Picture this: you’re a normal high school boy, son of a yakuza boss, when one day you’re forced to date a girl you hate, later finding out you have a fiance (who is probably the closest thing I’ve seen to a yandere in a comedy) all while trying to find the time to confess to your crush and finding the girl you made a promise so many years ago with and you can’t even remember what she looks like. Nisekoi’s second season Nisekoi: (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, please just add a 2 not whatever symbol you think is cool that week) is now airing so I thought I’d take the time to review the first season so you can see if you’ll like it!
I gave the basic gist of the story in the opening but let’s get more in detail now. It starts with our protagonist Raku Ichijou remembering a promise he made with a girl many years ago but he can’t remember her name or what she looks like. All he has is a locket that he knows she holds the key to. As he’s walking to school a girl jumps over the fence and lands a perfect kick in his face (accidentally), she ends up transferring into Raku’s class and we learn her name is Chitoge Kirisaki. We’re also introduced to Kosaki Onodera, a girl Raku has known since middle school that he’s currently crushing on, Shuu Maiko, Raku’s best friend who plays the role of idiot but as demonstrated later, is actually far more clever than he appears and Ruri Miyamoto (no relation to Shigeru) who is Kosaki’s best friend and is intent on setting up Kosaki and Raku as we later find out, they are the only two that don’t seem to know they both like each other. Anyway, Chitoge and Raku start hating each other pretty quickly and that only escalates when it turns out Chitoge is the daughter of a leader of gangsters threatening war against Raku’s yakuza gang causing their parents to force them to pretend to date (as the gangs would never do something to ruin something the children care about apparently) and that’s where our title “False Love” comes from, however, Chitoge is clearly stated as “tsundere” so we know, it’s probably not staying as false for ever.
The other girls (that also develop relations with Raku) include the previously mentioned, yandere fiance, Marika Tachibana and Chitoge’s body guard, Seishirou Tsugumi. Neither are very major as Marika is introduced a couple episodes after the half-way point and Seishirou can’t make any moves on Raku (and is fighting her feelings) as long as she thinks Chitoge is actually dating him. So I mentioned earlier about a promise. We find out that Raku knew Chitoge, Kosaki and Marika all during the time he made the promise so you might think it would be easy to just ask which one had a key and made the promise the problem is, they all have a key and they all remember making a promise with a boy that year and they can’t check because as Raku and Chitoge were checking her key, she broke it and the locket is currently under repair. I’m going to have to stop here as Nisekoi takes a sort of “problem of the week” approach to its episodes to develop all the characters feelings and reveal information so I can’t get too deep into things without spoiling other events.
The visuals are all pretty to look at. Everything has a nice outline and all the characters look distinct enough. There are certain points when a filter is added (usually when we’re in someone’s thoughts) that looks nice. The animation is all fluid and this is probably one of the only harems I’ve seen that keep the panty shots and fan service on the down low. Of course we have the public bath episode and hot springs episode as well as a couple other moments but they seem more sprinkled in and help develop relationships instead of being there to attract more viewers.
Also good. The soundtrack was nice and the voice actors were all pretty good. I love how Marika’s voice actor goes from polite and lady-like to extremely loud and violent within a few seconds. Chitoge was probably my favourite voice though. I’m not sure why I just found it fit her character really well but the rest of the actors were definitely great as well.