to said episode (pre-break relating to the first half and post-break relating to the second half) with the character (or one of the characters) shown saying, "Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun!".
  • False Friend: This trope is conversed in Chapter 8 (animated as the first half of Episode 4). Nozaki is initially unwilling to consult Tomoda when playing Mikoshiba's Dating Sim as he sees anyone who appears to be friendly to the protagonist in fiction to be this—after all, Nozaki is a Shoujo Genre author by trade. After a brief explanation of the trope itself, Mikoshiba complains Nozaki is being Wrong Genre Savvy.
  • Fanservice: Normally either made Fan Disservice or some sort of gag in the series itself, but occasional moments and some official art treat fans to this.
    • Fans were very overwhelmed when Tsubaki drew a picture of Kashima and Hori in the fanbook to celebrate the two topping the favourite pairing poll. Kashima's revealing legs and Hori's exposed chest aside, yes Hori is in fact grabbing Kashima's leg (with his hand firmly on her thigh) and proceeding to bite it. And Tsubaki drew it.
    • Also from the fanbook was a gem of Mikoshiba, who topped the favourite character poll, in a suit with his chest half-exposed.
    • The post-break Eye Catch in episode 7 shows Mikoshiba posing nude (only his back is seen though).
  • Fictional Document: The Shoujo Genre magazine Monthly Girls' Romance, where Nozaki's main manga, "Let's Fall in Love! ♡", is published.
  • Fictional Video Game: Communications with 12 Girls in Chapter 8 (or its anime counterpart, Girl Princess, in episode 4), and Secret Days in chapter 32. Both are Dating Sims, but are respectively male- and female-oriented.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Nozaki's first meeting with Sakura actually inspired Mamiko's physical appearance (and made Sakura fall for him), but he doesn't remember this because he was so exhausted that day that his memories of it are fuzzy.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Used as the basis for a joke in chapter 18, when Miyako sketches a page in which two characters switch bodies after colliding with each other. The punchline is that the tanuki following them also collided and switched bodies... but the others point out since the tanuki look alike, no one can really tell.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of these also seem to double as foreshadowing.
    • In the opening sequence when Nozaki lifts Sakura, she has only one ribbon, hinting at the chapter on their Forgotten First Meeting. Also, as that scene was right after a scene with Suzuki and Mamiko featured on Monthly Girls' Romance, it also hints at the origin of Mamiko's design. Strangely this is never addressed in the anime itself, as it only briefly adapted that chapter and left out many scenes including ones related to that certain point.
    • Also in the opening when Hori is first shown you can see his briefs beta marking in the background.
    • In the tanuki-filled Idiosyncratic Wipe of episode 5, one of the tanuki is actually a costumed Nozaki, which is from a chapter that was adapted into Episode 9.
    • In Episode 4, Nozaki and Mikoshiba were apparently drinking wine. The label was only given a brief shoot, which reads "kodomowine"—i.e. "children's wine," or grape juice.
    • In the latter half of Episode 11 when the boys arm-wrestle, an Idiosyncratic Wipe of Hori arm-wrestling Mikoshiba (with Wakamatsu cheering them on) is used.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang:
    • It took 62 chapters for Hori and Seo to actually be seen having a conversation; Seo doesn't even explicitly meet Hori until Chapter 47 when he walks in on her and Kashima's pillow fight, while Hori only first briefly sees her in an omake from Chapter 38's events when Seo calls out to Kashima while she's hanging out with Hori.
    • Similarly, Wakamatsu's first sighting of Kashima was during chapter 38, and their first true meeting wasn't until chapter 45.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Enforced In-Universe. Nozaki can't have characters smoke or drink in his manga... so instead, they've got chocolate cigarettes and get drunk on juice.
  • Gag Series: Nozaki-kun very much puts the humor first. Most of the character interactions and events are about setting up for a joke at the end.
  • Geeky Turn-On:
    • A variant occurs when Nozaki raises a "doki"note  sign when Sakura points out a character inconsistency in his manga.
    • Nozaki tends to fawn over Miyamae for being a competent editor, to the point of making Sakura jealous.
    • Sakura tries to think of ways to appeal to Nozaki more, and decides to learn from Miyamae who is Nozaki's "type" because of his work competency. She concludes that she should work hard with her inking (prompting Mikoshiba to comment that she's just back at square one).
  • Gender Flip:
    • Nozaki is prone to this when taking inspiration from people he knows - Mikoshiba, Wakamatsu, Hori and Seo all inspire gender-flipped characters.
    • This can also be invoked by the manga itself as many of the male characters have personality traits more commonly associated with female characters, and vice versa.
    • Mayu Nozaki was originally envisioned as a girl. This is his original design.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Discussed at one point as one of the common shoujo manga cliches.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In trying to get Maeno to stop inserting tanuki in all of Miyako's works, Miyako, Nozaki, and Sakura design a protagonist who wears a tanuki suit just to make him realize how ridiculous it is. However, Maeno loves the pitch, and declares the guy the best protagonist Miyako had ever come up with so far.
  • Hand Wave: Nozaki, like other authors, uses them In-Universe.
    • In episode 6, he notices Mamiko and Suzuki don't seem to study at all. So he creates a little skit talking about how Mamiko magically improved her grades by some "magical" reference book.
    • In episode 8/chapter 36, he handwaves his messed up perspectives by saying characters are standing on Scully Boxes. When asked why anyone would bring Scully Boxes to school, he further handwaves this by claiming boxes are popular in-universe.
  • Homoerotic Subtext
    • While playing a Dating Sim, Nozaki and Mikoshiba begin to wonder if the Bromantic Foil actually has feelings for the protagonist. While the Bromantic Foil is a pretty common character archetype, in real life his one-minded dedication to the protagonist's happiness might seem a little suspect. So Nozaki and Mikoshiba decide to make a Fix Fic where he finally gets a girlfriend of his own so he's not spending all of high school helping out a friend at the cost of himself. They look through the list of girls in the Dating Sim, but once again realize that the only character that makes sense for him as a love interest is the protagonist.
