OP Sequence

OP: 「CLICK」 by ClariS

「ヤクソク」 (Yakusoku)

Nisekoi is a love-hate relationship.

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an understatement. Believe me when I say I love Komi Naoshi; he was one of my early mangakas when I was a kid some years back, and though I’ve read far better writers since, I’ve never forgotten the charm of his fantastical settings and plots. I remember being very upset when Double Arts was cancelled back in ’08 and enjoying his fun little one-shots, including the one that sparked Nisekoi the series. But the problem is, Komi Naoshi is pretty much the exact mangaka the manga Bakuman depicts in terms of how manga get serialized: he writes pretty good stuff, but WSJ is a tough market to stay afloat in. And if you don’t sell, well, you best try again. Preferably, with a new approach. Unfortunately for me, that meant losing the adventurous fantasy stuff and falling back on something much more familiar, a harem romance.

That’s not to say that Nisekoi is the most awful thing to grace the planet (it’s not), but it really can’t be counted as the best either. So I have to say I found myself rather surprised to see an anime adaptation; as far as I know, many readers of the manga have gotten rather angsty for things to stop going in circles since quite some time ago. I wasn’t sure how to feel about Shaft being behind it either, but not because it was a bad idea. This is definitely the kind of show that would fit with the Shaft touch, but personally I don’t love that directional style, so it had me even more conflicted. In other words, I have been looking forward to Nisekoi for the pretty basic reason that I’m loyal to Komi Naoshi and want to celebrate his first adaptation. So what does that mean for everyone who isn’t Kairi the reluctant pessimist?

It depends what you’re looking for.

If you like the manga, by all means watch the show; maybe you’ll like the Shaft style or maybe you’ll hate it, but this is pretty much the same material with wacky x2. You have the head tilts, the weird intercut scenes, text between dialogue, so on and so forth; there’s nothing hugely special about it as far as being unique or new, but it can be fun and quirky in some ways. As I’ve already said, I’m not a huge fan of what looks very much like Shinbou’s style, but I’m sure for others that’s a big plus. Nothing has really changed with the characters, for better or worse; Raku Ichijou (Uchiyama Kouki) is still a reluctant yakuza heir with an unwanted connection to angry and unfriendly gangster heiress Chitoge Kirisaki (Touyama Nao). Instant dislike between them only worsens the fact that they have to pretend to be in a relationship, especially when Raku already has a crush on the demure Kosaki Onodera (Hanazawa Kana) and has promised himself to a blurry memory of a childhood friend. It’s a pretty simple premise for a romance/harem, and noting the silhouttes in the OP, I can already tell there’s not going to be an alteration to the “harem” component.

If it’s something familiar and stylish you’re looking for, Nisekoi might be for you. There’s plenty of craziness (just look at Chitoge’s insane jumping skill and the yakuza fighting methods) even without Shaft, though the studio does help accent those qualities to a new level. It’s silly, it’s fairly interesting if it’s to one’s liking (it’s not for everyone, I can attest), and if you stick around long enough, there’s likely a few girls to root on; if that sounds like something you want in on, I suggest you try it for yourself.

Note: There are currently no immediate plans to cover Nisekoi on a weekly basis; check back on the schedule next week for any changes.

End Card


  1. I am so glad that it was SHAFT that picked up this anime adaptation, so glad…….they even gave the director which also directed the monogatari, mahou shoujo/sensei and a ClariS theme song, too.

  2. Like you Kairi I admire Komi Naoshi originality only to be smitten by the harsh manga market. I kept reading the chapters Nisekoi hoping that spark he has to spin this manga into something unique but he is sticking to the gun tropes on this one. It frustrates me as the manga kept going into romantic circles that I gave up on the story. Watching the 1st episode just reminds me how dislikeable and bossy Chitoge Kirisaki and to see it all over again just makes me drop on the 1st episode. Though for newcomers I think I can recommend since they may or may not have gone through the trials like Love Hina or Ichigo 100.

    1. It really is hard to keep reading and hoping it will stop going in circles, every revelation so far has only seemed to go back in circles: “wait it can’t have been x girl, x girl was y! Oh no wait, she actually wasn’t y, so she’s still in the running folks! Oh and next week we’ll have a NEW girl!”

      1. The issue with the manga market is precisely why this is going in circles. The story of Nisekoi probably has a good ending planned, and that ending probably involves the protagonist ending the harem nonsense decisively.

