Chitoge might have been fine with it, but that was the worst birthday present ever.
Oh, okay then. I didn’t expect Nisekoi to take such a direct approach so soon, but that’s all the better for us.
Onodera musters the courage to tell Raku.
Again, I am surprised by the amount of progress Nisekoi has been making recently. Obviously we won’t go so far as to formally pair up Raku with one of the girls (that would go far beyond exceeding my expectations), but there’s been so much more development between the characters than I would have expected from the reputation the manga has for dragging on. The big events here are the consecutive revelations to Raku that both Onodera and Chitoge might potentially be his childhood crush. I was getting a bit worried when Onodera’s revelation came first as that would be the perfect excuse for the show to forget about all the progress between him and Chitoge. Without getting into bias *cough* Chitoge best girl *cough* it just wouldn’t be right to suddenly put those two on hiatus and change the subject entirely. Admittedly that strategy can work well if there are enough rivals to completely clutter things up should the spotlight shine on more than one at a time, as is the case in a typical harem show. But I digress since Nisekoi is ostensibly not a harem.
Chitoge approaches head-on as usual.
Anyway, the point is I am impressed that the show followed up Raku “accidentally” asking Onodera if she is his childhood crush (and her uncertain but favorable response) with Chitoge springing her own question on the guy to prevent him from too hastily jumping to conclusions about his past. Not only was that perfectly timed to maintain Chitoge’s relevance in the whole picture, but it also helped Nisekoi avoid pushing one girl too far ahead of another. Remember that the development on Chitoge’s part in more recent episodes was just to catch her up with Onodera’s already privileged position as Raku’s current sweetheart. So I guess that’s killing two birds with one stone, even though personally I would love to see him get together with a girl *cough* Chitoge *cough* sooner rather than later. But we already know that’s not going to happen and surely someone will remind me snidely in the comments even though I merely wish to express my humble hopes no matter how unlikely they are, so let’s avoid that can of worms.
Really lampshading it there, eh?
So how does somewhat putting everything out in the open affect the love triangle? Well, it doesn’t really do anything until the girls start trying to fit their keys into Raku’s hole. Yup, that sentence sounds too weird no matter how you look at it. I’m also not trying to word it any better on purpose. But yeah, we’re literally back at square one now that both Onodera and Chitoge have each made a pitch for being the mysterious childhood crush. I suppose Onodera might have a slight upper hand since Raku would be more likely to believe that she’s the one so that his current crush can be that much more romantic. But knowing the guy’s sensibilities he can’t really ignore Chitoge now that she’s brought up the magical phrase. One might also argue that Onodera has the advantage since she’s had a much longer chat with him about the matter, but that can easily change come next episode since Chitoge’s own question was used as a cliffhanger this time. So the only real conclusion we can reach is that both girls are neck and neck in their quest for Raku.
What about Tsugumi, you ask? Noticeably I’ve sort of ignored her and am considering the main romantic mishap to merely be a love triangle. And I guess I could include her to technically make it a square, but at this point I feel that her own feelings are too one-sided to count her just yet. There is a possibility that Nisekoi will give her a push to bring her into the spotlight as it’s done with Chitoge, but I remain skeptical. She’s had a few chances here and there and so far it would appear that the show is keeping her around as more of a secondary interest if anything. Sorry to you Tsugumi folks, but until I see more real development between her and Raku, I have a hard time believing that such a pairing can constitute one leg of a love polygon. Raku’s crush on Onodera aside, Tsugumi has to at least catch up to the level of his affection for Chitoge before I can take her seriously as a rival. And that’s not saying much since right now Raku keeps catching himself whenever he finds Chitoge cute or something and telling himself that Onodera is the only one for him.
Things continue to move along in Nisekoi, and I think it’s reached a very nice midpoint with the revelations and that cliffhanger. Honestly, and I don’t think this is my bias swaying my opinion, I would think that Raku should be getting more serious with Chitoge right about now. I think they’ve both reached the stage where they realize they’re actually somewhat interested in each other despite continuing to squabble here and there. And in fact, their fights have been coming across as more bakappuru-ish than real arguing recently. Heck, they never even seemed to hate each other that much in the first place. The only real obstacle between them at this point is Raku’s continued insistence that he has eyes only for Onodera. I understand that these are the guy’s genuine feelings so I can’t fault him for that, but he really should stop being so narrow-minded.
Whose pasts really match up?