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Nisekoi Volume 1 Manga Review

Nisekoi 1Title: Nisekoi Volume 1

Author/Artist: Naoshi Komi

U.S. Distributor: Viz Media/Shonen Jump

Release Date: Jan. 7, 2014

Format and Length: Manga, 192 pages

Genre: High School Comedy/Romance

Industry Age Rating: 13+

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Synopsis:

The series centers around Raku Ichijo, a boy in high school. His home life is quite unusual, his father is the boss of a gang (of rather goofy guys). They are his “family” and often interfere with his school life. An incident in his life that is very important to him happened when he was little. He had a good friend and they had promised to meet again and get married. She gave him a locket and she kept the key. Problem is, he can’t remember everything, including the little girl’s name. Still, it is sort of a romantic dream he never lets go. It would be so great if his current crush, Onodera, was the mystery girl.

There is a new transfer student, Chitoge Kirisake. She is half American and half Japanese. Raku’s first meeting with her was not good, and they  really dislike each other. Circumstances at school keep throwing them together and rumors start that they like each other.

Trouble has been escalating for the gang. In an effort to prevent an all out war, Raku’s father makes a deal with the leader of the rivals, telling all the guys that Raku is dating the daughter of the other gang’s boss, who just happens to be… Chitoge. They both try to resist the ruse because they hate each other, but their loyal gang families, in an attempt to protect them, threaten to solve the issue with violence. In a panic, Raku and Chitoge pretend they are really dating. The guys find it sweet and endearing, they can’t help following the kids to make sure they are okay. This leaves no relief for Raku and Chitoge, they have to keep faking it yet they can’t stop fighting. Their only chance for relief is to keep it secret from the kids at school…

Commentary:

It was fun to read a plain old comedy. I guess I can call it a Sitcom, because the situation was set up seemingly only to support the comedy. Sure, there is hints at romance, but it isn’t really happening at this point, and besides, there isn’t anything to dismiss about a romantic comedy. As I read, I assumed it was Shojo, but was happy to realize that it was Shonen Jump because I think this story is great for male or female. With the T rating, it can be enjoyed by a wider audience, an as an older adult, I still found it fun.

Visually, I like what is going on. The artwork is consistent and skillful, from the people to the use of special effect exaggerations. The awesome graphics really depict what is happening with a comedic edge. The images often focus on the faces, really asserting that this is a character driven manga.

I have seen plenty of anime/manga stories where there is a childhood promise or childhood sweetheart, but the family of gang members  is what sets it apart. The guys add a great element for the comedy, an endless source to provoke what is going wrong in Raku’s life.

Right away Raku is a likable character and it a great hook to pull the reader into the story, and it doesn’t disappoint. The story stays funny and interesting, making it a series to enjoy for a long time.

Overall Grade: B+

” In the Radius” 

 

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