By Dustin Cabeal
Much like the main characters of this book, I think I might be falling in love… with the story; which is difficult to admit since it has wasted so many opportunities and picked the familiar path of the harem genre time and time again. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve kept reading it that I’ve become so invested or that I watched two seasons of the anime to see how it all started. Whatever it is, this volume got me. Now, that doesn’t mean it’ll keep me because this all hinges on what happens next.
Chitoge has fully realized her feelings for Raku. Not that she hadn’t already, but now she’s starting to get bold and think about declaring her love for him. The problem is, he’s an idiot and the one downside to this volume is that he regresses instead of moving forward with his feelings. On the school trip, Raku spends more time with Tsugumi which is still completely pointless, but I do actually like Tsugumi out of all Raku’s love interests.
Raku also spends more time with Marika with Chitoge spying on them. The school trip ends with Marika bribing all the boys that Raku was paired with to take him to the love temple. This then ends with all of the love interests trying to shoot Raku with a love arrow. You’ll have to read it to find out who is successful. While I enjoyed this scene, it shows that this story has a long way to go before it’s going to decide the conclusion and that doesn’t bode well with me.
The biggest part of the volume is the revelation that Chitoge’s family is leaving Japan. What does that mean for their fake love? What does that mean for their budding friendship/Raku’s too stupid to see their growing love? You’ll have to read to find out, but I will say this… there’s a volume 19 set to come out, so it doesn’t end here.
Frankly, the big twist of this volume was needed and great. It changed everything, and it left me wondering if their fake relationship would have to be amped up. I doubt it will be, but that was my next thought. How else can Raku save Chitoge other than to marry her? Again, that was my initial guess, but I’ve learned that this series is by the books and so I’m sure a softer more reasonable approach will be taken.
The other strength of this volume is that the secondary love interests were toned down and for the most part excluded. Yui appears only a few times and Haru is attached to Paula’s small role in the story. Even the friends of the love interests were toned down.
The art worked for me this time. I laughed more at the comedic moments. They looked a lot better than past volumes, almost as if Naoshi Komi found some passion that had been lost in the weekly grind of the series. There’s still some low points, some wasted panels, but overall the artwork spoke to me more than it did on the past five volumes I read. That’s not me saying I was wrong in my past reviews, just that in this particular volume there’s a passion and personality that was not coming through.
The cliffhanger for this volume of Nisekoi is big. It’s interesting, and if it were any other series, it would change the landscape of the entire story. I know better, though. I know it’ll find a way back to where it was and continue its course as long as it can string us along. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a hell of a volume and maybe, just maybe the next one will be too.
Niskeoi: False Love vol. 18
Creator: Naoshi Komi
Publisher: Viz Media