    • Nozaki basically worships the ground Ken walks on because he's so thrilled to have a competent editor. In the process, he's more anxious around him and willing to please than he would be for his girlfriend, if he had one. Sakura is baffled, especially since Ken clearly dislikes him.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Nozaki and Sakura are the tallest and shortest members of the cast, respectively. Specifically, they're one foot and a half apart in height; Nozaki clocks in at 190cm, nearly impossibly tall for a Japanese, while Sakura is at 145cm, at the low end of Japanese normalcy. It's to the point that when Hori tries to take a photo of them together for manga background references, while Nozaki's face is visible, all he can see of Sakura is the top of her head. He then switches places with Nozaki because his height is more Sakura-friendly.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Sakura is asked by the art club president in episode 7 to ask Mikoshiba to pose for their club the next day. He absolutely refuses to when she asks. However, when a different girl in the club asks moments later, he does his Bishie Sparkle scene and agrees to it, and then immediately regrets the decision. He asks Sakura for help in turning down the request, but she refuses after the way he treated her when she asked.
    • In Chapter 57, Mikoshiba tells Sakura about his problem with a girl desperate to go out with him. Both come up with the idea that Mikoshiba should just ask someone to pretend to be his girlfriend...but they never say it to each other because they realize that the flow of the conversation is obviously going to lead to Mikoshiba asking Sakura to do it, which neither person wants because Sakura admits that even as a facade she couldn't pretend to like someone else than Nozaki, and Mikoshiba doesn't see Sakura as anything more than a little-sister figure. As a result, both just stay in awkward silence — and then get offended at the other person for not asking.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapter and episode numbers start with "Issue," in the context of magazines.
  • Idiot Plot: Some of Nozaki's storylines are this, like when he tries to create a horror story. He gets called out on it by his editor, though. invoked
  • Imagine Spot: Frequently we see the inner workings of the characters' minds as their imaginations run wild about perceived scenarios. Which are almost always proven wrong.
  • Improvised Weapon: Hori will do anything to stop Kashima from being stupid. In episode 8 alone, he threw his bag and a whiteboard.
  • Indirect Kiss: In one chapter Sakura jokingly offers Nozaki a bite from her candied apple, at that point having given up expecting anything romantic from him. Nozaki, being Nozaki, nonchalantly takes a bite. Cue Sakura going redder than the apple. The fanbook states that she ended up keeping that apple.
  • Irony: A frequently used tool for setting up gags in this series. There are also two examples that are associated with two different character relationships.
    • Wakamatsu has a crush on the "Lorelei of the Choir Club"' merely by virtue of her singing, while also feeling terrorized and picked on by Seo, and he has yet to realize they are one and the same.
    • A more subtle example that actually hasn't been directly pointed out yet in-series is the fact that Hori quit acting because after meeting Kashima he saw her as perfect lead material. However, it was seeing his acting that got her to even go to Roman Academy in the first place.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Nozaki and Mikoshiba decide to research a delinquent character by acting out how they think delinquents act.
  • Japanese School Club:
    • Although not the focus of the story, many characters are still members: Sakura is from the art club, Seo the choir club, Wakamatsu the boys' basketball club, and Kashima and Hori the drama club. Mayu is captain of his school's judo club (it's apparently the only thing he'll put effort towards).
    • Nozaki used to be captain of the basketball club in middle school.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee:
    • Miyamae is the only person who Nozaki looks up to, and the only person who makes Nozaki hang on to his every word even for things not related to his manga. Some of it can be attributed to Miyamae actually being a competent editor (unlike Maeno) but Nozaki's respect goes far beyond the level one would normally have for their superior.
    • Despite her teasing of his height, whenever Hori's acting on stage the only thing Kashima wants to do is sit and watch him. In fact, it's the only reason why she chose their high school — she was on a tour through the school and happened to see him rehearsing.
  • Last Name Basis: The main characters in this series go by their last names almost exclusively to the point that it's sometimes hard to remember what their first names are! Sakura is possibly the only exception, as both Seo and Kashima call her Chiyo. The only characters that are frequently called by their first names are Nozaki's editor Ken Miyamae, as Nozaki calls him Ken-san, and Nozaki's younger brother Mayu Nozaki, so as not to confuse him with Nozaki himself.
  • Lightning Glare: Its use is conversed in Chapter 2. Japan's anti-duelling laws criminalize the mere issuance or acceptance of duel challenges, and the government is keen to use this clause to combat teen crime. Since Nozaki writes for the Shoujo Demographic, any explicit challenges are, as a result, out of the question. Hence, if scenes involving Japanese Delinquents require a duel challenge, they can only deliver it non-verbally, in this way.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Seo and Kashima don't know that Nozaki is a mangaka and the other characters are his assistants.
    • Mikoshiba doesn't know Wakamatsu and Hori are also Nozaki's assistants. In episode 11, it's shown that Hori is dead-set against Mikoshiba learning about his drawing the backgrounds, as doing so may cause Mikoshiba to talk to Kashima about it, who may then want to help out, and inadvertently attract a huge group of followers into Nozaki's apartment. For his part, Nozaki thinks his friend is overreacting, but doesn't tell the others about being assistants, though they try really hard not to reveal it to each other.
  • Lolicon:
    • Played for Laughs in the omake of Chapter 35, where Mikoshiba is waiting for Sakura and Nozaki in the lost children's section of the mall. A young girl, seeing how distraught he is, offers him a snack and he responds with a typical Dating Sim quote: "Don't be so nice to me; I might fall for you". It's really just to show that Mikoshiba really Cannot Talk to Women and can only parrot lines from dating sims at them, no matter how old they are.