        But the manga sells well, so it needs to be prolonged as much as possible. And unfortunately, prolonging it means throwing every harem cliche around in every combination imaginable, which might be bad if the audience were more diverse, but the current market will buy this stuff no matter how many times a cliche is repeated. As long as it’s harem, it doesn’t matter.

        I guess manga just can’t always be as amazingly straightforward as Kimi wa Midara na Boku no Joou. This example is a little extreme (in more NSFW ways that one – it is a seinen romance manga), but it would be great to see a quick pace like that more often.

    2. originality only to be smitten

      I know right? I loved Komi’s Island, Williams, and Personant one shots. And among them, Nisekoi was the one that sells well. I’m happy that he got his big break, but it’s a shame his creativity gets stomped down by (so I hear) his editors and the market.


    Nisekoi starts off decent and shows some promise in the beginning, but after the arc with Chitoge’s mother in the manga, Nisekoi turns into one of the most hamfisted, cliche-ridden, pieces of hogshit ever. Currently it has reached the point of becoming one of the worst fucking manga ever made. I’M NOT TROLLING. This is a sincere, heartfelt warning from someone who suffered reading this bullshit. If SHAFT and Shinbo have any sense of decency, they will end the anime after the Romeo and Juliet arc in the manga and perhaps just make an OVA out of Chitoge’s mom’s arc. It really gets THAT bad. You may think it’s decent right now, but it turns into ABSOLUTE SHIT. THIS IS MY ONE AND ONLY WARNING FOR ALL OF YOU.

      1. That is a subjective opinion on your part. Nisekoi OBJECTIVELY turns into komodo dragon shit. Bleach may not be at its best compared to Soul Society, but Kubo at least puts effort into his work. While the pacing may suck and shit takes forever to actually happen, the story actually goes places and the artwork for characters and fight scenes still look great. Nisekoi on the other hand you can tell the author isn’t even trying. Naoshi Komi has turned Nisekoi into “cliche side story of the week” format and ends up pretty much forgetting about the gang war between Raku and Chitoge’s families.

        Of course, if we’re talking about the one series that started off good and eventually crashed and burned into the most insufferable piece of shit ever, then the true winner of that award is Naruto.

        In short, read better shonen manga like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and SHAFT should’ve animated Shokugeki no Soma instead of Nisekoi.

      2. I actually agree with “turned Nisekoi into “cliche side story of the week” format and ends up pretty much forgetting about the gang war between Raku and Chitoge’s families” because in my opinion, the story (is now) going nowhere and has nothing (actually few) to do with pendant-key part but raising flags with the heroines

        but i still optimistic with the story because i love their characteristics.

    1. I’ve seen a few people speak of this series as such and even at a 1st glance it doesn’t look like a show that would do too well if dragged on for too much. Personally,I’d see it at it’s best in a 1-cour but I heard it’s 2.

      We’ll have to see for ourselves though – maybe they’ll have some anime original episodes to boot. For now,this premiere was pretty solid.

      1. Still,I’ll take this warning and not expect too much from this show – if it manages to surprise,then props to it. I admit that I was getting I was getting a bit hyped up about it after this premiere,thinking it might be something pretty damn good.

        I try to be cautious & let shows surprise me but when some actually do,I tend to let my guard down in the next season,then put it back up when I inevitably get disappointed and so on. It’s an endless cycle!

    2. While I wont agree its terrible the fact is once it drops the gang war down to a small reminder it does lose its most interesting plot point. Its kinda sad when the most interesting part of the manga was the One Shot not the serialization.

    3. what did you have against KOMODO dragon , don’t compare nise-koi to that, this shafty version of nisekoi is pleasant but i agree that to love ru is better than nisekoi now, btw at 18-19 min isn’t that ost remind you of DEAR YOU song from hikurashi , damn it’s like they are teasing me , “hora hora they are all gonna die, heaven you see is hell in disguise kind of feel!

  4. I am very pleased to hear the SHAFT is animating Nisekoi. Can’t say it was really up to par with their usual quirky yet beautiful artistic elements, but it was pretty nice. Particulary the opening scene.

    But to comment on what you said about Komi Naoshi: I do agree that this is a prime example of what Bakuman had exemplified over and over. It’s a shame to never know what the series could have been back when he was creating manga in the sci-fi/fantasy and adventurous genre (I also read all of his oneshots and Double Arts). I gave the series a chance with 55 chapters and took a break from it since then. Hopefully SHAFT can make me want to give the series a chance again.

