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Manga / Go For It, Nakamura!

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Okuto Nakamura is a shy 16-year-old who cares about two things: octopuses, and Aiki Hirose, the classmate he fell in love with at first sight on the day he entered high school. But after admiring his crush from afar for a year, Nakamura decides he wants more and attempts to befriend Hirose. Unfortunately, Nakamura is also woefully awkward and prone to extreme blushing fits, so it's not always smooth sailing.

Go For It, Nakamura! (Japanese title: Ganbare! Nakamura-kun!!) is a comedic Boys Love manga by Syundei, which ran in the Josei BL magazine Opera from 2014 to 2016 and was compiled into a single volume. It's an unabashedly sweet and light-hearted Slice of Life story, focusing more on comical hijinks and silly conflicts than serious romance, but all the while developing the relationship between its two leads.

A sequel, titled Go For It Again, Nakamura! (Motto Ganbare! Nakamura-kun!!), was realized and complete at one volume. August 2021 saw to an audio adaptation with an accompanying motion comic, uploaded to YouTube.

The manga and its sequel are both licensed in English by Seven Seas Entertainment.

Go For It, Nakamura! provides examples of:

  • Animal Motif: Octopus. Nakamura loves octopi as a whole, praising their intelligence and even their cuteness, even his favorite food is takoyaki and having a pet octopus at home.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the Boys' Love genre. It uses many of the tropes staple of the genre for comedic effect, and has a Butt-Monkey main character failing to make any of them work; however, the cuteness and earnestness of the main romance indicates that it comes from a place of love for the genre.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At one point, Hirose is accosted by Japanese Delinquents that want to strip him and take pictures. Nakamura attempts a Dynamic Entry to intervene, but cycles straight into an open manhole. Fortunately, he looks so horrendous when he re-emerges that it scares the delinquents away.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve:
    • Happens at the end of Chapter 11. Nakamura and Hirose's peaceful time watching the ocean together appears to come to an end when Takeuchi arrives, telling Hirose to join him and the others. As Hirose prepares to leave, Nakamura reaches out and grabs his wrist, asking him not to go—this is partially motivated by their earlier conversation, in which Hirose confessed that he sometimes finds Takeuchi and Mukai's company tiresome.
      Nakamura: You don't have to force yourself to go.
    • Also pops up at the beginning of the second series. Just as Nakamura is about to head home, Hirose grabs onto his wrist and not-so-subtly indicates he wants to kiss him. Naturally, this turns out to be a dream.
  • Class Trip: The first volume culminates in one to Yokohama, during which Nakamura endeavors to finally befriend Hirose.
  • Cool Teacher: Otogiri, Nakamura's homeroom teacher, turns out to be this when Hirose is told to dye his hair by some other teachers; he takes Hirose into a locked room and pretends to give him a loud and terrifying lecture, while Hirose plays along with it. In the end, Otogiri is able to get Hirose out of trouble.
  • Creepy Cockroach: One shows up in Chapter 9 and basically freaks the entire class out, especially when it crawls into Nakamura's shirt as he's trying to get it out of the classroom. Luckily, Hirose manages to wrench the cockroach free (obliviously feeling up Nakamura's chest in the process) and throw it out of the window.
  • Daydream Surprise / Imagine Spot: Nakamura has a tendency to dream away, envisioning scenarios featuring him and Hirose, but reality never waits long to pull him back.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Chapter 5 is told from Kawamura's perspective and mostly serves to develop her and her friends.
  • Dream Intro: Motto Ganbare! Nakamura-kun!!'s first chapter starts off like this, showing Nakamura and Hirose heading home together. Just when it looks like they're about to share a kiss, Nakamura wakes up, and finds not Hirose's lips on his, but his pet octopus tightly suctioned onto his face.
  • Floral Motifs: Like any decent love interest, Hirose is often accompanied by flowers in the background when he shows up. Due to their Strong Family Resemblance, his older sister actually gets these too.
  • The Glomp: The boys' teacher Otogiri is often on the receiving end of these by Hirose after he stuck up for his pupil in Chapter 10.
  • Japanese School Club: Neither Nakamura nor Hirose belong to one, but they do figure into some of the storylines:
    • Chapter 6 prominently features the drama club since they're putting on a school play, which Nakamura and Hirose get roped into (the latter as a favor to his childhood friend Oomori, who is part of the drama club).
    • Chapter 7 introduces Reiko Aokiyama, the occult research club's president who is desperately looking for more members to prevent her club from being dissolved and tries to recruit Nakamura.
  • Kafka Comedy: Downplayed. Most of what Nakamura does ends up backfiring amazingly on him, and overall, the opinion his classmates have of him stays more or less the same, but he manages to slowly become closer to Hirose which was his main goal anyway.
  • Luminescent Blush: The mere thought of Hirose can be enough to cause Nakamura to turn red. Kawamura also regularly blushes when faced with the object of her affections.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Kawamura's drawing skills; this is most clearly shown in Chapter 5, when she sketches out a comic in front of her friends at such high speed they cannot see her hands.
  • Naughty Tentacles: When Nakamura sees his Love Interest happily holding an octopus during their preparations for the school festival, his imagination runs away from him a little bit, resulting in an... arresting image of Hirose tied up by tentacles. There's no chance for things to get truly graphic, however, as Nakamura snaps out of it pretty quickly.
  • Perverted Sniffing: Another popular trope of the BL genre that the author has a little fun with—when a classmate asks Nakamura to put away the gym clothes that he borrowed from Hirose, Nakamura takes the opportunity to sniff his love interest's sweat-stained clothes. At the end of the chapter, it's revealed that the gym clothes actually belonged to another, less attractive student at the school. Cue Nakamura throwing up.
  • Retraux: The art style and character designs are meant to mimic those of manga from the 80s, despite the manga first being published in 2014.
  • Sailor Fuku: The high school where the story takes place has the traditional sailor uniforms for girls and gakuran for boys.
  • School Festival: Chapter 2 is centered around one, with Nakamura's class setting up an octopus dumpling stall.
  • School Play: The set-up for Chapter 6; naturally, both Nakamura and Hirose, who makes for a very convincing girl, end up performing in the play.
  • There Is Only One Bed: One of the many scenarios Nakamura dreams up about him and Hirose.
  • Yaoi Fangirl:
    • Kawamura and her friends are big into yaoi, and even talk with each other about which of their classmates they'd ship with each other.
    • Nakamura himself is a yaoi fanboy and initially uses BL manga as a reference for how he can approach Hirose, up until his teacher finds a volume of his BL manga and laughs about how unrealistic it is. Despite this, Nakamura still reads BL manga for pleasure anyway.
  • Yaoi Genre: A more comedic example; Nakamura is head-over-heels in love with his male classmate Hirose, but he's too shy to even try to make friends with him. Many of his attempts to get closer to Hirose have him try to invoke typical setups in other BL series, but this usually backfires on him in some way.

Alternative Title(s): Ganbare Nakamura Kun