If the blog is shut down after this post know that it was because we were unfairly charged with Anime Blogging Crimes to stop us from disseminating the TRUTH. The truth about the power and majesty of Pop Team Epic.
Go For It, Nakamura! (ガンバレ! 中村くん!! ) by Syundei
Go For It, Nakamura! tells a story of retro-style, teen romantic hijinx in a single volume. This all-ages story titular Nakamura who has a somewhat gloomy disposition and is prone to elaborate fantasies of how today he is really-probably-definitely going to become friends with his crush Hirose. Cue the wacky vignettes!
Nakamura is a charmingly relatable teen as he struggles with being the worst at starting a conversation, feeling weird about letting people know his hobbies, believing romance comics must have all the answers, and with a dozen other ways over the course of these stories.
Hirose is a friendly guy with an easy smile. There’s a recurring cast of classmates beyond Hirose, too. One of my favorites had to be the head of the occult club who tries to recruit Nakamura in a really silly one-off chapter.
I wasn’t expecting this to have as sweet an ending as it did. I think that’s what actually pushed it over the edge for me on whether or not to recommend it.
I’m curious to know if those who don’t have nostalgia for the comedy and aesthetics of 90s manga appreciate Go For It, Nakamura! It really captures the style perfectly. I got wonderful Here is Greenwood vibes.
Go For It, Nakamura! is a one volume manga that I wish there was more of.
I always wonder how much those stickers that say “From the artist who brought you Title X” help sales. Did “From the Author of Fruits Basket” help Yen Press with the sales of Twinkle Stars? Fruits Basket was one of most popular manga back in the day whereas I never hear anyone talking about Twinkle Stars. Now you can’t make a statement like mentioning a previous title will boost the sales of a new title by a fixed 46% because there are too many factors. Did the artist have one title with mass appeal that caught on but their other works are too esoteric? Will their initial audience go along with an artist if they go with a radically different direction? Are the readers burnt out on the formula of the artist’s last title? Was the initial success just a product of right time right place? Most of the time you would be foolish not to remind people of some earlier successes if you have the chance. It is a low effort way to possibly greatly increase your sales. The real question is how much is that boost with any particular title.
I mostly bring this up because I have at last one example of it working. When I went to the library I was a manga I had not heard of before. When I looked to see what it is about I saw a sticker that said, “story and art by Mitsurou Kubo the co-creator of Yuri!!! on ICE.” Now Sayo Yamamoto clearly shaped a good deal of what that anime would be but any anime is a collaborative work. The thing is Mitsurou Kubo has credits for her work on the original concept, the character designs, character names, insert song lyrics, and screenplay of all 12 episodes. She pretty much worked on everything that people liked about that show other than the animation. The sticker might as well have said, “may contain everything you liked from that ice skating show.”
So I had to see what this series is about. We go from the world of professional ice skating to time traveling oendan. You can’t say that the woman just has one story to tell with slight variations.