    SHAFT will probably stay close to the manga. Like you said, although the story is the worst, it definitely isn’t the best.

    1. Also… It’s a little awkward for me to keep thinking of Sengoku Nadeko instead of Onodera. Too bad that Hanazawa Kana didn’t voice act differently from Nadeko since I’m still thinking of the Monogatari Series from last season.

  5. I had my doubts about SHAFT handling it, but I quite liked the first episode. I think that on some scenes the style came as a little jarring at first because I wasn’t expecting it, but they made the anime graphically interesting and pleasant to look at. You can see the traces of their previous work with moody aesthetic in Bakemonogatari and Madoka Magica. I think the visual richness they worked in it gives a nice touch to the anime. The music and voice casting is also pretty good.

    Also, hah, it seems they’re keeping the glorious facial expressions from the manga. This pleases me greatly. Those will be hilarious to see.

  6. This show kind of leaves me with mixed feeling. Personally, I love Shaft’s style, so the zany antics of the main characters are certainly lively. I can’t say I was ever bored watching this, and it hits a lot of the right notes.

    Except one, of course, because the story is stupidly cliché’d. And hearing the reactions of manga readers, it’s not going to subvert that later either. Oh well. I’ll give it the three-episode rule for now. Most likely the show will cut off before the manga reaches its apparent worst part anyway, so I might as well watch this adaptation instead of ever bothering with the original work.

    1. For me, whether I can enjoy a show that doesn’t immediately grab me and for which the main plot doesn’t go anywhere often depends on whether or not the character interactions get a lot better after the full cast is introduced.

      Seto no Hanayome is an extremely relevant example here: the yakuza hijinks and mermaid puns were wearing thin after a couple episodes, but then they introduced an eccentric rich wimp male love rival, an onna bugeisha assassin, a genki police officer wannabe girl, a swirly glasses / secret beauty deredere class rep, etc., and I loved it.

  7. I took the manga for this series to be a sort of never ending light hearted harem type series, that didn’t always take itself too seriously. Maybe the anime adaptation will go through the story line in a more escalated manor.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  8. It is only my insane like for Chitoge that I’m even sticking around for the manga chapters and the anime. Sometimes the chapters are good or great, then they go to stupid filler chapters that don’t progress anything at all (despite having humor). I can’t bring myself to quit this manga because I’m still clinging onto the hope that they will SOMEHOW progress the plot and maybe reveal who the mystery girl is. I wish this manga was going somewhere, otherwise my time and energy is just wasted.

  9. For those who complain about this series dragging on too much. Isnt this simply the nature of Jump Comics. I mean for those who have read their manga like bleach, naruto or even (if not limited to) one piece, that is just how they function. In fact this whole thing is even explained in another one their mangas(Bakuman. Jump simply has a habit of making their mangakas continue their stories for extremely long time wether it makes sense or not and as long as it does not go beyond a certain level of popularity its fine with them. Thats why its safe to assume that as long as this manga is published in Jump this pattern is going to follow.
    This is just my opinion and i know it will differ but rather than telling others not to watch a show out of your own distaste let them think for themselves and if they get tired they can quit themselves.

  10. Spoiler: This series is pathetic. It tried to be the next Love Hina, but all it did was spiraled into a nauseating mess of “Will the promise girl be so and so this week?” plot. There is no long term intersting plot, as the “Who is the girl?” plot gets played out quick. Eventually, you won’t even give a damn about the promise and start wanting to see the characters do something more than just the usual high school anime antics.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  11. Haven’t read the manga, but I like it =) I don’t mind the Shaft style because I think it makes this romcom more unique than other ones. I also think the story’s a little cliche, but somehow still very addictive and I’d stick around to see who’s the “actual childhood friend”. Haven’t found a romcom that I’m loving this much (after the first ep) in a long time so yay! ^^

  12. I read nisekoi since chapter 1. I can tell you this. When it comes to the romantic elements and character dynamics… it’s done pretty well… for the first 20 chapters.
    Character motivations are done well, character interactions are done well. The main character treats the bitch like a bitch unless she’s not acting like a bitch. That’s rare for some reason.

    Anyways, I’d place high expectations on this anime since I know the manga starts off on all the good notes.

    It turns to shit. Like a steaming pile of shit so bad it can be smelt from across the galaxy.

