Story/Art: Naoshi Komi
What They Say:
It’s hate at first sight… rather a knee-to-the-head at first sight when Raku meets Chitoge! Unfortunately, his gangster father arranges a false love match with their rival gang leader’s daughter, Chitoge! However, Raku’s searching for his childhood sweetheart, with a pendant around his neck as a memento, and is surprised to discover three candidates with keyes: Chitoge, Onodera (his current crush), and Tachibana (the police chief’s daughter)!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With the recent focus on getting things square between Marika and Chitoge and putting Chitoge back on the right path, everything is working toward that move to the top of the hill so they can all get things out in the open. It’s been exciting watching this play out for the most part, Tsugumi and Claude’s side story notwithstanding, and seeing the pieces come together has worked exceptionally well for me because it’s built on some solid foundations. The book has always had its serious undertones to carry things through but it’s excelled at moving the narrative forward with humor that has the right undercurrent to give it some weight, that nervous laugh and fidgeting that doesn’t quite hide the truth. So as we enter this phase of the story, these characters are pretty well realized and seeing what they have to confront hits closer to home than some might expect.
With this chapter, things take a pretty good turn with what it wants to accomplish. Having Raku and Kosaki come across each other quickly is a plus since it means no side adventures for them before they get up the hill, which is always a danger that might happen. They catch up well with what’s been going on, i loved the surprise from Kosaki about Mariko suddenly being here as it just adds to the surreal nature of it, and the two are off and running to get to where Chitoge is. They’ve been on such a journey together that we get to see this mostly through Kosaki’s eyes as she realizes the scope of what’s about to happen and what may come from it. But it also keeps things to a personal level because she’s so close to getting things resolved that the uncertainty comes up like a tidal wave on her.
And that’s where the chapter really delivers. Knowing that things are going to come out and realizing that Raku really does have feelings for Chitoge, Kosaki’s unable to hold back any longer. All the truths are coming out and her confession is one of the best moments of honest in a series that has been awash in it for the last few months through all the side stories getting resolve. Here, Komi works in a great design by using various pieces of Kosaki with how she’s thought of and cared for Raku since junior high as Raku himself realizes that she’s felt this way all that time. It’s like all the pieces are suddenly coming together and clicking for him that the girl he’s been in love with all this time actually loves him too. It’s another wrinkle just before getting to Chitoge and seeing how that would unfold, but it’s an important one because Raku really does need to know all these things before he really understands his own feelings. And it’s very good for Kosaki as well to be able to unburden herself of this secret and to let things fall as they may.
Nisekoi is definitely building well and I love that after getting all of these other confessions recently that we finally have this out in the open between the two of them. There’s still a lot to go on with here and hopefully we’ll see some neat things in how it all resolves and plays out as opposed to a quick ending, but right now Komi is hitting all the right marks with this series and delivering. While you could construe a good chunk of this chapter as recap material, it is the right kind of way to show how Raku is realizing and putting things together with new information and how it would essentially overwhelm him in all the right ways. Very good stuff.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media via Weekly Shonen Jump from ComiXology
Release Date: July 11th, 2016