    • The first time they meet, Seo also accuses Nozaki of being one since he is hanging out with Sakura.
    • Also played for laughs in Chapter 58, where Sakura finds Nozaki's manuscript for the special issue of Monthly Girls' Romance. The theme was "Love in age differences". Nozaki paired up a grown man with a little girl.
      Sakura: This is criminal!
  • Long Runner Tech Marches On: Discussed in chapter 61. To explain why he consider why he considered a change in the protagonists' cell phone model to be Serious Business, he quoted a 20-year-old Long Runner where the heroine started with a pager, switched to a PHS-style cell phone in the middle, and moved on to the smartphone and chats on LINE.
  • Longing Look:
    • Subverted; Nozaki tells Sakura that he's always been watching her... because he admires her artistic technique.
    • Similarly, Wakamatsu's teammates are convinced that he's fallen for Seo when he starts staring at her intently. He was actually just trying to see if she had any good points at all.
  • Loophole Abuse: In episode 7, while Mikoshiba is posing for Sakura and the art club, Nozaki joins in some time later. Everyone in the club has asked him to do a pose, and Sakura tells Nozaki he can ask for one as well. Nozaki, being Literal-Minded, uses that to have Mikoshiba pose a certain way, then he has every other girl in the club pose around him as well, all so the former could do the pose request he wanted. Of course, Sakura didn't specifically mention only having Mikoshiba pose either...
  • Lost in Translation: A few language-based jokes in the manga suffer this but the scanlations usually make up for it.
    • According to a translation note, the scanlation of Chapter 55 barely averted this for an important pun, only resolved by using an ambigram. Wakamatsu's girl counterpart in Nozaki's manga notices in the mirror she has スキだ (suki da) written on her forehead - she interprets it as "I love you" which is its usual meaning, but it's implied here that Seo's guy counterpart (the likely culprit) meant "you're open/defenceless" due to his unusual choice of writing style.note  The scanlation team's alternative managed to create a similar effect - the amibigram written on the girl's head says "love u" but can also be read as "idiot" upside down.
    • In Chapter 59, Nozaki berates Mikoshiba, who's been texting Mayumayu (Mayu, unbeknownst to him) with the username Mamiko, for typing completely in hiragana since he thinks it's too cutesy for Mamiko the high school girl. Nozaki says to start texting completely in katakana to show their intellect, and Mikoshiba remarks that it's basically a telegram since they used to be written fully in katakana in Japan. The English scanlation gives a decent substitute: Nozaki scolds Mikoshiba for making "cute" misspellings and demands that he starts texting in Shakespearean, and the latter says it's basically a couplet.
  • Love Flowers:
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Many guys can't stand Seo, but are in love with 'Lorelei' from the music club... who is Seo, or at least her singing voice; the chief victim of this is Nozaki's junior Wakamatsu. In an inversion, Seo doesn't particularly seem to care either way, and if anything enjoys destroying people's fantasies by revealing who she is.
  • Love You and Everybody: Variant, but has a similar effect. When asked if she likes Hori, Kashima exclaims very exuberantly - and very casually - that "of course I like him! I love the president!", which as per usual in this series, continues the ongoing ambiguity of Kashima's relationship with Hori.
  • Magic Skirt: While the series has its share of underwear related jokes (for both the boys and girls), the audience is never exposed to any panty shots of the girls. The most blatant example of this is when Seo walks down the hallway in a handstand and her skirt rigidly defies gravity. The magic skirt still even applies to Kashima despite the fact her character profile shows she wears Modesty Shorts.
  • Manga Effects:
    • Wakamatsu's job is to apply screentones. He's very good at cutting and sticking them but needs Nozaki to choose for him which ones to use.
    • One chapter has Hori, Sakura, and Wakamatsu trying to choose screentones without Nozaki's help. The effects and the scenes end up hilariously mismatched.
    • Mikorin's job is to draw those effects that have to be drawn.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy:
    • The Wakamatsu/Seo couple have this dynamic, as Wakamatsu is a sensitive guy who believes in Shoujo Genre manga while Seo is a brash lad-ette.
    • Although not a couple, Mikoshiba also has this sort of relationship with his best friend Kashima. Mikoshiba is a Shrinking Violet Tsundere whom Nozaki uses as a model for his manga's heroine, while Kashima is an extremely suave Chick Magnet who is nicknamed the "Prince".
  • Mistaken for Gay:
    • Mikoshiba when he introduces the Bifauxnen Kashima as the "School Prince". Sakura naturally assumes the "School Prince" is a boy before she actually sees Kashima and she immediately jumps to the conclusion that Mikoshiba is dating him. A variant since Sakura is much more concerned about his "faithfulness" to Suzuki than him being gay itself.
    • At one point Sakura thinks Wakamatsu is gay because Nozaki told her he's in love with someone resembling a guy character from his manga (said guy character is based on Seo).
    • A flashback of Nozaki using Valentine's Day as research for his manga shows Wakamatsu helping him buy chocolates. Nozaki gives him some as thanks and Wakamatsu shows them to his friends - and said friends wonder if they're expensive ones and filled with Nozaki's "love".
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: When Seo first appears, she mistakes Nozaki as a lolicon due to the latter's recent closeness with the tiny Sakura.
  • Mistaken for Profound: When Wakamatsu asks Mikoshiba for love advice, he thinks Mikoshiba's answer is so high level an inexperienced guy like him couldn't understand. Mikoshiba was talking about Dating Sim games.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: In a bit of Chapter 26 that was animated as a part of episode 9, Out-of-Context Eavesdropping about Miyako asking Maeno on the phone to "call again at night" made her colleagues wonder if she's living "a degenerate lifestyle" that involves "transactions at night."
  • Mistaken for Subculture: Kashima-kun believes Hori-senpai to secretly want to be a "princess" after finding out he reads shoujo manga and is comfortable reading female lines. Being such a good friend, she tries to make him happy by giving him her skirt to wear home, buying a well-coordinated outfit for him, and trying to first princess-carry, then horse him to the nurse's office.
