How do you keep the harem concept interesting? Well it’s tried and true and it works every time; you introduce more romance possibilities. That is exactly what Nisekoi: False Love does in its second half to spice things up a bit yet such introductions ultimately lack gravitas because the viewer knows in their heart of hearts that there are only two real options for hapless Raku and they were both introduced in episode one.
It is a tough pill to swallow but all harem series are faced with such a period of stagnation once it sets in with the viewer that no matter how much you may like that cute new girl that was just introduced it just isn’t the way these things work. Raku is fated to be with one of two girls and it makes the show’s concept painfully strained in the latter half.
While the characterization is on point and the cast are all very well conceived and remain appealing without needless pandering fan-service sequences and scenarios to titillate the viewer the show feels as though it is prolonging the inevitable. With rather meandering side tales that play off each girl as a potential partner for Raku the show never ceases to remind viewers that he has to end up with Chitoge or Onodera. It is frustrating at times because each near romance situation has no weight behind it.
What works with this half is the humour. The series remains rather funny at its core and doesn’t have any problem garnering laughs out of the awkward romance antics. The strong suit of Nisekoi is simply in its ability to find humour in love. Love is lame in a way and Nisekoi isn’t ashamed of the fact and draws as much comedy from the gooey nature of young love to great effect.
SHAFT continue to impress with their visual take on the Shonen Jump comedy, making for a far more aesthetically intriguing series than the original manga ever was. The colour palette is hyperactive to say the very least and goes to great lengths to convey a sense of vibrancy and liveliness to proceedings which is appreciated.
Nisekoi wraps things up in this half in a rather lackluster way. Things conclude without any real resolution leaving things hanging for a second and likely more dragged out series of awkward scenarios that won’t result in any romantic conclusion, at least not until this series stops making money and ends in Shonen Jump.
That is really where the problem begins with Nisekoi. It initially appears to be a good fit in the Shonen Jump style of long-form storytelling but as it goes on it has become unpinned and its flaws exposed. There just isn’t enough story underneath the laughs to make Nisekoi still as interesting as it was when it began.
Nisekoi: False Love’s second half is ultimately somewhat of a let down. The series doesn’t reach any satisfying or cathartic conclusion instead deciding to just leave things hanging there, not even attempting to reward the viewer for their commitment to the series after how long it has dragged out the core concept and questions of the series. There is some laughs to be had but it is unfortunately in its second half that the series begins to come undone.
You can pick up Nisekoi: False Love Part 2 over at Madman’s Online Store.