OP: 「Rally Go Round」 by LiSA
“From Now On / Please Notice”
The Plot, Or Lack Thereof:
The first season of Nisekoi was, for the most part, a weird combination that worked. I’m a long-time manga reader, so I was happy to see it getting adapted, but I’d never been too fond of SHAFT, so I didn’t know how it would shape up. Thankfully, the SHAFT aesthetic wasn’t too blinding, and I would say it gave the series an extra flavour that the manga didn’t have – whether that be a good or bad flavour, is up for you all to decide. I knew that Nisekoi: was going to look and act just the same, but I also knew that the time for plot-twist and the focus on the girl with the destined key was coming to a halt. The girls have their keys ready, and Ichijou has his locket, but there’s always going to be an excuse or something to preventing us from getting the answers – we saw that in this episode, and expect to see it in every other episode that brings up the underlying plot that made Nisekoi so enjoyable. From here on out, don’t anticipate answers to plot. For the most part, what you’re going to get is plotless episodes focusing on a different girl each time, with the chance of some character arcs and new introductions occurring along the way.
Funny Faces and Hints of Romance:
This first episode took that expected formula, and applied it to Chitoge (Touyama Nao). We saw two of her chapters adapted, despite them being a fair distance from one another in the original timeline – but as I expected, SHAFT is going to play around with the order of things so they can cherry-pick the chapters they feel like adapting. I’m sure if Chitoge is your favourite of the gang then this episode worked for you – as for me, and anyone else who doesn’t love this blonde haired tsundere, well, we’ll just have to wait until the focus shifts for the better next week. I will admit, despite Chitoge being my least favourite characters of the series, she is more likeable once she’s animated, and her faces are hilarious, I cannot deny that. Otherwise, I didn’t care much for the episode. It looked pretty good (despite me being iffy about SHAFT’s style) and it made me snicker a few times, but once the hints of romance kicked in between them I wanted to close my eyes and pretend it wasn’t happening. And thankfully, the show will do just the same next week… and the week after. You get the point?
While the first season was filled with turns and twists to keep us on our toes – not knowing who was going to be the promised girl – this second season is going to be more about the ‘Girl of the Week’. It was already happening, but now that there’s no overarching plot to keep us focused on, it’s just going to be a battle for fanservice when each girl gets their episode and their respective fans proclaim them as the best. I may have problems with Nisekoi’s story approach, but even I can’t escape this pitfall. Whenever the my favourite appears, I’m going to be very pleased to see her, and will enjoy that episode a lot more than the others. Onodera (Hanazawa Kana) has always been my favourite – I just find her crush on Ichijou very sweet, as I do with his, but even that can’t last forever, right? I also like Ruri and Marika a bunch, so I’ll be happy enough to watch their episodes. As for Chitoge? Not for me, I’m afraid. I’ve had enough with typical tsunderes for a lifetime, thanks. But who is your best girl, if you have one? Will you be only tuning in on their episodes, or will you be rooting for all of them equally?
Overview – What’s Next?:
Nisekoi: was pretty much what I expected in this first episode. From what I’ve heard, it seems like we may only have a 12 episode run this time around, so I don’t know if we will even see the more important character arcs get adapted. Wait and see, I suppose. What you can expect is the introduction of the new girls that were shown in the opening. Some of them are fun, others feels completely filler, but then again that is what Nisekoi has become. If you’re still watching at this point, you just have to accept what we’re going to be given here.
Full-length images: 11.
Note: There are currently no plans to cover Nisekoi: weekly.