Book Review: Nisekoi Volume 1

March 12, 2014


Well, I have not been very good at posting this month, huh?

Anyway, I have been doing some testing on something I figured out recently, though I cannot really talk about it, and it looks like I can get closer to transitioning all my reading to digital.

Recently, I got a new book from Barnes & Noble's eBook catalog.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Nisekoi Volume 1 by Naoshi Komi.

Raku Ichijo, the heir of a yakuza syndicate, is living a life that is as normally as he could.

However, after having troubles with a transfer student, he finds out that his father's syndicate is about to go to war with a gang and the only way for the leaders to avoid the undesired war is if Raku and the new transfer student started dating.

I am not sure about this volume. From the first few pages, I felt like I was dragged into the world and made me want to find out more about the two leading characters. I also liked how I could sympathize with Raku’s feeling of being forced to be in a relationship with somebody that he does not particularly like, though he was the one who created the hostility between the two to begin with. After all, I do not doubt that many of the people that had to deal with arranged marriages had to marry somebody they do not like very much for one reason or another. I know that I would not be too happy if my elders decided whom I should spend the rest of my life with. Honestly, I would prefer to have to sit through the omiai that Sato went through in volumes 32 and 33 of Detective Conan, because her mother gave her a choose of men, though an omiai is still technically considered an arranged marriage. I also liked how Raku tried to help out the transfer student, despite not getting along with her. This does show that he does care about the transfer student’s problems, which is certainly a nice thing about his care. In fact, I cannot really think of that people who would do so, because humans tend to refuse the help from those we do not like, just like Chitoge, the transfer student, kept on refusing help from Raku. People are more likely to accept the help though if they were in a situation like Akira’s group’s predicament in Cage of Eden Volume 5. Another thing that I liked how there were quite a few scenes that made me laugh, though none were quite as funny as Major Armstrong barging into Edward Elric’s room in the first episode of FMA Brotherhood. Outside of that, I cannot thing of anything else that I liked. The fact that there are some very funny scenes and that I can sympathize with Raku’s situation, even though he did kind of put himself in that situation, as well as the fact that I feel like I want to find out more about the two protagonists made this volume pretty good.

Although I did like the book, there are some issues. First, in the fourth chapter, after Chitoge and Raku’s first date is over and Raku gives her a gift, we see a girl coming home and they are greeted as if she were Chitoge, but she does not look like Chitoge. In fact, she seemed to look like Kosaki Onodera, especially since the hair color and dress did not seem like the one Chitoge wore. When I looked up a fan translation of the same chapter, Onodera is definitely the one being greeted. Now, I do understand that there can be typos, such as how Viz called APTX 4869 APTX 4969 in volume 42 of Detective Conan, but compared to that, this is much worse. Being in the business for years, Viz should know that this kind of mistake really ruins the quality of a book or volume. Hopefully, they improve or Detective Conan may be the only title I get from Viz. The other thing that I did not really like was when Raku realized he lost his pendant, he demands that Chitoge help him find it and refuses the help of Onodera. Now, he does not angrily refuse the help, but I think that he should have taken her up on her offer. After all, there would have been more eyes to find the pendant and taken less time. It just makes him look selfish by only wanting Chitoge to help him because he blames her for his loss. The thing that annoys me the most though is that I got the feeling that a scene was missing. In chapter 7, after Raku helped Chitoge make a cake, Raku spots Onodera outside and tries to build up the courage to ask her whom she made a cake for. When he does ask, all I see is him starting to ask, with her responding immediately after he starts, before she presents the cake. What happened to the question that Raku was going to ask her? True, we do know what Raku wanted to ask, but with the way things were going, he should have asked right in the panel, not off screen. While I want to blame Viz for this problem, I cannot because online scans seem to also have this problem. Because of this fact, the real blame goes Naoshi Komi. This is not something that any writer should do. If he really did not want to show Raku asking a question we knew he was going to ask, then he should not have even bothered showing this moment of interaction between Raku and Onodera. By cuting off a scene when a question is about to be asked, it makes the reader think that something really is missing and ruins the enjoyment and quality of work. Other than that, I cannot really think of anything else that annoyed me. While Raku did seem a bit selfish, the things that really hurt the volume was the fact that Viz called Onodera by Chitoge’s family name in at least one scene and the author did something to make me feel like I missed something really hurt the quality of the release.

Despite the fact that there were things that I liked, the fact that Viz called a character the wrong name and I got the feeling that I was missing something made this a waste of time. Until there are any improvements, which may come if I ever decide to continue on with this series, I recommend that everyone avoid this series.

What are your thoughts of Nisekoi Volume 1? Were you as disappointed as I was or did you like it? Were there things that I got wrong in my review? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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