Anime Reporter brings the word on Nisekoi: False Love Season 01 Part 1 (episodes 11-20). If you like what you read or just like collecting round, shiny things, don’t forget to enter the Nisekoi: False Love DVD Competition here. (There are also shiny things being given away at the Samurai Jam Blu-ray Competition here). Both competitions are open to UK residents only, so take a quick look around to confirm what country you’re in before you enter.
The premise of Nisekoi is a little bit like a bizarro-Romeo and Juliet. In this case, the two children of crime families can’t stand each other in any way but agree to fake a romance as it seems to be the only thing to prevent all out war between the two clans. By episode eleven, things have become somewhat more complicated though, as Raku, one of the kids in question, is pretty sure that he made a heartfelt vow to a girl ten years earlier. He can’t remember most of the details, like the girl’s name, face, nor indeed many defining characteristics, but he’s pretty sure that he’s meant to be with her. Luckily, he has a unique locket to which that girl has the only key.
This is where things get complicated. Raku has a pretty huge crush on Onodera, one of the girls in his class, and she seems to also vaguely recall something about a boy and a promise… perhaps even a locket and key, ten years earlier. The problem is that while Raku is very publicly appearing to go out with Chitoge, he can’t do much to follow up and find out if Onodera really is his promised girl. But… the complications don’t end there because pretty soon there are keys and memories of promises coming out of the woodwork and Raku is virtually surrounded by women who, love him or hate him, have a vague feeling that they might be his special girl from ten years earlier.
There’s naturally a lot of room for misunderstandings and bad timing, some of it just funny, other moments painfully awkward for the characters in question. Raku tries desperately to figure out his feelings, all eyes are on him and his every interaction with the girls in his life. Yep, it’s a harem series, and before you ask, of course there’s an obligatory beach-trip, awkwardness caused by swimsuits episode, but that’s mercifully the only episode where characters seem to have problems groping each other and the majority of female screentime doesn’t feel the need to include faces. As harem series go, this one leans quite nicely on character development and relationships develop off a little bit more than happenstance.
Nisekoi: False Love Series 01 Part 02 is a fun trip through the awkwardness of teenage love, with a mob-war, mystery-locket, love quadrangle thrown into the mix. Characters are reasonably well-rounded and, while the ongoing storyline can feel a little dragged out, each episode is ultimately enjoyable enough to redeem the series as a whole. It’s still not totally clear why all of these female characters are so crazy about the relatively bland Raku, but there are certainly anime series out there that ask for more suspension of disbelief than this.
Nisekoi: False Love Season 01 Part is available on DVD in the UK and Ireland from October 19th 2015 from Manga Entertainment. If you’d like to be one of three lucky people to get their hands on a free copy of the release, don’t forget about the DVD competition here.