  • Mock Millionaire: In-universe example: One of the characters in the "Secret Days" dating sim pretends to be a millionaire, but his father's company actually went bankrupt.
  • Moment Killer: An omnipresent trope for this series; whenever there's a romantic or heartwarming moment between the characters, one of them will do or say something to ruin it.
  • Mr. Exposition: Tomoda in Chapter 8/Episode 4 is supposed to be this. Due to a Relationship Writing Fumble, he is seen by the cast as a Gay Option.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: A common discussion among viewers of this series is "what exactly is this work's demographic?" It is Slice of Life written by an established Shoujo Genre author that makes fun of shoujo genre conventions, first published in an online magazine for the Seinen/Shōnen (Demographic) but later also reprinted in Shoujo Demographic anthologies... Obviously it appeals to readers of both sexes.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Happens from time to time, such as whenever Hori beats up Kashima for attempting to skip rehearsals for the theater club.
  • Mythology Gag: In September 2014, Tsubaki admitted Mayu was at first intended to be a girl, and that a female Mayu would have been paired with Mikoshiba. Chapter 59 revolves around Mikoshiba and Mayu texting one another, each mistakenly believing that the other is a cute girl.
  • Necktie Leash: The usual roles are gender-flipped with Hori frequently depicted as dragging Kashima around by her necktie. The fourth volume cover also features Seo doing so with Waka.
  • No Loves Intersect: Misunderstandings aside, very few romantic rivalries occur between the main characters. Outside of their group, Nozaki and Seo have personality traits that are more likely to deter people rather than attract them, Hori, Wakamatsu, and Sakura aren't popular enough to have too many admirers, and while Mikoshiba and Kashima both have their fangirls, they aren't important enough to count as romance candidates.
  • Noble Womans Laugh: A manga Wakamatsu reads in episode 10 in Nozaki's apartment has a woman doing this as he reads it for ideas on sabotaging the date with Seo.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: The school is stated by official materials to be lenient on uniform regulations and also has many acceptable variants. Most of the main cast has at least one thing about their chosen uniform that's different from the norm, but some background characters can be seen doing the same as well.
  • Not a Date:
    • Seo has been mentioned to frequently go to family restaurants with Waka, and has invited him to the movies and an amusement park. Many of their classmates have also begun to suspect that there's something between them. Due to the ... strange dynamic of their relationship, though, neither of them consider these dates.
    • Nozaki and Miyako sometimes help each other brainstorm manga ideas in cafes, leading to Miyako's classmates assuming that they're dating each other.
    • Nozaki and Sakura go on one in episode 7. At first it seems like a typical date, but Nozaki can't turn his brain off work mode, so when they see a movie, he sees it simply because he wants to see a building in said movie from multiple angles. And later they go clothes shopping, only for Nozaki to want the clothing for references in his work. They later go into a store to look at dolls and figures, only for him to buy a male character for references. Finally he invites her to his apartment, only to feed her, and only because he cooked too much food and didn't want it to go to waste.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Mikoshiba forcefully volunteered to be Miyako's shirtless model. Nozaki and Sakura came when he was stripping and shouting "Take a good look!".
    • Sakura and Hori act out Nozaki's script, and Mikoshiba comes just in time to hear the part where Hori's character shamelessly admits that he's in love with other girls than Sakura's character.
    • Nozaki imagines taking pictures at the beach and being mistaken for a peeping tom.
    • Miyako's college friends are perhaps not the brightest given that they doggedly stick with the assumption that Miyako's odd behavior is because she has a boyfriend in highschool, namely Nozaki. They also think she has an incredibly shady job because whenever they ask her what she actually does she just laughs, leaving them with the assumption that it's some dirty job performed at night. Hmmm...
      • The first time it comes up, one of her friends is convinced that they're going through a messy breakup with both of them being incredibly unfaithful while the tiny Sakura sits back watching with highly malicious entertainment at the drama. The reader knows that they're actually just talking about possible costumes for their characters.
      • When Ryousuke tries to check out what's going on, he thinks Miyako and Nozaki are talking about cosplay with Nozaki not being satisfied with anything, so at the end of the chapter he helpfully informs her that he would love to see her as a bunny girl.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: Nozaki asks Sakura if there's anybody she likes and she describes her unsuccessful confession to Nozaki himself without mentioning his name. His response? "What's so good about a guy like that?"
  • Oblivious to Love: Virtually every single one of the main characters except maybe Sakura is this to varying degrees, and some of the humor is derived from this. What's more, it tends to only be in regards to their own relationships.
  • Odd Friendship:
  • Off Model: In-Universe, Nozaki is prone to this when drawing out of his comfort zone and will take weird drastic measures to avoid it. Notable is the time he tried to draw the backgrounds himself and he accidentally made it look like Suzuki was floating - he fixed this by randomly placing a box under his feet.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe. In Chapter 34, Nozaki complained about Wakamatsu's crushing over someone he has never seen ("Lorelei"). Wakamatsu then quoted old Shoujo Genre manga for such a setup, and Nozaki immediately pointed that's a Dead Horse Trope and Wakamatsu should live with the times. So when Wakamatsu pointed out Nozaki himself made such a set-up in the past...
    Nozaki: Guh, Dammit!
  • One Head Taller:
    • Wakamatsu (185cm) is about a head taller than Seo (163cm). Naturally, Waka is a basketball star.
    • With Nozaki and Sakura it comes to almost two heads Nozaki is 190 cm (he also was a basketball club captain in junior high), and Sakura is only 145 cm, so she doesn't even reach his shoulder.
    • Reversed with Hori and Kashima Hori stopped growing while still in junior high, resulting in Kashima being half a head taller than him.
