nisekoi 1

Categories: episodic review




While there has been quite a few anime about a young promised couple who find themselves later in life, the gold standard (is that an accurate way to describe it?) is still Love Hina. Everything in that series just came together. For once, the male lead was a real loser (poor Keitaro), but he had growth as the series continued. Before then, the male lead model was someone more like Tenchi– indecisive but had super sperm that all the ladies were jockeying for. Keitaro? No one wanted him. At first. Two, the show was set in college and at a hot spring. Brilliant. Constant fanservice, and it’s different than 95% of harem shows that take place in high school. Three, the show was one of the first to be produced digitally, and it was the first to be fansubbed and solely distributed digitally. Why do I bring this up? Nisekoi is a poor man’s Love Hina. It’s also a poor man’s Seto no Hanayome. I just wonder if it will be a poor man’s Nisekoi.

(Basically, Love Hina minus hot springs plus yakuza equals Nisekoi. Though I think I would be happier with this show if it featured Raku failing all his exams… at least more comforting, you know….)


Best toast sequence since Evangelion 25 (or was it 26?). Shaft’s production value on Nisekoi 1 rivals Bakemonogatari rather than Monogatari SS. I wonder if they can keep it up, or are we going to get a lot of headless phone call montages soon…

(That’s one thing Kyoto just does so well. Their production value across an entire series is fairly constant, and they do not take shortcuts. They also do not take weeks off. They are a mechanical beast. Shaft really pulled a Sunrise in terms of production with Monogatari SS, and Trigger is definitely settling into a lower level with KILL la KILL. Kyoto? Nope.)


Wait, what? I totally don’t get this. One minute Raku is sauteing pasta like a lead in a Korean romance drama, and the next minute, the gangsters are eating traditional Japanese breakfast? I don’t get it. There’s a disconnect between making Raku look like a bad ass Italian chef and then making it seem like the yakuza house is actually Kissuisou.

(My quick review of Pasta: The guy is a total asshole. The girl is a bit meek. There would be countless sexual harassment and sexual discrimination lawsuits filed if it took place in America. Thank goodness it takes place in Korea. Anyway, the real crime is the show’s portrayal of pasta. They dedicated an whole episode to arguing if pasta should or should not be eaten with Korean pickles. I kid you not. Fuck garlic bread… kimchi and marinated turnips for my spaghetti and meatballs. I didn’t really understand the Korean concept of fusion until I went to a Korean fusion restaurant near me and ordered Korean shio ramen (salty broth), which for whatever reason was served to me in tomato broth. I guess it had salt in it…)


#single #woman #homeroom #teacher

(One of the Modern Laws of Anime: If the homeroom teacher is a woman, she is single. And, most likely, horny and desperate for loving. And a potential Modern Law of Anime: If be Shaft, there be ClariS.)


Explain to me how she is the heir to a yakuza branch if her dad is American? The mom is a yakuza boss who spent a decade in America raising a little girl, and then she returns back to Japan in full command of a bunch of yakuza? Or maybe the mom’s dad was the yakuza boss, he passed, so the mom has to take over? I need this family explained to me. The only way it kinda makes sense is if the dad were an American airmen, the mom fell in love with him, they had her. Her dad does not approve, so they go back to America. She is a housewife raising Chitoge in LA, while her husband works as a season ticket salesman for the Lakers. Later, the mom’s dad dies, and with Kobe getting so damn old, they decide its best to head back to Japan.


I can kinda understand why shows do so much in the first episode, but they stuffed a lot into the first episode of Nisekoi. With like three dozen or so new shows airing this season, a show really only has an episode (or two) at most to hook a viewer. Everyone is doing their subconscious thin slicing, but it’s like… slow down a bit. Keep some mystery. We don’t need to know exactly how Sherlock lived. Here, we already know: Chitoge and Raku are from warring yakuza gangs and must pretend to be Romeo and Juliet to stop the violence. Raku has a promised girl (and keeps a ridiculous locket), but he doesn’t remember her besides the locket. There are numerous haremttes out there with keys. One of which will unlock his locket. The other keys will unlock Al Capone’s safe, the chastity belt of the little sister from ImoCho, and the chastity belt in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

(Onodera is voiced by Kana Hanazawa in her Nadeko voice rather than her tuturu~ voice, not that they are that dissimilar. But it was so close to Nadeko, I thought it was Nakedo. Maybe when they go visit her room, there could be a Twister set or something tucked away in the corner. I hope Shaft does this… not that I’m encouraging them or anything…)


The mystery of who the promised girl is doesn’t matter. As evidenced by Love Hina, the real answer will be: all of them. Except the lolis. Anyway, the real mystery of the show is whether or not Yuno is Raku’s mom. That would be awesome.

