There comes a time in every mans life where he makes too many damn promises to, too many girls and ends up regretting his unknown folly. This is the case for our lead character, Raku Ichijou, as he plays through his high school life trying to make sense of the girl he is crushing on but also the other girls that begin to pop up due to promises made ten years ago. These promises were often made by Raku’s father and kept from him until now. The first of these promises was to a former adversary, the Beehive Gang. The promise was to have both their children dating. This would be Raku’s secondary introduction to Chitoge Kirisaki. Down the road he gets tossed into another promise to a police chief, this time to marry his daughter, Marika Tachibana. All the while, Raku has his heart set on Kosaki Onodera however, as time moves so do feelings and the either fake promises or future marriage plans, some feelings begin to change and develop. Nisekoi doesn’t cement which girl he goes with but the anime does indeed focuses heavily on Raku and Chitoge’s fake relationship and it’s every changing landscape.
Nisekoi is a bit of the same when it comes to overall romance anime. It falls into the same cliches and areas that you would come to expect from something of a general romance family. It has the, run off and help the girl you are pretending to like moments and it has the sweet, caring moments that we all gush over. What sets Nisekoi apart from the rest of the running race, is the fact that it does cram almost every type of romantic situation or ideal situation, into it’s entirety. Nisekoi does this very well and it helps to have several main-line love interests for the viewers to learn about and cherish, least they fail to create that premium waifu material. The character personalities and the driven motivation to keep the viewers wondering, who made the promise to who? Who really is the girl for Raku? Why did I leave my laundry in the washer overnight? Wait. That was my issue, not Raku’s… Ahem.
This will bring us to the characters now and how dramatically fleshed out they are. Every character feels genuine, while still representing a romantic interest that feels cliched. What do I mean by the latter? From Chitoge to Marika to Kosaki, every character represents that pushy, shy, timid, fierce romance type that has developed from anime over the years. While some may be overly brutish, they are all still very much feminine and the anime goes to great lengths to convey this. They let you feel like they are driving you absolutely mad, right before they whip out an emotional trump card. I have personally enjoyed Marika’s and Kosaki’s personalities a lot as they seem some what more personal and realistic. Not saying Chitoge isn’t. Just find that Kosaki and Marika have personalities that I consider approachable. The development of these characters is pleasant to be apart of but, they aren’t evenly spread. Kosaki and Chitoge get a fair bit of the development treatment, while I feel Marika gets a shorter end of the stick. That isn’t saying they left out any important details, just frankly not enough screen time. However with a borderline harem-romance anime, you got to find the time to do what you can within the agreed amount of episodes. You win some, you lose some.
Although gripes and wishes aside, the characters are fleshed out enough to be real and relatable. I bet there is a substantial viewer amount out there that can relate to one character or another and find joy in this anime. The character humor and wit is all the better when coupled with dialogue that is insightful and full of feeling; though to be fair most anime and romance genre’s get this right in general. We all want to hear that sappy, sappy goodness. The emotional impact is also another aspect that this anime does very well. We all are impacted by a story that can convey feelings to us and Nisekoi does this on many levels and in many settings. From that childhood love interest, to a budding romance out of junior high school, Nisekoi wants to give us all something that we can relate to, even as far as the unfulfilled romances and wishes to convey emotion. Seeing characters struggle with their feelings is a great way to sell a story. It becomes much more interesting and believable to the viewer. If the story can make you stop and think about your own love life, then you just hit the bulls-eye. I love how Raku is a very relatable male lead to many individuals out there. Even if you are not a male, Kosaki or Chitoge are very wonderful personalities for the female audience out there to latch onto.
The art style carries very well from the first season and into the second season. It’s crisp, stylized and varied. I have yet to see another anime that animates and draws like this one. I feel as if the essence of their world is captured brilliantly with a sense of realistic design yet, still holds to its fanciful romantic nature. The use of blushing is evident in all the characters and is treated as it’s entirely own layer to the existing art as it seems to almost just hover in-front of their faces. While not detracting, it still can be quite distracting. The art is always a force that can make or break and anime and I can safely say that this art does nothing to break the anime and instead sets it apart from others in the genre, in fact I really prefer this blended art-style. It isn’t too silly nor is it too realistic but rather, a happy blend between the two styles.
Now anime without music for me is bland as an unsalted cracker. The music for Nisekoi is there but it never jumped out at me, which for some matters is very nice and for others it is quite eh. What I mean by that is simply, Nisekoi uses it’s composition delicately, providing just the right amount of substance and kick that it needs for any given situation. The openings however are always so full of life and energy and is the reason why you may be interested in this maze of a love story. I do love music more than the average person and for me at the very least, it always helps in my impression of the anime and it has been a dictating reason as to why I have avoided some anime. Though, thankfully this was not the case for Nisekoi and I feel most musically inclined individulas will find the melodies soothing and delightful. Still trying to find an anime to top the emotional score of Toradora…
In essence, this is an anime that anyone with an appreciation of a sappy love story or just a joyful slice of life can enjoy. The characters really are what make this anime and help it to stand out from the rest of the romance genre. The humor can be a bit of the same and the romantic cliches often beaten to death but Nisekoi still manages to walk out of the chaotic rubble to deliver a funny, relaxed and serious love story that is still going strong in the original manga run. I would very much enjoy seeing a season 3 of the anime and hopefully a bit more screen time for characters like, Haru Onodera who had an all too brief introduction in the second season of the anime. While I am sure the manga will do the characters more justice, it would have been nice to not have felt like some of the content was rushed in any way. If you would like to catch the series, you can find it on Crunchyroll for both the first and second season!
The first opening to Nisekoi!
While I do not have a rating scale to go off of, yet. I will give this a must watch! You won’t go wrong with this awesome anime nor the manga! All available episodes are available on Crunchyroll by using the link provided below this! As always, thank you for reading!
Official Crunchyroll link: http://www.crunchyroll.com/nisekoi
Official OGZ Twitter: https://twitter.com/OGZ_Kausus