    Also, not all shounen jump manga turn to shit. Hunter X Hunter’s always been good, and Psyren ended really strong.

  13. I . . surprisingly kinda liked this first episode. What made me even surprised is, i initially came into this show with extremely low expectation and the first episode managed to be lower than that and yet i was still able to get some enjoyment from it. I mean, characters-wise, plot-wise, and romance-wise, this series is absolutely generic. It’s derivative of derivative and you could probably find countless romcom that use the very same formula without additional ingredients elsewhere. Granted, i generally find most romcom LN adaptations generic, but many of them are actually trying to be different (though more often than not they often end up being banal or just utterly stupid), such as Noucome with “Absolute Choices” and BakaTest with “Shoukanjuu” thing. Nisekoi, on the other hand, doesn’t have any overwhelming point to differentiate itself from its predecessors. It doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is. It’s no more than plain bread. What made this episode particularly exceptional for me, however, is the extreme upgrade from Shinbo’s bizarre visuals and animation. Which gave the plain bread an appropriate fruit jam and thus, tastes delicious.

    Quite frankly, almost all of Shinbo’s previous works never worked well for me (except Madoka Magica), because, well, series such as Monogatari and Zetsubou-sensei often pretend to be more than what they are and often trying too hard with their jampacked dialogues. Add with Shinbou’s visual, they just end up tasting messy instead. To be frank, i find series like Nisekoi that doesn’t pretend to be anything and more straightforward suit Shinbou’s style more than anything else.

    1. Not sure it’s entirely Shinbo’s fault that Monogatari and Zetsubou Sensei seemed over-the-top, since the source material itself is just as mindblowingly filled with wordplay and subculture references everywhere. It’s like Einstein meeting Newton, you either get it or you don’t.

      But yes, I agree somewhat the more subtle approach suits Shinbo better, as seen with Hidamari Sketch. Madoka Magica managed some sort of middle ground between the two extremes of his styles.

  14. Nisekoi got Monogatari-ed.

    I was reminded of Monogatari with each scene, truly the real SHAFT experience and style.

    But I can’t help that it’s inappropriate for Nisekoi. I mean, Nisekoi is supposed to be that generic highschool harem romance and I was thinking of Silver Link for this series.

    Oh well, it’s still good, in a way. 8/10.

  15. Shinbo’s approach to this series feels more like Hidamari Sketch than Bakemonogatari or Zetsubou Sensei – the former focuses more on colours while the latter on text and wordplay. In either case, people either like it or they hate it.

    I’ve not picked up a Jump series ever since giving up on Naruto and Bleach ages ago (I got too old), maybe occasionally popping by just to oogle at the perverted antics in the latest ToLoveRu Darkness OVA episode (even that series no longer felt like a typical Shonen Jump series ever since moving to the slightly more mature audience oriented Jump Square).

    I’m only here because I’m interested in seeing what Shinbo could bring to the table with what seems to be a generic source material (based on readers’ comments above).

  16. Here as an Onodera fan.~

    And yes, Nisekoi anime is almost the same as Nisekoi manga with a mix of SHAFT & familiar seiyuus in it. So, all have so far met my expectations.

    The only bit of quirk i see is in the OP… Onodera not even having her spotlight alone in the OP?! I mean, as an Onodera fan, I want her to be seen as an equal with Chitoge. And that is the only problem I see here. She hasn’t been treated as an equal, more like the inferior type.

    Read the manga and you’ll understand. I’m kinda interested in what kind of ending SHAFT will pull, since there doesn’t seem to be a conclusion in the manga. Show Spoiler ▼

    Red HeartGold ZX
    1. As of this moment I’m not planning to, but I’m checking out more series this week before I decide if I want to take anything new on. Like I said, keep an eye out on the schedule, I’m not the only writer making up minds yet~

  17. I’m happy that Komi Naoshi’s finally getting an anime, even if it’s for one of the weakest stories he has written (should’ve been Double Arts!). Nisekoi drags a lot sometimes, but I really like Chitoge. She’s the only girl who actually improves with time.

  18. I like it! The art and animation is quite restrained vs usual Shaft trippy standards. Remember that they also did Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru and Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko which for me their most restrained projects.

    And I like the manga despite some commentators here, my expectations in it were not for plot or story but on character interactions and comedy. Remember that this was tagged as Slice & life and these typically does not have any semblance of a plot, just characters doing their thingy, cute girls doing cute things, etc.

