Story/Art: Naoshi Komi
Translation: Camellia Nieh
What They Say
In volume 13 of Nisekoi: False Love, Haru learns that Raku and Chitoge’s relationship isn’t real! Haru didn’t like Raku initially because she thought he was a playboy, but now that she’s spent more time with him at the festival and knows about his false relationship… Meanwhile, Ruri’s great-grandfather wants to meet Ruri’s boyfriend, but Ruri doesn’t have one, so she chooses the perfect person to play the role—Raku!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Following up on the last time around, Haru learns about the titular false love. And despite how finicky she’s been in the past, she takes it very well and revises her opinion of our hero, which is good to see. However, this is followed up by Haru getting lost, and of all people she finds Raku first! And though our hero has been looking good for a bit… it turns out he’s lost too. Fortunately though, this turns into a great bonding opportunity for the pair, and it really is nice to see Haru open up rather than just being combative all the time. Oh, and she of course realizes her love for Raku, but that’s pretty much par for the course for the series and, honestly, the genre in general.
Continuing the Haru focus, she ends up dragging Raku and her sister to the aquarium, planning to help make them closer, but of course things don’t go as planned. It’s a cute little chapter, but nothing too substantial. Following this is another chapter of Tsugumi having a run-in with a dubious item, this time being “love drugs”, and it of course ends up as silly and fun as one would expect. And after that, we get a chapter of Marika using her underling Migisuke’s love troubles as an excuse to force Raku into doing what she wants. This is honestly probably the weakest chapter of the volume as it’s very much the same sort of thing we’ve seen plenty of times from Marika already, but it’s at least worth a few chuckles.
Finally, we hit the other key focus of the volume, with a story actually centered around Ruri’s great-grandfather. It’s a really great focal bit on a character who’s been in the background to a decent degree, and it fleshes out both her and Shu fairly well. But above all else, it’s a touching and really enjoyable tale that feels just a bit more poignant than what the series usually presents. And to wrap things up, we get a chapter focused on Chitoge’s terrible cooking, which makes for a nice humorous counterbalance to the more serious story that came before it.
With a great mix of short little humorous one-offs and more in-depth multi-chapter stories, this volume is yet another example of how good the series is at keeping everything going in an enjoyable manner. Though we’re pretty deep in at 13 volumes now, the book still manages to keep things fresh, this time by mainly focusing on Haru and especially Ruri, who certainly needed the extra development. And Ruri’s story in particular is a great one that feels just a bit removed from what we normally get from the series, making for a very touching read. Adding to this are the humorous shorts, which retreat some old ground but still manage to pull out some solid laughs. This volume ultimately is a bit more of a laid back and small scale affair, but it really does show how well the series handles things when it can maintain this level of quality even when it isn’t hitting its big story beats, and makes for an all around great read.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: January 5th, 2016