Manga Discussion: Nozoki Ana

Nozoki AnaNozoki Ana, at first glance, seems like a typical ecchi story that isn’t going to go anywhere, and is all about sex, and making the most lewd scenes possible. That could not be further from the truth for this wonderful character drama. First off, to the relief of many, this story does not take place in high school, and instead decides to make its cast a bunch of college students, specifically, they’re all pursuing a 2-year-degree  from an art institute. Our story follows the adventures of our lead character Tatsuhiko Kido, and his interactions with his fellow classmates, and specifically his relationship with his next door neighbor, Emiru Ikuno. The story chronicles the events that revolve around they’re 2 apartments, and the drama that seems to always be following them around. The story starts off on a pretty odd note, considering that the gimmick of the story is that the 2 apartments these 2 characters live in, are connected by a very small hole that is just barely large enough for one to see through, a peep-hole, hence the title of the series. This is also a good metaphor for the series as a whole, as the audience is almost always seeing things through the very narrow perspective that is Kido, and rarely are the perspectives of the other characters explored, the most notable being Emiru, who just so happens to be the other one sharing this little hole. Anyway, Kido notices the hole, and curious, decides to take a look at what is on the other side, and as it would happen, our other main and mysterious character Emiru is on the other side, “enjoying” herself. To Kido’s surprise, Emiru actually notices him, and things start spiraling from there, and their lives are never the same; I don’t wanna spoil to much of the beginning for you. The story then proceeds to follow Kido’s relationship with women and how he struggles to understand the way they think and ends up relying on Emiru to bail him out of unpleasant situations, although she still keeps her cold and mysterious attitude about her, and her reasons and motivations lay largely hidden throughout the course of the show. We get to see Kido go through joy and heartbreak, as he slowly begins to understand his own feelings, and what they mean to him, all while his classmates’ lives revolve and change around him. The story stays very realistic when it comes to the ways the characters interact, and there are certain things you will certainly pick up on before Kido does, making this a great coming of age story about understanding, and growing a relationship. No character is spared from despair, and the cruelness of reality, often not knowing the ways they feel themselves, and having to deal with the consequences of either their failures or their ignorance. Grief and shock are very much a part of reality, and this story shows that, no matter how much you think you understand someone else, you can never truly know how they’re feeling, or how your actions might affect them, and I think that is why this story is a must read for anyone, and especially those who enjoy character dramas, and stories that stay close to reality. I truly believe that you will come to understand not only yourself, but also other people better, simply by sticking with this story to the end, you won’t regret it, I give this series a:

10 out of 10.

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