Is it possible to like something that is completely unoriginal? According to Nisekoi, yes, it is.
When Nisekoi was slated for an anime production by studio Shaft, the fans of the manga were torn between elation that it was actually being adapted and complete terror that Shaft would be doing it. If you’re not aware with the common stereotypes of anime studios, a frank description of Shaft would be, “They do whatever they want.” Shaft has never been shy of putting their own... unique spin on their adaptions. And, hey, whatta ya know, it actually works.
The Shaft visuals are capable of turning a
few heads, but they’re never overpowering as they are in many of their other shows, and the story and setting have an inexplicable charm to them despite the fact that literally every character and literally every situation has been done before.
The story of Nisekoi is not one of its strong points. I don't think anybody but the most diehard fans would even bother offering any sort of rebuttal here. It plays on almost every cliché in the book, from the childhood promise, to the fated encounter, to the downright absurd misunderstandings, even to the freaking beach episode, that I can’t help but think that this is all some elaborate parody of the harem genre. If it is, then the author did a damn good job because it certainly feels like one.
If you're looking for something believable, you won't find anything of the sort here. I realize that this is fiction, but there is a line up to where I'm willing to suspend my disbelief and Nisekoi clearly crosses it. I understand that we don't remember that much from our childhood, but do you really expect me to believe that a person would completely forget nearly every friend he had—not just their faces and names, but their actual existence? Is this where the “main character gets amnesia from an injury” cliché comes in?
I know every harem can get a little ridiculous, and I'm going to criticize it every time.
Art & Animation: 9/10
Typically there's not a whole lot of action going on in high school romantic comedies and harems, so the “Art & Animation” category is really just an “Art & Waifus” rating. Are the girls waifu material? (Alternatively, are the boys husbando material?) If so, 10/10, anime of the year, etc. Jokes aside, it's true that there really isn't much to say other than the art is pleasant. Everything is just solid and complement the scenes well.
However, I think this section deserves more discussion however simply due to the fact that Shaft is at work. As I've stated, many fans of the manga were worried that Shaft would take their style too far and that it would detract heavily from the source material, which many believe to be too inherently “normal” to be deflowered by Shaft's hands, but fortunately that was not the case here. Sure, you've got Shinbo's signature camera angles and a few strangely elaborate backgrounds (and some intentionally simple ones), but these don't define the show as they might have in Bakemonogatari or Madoka Magica.
Nisekoi is a Shaft show, sure, but it is not definitively so, which comes as a great relief to many, I'd imagine.
The voices are perfect. That's all that needs to be said. There was not a single voice that didn't fit a character to the tee.
The soundtrack is neither great nor distracting. To be honest, I can't really pick out more than one song that I'd actually remember being played, and I usually am a huge fan of background music and pay a lot of attention to it. It all sort of blended in, and I'm frankly not sure whether that's a good or bad thing.
My only genuine complaint is that the opening and ending songs are just so generic. Though, now that I think about it, maybe that was the whole point. Regardless, I didn't really find myself liking any of them. ClariS didn't really try to make their tracks stand out from any of their others, and some harsher critics might say that none of theirs are ever original-sounding. As for the character songs: it's always nice to hear the characters sing, but the songs just weren't that great.
If the story is cliché and generic, could it be possible that the characters rise to the occasion and present themselves as deep, fleshed out vessels complete with compelling motivations and relatable desires and realistic decisions?
The tsundere main girl? Check. The “good girl” (a.k.a. the Yamato nadeshiko)? Check. The perverted best friend that gets his ass handed to him every episode? Check. There is literally no character that isn't a practically a carbon copy of a past character or at the very least a blending of two. On top of that, the main characters are dense as dense can be, which makes it so easy for the ridiculous misunderstandings to manifest.
So why would I give this an acceptable score of 7/10? See the next section.
All of my complaining might actually convince someone that I dislike this anime because of how generic it is. On the contrary; I find all of the enjoyment in reveling in just how cliché nearly every moment is. If you've seen even 2 or 3 harems (and I've probably seen dozens), you can call out just about everything that is going to happen in each episode and in each scene. It's that predictable. Yet, there is an inexplicable charm which pervades the series. Yes, I was literally facepalming at nearly every scene in the show, but underneath that palm was a gigantic smile that I just couldn't hold back.
Nisekoi is not a groundbreaking anime by any means, but if it has proven one thing, it’s that originality is extremely overrated. All you need is a little charm, solid execution, and, of course, waifus. There's a reason that this story and these characters have been done before, and that's because they're enjoyable. Perhaps some of us are just in denial.
It is a delightment to be able to write a review for Nisekoi, though the anime was not perfect, it has provided me with significant entertainment during the last few months. Even if my review may seem negative, it is just because I am analyzing an anime by parts and category. As a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed Nisekoi.
The plot of Nisekoi is rather mediocre. With a redundant premise, Nisekoi has nothing new to contribute to the rom-com genre. The creativity of the story and its complexity is minimal at best, non-existent at least. Do no expect to be blown away by the story line,
in fact, the plot will leave you wanting in most of the episodes. There are the standardized anime episodes such the festival, the school play, and the beach episodes. None of them adds anything unique to the template, it is just a repetition from what we have traditionally seen.
It is not as if the premise is weak, though not original, the premise of a MC looking for the girl of his past to open his locket has potentiality for a lot of complexity and twist. This, however, was not done in Nisekoi, and of course this is not directly the anime's fault but rather a representation of the manga. Even when the chance for legit development appeared, the event was squandered by a random, indescribable, improbable set of circumstances. An example would be a girl sitting next to her crush, with her gathering up all the courage to tell her crush that she wants to kiss him....and actually does say it!! Then it turns out that the guy fell asleep seconds before her confession, and wakes up seconds after the end of statement. One event like this may fly past the radar, but the agglomeration of these types of events prevents anyone from taking the plot and story line of this anime seriously.
Even a young child would face-palm at the irritable progression of the plot.
I did not feel like an episode was lacking in art. Sure, there were some frames that were reused, and the animation wasn't super fluid every scene, but overall the art was good. Since Shaft produced Nisekoi, there is a lot of similarity between this anime's art and previous anime of theirs. I didn't even know Shaft produced this before watching the anime, but a few seconds into the first episode, I could just tell.
It wouldn't be true that the art style is done better in Nisekoi than in other of Shaft's works, but it was a great fit for Nisekoi. I enjoyed the close ups, the quick glances, and the over dramatization of emotions. I'm really into experiencing the story, and this art style especially focuses on characters more than background. I think this can be weird to some at first, but it really brings the point home that its' the characters that one should be paying attention to the most. Nisekoi did a great job in making the character design shine. I can vividly recall scenes where I felt enamored by some of female design and how they fit. Nisekoi did a great job of letting us see them THROUGH the eyes of Raku.
Marvelous soundtrack. Soundtracks can make or break a scene, and in Nisekoi, every scene was amply elevated by its choice of bgm. I'm highly receptive to visual and auditory stimulants, so I found myself captivated by a lot of events ,that were poor plot wise, but were done so beautifully that it captured my attention away from the plot but into the art, and even emotions of the characters involved. I think that this is the telos of any soundtrack, to make scenes even more riveting that it would have been otherwise. Excellent soundtrack.
The strength of Nisekoi may not be its storyline or plot complexity, but instead lies within its characters. Nisekoi has the ability to make all of its characters likable, and this is a very RARE element to have. At the end of the anime, I didn't find myself hating any characters. I do have my preference of who I would like Raku to be with, but this is more of my own personal taste than any loathing that I feel for the rest of the female cast. Of course, this may be due to the lack of complexity of the story, and the author playing it safe with everyone, but there have been anime done with poor plot progression along with horrible and unlikable characters. Nisekoi should applauded for its characters.
The main character, Raku, at first glance seems to be our typical dense lead. He's an average looking person with no particular exceeding talent( maybe besides cooking, but this wasn't developed). He seems to be average in school, his attitude is average of someone of his type, and his character design is slightly different. He has the will to protect his friends, but to be utterly oblivious to obvious signs. He also seems to have the ability to fall asleep in matter of mini seconds, and to wake up just as fast. His redeeming point is that when Raku WANTS to, he can be astute in his observation. There are monologues of his where if given more time, and more info, he would have cracked this mystery surrounding him. Raku is not a stupid generic character, he does have a girl that he is mainly interested in. He acts according to this preference, but again due to poor plot, none of these actions are actualized into substantive events. This is more of a plot issue than a character issue.
Chitoge, the blonde bombshell, is the eccentric vivacious main girl. She's loud and obnoxious, and can be unreasonable at times. However, she also have her redeeming qualities. She grew up without having too many friends, and she longs for sisterly companionship. On the inside, she is a compassionate person, that probably has had to put on up a tough mask due to the teasing done to her back in America. It is surprising that she is a strong student considering the shortcomings of the educational system of the U.S, but that is besides the point. If given enough time, Chitoge does become lovely and likable in her own way.