  • Only Six Faces: In-universe. Absent a model, Nozaki will default to Suzuki's face for his male characters (it's easy for him to draw).
  • Operation Jealousy: In order to get Kashima to understand the role of a prince suffering from unrequited love, Nozaki invokes this in chapter 60 by asking her to imagine that he and Hori are dating. It works on Sakura, much to Nozaki's confusion.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping:
    • Nozaki and Sakura are in a clothes store looking for clothes as references for Mamiko. A couple of shoppers come across them, assuming they're on a date and that Nozaki's looking for clothes as a gift to Sakura... then they overhear Nozaki asking if he can take photos of Sakura in a stereotypical Sailor Fuku, and conclude they're in a cosplay club.
    • Miyako's fellow college students are unaware she's a mangaka, so when one of them takes a look at Miyako's notes she thinks she's got a boyfriend. Later, she comes across Miyako, Nozaki and Sakura talking about their manga problems, and assumes it's a conversation about a break-up.
    • In chapter 53, Miyako and Nozaki's manga discussions are overheard again, this time by Seo's older brother Ryousuke (who had unhelpfully heard about the rumours of Miyako's "high school boyfriend"note ), who misunderstood Miyako's brainstorming ideas as cosplay proposals.
  • Pitbull Dates Puppy: Careless troublemaker Seo is curiously fond of her good-natured underclassman Wakamatsu. Played With in that Waka wants to make Seo feel bad so she won't bother him anymore, but fails in ways that make him look like he's invested in their relationship.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Mikorin and Kashima are each other's best friend.
  • Playing Hard to Get: In-universe with the "little devil" fad. Sakura tries to act like one in order to get Nozaki to notice her feelings. Surprisingly, Nozaki does notice that Sakura hadn't been her usual self but as Mikoshiba says, Nozaki's response is more like "concern you'd expect a parent dealing with a child in a rebellious stage" rather than what Sakura wanted. Doesn't help that Sakura is basing her behavior on Seo of all people. Speaking of Seo, after she hears of the fad, she deduces that Wakamatsu is also following it.
  • Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: One happens at the end of episode 12, as Sakura and Nozaki are watching the fireworks. Though audiences hear what she says to him (that she loves him), what he says is inaudible, even to Sakura, prompting her to ask him to repeat what he said. He says he feels the same way about her, about loving fireworks, that is, which is probably what Nozaki thought Sakura was talking about.
  • Poke the Poodle:
    • Wakamatsu's attempts to express his anger at Seo involve greeting and approaching her every day.
    • Nozaki and Mikoshiba try acting like delinquents as a character creation exercise for the former's manga, and their form of "rebellion" involves "sleeping late, and not bringing homework" for Mikorin, and "not turning on the washing machine" for Nozaki.
  • Pose of Supplication:
    • Mikoshiba often does this.
      • In chapter 8, he does this when he loses a bet with Nozaki on whether Sakura has a case of Weakness Turns Her On.
      • He does this again in Chapter 19. After volunteering to model for the school's art club, he looks to his figures for pose ideas. Unfortunately for him, all of his figures are of girls in feminine poses, causing him to assume this stance.
    • Kashima does this in episode 3note  when she thinks her (self-proclaimed) status as Hori's favourite kohai is being threatened by Nozaki. She boasts that Hori favours her because he always chases her and gives her lead roles but Sakura argues it's only because she skips club activities and her good acting calls for it - this leads to her in this stance.
    • Wakamatsu does this after he fails to get the message across to Seo that she's being a nuisance to the Basketball club (because he tried using shoujo manga tactics), wondering aloud to Nozaki where he went wrong.
    • Nozaki does this when he fails to fit in a girls' sailor uniform and laments how he hates his muscles for stopping him from being a Bishōnen.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: Gender-inverted. Nozaki is the titular character and poster boy, Sakura is the point-of-view girl.
  • Production Throwback: Sakura's shelf in episode 1 of the anime has a charm of Usa-chan from Ore-sama Teacher.
  • Public Bathhouse Scene: Chapter 47 features the main characters (plus the drama club) heading to a bath house, with Nozaki and Sakura expecting a romantic bonding to happen between the guys and girls as they try to communicate to each other through the segregating wall. Of course, given the... odd setting they are in, no such things happened, as the girls were too busy flocking over Kashima, while the guys were too busy trying to strip Mikoshiba of his Modesty Towel.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Discussed when Nozaki laments to Sakura that he's not allowed to show romantic scenes like two people on one bike because it's against traffic and teenage manga regulations. It even causes the plot of chapter 35, because Nozaki admits to Miyamae that he's having a hard time thinking of a situation where Mamiko and Suzuki could have some drama in meeting up for a date like the old shoujo mangas do, because of the invention of cell phones.
    • In one instance, Wakamatsu gets far too into his role at the acting club as an eyepatch-wearing villain and goes to basketball practice still in character, hellbent on taking down Seo. Seo points out that the eyepatch will make him trip and fall, and surely enough he does that, knocking himself out. In fact, 99% of this trope occurring in this manga is because of Wakamatsu; he stubbornly tries to use shoujo manga to deal with Seo without learning that real life is not as simple as fiction is, and constantly wonders why he fails.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: In episode 9, Nozaki imagines a scenario where the main character forgets his umbrella after it rains, and many girls offer theirs. However, when Kashima does this exact scenario, it doesn't look quite like the field of flowers he and Sakura imagined, and instead they comment that it looks more like mushrooms.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The relationships of everyone in Nozaki's manga are based on those of people he knows. He also writes scripts for Hori, but after meeting Kashima he finds it incredibly difficult not to write the prince characters she plays as sleazy flirts.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: In-Universe, in the Fictional Video Game Communications with 12 Girls/Girl Princess, Tomoda is supposed to be the male friend of the protagonist that acts as Mr. Exposition. However, he is being overly helpful for the protagonist, making the cast wonder if such dedication is, in fact, Homoerotic Subtext.
