Welcome back to another triple threat Nisekoi post. Hopefully I’ll be back on schedule with this show soon.
The usual tricks.
Episode 8 was all about Tsugumi and Chitoge. I was a bit surprised that so much screen time was given to a newly introduced character, but that just goes to show that she’s dead set on joining the growing Raku harem. And boy did she fall for him fast. All it took was a bit of quality time in a locker, a few sweet words, and some gentlemanly conduct. Which, I suppose might be a good way to get two people closer together, assuming one party doesn’t end up filing for a restraining order. Anyway, I maintain my previous opinion that Tsugumi is an unnecessary addition to the hi-jinks as the story could instead spend more time on the mystery of Raku’s childhood sweetheart. But as we all know that would be too easy, hence the distractions.
Things just got interesting.
Moving on, we actually do get some real development this episode on Chitoge’s part. Turns out she did in fact make a promise with a childhood sweetheart of her own. It’s not explicitly stated, but given the context from the diary, I’m pretty sure the promise she made with him had something to do with getting married. Pretty big words for a five year old, but I’m guessing she just didn’t understand the weight of such a promise at the time. I would imagine most five year old kids don’t have a very complete understanding of the concept of marriage. And then comes the really important bit; a key drops out of Chitoge’s diary. Yeah, this pretty much puts the last nail in the coffin in terms of setting up Chitoge as a potential candidate for Raku’s first love.
As we might expect, Nisekoi wastes no time jumping on the latest development with Chitoge in episode 9. I’m quite pleased that the show made her vaguely aware that Raku might just be the guy so quickly. But I must curb my enthusiasm as the whole spilling water on Raku thing felt rather forced and telegraphed. I understand we had to eventually and inevitably find out that the hero has a scar on his forehead which matches the one Chitoge believes her childhood sweetheart to have. But this was just way too convenient. I’m not saying the show needs to jump through some hoops just to make it happen, but it could at least try a little harder to blend it in more seamlessly instead of having the event occur just to get it out of the way.
Lots of skin was shown.
And then there’s the rest of the episode, which, I might add is the onsen episode for Nisekoi. So plenty of fanservice abound; even more than that one pool episode. I can already see Shaft readying their pockets for the money from the BD sales. But honestly I expect only barbie anatomy behind the steam. Speaking of steam, I found it a nice change for Shaft to give the steam a defined, cloud-like shape instead of the usual white, fuzzy haze that we might be familiar with from other less scrupulous shows. But I digress. The latter half of the episode consisted of the generic “guy gets in wrong bath” trope so I don’t need to talk about that. The one thing to note though, is that the unfortunate(?) incident sure helped push the false couple closer than they’ve ever been before (both literally and figuratively). Oh, and I should also mention that just when the show introduces major developments to suggest Chitoge is the girl, it switches up the ED to feature Moedere instead…
Test of Courage
As far as Onodera and Raku go.
So now the show has handed the ED off to Onodera. Surely it’s her time to shine from here on out, right? Well, apparently not. Episode 10 was actually considerably more enjoyable than some of the more recent episodes, probably thanks to the continuing focus on Raku and Chitoge’s relationship. There’s a brief attempt to throw us off-track when the stars align for Onodera and it looked like she was in for a cozy and snuggle-filled time with Raku at the traditional school camp courage test. But then the show turns it around completely and has the guy run off to save Chitoge since she’s stuck in the dark in the mountains due to various reasons. Just think about it. Despite all of Raku’s claims that he loves Onodera, he clearly chose Chitoge over her here.
If that isn’t a godsend in your typical romcom, I don’t know what is. The wishy-washy sort of relationship is just all too pervasive in such works, and understandably so since it’s more or less a staple of the genre. But regardless, let me reiterate that I was very impressed at how Raku made the snap decision (albeit somewhat reluctantly) to willingly miss out on alone time with Onodera in favor of looking out for a “false girlfriend.” In fact, at this point one might even be tempted to dispense with appearances (or is it dispense with dispensing with appearances for this case?) and call them a real couple. Because they sure looked like one to me in this episode, even if both are still in denial about it.
I think I’m justified in saying that people who maintained the show wouldn’t go anywhere can SUCK IT TREBEK. Ok, I jest. But seriously though, the show is actually going somewhere. And that makes me very, very excited since I was prepared to accept that we would be stuck with no development whatsoever. Me being partial to Chitoge aside, I think it’s the best decision Nisekoi has ever made to stick with Chitoge and push her relationship with Raku onward. It might not be progressing at the fastest speed possible, but I get the impression that these two are already at a better state than Rika and Yuuta of Chuu2koi. Chuunibyou effects notwithstanding, those latter two are actually a real couple and have gone so far as to hold hands (shocking, I know). Yet, even with only comparable intimate contact, our false lovers in Nisekoi ironically give off a much more genuine feel. Perhaps it’s because both have their heads firmly grounded in reality. But whatever the case, I find it highly encouraging to see them grow ever closer.
All aboard the harem bus (Ruri not included)!