Kosaki Onodera seems to correlate with the cute nice shy template. She's not as vivacious as Chitoge, and is too timid to assert herself in the middle of a big crowd. This is not to say that Onodera is complacent, she has willed herself to reveal her feelings numerous times, but again due to improbable and reaching circumstances, these confessions have fell to deaf ears. This is not a character flaw of Onodera, but again a shortcoming of the plot.
The remaining cast , in my opinion, just serves to spice up the dynamic between the three characters mentioned above. Tsugumi is a personal favorite of mine, but she doesn't bring any relevance to the plot except for minor details. Maiko is invisible and obscure, besides his sexual tangents, he just brings slight humor. Marika makes a late appearance, however, the appearance is so late that it makes it hard to emphasize with her. Ruri is funny and spices the plot in a good way, but her will cannot beat the incomprehensible twist of Nisekoi.
With Nisekoi, the parts doesn't equal the whole. There were a lot of details that left me wanting in the first season of Nisekoi, but overall, the anime was quite intriguing and enjoyable. The art and sound compliments each other so well, the characters have an excellent dynamic to leave you laughing and caring for them. There is fan service, but is tastefully done relative to other anime of the same genre.
I do recommend this anime to anyone looking for a strong romantic comedy.
Overall: (90%) With this anime, the categories does not hold the same weight. I am eagerly waiting for a second season.
Childhood memories, a gorilla girl, and Shaft. What do you get when you mix all three together? Nisekoi, or rather False Love by what’s known based on the manga of the same name written by Naoshi Komi. For what’s worth, the title is exactly as it implies – a love based on illusions. But in a way, it’s not exactly what you think. The main male protagonist Raku isn’t after Chitoge, the girl that accidentally kneed him in the morning during his walk to school. Rather, they are bound together in a seemingly contract-esque direction. With the two rival gangs making a truce in the
exchange that their children would be a couple, Nisekoi is a show that crafts love with everything that is fake.
The concept of a fake relationship is nothing new in the anime world. Taking a closer look, their relationship has little chemistry in it, at first anyways. Raku and Chitoge aren’t compatible and neither can they stand each other. But nonetheless, they are forced to become a couple or otherwise risk all hell break loose between the two blood thirsty families. Yet, the show does complicate their relationship by introducing all type of challenges. On the innocent side, we have Raku who has a puppy love crush on his classmate, Onodera. Yet unknown to him, we can easily tell that she also shares similar feelings. But what she doesn’t know is where Raku’s true origins lie, and that is with Yuzuka ancestry for the majority of the show. Coming together as a whole, Nisekoi engineers its plot points with multiple angles. There’s a silly outlook on Raku and Chitoge’s relationship as they are constantly trying to avoid their secret being found out. They even avoid each other at times. At the same time, there’s a curious degree coming out of their interactions. The story develops both characters through their interactions with a seemingly genuine commitment. While both partners seems to dislike each other at first, they show their warmer sides on occasions. Furthermore, complicated situations are solved by both of them in elaborate ways. It may be cliché but has a stylish way to the whole trope.
One other flagship of the story involves a mysterious locket that Raku wears. Or maybe I should correct that and say..used to wear. That’s because he loses it when Chitoge accidentally knees him in the face during one faithful morning. Despite being executed as cliché with the whole ‘running in the morning with a bread in the mouth’ concept, it does set up a driving factor for Raku. He is motivated to find the locket not just because it’s something he treasures but also for a promise involving a girl in his past. The show continuously focuses on this point with its various flashbacks dealing with Raku and his present self. What the show does right here is through its various focal points with a number of candidates who can be the true potential key bearer. This brings about a mystery that fans may be anticipating themselves for when the true bearer is finally revealed. But what it doesn’t illustrate correctly is the purpose, as to why Raku made that promise. It will feel like an arduous trip at times with all the misunderstandings and parts when the mystery becomes so close being solved, yet then seemingly goes back to square one. The show also neglects to reveal its secret with its 2 cour run. In fact, some of the episodes feels fillerish that seemingly focuses another daily life of Raku, as the son from an yakuza.
Character directional wise, the show offers a diversity with its cast. And of course, it’s a harem show so expect most of the main characters to be the opposite sex of Raku with a keen interest in him. Love triangles are imminent with characters such as Onodera, Tsugumi, and Marika. They do have different personalities but doesn’t escape the usual gags as seen in harem series. It’s a formulaic throwback with the way the characters progression for most of them. But even as feelings deepen, we don’t see much change in Raku. The only eyes he seemingly have for throughout the series is Onodera and the two often find themselves in awkward situations thanks to a girl named Ruri. It doesn’t help by the fact that his classmate Shu plays almost a partner in crime with the schemes. Other characters often play roles with the misunderstandings and slight progress between our fake couple. But most times, Raku is dense as a rock and his characterization is frozen stone cold.
There’s also a staggering predictability for fans that might have been thought up in the beginning. That would be the realization of perhaps a ‘false’ love becoming perhaps, real. In fact, the developing aspects of Raku and Chitoge is a prominent feature. Despite disliking each other for their circumstances, Raku shows Chitoge genuine kindness and offers her help when she needs it the most. This in return causes Chitoge to question her own feelings. Tossing the cliché aside, there is actual development between the duo and furthermore ties together the plot involving the locket. Unfortunately, there is no escape of the jealousy, tsundere reactions, and blander misunderstandings you’ll see in typical harem shows. For what’s worth, Nisekoi demonstrates this in a more violent way with the way the premise is set up. The ‘transfer student’ gag is still there but has a more edgy taste to it. It’s presented as intentionally silly with nickname calling such as Chitoge being labeled as the “gorilla woman”.
A noticeable census coming with Nisekoi is the way director Akiyuki Shinobo pinpoints the various scenes of this show. The romantic comedy side is obviously presented but he shapes it in a way that is unorthodox. It’s the way the character shifts their heads, the star shape coloring during weird scenes, and recreational subsidies of parodies in the backgrounds during more climatically crafted scenes. Having previously worked on shows such as Bakemonogatari, Arakawa Under the Bridge, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica, it’s easy to tell his innovative ideas here. This can come as a mixed bag as not all fans appreciate this stylish coordination. Given the fact that the show is a romantic comedy also might stir up some mixed reactions. But nonetheless, it can be distracting yet feels creative.
As a romantic comedy, the other half comes with the fun and laughter. Given the direction of Nisekoi, the show tries its comedy in a variety of ways. With Shaft being the brainchild, expect colorful gags, avant-garde, and a bit of hyperactivity with each episode. Then, there’s the misunderstandings that will draw out both laughs and frustrations with its repetitiveness. The mastermind is usually Ruri that becomes involved since Raku is too shy to make his own move on most occasions. The dialogues can also feel cheesy with the trollish moments the various characters tries to induce.
Artwork should be labeled as unique, not different but a specialty. Shaft handles the production and it’s fairly easy to spot its artistic gags. The head tilts, background cinematic, and even character designs have an innovative way for this rom-com. But for what’s worth, there’s nothing really that stands out with the way Raku looks. As the main male protagonist, he looks just like the average high school student. But for Chitoge, she comes off as a beauty with foreign blood pumping in her veins along with that scarlet ribbon. Then, there’s also Onodera with her cute innocence that serves more as the antithesis of Chitoge. Other characters’ designs also defines their personalities from the surface with their words and actions. In particular, Marika and Onodera are designed with innocent beauty and elegance. Some of the trollish expressions and scenes are also decorated with silliness. But as usual for most harem series, you should expect bits of fan service with the classic onsen and beach episodes. Bring out the fun in the sun, right?
The soundtrack is noticeable but also feels silly. By silly, it’s exaggerated sometimes with its amateurish tone along with its goofy coordination. But despite this, it mixes with well with comical scenes, which most of the time is as result of a domino effect. Sound director Toshiki Kameyama, known for directing numerous shows of different genres performs the overall OST with balance. Similarly, the OP and ED songs are made well with strengths in its tones. On the other hand, character voices can come off sometimes as irritating in particular with Raku and his stubbornness. The bitter chatter between him and Chitoge will feel repetitive as if they are a married couple already. On the other hand, Onodera’s voice can be sweet thanks to Kana Hanazawa and her performance with more innocent characters. It counterbalances the Yakuza theme with the gangs and trifling violence going on. Marika’s kansai accent can also raise a few eyebrows during climatic scenes.