  • Repeat Cut: Episode 8 gives us a triple take of Hori kicking a box out from under Kashima's feet.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Parodied in episode 2, when Seo and Nozaki are tasked with taking stacks of notebooks to a classroom. When a teacher looking to punish Seo comes around, the scene is suddenly bathed in a sunset-glow as Seo dramatically tells Nozaki that she knows she can trust him to take care of her share. The scene ends with Nozaki getting drawn into the mood and agreeing to take them, with Seo running slow-mo into the distance.
  • Romantic Rain: Played for Laughs in chapter 17, and by extension the first half of episode 9, where typical romantic rain cliches are explored.
  • Satellite Character: There's an in universe example when Nozaki and Mikoshiba play a dating sim together. The character they get invested in is Tomoda, the friend of the protagonist, but he never really interacts with anyone but the protagonist so they decide he must be gay and trying to put the protagonist's feelings ahead of his own.
  • Scenery Porn: Loads of it in the anime.
  • Scully Box: Invoked, for laughs, in Chapter 36/Episode 8. Nozaki uses these to cheat perspectives or to handwave how he screws up the perspective in his manga—in the latter case, by claiming everyone has them In-Universe.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: This side comic shows Kashima and Hori of all people having a very long and detailed talk, during a bath... about nothing other than ways of cooking octopus, much to Mikoshiba and Nozaki's shock.
  • Sempai/Kohai:
    • Since Wakamatsu is the only first year in the group, he treats the others as his sempais, but Nozaki has his particular respect, as the latter was the captain of the middle school's basketball team.
    • Hori is referred to as Sempai by the rest of the group not only because of his age—he's the only senior in the main cast—but also due to the prestige of the drama club.
  • Serial Escalation: The idea is parodied in Chapter 31. Nozaki laments that a Declaration of Protection between Suzuki and Mamiko is boring when he just says it to her. His idea of spicing things up is to have Suzuki make his declaration on a cliffside, while hanging to a rope with one hand, and gripping on to Mamiko with the other.
  • Serious Business: Mikorin and Nozaki playing the dating sim game in episode 4. Nozaki at first can't detach from his professional life, so he coldly rejects every girl in the game, causing Mikorin to berate him for Comically Missing the Point about the game. Then he ends up asking the male friend in the game for advice on the girls, and both of them seem more interested in the friend than the other girls in the game. They end up creating a Boys Love fanfic about the male friend and the protagonist as a result.
  • Shaggy Dog Story:
    • In Chapter 2 (animated in episode 1), Nozaki actually rents a four-wheeled tandem bike to ride with Sakura to test out potential romantic scenerios, as the traditional romantic scene of "two people riding on a bike" is against traffic laws, and the usual substitute of "two people walking the bike" was a bit overused. Miyamae, however, Executive Vetos Nozaki's approach to the tandem bike (probably because it made Suzuki too much of a casanova), so Nozaki still goes on with the "two people walking the bike" scene. invoked
    • In an omake to Chapter 8, Nozaki tells Sakura the Yaoi Genre doujinshi he and Mikoshiba attempted between the Dating Sim's protagonist and Tomoda failed because Happily Married is an Enforced Trope for Shoujo Genre, and since same-sex marriage isn't allowed in Japan, there's no way they could write it.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: A variant occurs when Nozaki makes the other guys do a "love-talk" during a sleepover so he can mine it for manga ideas. Mikoshiba asks Hori how he and Kashima are doing, and Hori wonders out loud why he'd bring her up when asking about his love life.
  • Shipper on Deck: Played with in chapter 48 with one of Sakura's exasperated classmates, who only wishes Sakura would just get together with Nozaki so that she could finally move on from her obsessive behavior towards him.
  • Shipping: In-Universe, Sakura finds the Oze/Waka pairing in Nozaki's manga adorable. Nozaki himself is weirded out by the idea despite writing it himself because he knows that the real basis for the characters don't get along that well. Unfortunately, Hori and Wakamatsu himself seem intrigued by the idea, with the latter being particularly fond of the Oze character.
  • Ship Tease: Expertly played with by the Mangaka for Nozaki/Sakura, Seo/Wakamatsu, and Kashima/Hori. With the exception of Sakura, all the characters involved are not actually looking for love, and none of the relationship tropes done by them are actually done with love in mind. Remarkably most of these are written in a way that the audience (and often, many of the peripheral characters) can plainly see the sexual tension between them, but the players themselves are blissfully and blindly ignorant regarding what their actions imply. This series being what it is, however, most of it ends up getting Played for Laughs or having the mood skewered. Some examples include:
    • Kashima taking Hori to the nurse's office and Hori getting inspired for a play because of it.
    • Nozaki walking home with Sakura and when asked, tells her it was because he simply wanted to (which causes Sakura to fret about what it might mean)
    • Wakamatsu picking out a bra for Seo to wear and despite (or perhaps because) the fact she thinks it's lame, her keeping it and wearing it.
    • Mikoshiba attempting to ask Hori what he thinks of Kashima in episode 11, though the latter (brusquely) brushes it aside.
    • Mikoshiba then trying to ask Nozaki how he feels about Sakura immediately afterwards. Unfortunately Nozaki falls asleep sometime before this, and doesn't hear it.
    • The main characters end up hanging out with their respective partners in episode 12 at a summer festival with each pairing getting some moments in.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Kashima's character is basically a clone of an otokoyaku in Takarazuka drama.
    • Chapter 8's title is High School Boys are All Idiots. Daily Lives of High School Boys
    • In Chapter 19, one of the figurines that Mikoshiba uses as an example of how he should pose bears more than a passing resemblance to Natsu.
    • In episode 10, one of the eyecatches has Kashima wearing a suit and holding an umbrella while in a pose that's an obvious reference to Singin' in the Rain.
