By Dustin Cabeal
That’s more like it. In my last review, I admitted to maybe, kinda sorta being in love with this series. The afterglow has faded, and the series has not only returned to its usual shenanigans but further shows that it has fallen into the trap of success. The trap being needlessly continuing the story when a clear solution is in sight.
By its own definition, “Shonen” is endless. It’s very much like American comics in that regard, but the big difference is that the story is presented with a goal, a solution that it’s working towards so that it can one day end. With Nisekoi it’s opening the locket and finding out who made the promise all those years ago, it doesn’t matter who Raku picks in the end, just that we find out the answer to the mystery. When the story can get the answer, it doesn’t. It creates some forced drama and extends the story needlessly. Shonen might be endless, but when it’s decremental to the story I must wonder if it’s worth it?
In this volume, we find the conclusion to Chitoge leaving Japan. I hoped that it would turn a new and exciting corner for the story, but deep down I’ve read enough manga to know better. It didn’t. Not only was the solution simple, but it also didn't fit the build up the story had leading into it. The rest of the volume is just a tease between Raku and other characters. No character development comes from the threat of Chitoge leaving, and because we move on to another romantic interest, the resolution feels hollow. The volume ends setting up a similar drama between Raku and the character I can’t stand.
The art continues to be house style, but it’s enjoyable. The comedy is inconsistent in its presentation. Why it does two styles of super deformed is beyond me. Only one fits, but I guess it’s more of a “my hand will fall off if I don’t take short cuts” type of deal.
I’ll continue reading this series. I hope there’s a resolution one day, but at the very least it’s interesting to me to follow its journey. While I’ll still likely find more things, I dislike than like, for some damn reason I can’t stop reading it. Maybe that says more about it than this review.
Nisekoi: False Love vol. 19
Creator: Naoshi Komi
Publisher: Viz Medi