Nisekoi Episode 1 First Impressions

“You keep the lock. I’ll keep the key. Let’s wear them always and treasure them forever. Someday, when we’re all grown up and are reunited. We’ll use this key to take out what’s been locked inside.”

Nisekoi Episode 1 (48)

Rating: 4.5/5 happily excited clouds Crop_45 CuriousClouds Transparent

Nisekoi Episode 1 (46)About a week ago, I wrote my manga first impressions review on Nisekoi. Today, I’m super excited to share my first impressions on the anime adaptation of the series this winter season. The series follows a high-schooler named Raku Ichijo who… isn’t as normal as high schoolers go. He’s actually the son of a yakuza boss and the heir apparent. Interestingly enough, the story begins not at the beginning of the school year but at an awkward time in the middle of the year. At the same time, there’s been some gang rivalry with new groups around their yakuza turf.

Raku’s back story regards a lock and a promise he made with a girl when he was little. Of course, he keeps the lock with him at all times, but when a strange hops over a fence and knees him in the face on her way to class… well, he ends up losing it. Cue Chitoge Kirisaki, a new transfer student who recently arrived at the school. He recognizes her instantly and totally freaks out during class LOL

Well, according to classic shojo plot, you’d expect Chitoge to be the little girl that Raku met way back when… however… she is not and a big reason why this series doesn’t fall in the shojo genre is because of this unusual love twist.

Nisekoi Episode 1 (23)

The manga hints it a bit later into the first chapters, however in the anime, we already get the subtle sense that it’s Raku’s classmate, Onodera Kosaki who holds the key to Raku’s lock. When Raku finally realizes that his lock is gone, he scours the school for days trying to find it… after many more freak outs and despite many angry exchanges with Chitoge, she retrieves the lock for him.

Just when Raku thinks his days with Chitoge are over, his father pulls him aside to speak about something… important. It turns out that all the tension between the gangs are about to blow up into a war. Due to Raku’s father’s old friendship with the other gang leader, the two bosses have decided to fake a relationship between their children in order to create a (somewhat but still existent) peace between their gang members. The episode ends with the unveiling of the plan to both our main characters.

Nisekoi Episode 1 (33)

The comedy is HILARIOUS and the characters’ expressions make the humour so much more entertaining to watch. I love Chitoge as a female character already; she’s so spunky and refreshing. As the daughter of a gang boss, she’s totally badass in her own right meaning she takes no shit and gives no shit, especially not when it comes to the touchy feely sentiments of Raku’s childhood promise. The chemistry, or lack thereof, between Chitoge and Raku is great. The fact that they’re being forced to pretend date makes it even hilarious because they HAVE to put up with each other. The seiyuus are also amazing. Nao Toyama is doing a fantabulous job as Chitoge as is Kouki Uchiyama as Raku who’s constantly bouncing back between in-love-with-Onodera mode and arguing-with-Chitoge mode.

We’re given a sample of one of Nisekoi’s songs – Click, by ClariS. I can hardly wait for the official release of the full version at the end of the month. Nisekoi is definitely living up to my expectations so far. An amazing first episode presented with a strong premise, careful attention to character detail and the sort of animation perfectly hits that balance between shonen and shojo makes Nisekoi something great for all viewers to check out.

– Cloudy

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