Story/Art: Naoshi Komi
What They Say:
It’s hate at first sight… rather a knee-to-the-head at first sight when Raku meets Chitoge! Unfortunately, his gangster father arranges a false love match with their rival gang leader’s daughter, Chitoge! However, Raku’s searching for his childhood sweetheart, with a pendant around his neck as a memento, and is surprised to discover three candidates with keyes: Chitoge, Onodera (his current crush), and Tachibana (the police chief’s daughter)!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As events race quickly towards the conclusion here, there’s a bit of chaos in the mix that’s unsettling. While I’ve enjoyed the last few chapters a good bit, considering what they are working through a familiar storyline, this chapter just feels a bit wonky in what it’s trying to do. Part of it is that it really does feel like everything is getting closer to coming to a close and moving on to something new. But then it also feels like it’s padded out a bit before introducing a new time stretching element that just kind of make me grimace a good bit with what it could portend for the arc as a whole.
The fun part continues to be the escape itself with how it unfolds, especially as Mikage is getting a bit more involved and still having fun with it as she and Onodera do their best to stay ahead of those that are after the group as a whole. Amusingly, a lot of Chika’s guards come across as fairly inept if they’re not Honda so it’s easy for the gang to mostly stay a step or two ahead of them and try and make their way out. Mikage also gets to remind folks that she’s on the same wealth level as Marika when she calls in a helicopter to help them all get away. This makes for some cute moments with the rope ladder and the camera perspective for the shots, though it doesn’t really amount to too much overall.
Where the book delves into beyond the bits of action and tension here to drive the narrative is the arrival of a bit of help for Honda. While Honda has certainly set the bar for those that serve Marika’s mother, it turns out that there are a slew of them on the same level that report to her known as the Shadow Guard. This group, out on assignments around the world, has returned after being called back to help deal with things. And since Raku and the others have done something not done in the castle since the Warring States period, well, there’s a lot of incentive on their part to make things right by taking them down. The arrival of these nine varied members of the Shadow Guard essentially can go two ways; it sets up an extended series of action/escape sequences with chaos or they get quickly taken out of the picture. And considering they’re the same as Honda, the latter doesn’t seem likely and instead we’re going to drag this story out more.
Nisekoi just didn’t click for me this week as it left me feeling a bit empty with it. Our main cast is kind of kept to the sidelines and the focus is on Marika and the household guards and the like, all of which is continually reinforcing the idea that Marika can’t leave. And that’s something that still feels like it hasn’t been properly fleshed out in a way that feels solid enough to work. Additionally, there’s a real light touch to the backgrounds this time and a lack of clarity with some of the action sequences, especially the last couple of panels, that just makes it all feel rushed and not well thought out in general. It’s not horrible but it’s not winning me over.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media via Weekly Shonen Jump from ComiXology
Release Date: November 2nd, 2015