Nisekoi is a show that is hard to fully appreciate. This is probably because of the premise and what fans may expect. And you’re not wrong either because it has the harem gags, fan service bits, and non-sensational dialogues that are easily forgettable. Yet, it does have a plot, one that invites questions and theories. With its small cast of characters, they also become actors and actresses in the story with each of their role holding some meaning. At the same time, the colorful Shaft style will be something that will be memorable. Put yourself into Raku’s shoes and the image will come more clearly. It’s not easy living a life with a yakuza background you know.
[WARNING: Slightly long review ahead. You can get by by reading the "In short" sections]
I was not interested in this show. The manga was the epitome of "Generic Harem." I don't think there isn't one cliche that hasn't happened in the series yet. From the characters' reactions to the actual settings of events, everything gave me a sense of Deja vu on the scale of the Endless Eight (only 2000s kids would get this reference!). So I anticipated this adaptation to bring exactly nothing new. It would be another bland series to add to every season's list of bland Harem Anime.
But then something happened. If
you head over to the Nisekoi Anime announcement news article (you can find it here on MAL), you would discover that it began with soft squeals of excitement and nearly uniform cheers by manga fans. As you scrolled along, you would find a chorus-like echo of horror at the studio choice: Shaft. Looking at the thread might even feel like discovering the death of a civilization. IT felt almost as if I were looking at an ancient species discovering a cure to some disease, only to find that very cure would end their entire race.
But even then, I wasn't interested in this series. After chapter 60 of the manga (when my marathon ended), it felt like a slowly eroding cluster of repetition of cliches and never progressing plot. It wasn't until a whole year after it began did I start watching it. I finished it in two, no, three days after downloading from Nyaa.
Nisekoi, despite all of its cliches, is probably the best Harem series in recent years. It is also probably the purest example of the Harem genre. Should harem series ever go out of fashion and end in production, this should be the one harem series to show your grand kids what a "Harem" Anime was (I'm sure by then Japan's population will explode to overtake China's).
The show is a paradox. Its strength is the sheer attention the creators paid to subtle details. Even if you didn't like the manga, you might still find this series enjoyable. And if you haven't been keen on Harem series before, this could be your gateway series.
let's examine the aspects of the series and whether you will enjoy it.
Undoubtedly the most important aspect of a Harem Anime is its cast. And you know the show has done it well when it's know as "Battle of the Best Girls" among the online community.
The character of this series are generic in a sense of the word. All of them are "Tsunderes" in various doses of "Tsun."
However, there's clear character progression and backstory giving. This is most prominently seen in Chitoge, whose changes in behavior is most apparent. From her discovery of her connection to the main character to her treatment of the main character, all are subtly altered as events unfold.
While they can all be labeled with a name from TvTropes, the other characters are no slouches either.
Marika, Tsugumi, and Onodera each have their own respective charm and characterizations.
Unlike most harem series, the characters were clearly not a mash of cliches and actually felt like they EXISTED.
Even the main character, who can be wrote off as the typical "indecisive and dense male tsundere," has his own characterization. His motivations and actions are consistent with his initial personality, and he has enough "tsun" to not come off as a bitch (granted, some views might still experience frustrations with him).
Perhaps the greatest touch in characterizing the cast is the addition of monologues when they think about something. When their hands touch, when the MC gets horny, they're all given reasons and detailed descriptions on why the character feels that way (which is strengthened by the visuals).
Also, the girls are often depicted as Moe. The Studio avoided flaunting their bodies and turning show into another Harem-ecchi show where "characters" are poor excuses to show off the body designs (they know their audience!).
In short: the attention to detail, as well as balance of screen time between the girls give the cast vivid characterization(and not to mention more significant side characters compared to the spiritual predecessors).
Having a mandatory "story" rating is probably the rating system's greatest flaw. The story of Nisekoi is not epic. It's not something that you'd expect to find on Gurren Lagann's level. However, not emphasizing on the "plot" is its exact strength.
With modern Anime often taking the form of 1 cour short series (to lower cost), time is often squeezed. Sometimes, this is worsened by the existence of other sub-plots that don't necessarily help characterize.
Even worse is when producers choose to forgo characterization and instead stuff a bundle of cliches into character, taking up more time and reducing the quality of characterization.
Thankfully, Nisekoi has no such problem.
It's story is simple: Raku Ichijou, the protagonist, made a vague promise with a girl 10 years ago in which they promise to fulfill when the meet. They would verify each other's identities with a locket that Raku keeps, and a key the the girl keeps.
As a subplot, powerful family members (mobs, police, etc) of the girls are kept in check by Raku having a precarious balance of relationship with all of the girls.
That was the synopsis, but how did they handle the story? The show never takes its subplot too seriously. The story focuses on Raku and the mystery from 10 years ago with the family problems occasionally pushing the characters to interact. The subplot, however, is never taken "on a bus." It's always there, never too neglected nor too concentrated on. The side characters are given screen time to a certain extent, never to the point where we forget that they exist. They add a wonderful touch.
In short: The handling of the story is pretty much spot on. It is used to advance the character interaction and never too central as to detract character growth, but also never taken for granted. Events flew smoothly and felt as if they were REAL.
Probably the weakest department, yet still well matched to the series. There's no specific style that can be heard from the BGM. Everything felt like they fit the scene and made them better experiences.
The OPs are sang by ClariS. I didn't feel too moved by them. The tunes and themes sounded about the same as many other Anime OPs.
Very cheerful, harmonious sounds that borders boring (each to his own, you might like them).
However, I have to add that is an ending theme song for each of the girls, so that's something to enjoy.
The voice acting was perfect, spot on. Every character sounded exactly as I imagined them to sound. Chitoge with her bossy, slightly cheerful voice. Onodera voiced by KanaHana. Claude's authoritative, maniacal voice, and so on.
Probably the greatest concern for many manga fans. Famous from their Monogatari and Madoka Magicias series’, Shaft is known for their unique depictions of the series' world. Many feared (especially with the train wreck of Mekakucity Actors) that Shaft would render Nisekoi's world into unrecognizable Pseudo-spaces.
Boy were they wrong.
While the now-iconic Shaft “Spin around to do an action” and head tilt are still there, Nisekoi is a far cry from Nisekoi-monogatari. I would say this is probably the greatest improvement the manga has had (the manga’s backgrounds, from what I remember, might as well as have been drawn by Tite Kubo).
The characters are animated fluidly. The motions sprinkled in by Shaft do nothing to detract the series. Far from it, the exaggerated nature of the source’s plotline (gangsters stop fighting thanks to teenage dating) actually made Shaft’s liberal interpretations appropriate. Tsugumi’s chase scenes are animated with multitudes of guns, a feat that melts into the world of Nisekoi’s surreal world of spins and tilts. Zoom-ins are appropriate, with barely any ecchi (or so it felt) and a lot of focus on character expression. The irrelevant background characters, deservedly, are at times animated as gray blocks similar to Durarara and Mawaru Penguindrum. And the backgrounds are EXTRAVAGANT. I’m talking about 1920s Gatsby-style parties extravagance here. Though this is oddly appropriate due to the nature of the girls (Ojou-samas and generally influential girls). If not extravagant, the backgrounds are detailed and suit the theme. Everythign was beautiful, essentially, and much better compared to the manga.
Characters are sometimes animated in chibi style, amplifying their moe-ness and comical relief factor.
Many of the backgrounds (such as the forest) are drawn with detail. Shaft certainly didn't cheap out on their background.
In short: All of these touches made Nisekoi’s world (as much as I hate this word) unforgettable. it stands far and above many other Harem series in atmosphere due to the willingness to be exaggerate the world boldly.
With a consistent and well characterized cast, as well as vivid yet realistic depiction of the world, good enough sound (great voice acting), and a story that recognizes its strengths and but never mistreated, Shaft’s Nisekoi adaptation paints a surreal world that’s grounded in reality by character interaction. It is surely the standard bearer for Harem Anime to come. If they come at all (hint, look at next season’s list).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think it’s time for me to hit the bookshelves and download some chapters of Nisekoi.
Edit: After I started to read the manga, I remembered that after the 50 chapters or so, the manga regresses and turns into something close to a CSI TV show: plotless, digestable, short, weekly chapters. For a WHILE. Just saying, the first portion of the manga IS the Anime, but the successive portions are very different. Hopefully it gets better.
