Nakamura has fallen in love-at-first-sight with one of his classmates, Hirose — but there’s a problem: they haven’t actually met yet…and Nakamura is a total klutz who might bungle things before they even begin!
In many ways, Go for it, Nakamura! is what I’ve always wanted. The story introduces Nakamura as a gay, introverted, octopus-loving boy with complete naturality. Those are just established facts, and when the story wants conflict, it chooses to explore the octopus-loving angle.
Still, while Go for it, Nakamura! has a fair share of touching moments, the story is first and foremost a comedy. The story likes playing with complete absurdity, but most of the humor revolves around Nakamura’s awkwardness without ever being mean to him, and I often found him to be almost painfully relatable.
Go for it, Nakamura! has a good set of characters as well. Some of the most notable ones include the girls in Nakamura’s class that are clearly into BL, but they’re never made fun of. Nakamura himself likes reading BL, and going by the way it’s handled, I can see how Syundei is fond of the genre while also being aware of some of its most “unrealistic” elements.
In some ways, this is a pretty grounded story, rather than a fantasy indulging BL. To give an example, this means that the teacher is a cool character and an actually responsible adult who wouldn’t mess with his students.
Hirose–Nakamura’s crush–is indeed a very cute, cheerful boy, but he’s never infantilized. He’s open and welcoming, but can also have quite a temper. I like how–going by looks–Hirose is “the cute” and Nakamura “the scary” one, but in reality, Hirose is the one that can be hot-headed and daring, while Nakamura is calmer and more reserved. Their personalities complement each other well, and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop.
Syundei’s art style truly knows what I like. It shows plenty of love for the 80s aesthetic, and sometimes, it invokes shojo’s style with things like its flowery panels and the occasional full-body character introduction that overlaps the rest of the panels. Certain character’s expressions or quirks, dramatic pauses and poses remind me of Rumiko Takahashi’s style in particular (this even has what I call “getting the hell away from trouble”). However, there’s just enough personality here to make Syundei’s style feel unique.
What Nakamura wants the most is to just be able to talk to and befriend his crush. We spend plenty of time seeing just how much Nakamura likes Hirose, which is terribly entertaining, but readers might appreciate knowing that friendship is the end goal here. Still, there are just enough hints of Hirose liking boys–and he spends valuable time connecting with Nakamura–to makes us feel like all Nakamura needs to “get the boy” is some time and courage. Good luck, Nakamura. I’m rooting for you.
If I have to name Go for it, Nakamura!‘s biggest flaw, it would be that it’s only one volume long. Where’s the rest of it? I need more.
This title is licensed by Seven Seas with 1 volume available. You can find it on Seven Seas’ website.
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