When Raku Ichijou was young, he made a heartfelt promise to his childhood friend that if they were to meet again, they would marry each other. Ten years have passed since that fateful day, leaving Raku's memory of her faded. But he still holds a relic of their relationship together—a locked pendant, which his childhood friend holds the key to. He hopes to reunite with her one day, despite not remembering what she looks like.
Now a first-year student at Bonyari High School, Raku attempts to live a normal life, dreaming of becoming a public servant and marrying his crush Kosaki Onodera. However, this isn't as easy as it seems, as he is the unwilling heir to a large yakuza family, and Raku can't escape from his duties when the American Bee Hive gang wages war on his family's turf. In order to forge peace between the two feuding families, Raku is forced into a fake romantic relationship with Chitoge Kirisaki, the beautiful daughter of the Bee Hive's leader. The two quickly come to hate each other, but have to learn to live together and pretend to be deeply in love in order to keep their families at bay.
However, Raku's quest for the key to his pendant isn't becoming easier as more girls—who were all involved with his pendant in some way—enter his life. Join Raku as he juggles his false relationship, maintains the balance between warring families, and unravels the identity of the girl who will unlock his heart.
Nisekoi was published in English as Nisekoi: False Love by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump imprint from January 7, 2014 to January 2, 2018. It has been published in Italian by Star Comics since March 1, 2014; in Spanish by Ivrea since April 4, 2015; and in Indonesian by Elex Media.
Before I say anything else, I should clarify that a 6/10 score doesn't mean this manga isn't worth reading. 6/10 is "fair" and that is exactly what this manga is at this point. Secondly, I feel like I really have to give two scores for Nisekoi:
For the first 45-50 chapters:
Genuine plot progression and character development, decent romance, and the feeling that the story was building upon itself. This part of Nisekoi is highly enjoyable and is the section currently being covered by anime Shaft is producing. It's a rom-com at its finest and gets a solid 8/10.
The problem starts after that....unless you like 60(sorry, did
I say 60? I meant 160) chapters of filler. Gone is the character development, gone is the hilarious approach to love, in is an ever-growing harem of girls we know won't win and the abuse of gags. What starts as a truly entertaining love triangle blossoms into a nauseating dodecahedron with all the depth of a bath tub. It's like the manga is an airplane that has stalled and is now plummeting downwards, getting closer to a wreck by the week. With the latest girl added to the harem: the onee-san ninja chinese gangster who Raku happens to know, it is obvious the author is suffering from PSOOYA disease, a terrible conditions many writers suffer from. That is, "Pulling Shit Out Of Your Ass" My current score for chapters 55-current(118) is about 4/10, and that's being generous to say the least.
To understand why Nisekoi's plot goes off the rails and is replaced by bland moe-blobbery on a weekly basis, you have to understand two things. First; this is a manga that is published in Shonen jump, where long serialization is more important than development. Second: the demographic reading it doesn't give a shit. The popular vote for favorite character is very telling to the kind of people reading this in Japan, but I'll get to that later.
Starts off with an unoriginal but fun premise and is, for the first part at least, very well done. It would have a higher score if it had progressed an inch in 60 chapters.
While the art in Nisekoi can vary slightly, it always seems to get its point across perfectly. As much as I hate what has been drawn recently(moe,moe,moe!) it always does a very good job at representing characters and their emotions. No complaints here.
"Five out of ten in a series based off its characters! Sacrilege!" is probably what the die hard fanboys are thinking right now, but with no development whatsoever in any character apart from Chitoge that is what they deserve. For starters, let's look at the MC.
Raku: Typical dense MC. Is at his most interesting/least cliche when dealing with Chitoge, but becomes a flat character when dealing with just about any other girl. Has a case of convenient amnesia.
Chitoge: First girl bias, incoming. A lot of people brand her as the "typical tsundere/bipolar" but her being cold to Raku initially shouldn't be surprising considering the premise. She hates Raku at the beginning but is forced to act all lovey-dovey when others are around, so of course she comes across as bipolar: that's the "joke". She's the only girl with some proper backstory and that has some level of depth to her character, but that's largely because she's the only one that went through non-contrived development.
Onodera: Fan-boys are going to flame the crap out of me for this, but she is your run of the mill cutesy girl character. A lot of people prop her up as "pure" but the truth is she's annoyingly indecisive and mind-numbingly boring. If you have a hard-on for shy girls and have never been in any sort of relationship in your life she's going to be your favorite character because that is her entire appeal. Surprise surprise, she's the most popular character in Japan.
Ruri: Best female character? Maybe. It seems side-characters are the only ones with heads on their shoulders in this series and in Ruri's case this is extremely apparent.
Shuu: Best male character? Definitely. He isn't dense and he's generally extremely fun to watch.
The rest of the harem: You'll fall in love with Marika if you stalkers who hold onto a love from when they were five years old and are ready to rip couples apart to get it back. "She deserves Raku the most" is a bit half-arsed when she doesn't know jack-shit about the current Raku and none of us know anything about her apart from the fact that she's pretty, talks like a redneck, and wants to marry Raku. She'd be a lot more likable if she'd been introduced slowly. Tsugumi plays her role well but her character development was contrived as it gets "he called me cute, character 180 time!". I'm not even going to get into the others, because we don't know enough about Chinese-teacher-don-nee-chan yet and I don't even want to get started on the little sister.
The 'fake love' between Chitoge and Raku is really the highlight of this manga.
For the same reasons as I put on "story", 8/10 for the first half and 6/10 for the second half, respectively.
If within the next 20-30 chapters there is a sign that this manga is once more moving towards an ending it will go back up to a 7-8. At this point in time I don't recommend reading it because I'm not sure how the authors going to do it, but I can guarantee to you if you hear that Nisekoi got a "harem end" it's NOT worth the read.
After literally years it has ended. Years of filler. Honestly, give this thing a shot for the first few chapters and if you don't like the characters a LOT by the 50s or 60s, drop it. Not worth it otherwise. Ending was ok at least.
Mod Edit: This review may contain spoilers.
The thing that I loathe the most is when a harem story doesn't have a harem ending or at least an open ending. I mean, why the hell make a harem manga if you are not even gonna stick to it till the end? I know Polygamy is illegal in real life, but isn't that reason why we read or watch anime/manga? Yes, as you can see I am feeling super salty right now. It is like watching one of those horrible NTR hentai because I didn't get my favorite ship, and why the hell not? When you read
a harem story where every girl is giving an equal amount of effort. My main beef is that don't make a harem story if you are gonna at least show us a harem ending. I mean, hell even an Open ending is perfectly fine where everyone is running after MC on some sunny beach and credits roles, then it leaves it to your imagination.
Plot- The story started out really good. I still remember it when it had only 13 chapters and I thought, wow this looks really good that has great rom-com with decent amount of lovable characters, but it went hell after something like 100 chapters. It just got so repetitive and cringy, I guess I have to blame the big hype and popularity that this series got over the years that Author milked the shit out of this. I mean, you can already predict with whom our Dense MC is gonna go out with, within the first 10 chapters, but it far-stretched to 226 chapters, and going through the last arc is like self-torture, SO MUCH PAIN, SO MUCH CRYING, SO MUCH BREAK UPS. It was god-awful, seeing them leaving one by one, but I still hold on to that tiny bit of silver lining, and boy, did I regret so much. I should have dropped it long time ago, now that I am suffering from the aftermath which is gonna remain for weeks.
Characters-The only character that I supported is Marika, why? Because she is the only woman who is straightforward and doesn't wuss out when it comes to confession unlike other females in this story which are your generic stereotype tsundere that drags the arc till the end. As for Raku, holyshit. He is the fucking worst Main Character I have ever seen. He takes denseness to whole new level and the most terrible part that he goes through no growth until the very last arc which felt like Tom and Jerry Chase all around the world. If only he had man the fuck up, things might have gone much better.
Art:- I guess this is the strongest point of the manga, and the main reason for the popularity? Because I believe Author focused more on the moe moe and kawaii shit of the females and polished their personalities through the series instead of the important issues that this story suffers from.
Enjoyment:- The only redemption is that thankfuck everyone moved on at the end because they seriously don't deserve an indecisive guy like Raku. Shuu is much better and has the balls to get the job done. He should have NTR'd him long time ago :D Oh Damn, we are going side-track here. Do yourself a favor and read Nisenisekoi which is much better than this whole train wreck.
Well now that Nisekoi is finished I can review it and explain why you shouldn't read it.
Story : 6/10
The story is great. It's well paced during all the chapters and feels natural. It has arcs dedicated to specific characters that develops the characters and progresses the story...
...Or at least it was great until chapter 200. Komi clearly rushed the final chapters, you can see that in multiple aspects. At the chapters 180-200, Komi completely abandoned several characters in terms of development, such as Yui, and Onodera. Yes, the other main girl, Onodera, stopped being developed somewhere around the chapter 190.
[Spoilers] The complete switch of
sides from Raku also felt incredibly unnatural. Even though Onodera would have never won, I'd at least expect some sort of reaction from her other than just dealing with the fact that her best friend just stole her love. Naturally, when a person loses something or is rejected in love, they feel sad or angry, even if that person is very kind, something that Onodera does not do.
Art : 7/10
The art is very good. Komi's art style is one of the best art styles I have ever seen. The art is very detailed too.
... Or at least it was until chapter 210, where it started to feel rushed and lazy. The deciding chapters 226 through 228 looked awful. Chitoge was drawn in such a sluggish manner.
Character : 1/10
The more I read Nisekoi, the more I realized how unnatural the characters are. Raku is literally a rock, Chitoge is an unlikable hyperactive ape, Onodera is way too kind to Raku and Chitoge, Yui serves no point in the story and Marika is way too farfetched and unnatural. So that leaves Tsugumi, who I find to be the best character in the manga, Ruri who isn't really that present and Shuu.
Enjoyment : 5/10
The manga was amazing at first. Then great. Then good. Then ok I guess. If I was to mark only the ending, it would have been 1/10, but taking in consideration the rest of the manga, that I actually enjoyed, the mark elevates to 5/10.
Overall : 5/10
Nisekoi isn't terrible, nor is it good. It's somewhat in between that I would not recommend reading since there are plenty other manga out there that are more worth reading than Nisekoi
I think a pretty clear sign that a manga hasn't had the best writing is when you have a story with probably the most heated waifu war in recent memory, yet even the supporters of the winning side generally seem to agree that the story sucks. That's Nisekoi for you.
The biggest problem with Nisekoi overall has quite simply been its progression, or rather its lack of it. Seriously, why did this manga need to be 229 chapters long? You could easily have accomplished just as much in less than half of that. The sheer amount of filler, wasted opportunities at romantic progression and plot conveniences
is almost unacceptable. But despite everything, Nisekoi has still managed to stay somewhat entertaining throughout at the very least.
For what it's worth, I really think Nisekoi did have an interesting premise for a romcom. The idea of having a guy and a girl being forced to pretend to be a couple even though they don't actually like each other led to a ton of great comedy moments early on, and for the first few dozen chapters it's a really solid manga. But past a certain point it just feels like the story flatlines completely. I'm not sure if the author is to blame or if it's Weekly Shounen Jump for wanting to milk the series as much as possible (probably both), but either way between roughly chapters 100 and 200, basically *nothing* happens in this manga. The jokes and usage of clichés keep going in circles, repeating the same events over and over again. There is no trace of progression in terms of either plot or romance, and it's pretty hard to keep caring about the characters anymore.
Speaking of which, the characters aren't exactly a whole lot better either, which is pretty ironic given how dedicated the fan bases of many of them are. Raku is denser than anything on the periodic table. How he consistently fails to notice any of these girls' feelings after all the things they put him through is so far-fetched it barely even feels realistic. I guess you could argue that he's too blinded by his supposed love for Kosaki to notice anyone else, but there's a line to be crossed here. Also, the so-called mutual affection between the two of them is some of the most awkward writing I've ever had to sit through reading. Seriously, these two have been in love with each other for so many years already, yet they are both completely incapable of making a move on the other no matter how many golden opportunities the manga provides for them. Especially Kosaki who has a ton of love rivals is the one you'd think really ought to step up but instead she's basically a doormat throughout the entire story. Chitoge on the other hand is probably the only character who actually has somewhat decent writing as she actually changes over time, going from full violent gorilla mode in the beginning to a rather sensitive and kindhearted girl towards the end. But even so it doesn't change the fact that this could easily have been accomplished in half the time. And then there are all the other girls that join in on the love rivalry over the course of time such as Tsugumi, Marika, Haru and Yui, but it's painfully obvious from the start that they're never going to have a chance at winning the race, and it really just feels like the author threw them into the harem because he could. Their sheer existence is ultimately nothing but fanservice.
And then... there's the whole "promised girl" aspect. This seriously has to be one of the most awkwardly executed plot mechanics I've ever seen in a romcom. Raku has a pendant which supposedly contains the memories of his "promised girl" from his childhood, and it just so happens that he doesn't have the key to it, and it just so happens that all the girls all seem to possess similar keys that might fit the lock, and it just so happens that despite realizing this they don't unlock the damn thing until close to the end of the manga, and they all just so happen to be connected to whatever happened in the past yet none of them actually remember it, and... I feel like I could go on forever. Why. Is. It. All. So. Convenient? This seriously made me cringe so hard whenever it was brought up. It's neither funny, romantic or emotional. It's just incredibly dumb, through and through.
While the manga eventually picks up pace again around chapter 200 and then keeps it up for what little is left before the end, it sadly remains as predictable and cliché as ever even when the plot progression is trucking along and it eventually culminates in a rather average ending. Not terrible by any means, but certainly nothing impressive either. And in the end I just can't help but ask what the point of this whole manga was? It started out great, but before long stagnated into nothingness and then climaxes in a predictable ending that might as well have happened before the stagnation even took place. Nisekoi literally could have ended over 2 years ago and it'd probably have been a better manga than it now is.
In the end though, I still can't make myself hate this manga. Why? Well despite everything I never really found it straight-up boring or filled with plot holes or anything like that; it's just painfully average. Everything about this manga bar the start is either cliché or just... meh. And whilst being meh certainly doesn't make it anything I'd recommend people, it's not total garbage either.
But hey, if nothing else Nisekoi has undoubtedly cemented its position as yet another classic meme in the anime/manga industry, so I guess that'll make people remember it at least.
We love cute couples and following the development of their relative relationships in our favorite manga series. But let's turn up the heat, and see what happens when characters have more than a singular love interest. Let's enter the wild world of the harem manga!
Love anime characters with long hair? So do we! In this collection of long-haired anime characters, we feature a wide range of well-known individuals, from Sesshoumaru to Chitoge, with different backgrounds and personalities. Rankings are based on the amount of Favorites on MAL.