It is that time of the season again. Where that legendary anime studio, that every anime fan and their mother knows the name of, Shaft, comes with another adaptation where they put their own technical chops into. Regardless of whatever manga or light novel they want to adapt, especially when Akiyuki Shinbo is head of production, they always want to shift their own spin on it to make it their own unique vision. The results are either really good or very mediocre. Thankfully with Shaft’s recent show, Nisekoi, it is one of those on their filmography that deserves to be on the former side of
There is nothing really much to criticize or praise about Nisekoi’s plot, under the premise that there’s not much that you could regard as a significant plot. While it isn’t magnificent, the show doesn’t really try to build it up as anything but silly and frivolous in its storytelling, which leads into its comedic writing. Even when Nisekoi tries to be serious and heartwarming, it still has an edge where it comes across as pandering silliness to it to, to the point where it comes off almost as parody. What does save the show from being terrible from this angle is the comedic writing being very spot-on and sharp in its dialogue, and how the show presents it in its pacing. Shaft’s idea of comedy come from Shinbo’s great direction, with his recognizable camera angles and his obsession with putting it directly at a character’s face whenever a significant comedic moment happens. The comedic timing has a great hook to it as well. With the experimental editing, it makes the comedic timing and its pacing stand out very nicely.
Directly in-conjunction with the comedy in what makes Nisekoi appealing to watch is the characters. All are very diverse in their personalities, based on their own archetype that they fill in for the plot. Right away, you can clearly see how these roles seem very similar in tropes; the loud-mouthed tsundere, the long-time childhood friend who has a crush on the protagonist, the protagonist’s perverted friend and so on. Like I said before, the self-parodied way Shaft implements its comedy doesn’t necessarily put down the characters from having these cliched tropes, with the exception of the perverted friend who doesn’t leave much of an impression. Most of them still have enormous charm and charisma to their personalities, which make them worthwhile to laugh out loud towards. What does make a harem cast extremely well done is the fact that you find all of the characters likable, and in that respect, you wouldn’t mind whoever the protagonist goes out with. I could consider Nisekoi, along with Sora no Otoshimono and Boku wa Tomodachi, to be one of the few that actually fulfills this aspect quite nicely.
To start picking out characters individually, our main protagonist, Ichijou, actually proves to be a likable character in spite what many might point out how he never seems to bat an eye to how certain girls might see him. Chitoge, the beautiful blonde girl and our main heroine, is a ton of fun to see in many hilarious attempts at being entertaining from her charming personality and studious stature, despite being fragile underneath it. Our childhood friend character, Onodera, might seem like the most uninteresting out of the rest at first, but as she grows onto you, she is in no shortage of getting a lot of laughs and cuteness, thanks in part to Kana Hanazawa’s great performance. The tomboy of this lovely harem is named Tsumugi, who has less screen-time than most of the girls. This shouldn’t knock down the significant aura she ushers in Nisekoi, that and I’m a huge sucker for tomboys. Finally we have Marika, the snooty and conniving girl that promised marriage from a childhood oath to our protagonist. Even though I wouldn’t call her out as being kind of dull and overly conniving in too many places, the writers all did a decent job of adding in some twists here and there to make her at least stand out to the crowd.
The quality of animation brought by Shaft in Nisekoi is absurd and almost incomprehensible in some places to describe from how they portray certain comedic situations. However, whether it goes through those hilarious situations or not, the animation still has that same spark of creativity that Shaft has been known for since their inception. Their ability to transcend all of the characters’ art designs into deformed designs create a very visceral outlook to the insane amount of wacky humor that is present in Nisekoi. On the technical side of things, there are no obvious signs of corners being cut with the budget that Shaft had to work around with. Characters flow fluidly enough to garner some recognition for the animators who worked hard on making the girls look very cute and funny in motion.
Audio department is in no short of brilliance for Nisekoi, besides the fact that the music is nothing too special from the usual synthesizer instrumentation that you typically hear in most anime shows. Nisekoi gathers some of the best voice actors in the business that all work extremely well together, adding to the characters’ distinctive voices. Kana Hanazawa has definitely redeemed herself after a couple of underwhelming shows these past two seasons by playing the lovable Onodera. Her attempts at being embarrassed are in no short of hilarity and cuteness from her brilliant talent. The recent starlet, Nao Touyama, plays the heroine Chitoge, and she is definitely having a ball with playing her in what can be considered her first tsundere role. Needless to say, she needs to play more in her future career. The last one in the main cast is Kouki Uchiyama, who plays harem protagonists that can be hit or miss, but he actually does a pretty nice job with Ichijou in giving him a nice needed level of sympathy and style to his comedic performance.
Observing the overall basis for Nisekoi will leave people feeling that Nisekoi only adds more on the table of bland romance shows in a harem on the drawing board. The strange truth is that it definitely is, but the show doesn’t try to be what it’s not. It’s proud of being another generic harem show and proudly displays itself out of the rest. That might seem like a strange recommendation at first, but when you have the brilliant team behind Shaft that adds so much layers of depth to the show’s comedy and characters, there are very few things not to like about Nisekoi. This and many other shows that Shaft has made that are similar to Nisekoi are living proof that you can guarantee the talent Shaft has in creating a story that is seemingly done before, but adds fresh twists to it to make it feel exciting enough to sit down and watch it from beginning to end.
I regret initially writing off Nisekoi as another run-of-the-mill romance-comedy. Though preposterous and frantic at its core, Shaft knew exactly how to exploit the source material using trademark visual and directional cues. The results boast of vivid color and heavenly charm, most evidently in the heat of moments between Raku and Chitoge. Venture beyond the surface of dense personalities and logical fallacies, and what remains to be seen underneath is a love-hate spectacular in its purest state.
Treading back on my mention of density and fallacies, both detriments were loud and clear for much of the run. Ramifications dimmed the lights on
what could have been a blockbuster showcase between premier rivals. Whenever Chitoge or Kosaki would garner momentum to close in on Raku, the most timely of occurrences or character appearances would quickly separate the participants as a boxing referee would. The supporting members were irrelevant outside of interfering with Raku, Chitoge, or Kosaki, or distracting the audience by means of cheesy punchlines, retorts, and archetypal behaviors.
Divisive components meshed together to form a predictable, cyclic scheme sapping this series of its true potential. Developments were overly reliant on genre stereotypes and misunderstandings. It really is a shame, considering how intimate conversations involving Raku and the main heroines were meaningful, sensible, and even nostalgic in my case. These are all moments that mark a fine reminder to what falling in love should be about.
SPOILERS onward (based on final impressions).
The lock-and-key mystery should have been resolved with more urgency or geared with fascinating implications in the long run. Snapping the key after all that commotion was downright cruel, a wasteful hype charade with little substance or significance. And why keep the clingy and shallow Marika in the dark for so long? Her facile presence lacked sincerity, while her grounds of adhering to events well in the past were baseless.
Although the cake itself was unsatisfactory, the finale brought its own complimentary spread of flavorful toppings. Tragic for all the wrong reasons, this unconventional spin on a legendary epic fell right into the series’ wheelhouse of comic relief and execution on-the-fly. How sweet it was to watch Raku and Kosaki give the script a second go! The invigorating inclusion really sent this spectacle out with a bang, one that could very well pay dividends in the future.
Before you write off my review because of its very low rating I'd appreciate it if you actually read what I have to say first. I'm not about to slate it off for an incomprehensible reason. This is also my first review so I'd appreciate feedback even more. Feel free to disagree with me/point out things I've missed/etc.
So, Nisekoi. The anime that left me so badly conflicted I felt compelled to write a review about it. The anime that had me cursing at the screen every five minutes. The anime that had potential and completely failed to live up to it. It's safe to say
that this show left me with a rather bitter taste in my mouth - and for good reason.
[potential spoiler alert]
The first thing I want to state about this is that I have absolutely no problem with the premise. You might have considered it your average harem story with zero elements of creativity and nothing new. To be quite honest, I couldn't care less. I enjoy a good romance and I don't completely hate harem shows - so long as they're executed well. Even if it's 'generic', the plot still had potential. The idea behind the key-in-the-lock scenario and the forced relationship I thought was actually a very good one. From the synopsis and the early stages of the show I had high expectations and thought it was going to be a very good show. From there, it all went downhill.
If you're taking the comedic approach, as this show does, there are times where you need to understand your level of seriousness. This, simply put, doesn't. The example I'll give here one of the times when Kosaki is trying her hardest to convey her feelings to Raku - the one where they get interrupted by that baseball smashing through the window. A scene like that could have been literally perfect. The innocent, shy character gathering up her courage to make her sweet confession. The following reciprocation. How else could you make a scene more golden? It would've even added spice to the plot surrounding his façade with Chitoge.
Yet, the writers proceed to completely ruin it for 'comedic effect'. When that ball smashes through the window it destroys the serious & tense atmosphere completely and contributes to the (supposedly 'funny') running gag where she gets interrupted every time she tries to make her confession. You know, like that one where she kind-of succeeds but Raku is asleep. It's not funny at all. It only served to phenomenally irritate me every time it happened and make me scream "THIS ISN'T HOW IT WORKS!!" every so often. Perhaps this might not annoy me as much if she'd actually succeeded in the end - I'd have felt relieved, perhaps. I know there's a second season but by that point the story had already been destroyed beyond redemption. No chance of a comeback there.