    Also, Marika’s Parrot is Best Nisekoi Chara!!

  19. I am so sick and tired of Shaft’s sparkles. Keep that crap in the monogatari series, and give us something normal for a change.

    Incidentally, did you also read Mx0 as well Kairi?

  20. While there won’t be a definitive ending, the screencap from the ED shows how they might end it – and it would be a cliffhanger if that were the case.

    Note: I haven’t read the manga, so it was just a guess and we don’t know when (and if) they will divert from the manga for the final episode.

  21. I’ve found the manga for Nisekoi rather pointless and boring lately, however, I thought this episode was pretty fresh and well done.

    My highest hopes would be for the manga to finish simultaneously with the anime (2 cour i think) and that shaft will focus more on the plot-driven/non-filler arcs/chapters and end with an actual ending where the pendent stuff is SOLVED. Since in the 1st ep of anime raku mentions how it leads to unlock the secret of his pendent, IT BETTER BE FUCKING UNLOCKED. On the other hand, if my highest hopes are not met, this series will probably be as dissappointing to me as the manga.

  22. This is already giving me Love Hina vibes. Chitoge is, just like Kirino, the descendant of Naru Narusegawa, and I fucking hate her already. Who invented this style of comedy of unfunny violence from females towards males? They really need to slap his or herself.

    Unless there is a Manami/ Kanako Urashima character that beats the shit out of Chitoge at least once, I’m dropping this anime. There are way better romcoms out there from this season of anime alone.

    1. This style of comedy of violent females is an absolute staple of a “Wolf-Girl.” A popular subtype of “tsundere”. And mind you it isn’t going anywhere, so you might as well steer clear of shows that feature girls with this personality trait.

      More details on WG tsundere, here: http://prntscr.com/2j79ya

      And don’t worry, you have a very valid point. Not everyone likes the MC being punched around by vicious, barbaric females.

      Helvetica Standard
  23. The anime doesn’t feel right…. A lot of little things felt off. Jokes I like from the manga like the animal care scenes got 3 short static screens hardly anyone would notice. Raku’s house was huge in the manga, but it looks like a gigantic palace in the anime, same with the school, which was ordinary school in manga, but become some luxurious resort thing in anime.

    It just felt off, may be it’s my prejudice from having read the manga affecting my judgement.

    1. I can’t identify with either of those. The school felt like a school that we’ve seen in many manga before, and the house felt like your typical Yakuza-esque house. Then again, I didn’t read the manga, so I have no material to compare it to.

  24. Just watched this today and…..

    (/) SHAFT pan up shot
    (/) SHAFT head tile
    (/) SHAFT quality
    (/) SHAFT dichotomising viewers
    (/) Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
    (/) Monogatari vibe
    (/) SEngoku Nadeko


  25. Eternal harems get the moniker “Tenchi Syndrome” after Tenchi Muyo!, which, while being a pioneer (pun intended) in the genre, also started the annoying trend of their NOT being an ending at all, much less one where the protagonist ended up with any girl.

    I didn’t read the manga, and have only watched a few episodes, but Nisekoi seems great, the characters are likable, and the show keeps the comedy going.

    The bad part is, we already know from the manga, that the show could go on for many, many, many, many, many seasons and there would still be no chance for the protagonist in sight. Not just that there is no conclusion, but not even a chance that he would wind up with ONE girl, or even get closer to Chitoge or Onodera, even if just slightly.

    I can only guess that just isn’t just the marketing to milk a franchise for every volume that can be sold, but it’s what the Mangaka who make this stuff think their readers want, and it sure seems to be the case if people keep buying it.

    Maybe it speaks to a desire in Japanese society where people want to be stuck in an eternal loop in their high school years, but I think it’s more a product of a certain type of cruel producer/marketer that wants readers/viewers to just keep buying even though each chapter is just a rehash that never goes anywhere.

    Personally, I think it’s annoying as hell and gets too frustrating to watch after awhile, you just feel like a sucker who is taking the bait. I also think it shows contempt for the readers/viewers and the characters. If you care about your audience, and your characters, you want them to be happy. I’m all for long-running series, but there’s very few like Nisekoi that ever conclude – they either keep going, or only end mid-series when the author dies or just quits working on the series completely – leaving it unfinished.

    Amagami SS was hugely popular, so it’s not like the market is only for harems where nothing happens.

    A. Crush

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