(I know that’s not the case, but it is Shaft. They could toss in an occasional Hidamari reference like the dad telling Raku, “Your mom loved to take baths” or something. That would make my season. Nah… Shaft doesn’t do that self-referential stuff anymore…)




The flower design reminds me of Pixeljunk Eden.

(In typical anime fashion, male lead is too dense to realize all the girls secretly like him. Why else would Onodera be constantly spying on him? Or have an unlimited bandage supply waiting to dress his wounds? Or why Chitoge helps him when she doesn’t have to? Or why the single female teacher sets him up perfectly with Chitoge? At least in Love Hina, Keitaro wanted ass, but the girls despised him. At first. Oh Motoko, how the mighty have fallen.)


Call the Midwife anime please.


I guess this scene makes more sense when you realize that Eren Jaeger is in Nisekoi.

(Went to take my puppy for a walk in a park in Los Gatos today, and we passed by two people wearing Attack on Titan cosplay in the park. Taking selfies. Damn, and my Armored Titan costume was at the dry cleaners…)


Three MVPs…

1. Shinbo, for not over doing Shaft being Shaft.

2. Onodera, for bandages.

3. Chitoge, for toast zettai ryouki both.

7 Responses to “nisekoi 1”

  1. Pretty sure Chitoge isn’t part of a yakuza gang, but just a general American gang that wanted to expand… to Japan. It made more sense in the manga, I swear.

    Still not really sure what to make of this adaptation. While I’m glad someone like Shaft picked up a series that would most likely get a mediocre anime adaptation otherwise (I mean, its manga is published in Jump, so…), the flow of the first episode felt weird to me. I was personally hoping for *more* Shaft being Shaft moments to liven things up a bit. I mean even Hidamari Sketch had trippier imagery going on than in Nisekoi so far.

  2. Specifically, the Beehive is what someone from Japan would stereotypically portray the Mafia, at least in the manga. And no, Chitoge’s mom doesn’t have a yakuza background at all, but is a legitimate (if workaholic) businesswoman.

  3. On the Chitoge parentage thing, Gabe has it aright. At least, as far as the manga has enlightened us. We’re also given the impression that the gang still has a significant portion of its operations in America.

    All told, I thought it was a solid first episode that was very faithful to the manga. Later on, that’ll probably be a good thing, but unfortunately the manga start is a bit episodic and I think that’s going to hurt the early episodes if they stay this faithful.

  4. Oh, doing some quick review of KDramas? I’d like more of that :D

  5. I agree with the commenters above, this is do little shaft being shaft and the shafty-ness is done so poorly, it looks like imitation shaft.

  6. On the plus side, no matter what happens with the show, we’re bound to be blessed with plenty of Chitoge x Onodera doujinshi…

  7. I’ve blasted through 2 episodes of the show and I’m somewhat surprised that I liked it and will probably continue watching this.

    It’s seems almost un-Shaftlike in a way….not as much Shaft being Shaft as one or you or the philosophical we would expect. But there are enough Shaft motifs in the art direction so it’s almost subconsciously Shaft I suppose. I assume that most of y’all know what I mean when I say that.

    As for Chitoge’s family deal, I simply gathered that it’s the American Mafia(registered trademark) that her family’s a part of.

    As for the yakuza and the mafioso, I hope they continue to be the absolute utter Dorks of The Universe that they’ve been so far. THe only regret I’m sure I’m goping to have is that when they DO fight each other is that the fights won’t be choreographed to “Yakity Sax” by Boots Randolph.

    After all, EVERYTHING is better with saxophones.

    Thank you for today. I will now go hang my head in shame.

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