If you're going include elements of seriousness you have to make it work. Nisekoi just tries to be something and fails. You can have serious elements in a comedic/silly show and have them work. This tries to combine the two and suffers horrifically as a result.
Speaking of it being destroyed beyond redemption, the next bit I want to talk about is the plot's development & progression. Remember when I said the key-in-the-lock scenario had potential? Yeah, that didn't survive for too long did it? That could have gone places with Chitoge/Kosaki story development. Plot twists, anyone? Instead, it gets stolen right in front of our faces by the mighty Marika Tachibana - who is, in my eyes, the most pointless character ever to exist in anime. She serves no real purpose other than to make Nisekoi a full-on harem when it doesn't actually need to be one. Her, and her involvements, are just large amounts of time wasted. Time that could have been spent writing a better, more progressive plot where things actually happen.
I mean, literally, nothing happens. At all. Time is filled and wasted. Raku, at the end, is practically in the same position as he was in the first couple of episodes - wanting to be with Kosaki but not being able to - just with the addition of a pointless, third character who wants him.
For me, the animation isn't a massive influence on how much a show is likable. In this case it doesn't really matter at all. It is nice to look at though and doesn't feel shabby by any means.
Same thing, really. The music wasn't bad by any means, it just didn't pack any real punch. All the songs were mediocrities.
If it counts for this section, the voice acting was good as well. Not that I really know any shows with crappy voice acting (excluding dubs).
Most of the characters were decent, even the secondary ones like Ruri. They were just let down by bad writing. I really liked most of them and it's a shame that this show didn't live up to its potential.
The only issue I have, as mentioned earlier, is with Marika, who is the most unnecessary character ever. The show could've been rewritten without her and become about a hundred times better.
You can't have a good show without a good story. In summary, good characters + a good premise were simply let down by bad writing. The art and music aren't going to make up for an error like that and, as such, lead to a very irritating & disappointing viewing experience.
I didn't expect the show to be bags of seriousness, it just needed a bit more than it had to do what I thought it should have done. At least incredibly stupid shows don't try to be things they're not.
Again, feel free to disagree with me and thanks for taking the time to read this. I encourage any criticism - it'd help me to write better reviews in the future.
Really interesting, and re-watchable romance & comedy title.
The story, the plot and well, pretty much the entire concept of Nisekoi were all very interesting. Not the best of the genre however the show was pretty decent. I liked that even though the show was full of cliche's it still retained it's own uniqueness a feat made possible with the support of studio shaft. Now, things got a bit complicated for me during the whole "Tachibana arc" or "Childhood friend arc" This was because I was so used to the triangle between Onoderna and Chitoge. Not to mention I liked the idea of the mystery girl
who Raku knew only being between Kosaki or Chitoge. For a new character to be dropped so late was a bit unacceptable to me. Then again, when I think more about it, the show is 20 episodes so maybe I'm just making a big deal out of it. My overall feeling for the story of Nisekoi was pretty good. I must admit that it was a pain in the ass watching the obvious love and drama drag on for so long however and to a certain extent, I think it was all worth it in the end. I mean, it didn't deliver much of a satisfying ending however I still thought it was pretty good. I don't really want to spoil anything.
Appearances visuals and animation was pretty amazing. I mean, it's a shaft production so I expected good quality visuals and special effects. Background settings and objects really stood out. In addition to that, I really enjoyed seeing the Special effects in the opening song but I digress. Perhaps one of my favorite features in Nisekoi is the visual appearance. Colorful, vibrant, and great to look at. I am pretty damn fond of shaft's decisions (for the most part) when it comes to what shows they want to work on.
Now for characters, they were pretty decent. I liked that Raku was similar to Araragi from Nisio Isin Monogatari series. Another infamous show that Shaft has worked on. Albeit he's not too much of a pervert like Koyomi but, butt-cheeks, he's still a pretty likable guy. Moving along, I honestly didn't care for the selection of main characters. Kosaki was probably my favorite, out of the main three. Chitoge and Raku I just.. I couldn't get into them that much. The supporting characters felt like they were there just for show, I felt like there was nothing interesting about them. I love the character designs, I mean, I thought Kosaki was adorable! and maybe Chitoge sometimes too. I liked lots of the designs again, mostly for Kosaki's though. Her out of school outfits were always nice.
Music and sound was pretty great. I didn't have a favorite song from the soundtrack however, that didn't really change how I felt about the BGM. Seiyuu's, again did a pretty damn good job fulfilling their roles and bringing their perspective characters to life. The queen Kana Hanazawa does a great job fulfilling her role as Kosaki and the other voice actors are alright too. OP & ED songs were okay too. I personally didn't care for em'.
Overall, I felt that Nisekoi was a pretty enjoyable, and memorable title. It is the type of show that I would recommend if you like slow titles that also have lots of developments along the way. I gave Nisekoi 8.3/10 because I felt that even though it had its moments of disappointments, It still delivered a great amount of drama, suspense and comedy!
I'll say it from the get-go that Nisekoi was a highly enjoyable anime to watch and I would recommend it to any anime fans that like shounen comedies and tsundere characters.
Nisekoi is about Raku Ichigyou, the son of the head of the Shue-gumi yakuza group, who at 6 years old, met and fell for a girl he now does not remember. The only thing he remembers is that they made a promise to marry each other when they met again, and would identify each other by the locket and key they exchanged. Raku has held onto this locket for 10 years in the hope
of reuniting with her. He currently has a crush on a girl named Onodera, a friend from middle school, and hopes she is the girl he is looking for. His life is turned upside down though when he encounters the pretty but aggressive Chitoge Kirisaki, and though they don't get along, through family circumstances they are forced to act as fake boyfriend and girlfriend. Nisekoi shows this hilarious fake couple as they develop their "relationship" in front of their friends and classmates.
Ridiculous, cliche, but utterly HILARIOUS. It is not really unique in any way but man the collaboration of the characters just makes it work so well. It's a "tale of 2 families" type story just like Romeo and Juliet (which they cleverly make a reference to) with a lot of twists, turns and love interests. It uses very common storylines; the beach episode, the school trip (and typical ridiculousness that usually happens), the school festival and so on but they are still funny to watch regardless. The story gets an 8/10 mostly because I was not satisfied with the ending but I think this is due to the fact that another season may be coming. If one does come, the score would definitely be bumped up to at least a 9 as there would be a chance for a true ending and resolution between characters.
Absolutely stunning. Such effective use of colour and movement in the animation. CodeProvider (on YouTube) pointed out that even the grass in this anime stood out as beautiful...like come on. You usually don`t hear someone say "man that`s some sick grass". The movements are just so fluid it brings a great sense of realism.
The first opening theme is so catchy. It was a real stand out for me. The second opening is pretty nice as well, and ending themes are both alright. But besides that, to be honest I did not notice much in terms of music just because I was so into the story myself, but I guess that is not totally a bad thing.
The characters were what made the anime so enjoyable. They had such a great combination of personalities. Raku and Chitoge are absolutely hilarious together. Watching them bicker but watch each other's backs was just an enjoyable experience. Chitoge may tie with Taiga (from Toradora) as my favourite tsundere character, as she is both ruthless and adorable beyond belief. Onodera started off seeming shy and a little boring, but really turned out to be funny and at times pretty aggressive (in terms of love). What I really appreciated was that all Raku's love interests (4 in total...go Raku!!! :P) all had something likable about them, which I find usually isn't the case. My stand-out supporting characters are most definitely Ruri (Onodera's best friend) and Tsugumi (Chitoge's childhood companion) who are funny, smart and just have the best reactions to EVERYTHING. I am hoping for a second season to get further development with all these characters.
You can already tell that I really enjoyed the series and so there is no need to explain the score given. It's a shounen comedy, so I think it has something for everyone; fan service for the guys, and cute but strong female characters for the independent women out there :P I would recommend if you do watch it, to prepare to read the manga as more than likely you will want to know what happens next. As far as I know, there have been no announcements for a second season but I am eagerly anticipating one.
I'm a big fan of romantic comedies and this anime hit the jackpot for me. This anime is full of cute moments which will keep you intrigued however, i had a tendency to lose interest. I'll start with the story.
Don't get me wrong, the story is great and keeps your mind predicting what's going to happen next but, it starts to lean away from the whole point of the show. You'll notice that it drags on and some episodes don't even have anything to do with the story, it's just another way for the author to add some 'chummy' moments between the protagonist and
one of the girls. If it wasn't for all those cute, romantic moments i would have given it a 8/10. In addition, i finished this anime feeling incomplete so hopefully there's going to be a 2nd season as i don't really like reading manga.
