Nisekoi Review

Greetings everyone! I’ve never really done something like this before, but as an avid reader of manga I’ve decided to give the whole review thing a shot and what better way to do so than with the newest series I’ve read this year.

Nisekoi is a series by Komi Naoshi, whose other works I’ve yet to read. The series started as a One-Shot, that in my mind I saw as “Romeo and Juliet with a few twists”. Ichijou Raku is the male protagonist with outstanding grades and respectable behavior who desires to enter into a good university after high school and eventually become a government worker. Hindering this is the fact that Ichijou is the heir to a Yakuza and hindering that is the fact that he’s a total weakling. His taste in women is the traditional Yamato Nadeshiko and he enjoys Japanese food.

Kirisaki Chitoge is the female protagonist with better grades than Ichijou (scoring 105 out of 100) and happens to be his childhood friend. She’s a tsundere, plain and simple. Good looking but easily prone to violence against Ichijou, and the heiress to what appears to be a Mafia. Based on her appearance she’s half Japanese and her tastes are the complete opposite of Ichijou’s. Her desires for the future are unknown.

Both their families hate each other but the heads of their gangs have come to the agreement that they need to stop the violence between their two groups. What’s their solution you ask? Marriage, of course! Okay, so it’s dating but it’ll probably lead to that somewhere along the line. So, Chitoge and Raku are to date each other and the love that blossoms between the two of them should quell the violence so we can live happily ever after. There’s just on problem. Not only to the two friends have completely opposite tastes, they HATE each other and have since one Christmas long ago when they were children. Raku gave Chitoge a pendant while she gave him an origami but she gave his present away in front of him and in return he did the same with hers.

I’m sure you can all see where this is going. The relationship between the two is very similar to the relatoinship between Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo. Insults are thrown, male protagonists are punched through the panels and bullets and blades are drawn on both. See, while each gang is happy for their respective heir, they obviously hate the other but are unable to fight each other while Raku and Chitoge are acting like a couple. After the surprise announcement, Chitoge and Raku go on what should appear to be a date, but their gangs follow in order to make sure the leads don’t dissapoint each other. After lunch, movies, and shopping under pressure the fake couple finally come to an amusement park where the childhood incident is brought up and Chitoge leaves in tears. War follows quickly and it’s then where the true details are revealed. Chitoge didn’t give Raku an origami, she gave him a letter. There’s a legend stating that if two people stand in the square under the clock tower at midnight on Christmas Eve they become lovers. Chitoge wrote that on the letter and folded it when she gave it to Raku who failed to unfold it and left the poor girl standing there. Raku figures this out and that night goes to fufill his promise with Chitoge. Sure enough after fighting his way to get there, kissing the girl and declaring an end to the war. They return to their typical relationship and the war resumes.

That was just the One-Shot and my fingers are already starting to hurt, but I shall continue. The actual manga changes their relationship. A promise is made involving Raku and a girl in their childhood. The girl gives him a pendant and she holds the only key. Over the years he forgets who the girl is but remembers the promise. The family backgrounds of Raku and Chitoge is kept intact, as is their fake dating and their dislike for each other. But that dislike eventually begins to reveal that they may not hate each other as much as they first thought. The girl in the promise is actually a girl in Raku’s class named Onodera and the two have loved each other without knowing the truth.

My thoughts!

I like the series. I kind of prefer the One-Shot to the actual ongoing series but I still liked it overall. Romantic comedies have always had a place in my heart and this series is probably the first one I’ve read this year and it’s not even finished yet. There are nine chapters that follow the couple from their initial meeting (where Chitoge jumps over a wall and onto Raku while trying to get to school) to their current lives together. It doesn’t take long to figure out the love triangle between Raku, Chitoge and Onodera. It comes as no surprise that their secret eventually gets out but as most people are still under the impression that they’re dating they’re safe. I hope that the next chapter comes out soon! I guess now I’ll talk about the characters and I’ll try not to spoil anything but if I do, I hope you can forgive me for doing so.

Raku as a character is…interesting. Based on many of the other series I’ve read, Raku’s wanting a normal respectable life reminded me of Kenta Usui from Karin. Unfortunately, Raku has no real physical strength or intimidation factor to speak of by himself. He’s actually more like Tsuna from Reborn! now that I think about it, but Tsuna didn’t know that he was the heir of the Vongola family until middle school where as Raku has lived with this since he was born. He’s smart, has a good personality so far, and is deeply in love with Onodera but it’s obvious that he’s developing feelings for Chitoge. He does have…a bad word usage, repeatedly calling Chitoge a monkey or a gorilla, and prone to those mishaps that occur in romantic comedies which make up the series. He appears to be a hard worker, determined to become as respectable of a person as possible so as not to inherit the Yakuza. His relationship with Chitoge is amusing to watch develop and I’m willing to bet he’ll end up with Chitoge in the end.

Chitoge is still a tsundere. She’s far more qualified to inherit a gang than Raku is based on her physical abilities and like Raku she simply desires a normal life. She lived in America before the series started and she’s quite attractive. I like her design better in the main series than the One-shot. She’s stong willed, unwavering in her decisions and due to the circumstances is commited to making this thing with Raku work without the two of them getting killed. Very similar to Akane Tendo, Naru Narusegawa, Asuna Kagurazaka but surprisingly somehow reminds me of Sun Seto and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the whole overprotective gang thing because her bodyguard Claude is determined to get to the bottom of things. She has a stong desire to make friends, and a strange method of cooking. She actually is able to cook, which came as a surprise to me. She eventually comes to see Raku does have his good points and will probably end up as a friendly rival with Onodera. Since she has no connections to anyone in her new class, she’s far more willing to play the role she’s now being forced to play in front of classmates than Raku is which is evidenced in the series. She calls him a beansprout.

Kosaki Onodera is the Betty in this whole Betty and Veronica mess. She’s basically the Naru without anger issues just like Raku is the Keitaro without the bad grades. She’s shy but comfortable around Raku and easily flustered if someone suggests that she has feelings for him. She’s going to be an interesting character to watch since I’m not sure how she’ll try to win Raku’s affections.

Shuu Maiko is the boy with the glasses and appears to be Raku’s best friend since they’re on a first name basis with each other. Highly perseptive he’s the first one to really start asking questions about Raku and Chitoge and is the only one Raku’s confided in about his situation. In return, Shuu tells Raku that Onodera likes him.

The series is worth checking out of you’re into these kind of manga. I fully encourage it. I just hope my review wasn’t too revealing. Please fell free to comment and let me know what you thought of both the review and the manga.


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