  • Significant Birth Date: Each of the main 7 characters has a birthdate that is associated with a holiday that in some way pertains to their character.
    • Nozaki was born on Plum day (his first name basically means "plum boy").
    • Sakura was born on Sakura day (this should be self-explanatory).
    • Mikoshiba was born on Valentine's day (it reflects his flirty, romantic playboy image).
    • Seo was born on Tanabata (since it's a holiday celebrating two deities that are star-crossed lovers, it's appropriate given her relationship with the boys who are infatuated with her voice but don't know it's her).
    • Kashima was born on Halloween (she's always going in-and-out of costumes due to performing in the drama club).
    • Hori was born on Nice-Knee-High's (socks) day (indicative of the fact he pays most attention to legs when checking out girls).
    • Wakamatsu was born on Sleep Science day (he usually has insomnia, but falls immediately asleep regardless of where he is if he hears "Lorelei"'s singing).
  • Sick Episode: Chapter 20 (animated as the latter half of Episode 6) has Nozaki bedridden, so Sakura, Hori, and Wakamatsu help him to finish his manga before the deadline.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: Happens to Nozaki, Mikoshiba, and Wakamatsu, after Seo took off the strings from their swimming trunks.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Many comparisons have been made to Ouran High School Host Club, at least in terms of using common shoujo tropes while parodying them at the same time.
    • Comparisons have also been made to School Rumble, another shounen Gag Series that parodies shoujo tropes and even has two main characters who are secretly mangaka.
  • Spoiler Opening: The clip of Nozaki lifting Sakura into the air doesn't happen until the final episode. It's a Flashback of their first meeting.
  • Spoiler Title: When reading Miyako's murder mystery manga, both Nozaki and Sakura wind up finding it compelling enough to get invested in it despite the ridiculousness, but then they read the next chapter blurb. "Stay tuned for the next chapter 'The killer is revealed to be Yamamoto!'". Nozaki promptly throws the manga onto the ground in frustration.
  • Status Quo Is God: Despite all the Ship Tease that goes on in the series, very little has changed between relationships the various characters have with each other thus far. The anime, despite having finished, manages to preserve this. Sakura gives him a quiet Love Confession, but Nozaki thinks she said she loves fireworks.
  • The Stinger: The anime has post-credits scenes, which either cap the episode's events or act as a segue into the next one.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Nozaki felt this way towards Maeno, whose advice was never good. Maeno also uses his influence to add more tanuki to Miyako's works. invoked
  • Strange Minds Think Alike
    • While Nozaki, Sakura and Mikoshiba exhibit varying skill in their drawing abilities, when it comes to drawing buildings, all three of them draw the exact same crude figure of a house. It is later shown in Chapter 36 that even Wakamatsu has the same idea when it comes to drawing a house!
    • Later, Nozaki sends Sakura an SOS text message after school. He was absent that day, so she runs to his apartment thinking about how it's going to be a Sick Episode event, but then realizes there's no way that could be when it comes to Nozaki, so she brings ink instead of medicine, assuming he's at a deadline and ran out of ink. Turns out he really was sick, but Wakamatsu and Hori also show up with ink, having assumed the very same thing.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: Chapter 25 has Sakura and Nozaki reacting badly to Kashima's tone-deaf singing, to the point that they're crawling on the ground in agony.
  • Talking with Signs/Voice for the Voiceless: When Kashima has to rest her voice thanks to a cold, she writes out signs for other people to read.
  • Tanuki: Maeno loves these critters, and he constantly pushes the manga authors working under him to include them in all their works. As a result, everyone else hates them.
  • Tempting Fate: Nozaki asks if it's okay for Hori to carry around his manga in his bag since he could ruin his image by accidentally dropping it, but Hori assures him he never lets go of his bag. Cue Gilligan Cut to Hori angrily throwing his bag at Kashima, and sure enough the manga falls out of his bag and Kashima becomes disturbed.
  • Test Of Courage: Nozaki sets one up in Chapter 54 in order to research ideas for a scary chapter for his manga. Unfortunately, he and the people he had accompany him aren't the types to be scared... for the most part.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Nozaki describes his relationship with Sakura and Mikoshiba as "We spend our time in my apartment, doing this and that". He meant drawing manga.
  • Theme Naming: "Romance." While Monthly Girls' Romance is an acceptable title for a shoujo magazine, there's no other reason to name the school "Romance Academy"note  other than this trope.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Wakamatsu attempts to invoke this towards Seo in chapter 14/episode 6. However, instead of throwing a pair of mittens in front of Seo, he gives them as if they were a gift, so Seo thinks Wakamatsu is just too shy to give them properly.
  • Tin-Can Telephone: Chapter 61 has Nozaki and Sakura communicating via paper-cup phones for ideas for Nozaki's manga. Sakura becomes so attached to hers that her friends comment on how neglected her actual phone has become. Suzuki and Mamiko keep their flip-phones in the end, however the experience affects Nozaki enough that he accidentally draws the two holding and talking into their phones as if they're paper-cups.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: In contrast to Nozaki and Sakura, Kashima (1.76m) is half a head taller than Hori (1.64m).
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Nozaki and Mikoshiba discuss how this trope is one common cliche in shoujo manga. Mikoshiba later thinks Kashima might be this, only to be proven wrong immediately.
  • Tsundere:
    • Parodied in a strip, when Nozaki sketches a character who switches between cold and endearing between each panel on the same page. Everyone else remarks that the character needs to get help with emotional stability.
    • As far as characters go, Mikoshiba, Hori, and Wakamatsu have all either shown tendencies for or been associated with the term. Mikoshiba gets easily embarrassed and sometimes will try to cover it up by slinging insults. Hori will fly off the handle with Kashima on a near-daily basis but deep down will do anything to make her shine like a star. Wakamatsu has been called a "new type of Tsundere" by Mikoshiba because he's got an antagonistic relationship with Seo, but goes all deredere for the school's 'Lorelei', who he doesn't know is actually Seo.