The art is so good, but that's probably common for 2014 anime's so I'm not really that blown away. It's as if every 2014 anime now has a 9+/10 art. I like how they emphasize on characters through the simple use of colours. What i mean is that, you would notice that they give insignificant characters in the background a colour/pattern which makes the main characters stand out in contrast.
I liked how the opening was catchy and upbeat which is always nice. Unlike most anime's, with Nisekoi - i watched the whole opening every episode just to appreciate it and increase my morale. There were no soundtracks during the show which actually stood out however, these soundtracks don't really have much of an impact on me. I just think that the opening is key, as it sort of prepares you for what's coming. In addition, the voices are good i didn't notice anything wrong.
To be put bluntly, they are very common characters. Almost everyone in this anime is so shy and ignorant. This leaves room for lots of complications. On the other hand, they develop nicely over time as each of them have their own little 'spotlight episode' which allows the viewers to connect with the characters. Due to the common personalities, you feel like you're familiar with them which made it easier to understand them and how they feel.
This anime gave me butterflies in my stomach due to the amount of lovey-dovey moments there are. You could predict when they were going to happen which was the best part of it. Whenever boredom crossed my mind a wild romantic moment appears! Because of this, i didn't get bored and managed to finish this anime within 2 days.
I feel that there was so much potential for this show which is why I'm giving it a 9. But, i made a mistake of judging the rest of the anime based on the first few episodes which got me slightly disappointed. Once i finished it i said to myself "meh, it was alright". It's going to be in the top tier on my list though, just not the top.
Nisekoi, or Fake Love, follows a fairly standard romcom template, except done better.
Warning: may have mild spoilers
Disclaimer: did not actually watch 2000 episodes of Nisekoi
The basis for the story is not exactly generic for a romcom, but isn't extraordinary by any means. A guy meets a girl and immediate hates her after she knees him in the face and they're forced to become a couple lest a gang war breaks out. Throughout the story, a few more characters show up and the main characters get somewhat closer; that's honestly all the plot development that there is in Nisekoi, bar the last few episodes.
Thus, most episodes are romcom staples, such as the onsen episode, the cultural festival episode, the beach episode, the pool episode, the test of courage episode, the hanabi episode, etc. All in all, the story is neither really unique nor really interesting.
Considering it's Shaft, the art and animation were quite excellent. Nisekoi's style was a bit different from other Shaft anime we know and love(or hate), such as the Monogatari series and Mekakucity Actors. While the art tilted to more traditional(or generic?) styles, there were still plenty of signature Shaft touches, such as the abstract pattern backgrounds, etc. I enjoyed especially Chitoge and Raku's many expressions of shock. Regardless of the uniqueness of the art style, the animation was still very fluid, and overall the art is superb.
The sound was not outstanding per se, but it was still fairly decent . The openings and endings were catchy, if not a bit generic, and the background music was fairly standard, with a track for each corresponding scene (such as a light track for awkward moments between Raku and every other girl).
Essentially your average romcom characters. You have Raku, the really nice son of a yakuza head who inadvertently gets lots of hot girls in the class (who all happen to be childhood friends) and is pretty much hated by all the guys in the class for this reason. There are 3 main girls- Chitoge, Onodera, and Marika. Chitoge is an academically superior tsundere who enjoys abusing Raku and is the daughter of a the leader of an American gang. Onodera is an extremely shy girl who loves Raku, who happens to love her, yet both are afraid to confess to each other. Marika (shows up later in the story) is a potentially yandere daughter of the police commissioner, who is absolutely obsessed with Raku. There are also minor-ish ones such as Tsugumi, a romantically confused assassin who works for Chitoge's gang. Maiko is Raku's best friend, and enjoys nothing more than to get Raku together with other girls, even though he's in a fake relationship with Onodera. Ruri is Onodera's best friend, and pretty much her goal in life is to get Onodera to confess to Raku and have them become a couple. Overall, some fairly generic characters.
Despite its story (or lack thereof), and generic characters, I enjoyed watching Nsekoi. Even though on the surface it looks like a fairly generic anime, I did look forward for the new episode each Saturday. Although the overarching story was fairly generic and made virtually no progress throughout the anime, each episode was fairly interesting and had its comedic moments.
I guess there's really not much more to say. If you enjoy romcoms, then definitely check this one out. It's much better than the run-of-the-mill romcom (looking at you, Date a Live).
With harem series we have a few rules:
1: The Main character must be dense
2: The side characters are better than the heroines
3: No romatic conclusion
Nisekoi strikes the nail on the head when it comes to being generic in most aspects.
Like a doctor I will first deliver the good news then the bad news.
The art in Nisekoi was quite beautiful. I love it when an anime is as colorful and liberal (in changing art style) as Nisekoi is. My only issue is that the girls are in constant blush.
Audio was good. Didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. I do like
Click the OP.
Raku- Basic harem MC (dense as a neutron star)
Chitoge- Basic Tsundere
Onodera- Basic suck-up character (like Saukura in Fate/stay night, the Fate and UBW routes)
Onodera's sister- Already forgot her name. Don't care anymore really.
Marie- Not enough screen time and was rushed in at the lend of first season. Is actually pretty cool in a perverted manipulitive manner.
Chitoge's slave- Unnesesary big boobs
That's all I can remember
Prepare for the bad news.
Nisekoi would have been good if it hadn't tried to force a backstory. You know the one. The one with the locket and stuff. For the uninformed plebs, Nisekoi's backstory goes into how Raku and his playmate from his childhood made a promise to marry. The promise is sealed with a key (literally) as the girl locked a locket with a key and gave it to raku as a means for them to find eachother again. 10 years later he's a teenager in highschool. Like most adolesent males he's thinking about girls. The girl he particularly has his eyes on is Onodera. The two had flirted all through middle school and were preping to do the same in high school. That is, untill transfer student Chitoge slammed her way into his life and due to certain family circumstances they are forced to pretend to date. Then to add even more feul to the fire of potential they both have keys. This raises so many questions: Which key is the right one? Is he going to start to love Chitoge or will his flirtationship with Onodera stop him? Is he going to remain true to his promise he made as a kid or will he move on and date who he loves? The anime slowly feeds these questions with dates with both of the girls and signals that both of the girls like him. Then at a climax the show has Chitoge try the locket to see if she's the girl. The locket breaks leaving the questions the show gives us on hold untill the locket is repaired (which doesn't really happen). This would be no problem to me if the show didn't end the way it did. Instead of bringing he locket back for a great climatic finale that resolves all of the questions invokes upon us the ending features Raku reconciling with Harem Girl A, Chitoge after a fight. This climax has nothing to do with the sideplot whatsoever. Then in the second season the show finally hammers the nail into the coffin by telling us the locket will never be fixed.
If it wern't obvoius from the rant above, watching nisekoi was not enjoyable. I would have enjoyed it better if they hadn't included the backstory subplot and just focused on the Romatic Comedy section. Also if they just had all of the girls in the begining intead of adding them every 3-4 episodes that would be great. And every girl doesn't need a key.
**Nisekoi is kinda a show without spoilers cause harems never have a proper conclusion so don't get your panties in a twist with the plot events that I've mentioned.**
Bear w/ me now, I never read the manga, and most likely won't continue on to the 2nd season once it airs. POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
The story was your typical bland harem rom-com anime. There was obviously something enticing about it, though, because I watched it through to the end. I wasn't a big fan of the tsundere female lead, however I am a bit biased, because I view tsundere caricatures as filler characters that are very cliché. Why? Because like in this anime, the tsundere often doesn't undergo real character development. It's often never gradual and happens rather predictably. "Oh, I'm in love w/ so-and-so
now." What? You just suddenly decided this, after many years of self-denial and abusive behavior? And these characters expect to be treated like they were never cruel in the first place.
Secondly, I'm just not a harem fan. Again, there's bias...but I don't like how supposedly average or unnoticed guys in school life anime suddenly have all these new girls introduced, often transfer students, that fawn over him for literally no reason. I get that these characters exist so the audience can sort of "step in their shoes," but I'd much rather have a fleshed out protagonist.
Cute, nice, colorful...nothing too special.
I basically highlighted everything under Story...all the character designs have been done before. Nothing new here, not even the family dynamics (check Ranma 1/2).
Despite all that, I found it entertaining. During times of great distress or simply just boredom, it's nice to kick back and watch a mindless anime. This is one of those.
Critic's note- This review has solely been written (rushed) for personal pleasure purposes, I had to put an end to these tickling palms, these hands that itch to write a review for each anime I watch, After a long hiatus, here I break my silence. A review by me is going up after a long time so please go easy on me minna ;)
Some people may be sad that Nisekoi has ended (for now because due to the manga's popularity a second season has been confirmed) but I'm relieved that I won't have to dutifully watch it every week.
Even though this anime is the
talk of the last season, It needs a fresh review, as all the others were done midway. The plot was simple and tranquil from the very start, I haven't read the manga but for those who watch a considerable amount of anime,don't have to read the manga to decide on Nisekoi's future. It still felt unfair to review something in it's incomplete state because I wanted to give Nisekoi a chance.
I'll start by giving a brief synopsis. Two childhood friends make a promise to meet and (marry??) when they grow up, The guy and the girl agree to keep a lock and a key, the guy has the pendant lock and the girl holds the key (to his heart) cliche? I am not going to focus on the protagonist who is a jerk but the two heroines, Chitoge and Onodera as I remember are irritating and stupid, respectively. Onodera being so gullibly foolish it was almost cute. Familiar, heh? So, 10 years have passed, Raku's still holding onto his promise and the pendant, and there's a new (Tsundere) girl at school and they are forced into a relationship for the next 3 years, Hence the name Nisekoi "False Love" .
There isn't much of a plot and I didn't come here expecting an adventure but there's that tiniest bit of disappointment, Just because it's SHAFT and because Nisekoi came to me as a recommendation from a very dear friend, the Art is gorgeous, I wouldn't expect any less from them. The background and minor details intrigued me very much but ill try not to drool too much over that. I didn't see much scope for plot or character development. Now, SHAFT doesn't disappoint in its production and presentation but SHAFT has always been discreet.Watch Nisekoi in HD or don't watch it at all. The fact that Nisekoi was made to look pretty and it fulfills the purpose, it targeted that type of audience, but SHAFT u have earned a rep. you do better, for example Bakemonogatari [i am only mentioning it as people wont stop comparing the two] it had great art and a great plot. Nisekoi, is nowhere near that league.
I know there are every kinds of people and every type of anime fans, we all have different likings and it makes the anime community so diverse and awesome, some like pretty art and it's their choice, they will love this anime but to go on and say it's a unique adaption, this can't get any better or that SHAFT couldn't do better. For them, either your only watching anime for it's art or you really need to watch more anime or read more manga before u think you're ready to go and write a review, because u don't want to mislead other viewers, right? As for me, I would rather watch Nodame cantabile (average art style) with a decent storyline than watch something excessively overhyped with these...(you get me)
I don't hate the music but its nothing "larger than life" The OP is ok but of the kind that will be skipped, IMO the second OP by ClariS does much better and it's likely that I'll like to listen to it.
I like mainstream anime, In fact I love Slice of Life that has beautiful art and a decent gist but Nisekoi is a mainstream anime that isn't even worthwhile SHAFT's time, It belongs to KyoAni. Lesser number of episodes could have made Nisekoi likable, it's okay to marathon in one sitting but being 20 episodes long it feels like it's just dragging on and on... [what does it matter because I am through already]
Nisekoi is not a substantial anime not by a long shot but none of this means it isn't enjoyable, Nisekoi is flawed and everyone sees that, I guess except the delusional fans of the manga. I ain't telling you to remove it (who am i?) from your watchlist but at least move it a few titles down because there's better mainstream anime floating around, than this. Hope my review visits every nook and touches a bit on everything, just an overall picture of what you're getting yourself into and how it'll look like when you start off.
On a scale of 5, 1.2 feels too harsh for Nisekoi, so 2/5 is my final rating.
It had potential. Two teens from opposing gang families that pretend to fall in love in order to prevent a gang war. However, the male character is actually in love with another girl and has to try to maintain a good relationship with her while going out with his 'girlfriend'. Over time the girl begins developing feelings for the male.
This story would have had potential if the male wasn't denser than a brick and if he would stop getting embarrassed with every little action.
The art is really nice, I actually liked the character designs (Chitoge is very cute). The quality was
quite consistent and was well lit.
OP and ED aren't memorable, soundtrack doesn't seem that interesting either. Voice acting is consistent, unfortunately it cannot be graded properly due to the mediocrity of the show.
Weak male that has the density of a brick. The other characters have very little character as the writers simply decided to apply the 'nice', 'tsundere' or 'support' onto them.
Onodera is the nice girl, she's never hits him nor yells at him.
Chitoge and Tsugumi are the tsundere.
Shuu and Ruri are the supports, basically they know everything but since they're supports, can't actually influence anything.
Chitoge's pretty cute and I actually enjoyed her onscreen time. She was well designed and her voice actor made her even cuter. However, seeing a lack of actual development for the protagonist towards any girls was just really boring.
Basically a non-nude version of To-Love-Ru. Weak male lead that somehow has a harem of followers through his 'sincerity'.
This particular anime is getting on my nerve. what type of romantic comedy is this ? the main character always getting bitten by his false girlfriend. one hero and four heroine, i thought it would be fun to watch but what i saw was beyond horrible. let's look at the main characters -
1. Raku belongs to Yakuza family but doesn't have any fighting power, a complete hopeless guy with Amnesia and sympathy for girls.
2. Chitoge, this character is so annoying. have you seen any other anime where a girl in love beat the person she love on a regular basis ?? just how much
enduring power Raku has ??
3. Kosaki, a girl with 0 will power. no matter how much support she get, there will be no confession for sure. For last 2 years she only said good morning and good bye, that's the only conversation she had with Raku. what is this ? hinata from naruto ??
4. Marika, this girl have some guts. not so disappointing, i'm actually happy to see a character who can do something to express her feeling.
5. supportive characters are way too good for main characters I must say. they are mature and logical while the main characters are childish.
A main character who understand everything expect the fact girls have feeling for him, unimaginable overpowering heroine, hinata(from naruto) as kosaki, decent support character, plot that makes you sick for thinking too much - - we present NISEKOI !!!!
Nisekoi OVA 2 - This one is absurd. Raku get ravaged by 4 girls and he just passed out and didn't remember what actually happen. Isn't that refer to rape in general term ? losing victims memory, that's the best think author came up with ? instead of telling what happened and apologising, heroins tend to keep that a secret. wow.. is there anyone who think the story on right path ?
Nisekoi! is the anime that can be summarized in one word: GENERIC
That's debatable of course, it could also be Clichéd.
It's kinda like the writers/makers had a checklist of Anime Must-Haves and went and ticked them all off. This show is a Harem, a Romantic Comedy, and Slice of Life, The story is simple: Boy has a lock, when he was little he promised a girl to marry her, if she kept the key, and he kept the lock. In his teens his dad insists he dates the Tsundere girl to stop a feud between gangsters and the mafia.
It's all there: The Onsen, The
Locked Toghether, The Swimming Pool, The Beach, The Festival, The School Trip, The Birthday, The Sleepover, and of course, the School Play.
I forgot what kind of music the Anime has. Yeah thats right, thats how unoriginal it is.
It's a harem, so the girls outnumber boys 3:1.
There's The Tsundere, The Boy/Girl?!, The Nice Girl, The Bride/Fiancée, The Glasses Character, and The Childhood Friend, and they all fawn over the Protagonist boy who is in no way attractive. And there is The Best Friend.
It all revolves around his lock, he doesn't remember who he made the promise to, and moreover, he is head over heals with the Nice Girl. But the main focus is on Tsundere, who is a little too convincing in hating the Protagonist, so she is butt annoying. Besides those two girls, the other harem girls come on for one or two episodes before fading to the background.
It's generic to a fault. They half-assed a Romeo & Juliet theme, which is pretty much the most overused theme in romantic history. And the lock? Like every good oldfashioned anime, they keep you dangling to the end... the open end.
I laughed, there are some good jokes. Sadly, between jokes I found myself sighing and planting my face to my hand. This anime goes to show that domestic violence is perfectly okay as long as the girl does it. Also, parents care only about their kids future, as long as they marry a good successor to the family business. It's truly a deep and meaningful message. Told in chewed out clichés and overly Generic Anime standards.
Raku should be a Harem president. He should invade a country and name it "Haremica". I can see it now...300 Million girls living in his "Harem" country and he's the only guy. Oh, how I would love to be him right now. Or better yet, he should be a Harem God and there will be 7 Billion girls around him. The point I'm trying to make in my opener is this show is another one of those protagonists where the girls are mindlessly falling in love with.
The story is about Raku, a teenager who made a promise 10 years ago to
a girl he met. The problem is he doesn't remember this girl. They both promised that they will get married when they reunite. He wears a pendant that the girl gave him and he never let it go.
Now my opinions on the story. At best, it's mediocre. At the first 3 episodes, the show had an interesting idea. To me, at least. But from there on, it just became a typical cliche, romance and harem moments. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I'm probably one of the few people on this earth who isn't bothered by cliche moments or shows with harem protagonists. I mean, I don't love it but I don't hate it either.
