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The N series: Part Two

I'm back, with part two of the N series, this time featuring Nisekoi!

How did I know about it: When I was wondering around the now showing anime section.

Progress Status: Reading the manga now, and watching the anime of course.

Summary: Nisekoi is about a boy named Raku Ichijo, the heir to the head of a Yakuza clan. He makes a secret promise to a girl, ten years ago, but the only thing he has left of that promise is a pendant in the form of a locket which he carries almost everywhere he goes.

Just when he thinks he's found the girl from ten years ago in the form of a girl named Kosaki Onodera, he meets Chitoge Kirisaki a princess and darling of a rival gangster group. In a bizarre twist of fate, Kirisaki and Ichijo are forced to become lovers to keep the peace between the two groups, even though the two of them can barely stand each other.

Purely from the summary itself, it's an obvious shounen, watch the first few episodes, and yep, the amount of scenes on shy, blushy girls and tsunderes more or less confirms it. It also features a typical love triangle, but the interesting part is that, along the way you're slowly revealed small twists and turns in this romantically charged story with a quick dash of comedy in the form of body gags and awkward situations that makes watching and reading this series worth it.

Raku Ichijo
Talking about the characters, zooming in on the main guy, Ichijo, well, he's pretty smart it seems though not at all athletic despite coming from a yakuza background. However, he's not that smart when it comes to love, especially when it comes to Kirisaki (but then again that girl is pretty dense too), and he is faced with the choice of the girl he always wanted a.k.a. Onodera or the girl which slowly grew on him a.k.a. Kirisaki.  Not to mention he also has a deep desire to find out who really is the mysterious girl from ten years ago. To me though, he's still just an average male character in a romantic comedy.

Onodera - I think she's cute~
We then come to Onodera, she has a crush on our main guy, Ichijo, and is a sweet and kind girl, she is shy about acting on her feelings, and often has to get some encouragement from her ever supportive best friend, who tries to set-up situations so that she can confess her love. She really thinks about other people's feelings even to the point of not confessing after hearing that Ichijo is 'dating' Kirisaki. While I get her point of view, sometimes I just want to shake her and say, go after him already!

Ah, Kirisaki, what can I say, she's a tsundere. End of story. She does have an interesting back story though, and since I don't like spoiling, I would recommend you read the manga for that. Something I'd like to mention about the relationship between Kirisaki and Onodera, they like the same guy, but yet are not out right rivals like in most love triangles that you see. They are actually friends, with Onodera counselling Kirisaki occasionally. Would it be strange to say that I find the dynamics between the two girls far more entertaining than Ichijo and his quest for love?

For the art of Nisekoi, I'll say one thing, the animation was a joy to watch, so much so that when I was reading the manga, it felt like it wasn't as good as the anime, not to say that the art of the manga was lacking. Just check them both out. Shaft also did a great job with their trademark cuts and zooms, like in Bakemonogatari and also the sparkly backgrounds scenes, like in Arakawa under the Bridge. *cue applause for Shaft*

The OP of this series is titled Click by ClariS. The lightness of her voice, fits with the romantic comedy theme of the anime, and the OP was animated in a pop art style, which was also a nice touch. There are two EDs for Nisekoi, the first titled 'Heart Pattern' sung by Kirisaki's seiyuu, and the second titled 'Recover Decoration' sung by Onodera's seiyuu. Both songs obviously supposed to reflect the personalities of the two girls and the animation illustrating the relationship that the two girls have with Ichijo. Verdict, I liked the second ED more, simply because I like soft, sweet voices.

Casting, they had a pretty solid cast, Ichijo's seiyuu was Uchiyama Kouki, who also did Yoga from C: The money of soul and possibility control and Yoshino from Zetsuen no Tempest...such different roles he played for the three characters. Onodera was voiced by Hanazawa Kana, who also did the famous Kanade from Angel Beats...if I remember right, she was a guest at Anime Fest Asia 2010 as well.

Overall, the manga to anime adaptation is not too bad, the script writer did skip around the manga chapters when choosing which scenes to write, but the story still linked up pretty okay so far. Do read the manga from the start for more details, especially about character back stories.

Nisekoi, I would say is a decent romantic comedy to start off the 2014 season of anime. The animation art is beautiful, and the story fun and engaging, so if you're looking for something doesn't require much thought into deeper meanings or angst like Noragami, give this series a try.

Stay tuned for part three, where things get more random with Nourin~

Written by Neko

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