  • Two Gamers on a Couch: Despite most of the cast not being gamers, chapters 8 and 32 are of this format. In both cases, they play a Dating Sim, and converse its conventions.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: Wakamatsu loves Lorelei but has mixed feelings towards Seo... who is Lorelei.
  • Tyop on the Cover: Nozaki and Miyako discuss one example each in episode 9, both of it caused by Maeno's incompetence.
    • Nozaki wanted his old oneshot to be called Wavering Heartbeat (Furueru Kodou). Maeno changed Furueru to the more cutesy Furu-furu, but didn't get the "Kodou." Eventually, as published, the title became Shakey-shake Kondounote  (Yuru-yuru Kondou).
    • Miyako wanted the title to be Otsuka-kun no Jijou (Otsuka-kun's Circumstances), but Maeno transposed the last two kanji, making it Otsuka-kun no Jouji (Otsuka-kun's Love Affairs).
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: Sakura thought this would happen in chapter 17 (animated as the first half of episode 9), but of course Nozaki is Oblivious to Love, and his attempts to replicate romantic moments as a manga reference just end up with both of them getting wet. On the other hand, Kashima flirts with the girls this way in the same chapter—and ends up completely surrounded by a 360 degree shell of umbrellas.
  • Unmanly Secret: Kashima thinks Hori has secret girly hobbies and interests, due to her being Locked Out of the Loop of him being Nozaki's assistant and misunderstanding his actions around Nozaki.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Invoked by various Sport coaches in Romance Academy by calling Seo up to trainings so that the team members know how to deal with this trope in actual games.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal:
    • Wakamatsu is subject to this in Chapter 45. Wakamatsu ends up following the girls to a swimsuit and lingerie store, thinking that it's perfectly okay and not suspicious for a teenage boy to be browsing in that sort of place because he's under the impression that Kashima is also a boy. It isn't until the very end that he's informed otherwise, leaving him red-faced and mortified.
    • A manga omake, animated as the stinger of episode 8 of the anime, reveals that this also happened to Hori with regards to Kashima. When they first met, Hori assumed that Kashima was a boy, despite the obvious signs indicating otherwise, like that she wears a skirt with her uniform. It wasn't until he saw her head to use the girl's bathroom that he realized she was indeed a girl.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Invoked in chapter 8, where the Dating Sim they're playing gives options to be cruel to others, like insulting them or attacking them. Nozaki, who was role-playing as his manga's Suzuki, picks the cruel option every time, his reason being that Suzuki already has eyes for Mamiko.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Hori constantly gets pissed off at Kashima for one reason or the other and Kashima often teases Hori or tries to do him favors that end up looking like harassment on his end, but when all's said and done they clearly respect and admire each other, and otherwise get along very well. Sometimes Kashima actually provokes Hori on purpose because she enjoys the attention.
  • What Does She See in Him?:
    • Both Mikoshiba and Nozaki are baffled by Sakura's feelings for Nozaki, though of course the latter is oblivious to the fact that she likes him specifically. Mikoshiba thinks Sakura's mental image of Nozaki sounds really obnoxious and Nozaki is puzzled about what Sakura likes about someone who is emotionally dense and takes her help for granted.
    • Misunderstood with Wakamatsu's friends. Upon noticing that Waka's been paying more attention to and spying on Seo, they are horrified and question what is it that he sees is so appealing about her. He's actually wondering the same thing: Surely she must have some kind of good point, but all his investigating shows her constantly being annoying.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In-universe, Seo starts recalling a time where she played with a boy called Okada, and how one day she put him in a back of a truck and said truck suddenly started moving... Seo offhandly ends the story there, realizing she's telling the wrong one, and she never reveals poor Okada's fate.note 
  • Whole Episode Flashback/Flashback Within a Flashback: Chapter 48 is set just before the series begins, and has Sakura recalling her first meeting with Nozaki a year before. Their first meeting is also shown at the end of episode 12.
  • Widget Series: In-universe Miyako's manga end up as such due to Maeno always pushing for the inclusion of tanuki, no matter how out of place they are given the genre.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • In-Universe, Nozaki has a fair amount of imaginative flair, but he tends to draw inspiration from the people and situations that surround him. For example, Mamiko has Mikoshiba's personality and Sakura's freshman ribbon look, a minor male character with a horribly oblivious and brash personality is based on Seo and a minor female character who hates him but loves his alter ego is based on Wakamatsu.
    • Played with in chapter 20/episode 6 where Nozaki is sick and Hori, Sakura and Wakamatsu have to make up the story themselves.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: This trope is the main point of chapter 8, with both Nozaki and Mikoshiba guilty of it:
    • Mikoshiba asks Nozaki to help him with a male-oriented Dating Sim, because Nozaki, as a romance author, is supposed to understand girls better.
    • Nozaki then plays the Dating Sim applying his usual Shoujo Genre mindset, and fails. Mikoshiba calls him on "using a girl's viewpoint to play a galge". Funnier is that Nozaki's view seems to be closer to reality.
  • Yandere:
    • In a flashback in Episode 4 Mikoshiba meets one while playing his Dating Sim game. A girl in the game holds up a knife while asking if they can go home together, and Mikoshiba remarks that he thought all along she was a tsundere.
    • Evoked in episode 7, though it's just entirely Nozaki's imagination doing it. While drawing Mikoshiba posing for the girls in the art club, Nozaki's version of said pose shows several girls around Mikoshiba, with various weapons instead of easels and paintbrushes, surrounding him. He says it's the result of Mikoshiba two-timing all of the girls. Sakura tells him to stick to the pose without adding extra stuff, especially when Nozaki shows her some extra notes he took for said drawing.
  • Yonkoma: The manga is in this format, as one may expect from a Gag Series.

Alternative Title(s):

Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun