Letdown. What.. A.. Letdown.
If you haven't watched season 1 of Nisekoi, and wish to see my review on the first season, here it is : https://myanimelist.net/reviews.php?id=241765
I assume you have watched season 1. I gave Nisekoi Season 1 a score of 7 because the concept was unique, and that drove my interest to continue watching the series, in hopes that some form of resolution would be achieved in the end. That didn't happen. No closure was achieved and the plot was left hanging.
That's why we have season 2 right? NOT AT ALL. I promise you, even if you watch season 2, the story only progresses by around 3%. It's obvious that Shaft is trying to milk this series by forcing a third season, but screw that. I can bet no fan has stayed on. Everyone has dropped Nisekoi, and for good reason. NOTHING HAPPENS.
STORY - 2/10
Ughh. I'm not gonna bother elaborating this too much. The story is dreadful for FOUR reasons.
First, NOTHING HAPPENS. Yes, That's right. There is no plot. The continuation of the concept from Season 1 didn't work because nothing happened. The love dispute continues. We have no clue who Raku made the promise to. In fact, the promise is only mention once in season 2. I'm not sure whether the producers forgot what the story was, or they stop caring entirely.
Second, POINTLESS FILLERS. Say what?? Fillers? But season 2 only has 12 episodes? Yes, exactly. With the limited episodes they have, and the dumb decision to fit in fillers, the plot completely stops moving. Not to mention, the filler was corny, and seemed like it was pulled out from a weirdo's fetish dream. MINOR SPOILER ALERT! (Skip to next paragraph to avoid reading the spoiler) It was about Magic girls or something. Go on. Check. This Anime never was meant to be a magic genre, but somehow, that filler was there.
Third, ANOTHER CHARACTER. *sigh*. There is a major problem when your original characters are already suffering from insufficient screentime. But introducing a new and extremely annoying character just killed it for me. The new character had ZERO relevance to the main plot, interacts with the hero for around only 4 episodes, only to drown in the background with the rest of the badly developed characters.
Fourth, and finally, FAN SERVICE TO OBVIOUSLY COVER FOR THE LACK OF SUBSTANCE. There you have it. They used the old tactic of fan service to distract you from realising that the story stopped moving. What's more, the fan service sucks too. It's not even something worth getting excited for.
ART - 8/10
BEAR IN MIND, EVALUATION OF QUALITY OF ART AND SOUND IS MADE INDEPENDENT FROM THE STORY (This means, the terrible story didn't affect the art and sound)
Okay. I'll be fair to this series and say, two aspects (Art and Sound) are the only thing worth praise in this Anime. I know that art is subjective and it depends on your preference, however, I will generally describe the artistic value of this piece as neutral as I may.
The characters are drawn well enough to draw out emotions and feelings from the viewers. For example, the girls in the Anime are drawn good enough for anyone to believe that this is what a 'beautiful' girl looks like.
The animation panels were consistence and the style didn't seem to deviate as the series progressed. The fluidity of each passing scene felt natural and worked well in telling the story.
The colours in the Anime are also not a problem. There were no blinding colours as observed in some bad Animation out there, (ahem, Pokemon) but were vibrant enough to keep the story alive, cheerful happy. This tone suits the story and didn't feel unnecessarily forced.
The backgrounds were to a certain extent good, but definitely not special. Not something worth remembering, and certainly doesn't make you pause the video and say, "wow". It's not bad though, I must say, as the backgrounds didn't interfere with the telling of the story.
SOUND - 8/10
First, let's talk about the opening themes. In my opinion, it was perfectly suited to the tone of the story. The cheerful, fast paced melody is in a way a metaphor to show the cheerful, ever-so-happy attitude of high school kids and the innocence of love. The opening themes might not land in everyone's Itunes playlists, but if you hear it, even once, you would already be able to guess what the story is about.
More importantly, the voice acting. BEAR IN MIND, I WATCHED THE ANIME IN JAPANESE AUDIO. The Japanese voice actors fit into their roles very well. In fact, the tones they had were appropriate to how their characters were portrayed in the series, so much so that you can easily tell apart who's voice belong to who even if the screen went black. Never in the series did the voice acting sound unusual, unnatural and forced. Not once. Kudos to the voice actors.
CHARACTER - 3/10
I always emphasize this : in any Animation series, we want ALL the major characters to grow as a person and reveal who they are as a person naturally, without forcing it. This means, we would like to observe how a character behaves, not be told how they behave. The development of some characters were severely lacking, and it was obvious too. I know that in any Harem, it's hard to balance the screentime of every girl, however, if the series were to introduce a major and important character so late into the series, and not bother to develop that character, they might as well not introduce the character at all. What's the point of having such an important character be unnaturally forced to fit into a plot if it just clutters everything and ruins the character as a person?
Plus, The new character was bloody annoying, when she wasn't meant to be. (Once you watch this series, you'll get it.)
ENJOYMENT - 4/10
The rule of thumb for any harem is this; You must have good plot OR you must have good fan service.
This series had none of those. It was difficult to watch this series. The only thing that kept me going was the desire to seek closure from season 1. (But in the end, I didn't get any closure)
I must say, Shaft really lives up to their bad reputation. This is the proof.