Otome Game no Hametsu Flag shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou ni Tensei Shiteshimatta...
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What can I say that hasn't already been said, by better writers? The easiest option is probably a list of things I love about Gekkan Shoujo/Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, so here goes:
1) I laugh every episode. The premise might seem thin - a girl likes a guy, who turns out to be an oblivious manga-ka who enlists her as part of his drawing crew - but the comedy beats are impeccable, and there's quite a few I didn't see coming.
2) The characters are all rounded personalities that fit well together while simultaneously subverting gender expectations. The prince of the school, who gets all the girls and stars in all the theatre productions, is a girl herself. The shy underclassman who doesn't know how to approach the brash sempai regarding their over-aggression on the basketball team - the former is a guy and the latter a girl. Nozaki himself wants to write traditional shoujo manga, and does so under a female pseudonym, but has no idea how romance works and stumbles into plotlines by accident and by using his friends as gender-swapped templates for characters.
3) There's little to no nonsense, trope-wise, in this. No fanservice (unless it's immediately subverted), no male posturing, no weak females. People are just people, free to be great and terrible.
There's much more to say, but I will limit myself. Watch it on Crunchyroll, buy the DVDs to get the additional "beach episode" clips, and look for the rest of the story in Yen Press's English manga releases (up to volume 10 as of January 2019).
My reviewing system for films and shows that are NOT anime: 1-5: I hated it. I also don't think it has redeeming qualities, so you shouldn't watch it either. 6: I didn't like it. It's not my thing, I didn't like the execution, I don't want to see it again. However, I don't think it is a BAD film or show - it has qualities that will recommend it to those who like that kind of thing. 7: It was fine. I didn't love it, and I don't need to see it again. I won't be sad if I never see it again. 8: I liked it. I didn't love it, and while I'd like to see it again, I wouldn't want to see it often. 9: I loved it. I would be sad if I never saw it again. I might want to see it every few years. 10: I loved it beyond description. I wouldn't mind re-watching it every year.
Clarifying my Anime rating system: My number key below is an attempt to parse the small differences between 5 and 6, 7 and 8, & 9 and 10. When I rate, I consider my own enjoyment, the characterization and the plot, the appearance of the animation, and occasionally the soundtrack - in roughly that order. An anime will lose at least 1 point for presence of deal-breaker tropes (for example, comedic pedophilia), and more if the trope(s) ruined my enjoyment. On the other hand, it will gain at least 1 point for artistry in animation or sound.
Never Recommend: 1-4, inclusive. Further clarification: I don't expect to rate anything 1-4, as I would probably never finish watching something in this range of rating. It's likely to have bad plotting, subpar animation, bland characterizations, silly and/or irritating tropes, etc.; I would consider it to be pure excrement, and I would rather be getting unanesthetized surgery for the entire running time.
Cautious Recommending: 5: I watched at least part of it, and may have stopped due to not liking the plot twists, character derailment, specific tropes, etc. In this case, it started out with a higher score and slipped over time... because I normally don't watch anything that I would score below 6, except for movies (small time commitment). 6: I may or may not have watched the whole show, but I recognize deal-breaker issues in it, and I'm unlikely to rewatch (I would rewatch only if a friend begged me to). It just wasn't enjoyable enough for me to forgive its flaws. There would be huge caveats to any recommendation.
Likely to Recommend: 7: Not my thing, but usually I at least respect it. Generally, I didn't like it enough to think I would rewatch it, but also didn't see huge problems in the plot, characterizations, etc. and thought it was worth finishing. I might suggest it to someone if I know they like the specific sub-genre or other work by the studio. 8: I had a good time watching it, but it didn't move me the way a 9 or a 10 does; it's possible that over time I would upgrade it to a 9 if I liked it more on reflection. I would be willing to rewatch it. I'd consider it mostly harmless to view, and would recommend it with the occasional caveat.
Highly Recommend: 9: I enjoyed very much. It may have had one or two issues, but not enough to diminish enjoyment. It's possible that over time I would downgrade it to an 8 (changing tastes) or upgrade to a 10 (realize it's never left my mind). I'm likely to rewatch, and likely to buy the DVDs. I'd recommend it to most audiences. 10: Virtually flawless. I'd definitely rewatch, and definitely want to buy DVDs. I would shill this to anyone.
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