At least the show did something right and it's the animation. Yes, the show had a lot of clichè facial expressions but I don't want to focus there. I want to focus on the actual character designs, environment designs and the lighting. Character designs, good. Environment designs, great and the lighting is also great. There is one design that I'm really bothered by and it's the way they design the female characters. Yes, I know, it's fan service but it's ridiculous. At school, they have normal boobs but in the beach and swimming pool scenes, the breasts are bigger than my ballsacks. I mean, just look at Tsugumi. She has the smallest breasts of them all and in the beach scene, it somehow gets bigger. This is why some parents think anime is a huge hentai.
If the show didn't have interesting OP or ED theme songs then the sound category would have easily been a score of 4 and lower. Why? Because if the show doesn't have(it actually doesn't) interesting music going on in the background then they need to make up with it by making good or great OP and ED theme songs. That's what the show successfully did. OP 1 and OP 2 are both great. Hell, the only reason how I managed to make it past Ep. 1 and 2 is the OP 1 theme song. Both OP's are sung by ClariS and I'm a fan of her songs. Now, about the ED theme songs. There is a lot that I lost count. How many are there? 4? 5? I forget. ED 1 is the only great ending theme song. I think it was sung by the voice actor of Chitoge? The other ED's can just suck it because they're not even worth listening to.
The characters are all cliched and they have a stereotyped character personality. There's nothing original about them. Raku is your typical Harem God surrounded by beautiful girls for no reason. Chitoge is your typical tsundere. She always argues and fight with Raku as she is unable to properly express her inner, loving emotions towards Raku. Kosaki is a dandere. The typical shy girl that only really opens up around good friends and the guy she likes which is obviously Raku. Tsugumi is a kuudere. Cool, calm, collected but is at a total loss about what to do with her newfound feelings of love for (again) Raku. Lastly, Marika is a non-violent yandere girl. Obsessed with having the boy of her dreams to the point of completely reinventing her appearance and personality to appeal to him. Great job for the creators. They managed to squeeze in 4 "dere" characters in the show and put them in Raku's harem. They're nothing original so why didn't I rate the character category a score of 4 and lower? Because they're hilarious. That's the only reason it saved the characters from being a total flop.
My enjoyment category is a perfect score from me not because of the crappy story, not because of the stereotyped and cliched characters but because of how hilarious the show is. Especially the interaction between Chitoge and Raku. This is the reason why I love tsundere girls.
[OVERALL]: (7.8/10)----Rounding it to--(8/10)
There really isn't anything new or fresh with Nisekoi. It's just a story of a harem protagonist filled with stereotypical girls in a cliched high school setting. At the end of the day, the show really goes nowhere. You'll know what I'm talking about if you watched the show. However, despite all of this, the show is still hilarious as hell. The characters and their interaction towards Raku is what saved this show from being a total failure.
+A lot of funny moments
-Stereotyped and cliched characters
-Show goes nowhere (Can I even consider this as a con?)
-Not so great ending
Hello, this is my first review. Constructive criticism is welcomed.
Nisekoi is an anime of the "rom-com" genre, most notably associated with anime like Toradora. These anime mix aspects of romance, situational comedy, and slice of life story elements (financial or family problems). I am grading based on the strength of these components within Nisekoi.
Although I enjoyed Nisekoi, it was a series that left me feeling rather disappointed as a whole.
Onodera and Chitoge's relationships with Ichijo are both interesting and funny to watch. As Ichijo discovers more about his past, the feelings he has towards people change. He becomes slightly more sympathetic (even for a
typical romcom main character who is stereotypically nice) as the show goes on. He stops worrying about doing things and actually takes some action to spend time with the girls he is interested in. The results, however, are to be discussed with the story section of the review.
Every animation or facial reaction is highly stylized, almost to meme or moe levels of deformation. I do not mean this as a bad thing, the quick wit of the humor (when it introduces itself) is not only welcoming but genuinely funny. The characters make these situations fun to watch because of their well-developed dynamics. These dynamics change over time, especially in the case of Onodera.
The two main story lines revolve around Ichijo, and are dynamic and interesting. I would not call them character arcs, because the focus is constantly switching between the two.
However, the pacing of the show leaves much to be desired. The argument here is that any adaptation of a manga usually must remain loyal to the vision of the mangaka. This is especially highlighted in the first episode which is divided into shorts.
As the storylines develop, they begin to decelerate at an alarming rate.
The writing relies too much upon the internal monologues of every character. This means that a single event may take, in screen time, a full two minutes to fully expose every major character's reaction. This leaves the show feeling rather disjointed and redundant. The fact that most of these internal dialogues repeat subject matter or decisions left me shockingly bored at some parts. Knowing so much about the thoughts of each character causes the viewer to see the romance as an omniscient third person, instead of through the eyes of Ichijo. This ultimately detracted from my personal interest in the story.
As a forewarning, some of the circumstances around the plot twists within this series will make you want to tear your hair out. At least I wanted to.
If you have seen any anime produced by SHAFT, you can immediately recognize the style of Nisekoi. Certain scenes are of "mixed media", meaning that something like a blue border of frills may appear in the school setting, as if someone placed one in front of the animated characters. Particularly dramatic moments are treated to some gorgeous views of the sky or the city. The "design" or look of every character is consistently well-executed.
I wish I had more to say about my favorite part of this anime. Scenes like the gangster/yakuza buildings are like castles from a story book (or popular Shakespearean tragedy? hoho). The aforementioned reaction faces and character dynamics would not be possible if not for the fluid and spot-on animations done hundreds of times each episode.
The voice acting is some of the best I have heard. The dialogue is so natural that one can imagine the voice actors for Ruri and Onodera in the booth together just having normal girl talk. The OP and ED are both catchy but a little too saccharine for my tastes. Background noises and sound effects are delivered at a consistent "frame" of each animation, helping make the animated world a little more realistic and consistent.
My biggest complaint is that the story distracted me from enjoying the characters and humor as they were. The monologues constantly bring up the story defining "who likes who?" question and force the characters to behave at a molasses pace.
Several personal complaints I have about the show (like the beach episode and the rather pervy drawings shown at the end of each episode) keep me from personally recommending Nisekoi to my friends. From an objective view, Nisekoi is a solid example of the "rom-com" anime genre.
Is Nisekoi fun to watch and well-made? Yes.
Will I cherish the memory of watching this show like a childhood promise? No.
If every boring dude gets his own harem...then where's mine?
To say that Nisekoi has a story would be wrong, it's more like an excuse. An excuse that gets thrown out the window as quickly as possible. Actually, if you started watching halfway through, you would probably not even know about the lock and the keys. The forced couple-plot is also pushed aside more and more and only comes up again if needed for the next shenanigan. All the coincidences will stretch your suspension of disbelief and so will the behaviour of the characters (but that's a different point). Nisekoi is a vanilla harem and nothing
else. It has no compelling story, no development at all, no surprises, no conclusion, just the very, very basic stuff. That's not enough for the n-th harem anime, it has to have something...but it doesn't.
Nisekoi doesn't look bad, but seeing how it is a modern SHAFT anime, it is not as special as it could have been. Maybe that's an unfair assumption and they simply didn't want to go there. Solid, but not breathtaking.
Openings and endings were pretty forgettable, but that's often the case, so I won't hold it against Nisekoi. The voice acting was good, especially the main girls. I have somewhat of a crush on Kana Hanazawas voice.
Oh boy, here we go...The male lead is a generic idiot like in almost every other harem. He starts out liking only Onodera, but in the end he doesn't seem to care about her anymore and fully embraced the Chitoge route. Why? Chitoge is the basic tsundere love interest, though they forget the dere part untill the final two episodes, so I have absolutely NO idea why anybody (Raku as well as the viewers) would like her. All she says, all she does, she is just being a bitch with no reason. Anyway, how about the other girls? Onodera is a big ball of cuteness, but she is just as stupid as Raku. She takes every opportunity she gets to DENY her love for him. Wtf? Her friend even outright tells her that she's an idiot for not taking the chance, but that doesn't seem to help. Untill a certain point, such a behaviour is cute and funny, but Nisekoi crosses that line very fast. So we have two major contenders who have no right to win. Tachibana feels completely out of place. She appears out of nowhere and just interrupts what SHOULD have been a love triangle. She doesn't even feel like a main character, so why even have her? Tsugumi...well, she's as unimportant as any other side character two episodes after her introduction, so why is she even there? That makes a stupid ass hero (even for harem standards), two female main characters who don't get me to root for them at all and two more girls who add nothing to this anime. This cast is a complete failure and they make me not care about the outcome at all.
Some of you will think that I'm just hating on Nisekoi, but I'm not. I was preparing to like this show before I started watching, as the premise sounded interesting and I heard a lot of good things about it. And to be honest, I did enjoy it for the first couple of episodes. But the further the show gets, the more I got angry about it. In the end it made me so angry that I couldn't watch any more anime for the rest of the day after watching an episode of Nisekoi. And that's sad.