Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu

Or, Nogizaka Haruka's Secret.

Ayase Yuuto (appears to) share his house with two older women whom he identifies as Ruko (his sister) and Sensei (Yukari, one of his teachers and a friend of Ruko's). Both women are loud, demanding and often drunk. They've given Yuuto a negative image of females, whom he thinks are all selfish, violent and ill-mannered. All of them except for Nogizaka Haruka, a girl at his high school. Known by the student body as Nuit Etoile (The Silver Star of the Night), Haruka plays the piano, is beautiful, intelligent, humble, and rich. But Haruka has a deep dark secret that she doesn't want anyone to know about - she's a closet Otaku and a Clumsy Girl Aki-Chan addict (a popular anime show).

So desperate is she to hide this secret that when she bumps into Yuuto in the library while checking out an anime magazine called Innocent Smile, she nearly destroys the entire library to keep him from seeing the book. He manages to find out anyway (she seems to be as clumsy as the character in the show she loves), and she runs away in embarrassment. From then on she avoids him at school, and runs away (in more embarrassment) any time she bumps into him...which seems to happen often. It's super cute.

Yuuto tries to confront her, but it's perceived by their classmates that he's trying to harass her somehow. So it takes quite a bit of work for him to get to her alone. He promises that he won't tell anyone her secret, and says that he's not bothered by it at all. She seems to be ashamed of her hobby, but he assure her that he thinks it makes her more interesting. This surprises Haruka, but it also makes her very happy. As the lone person who is "in" on her secret, it's up to him to help her out. And it's not long before she calls on him (seriously it's later that same day). It seems the book she checked out will be overdue the next day, and she doesn't want her name announced at school in the morning, so she asks Yuuto to help her sneak into the school to return it. I'm sure it's not hard to imagine where that leads.

Ah, get your minds out of the gutter! She just makes a lot of cute little "I'm scared of every little thing in the dark" faces as she clings to Yuuto's arm. And a budding friendship is formed that will probably lead to a budding romance.

While the show may be about a female otaku, it's definitely geared towards male otaku, as it's loaded with fan service from the very beginning of the show. The opener quickly flashes plenty of fan service shots as well, though the song is forgettable. The end theme has even more service as a bunch of the characters dance around in maid uniforms (or maybe they ARE maids, Haruka's maids, though I'm not sure).

The show is definitely cute. It feels like Clannad, AIR, and Tokimeki mixed together. It's probably just a generic high school romantic comedy kind of show, but it's well animated, and the characters are really adorable. That's Yuuto and Haruka in the above image.


Stier said...

Hmmm, me and shoujo haven't been mixing up too much in the last years except for Nana and Paradise Kiss, so I'm not too much attracted to this kind of concept. Besides I'm not into fan service either (except High School of the Dead, 'coz it is fan service impressively well used XD).
However, the art looks cute jejejejeje

Kris said...

You might like Itazura na Kiss. It's very charming, sweet and honest. And there's not really any fan service to speak of. You might try Nodame Cantabile as well, if you're into classical music at all.

But Nogizaka... is clearly going to have a large amount of fan service in it; it's one of those "male fantasy" kind of shows, I think.

Stier said...

There's a nodame cantabile anime????????????????????

Ok, I need it XD

Been a fan of the manga since last year.

I like a shoujo when it has a great story, when it makes you want to see more, not because of how many boobs or underwear can you get to see, but because of how will the story develop. That's a good shoujo for me.
For that reason I liked Nana and Paradise Kiss

Kris said...

No, I completely understand. I'm a sucker for a good story.
But yeah, there's a Nodame anime. In Japan at least. Actually, it's getting a second season this fall to cover the Paris arc. Or, if you're interested, they made a very good Live Action version of the show as well. It's really cheesy, but I thought it was good; it follows the anime really closely, which I can only assume follows the manga relatively well (I haven't read it myself).

Stier said...

A live action?
That I would have to see it. After the live actions of Saikano, Death Note and Sailor Moon, I thought it would be better to not watch any live action anymore XD.

Kris said...

There were 11 episodes, and then two longer specials that covered the Paris arc (or some of it at least; as I said I haven't read the manga).
This is the sub group I got it from:


I really enjoyed it. One of the best parts was watching real instrument playing (or well, they could have been faking, but at least it looked real!) during the orchestra scenes (and there are a lot of them). I didn't know there was a Saikano LA adaptation, though I have seen the Death Note movies, and while they're certainly not masterpieces, I did enjoy them to an extent.

Stier said...

Thanks for the link miss Kriss!

I'll take a look at it.

BTW, if someday you'd like to chat with me, my other e-mail is baelfael@hotmail.com