Nisekoi(ニセコイ?, lit. "Fake Love"), released in English as Nisekoi: False Love, is a Japanese romantic comedymanga series written and illustrated by Naoshi Komi. Nisekoi was first published as a one-shot manga in Shueisha's seasonal Jump NEXT! magazine before being serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump. Since November 26, 2012, Nisekoi has been published in English in Viz Media's digital magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump. As of May 2014 the series has been compiled in 12 tankōbon volumes in Japan, and is also being released in English in digital and print volumes by Viz Media. The manga has inspired a novel series, titled Nisekoi: Urabana, written by Hajime Tanaka and published by Shueisha. There have been two volumes published, on June 4 and December 28, 2013.
In May 2013, it was announced that an anime adaptation of Nisekoi had been greenlit. The anime is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo at Shaft, and began airing from January 11, 2014.Aniplex USA has licensed the series for streaming in North America.Daisuki,Crunchyroll, and Hulu have provided simulcast streams with English subtitles for audiences in the United States, Canada, South America and South Africa.
Nisekoi follows high school students Raku Ichijo, the son of a leader in the yakuza faction Shuei-Gumi, and Chitoge Kirisaki, the daughter of a boss in a rival gang known as Beehive. They unexpectedly meet when Chitoge hops a wall and knees Raku in the face. After she runs off, Raku realizes he has lost his locket which was given to him by his childhood sweetheart with whom he made a secret promise. After discovering Chitoge is a new transfer student in his class, he forces her to help him look for the locket. During the search, they begin to dislike each other.
Upon returning home, Raku learns that the Shuei-Gumi and Beehive gangs have agreed to settle their feud by pairing their leaders' children. Raku learns that his girlfriend-to-be is none other than Chitoge. For the next three years, they must pretend to be in a relationship to maintain peace between the gangs. This turns out to be quite a challenging task, not only because of their hatred for one another, but also because Raku has a crush on another schoolmate, Kosaki Onodera, whom he secretly wishes was the girl who bears the key to his locket. Various developments complicate the situation, including Chitoge's over-protective bodyguard, a female hitman, a girl who claims to be Raku's fiancée, and the existence of multiple keys.
Raku is a high school student who aspires to pursue a normal career when he graduates, although he is the son of a Yakuza family leader.[ch. 1] When he is placed in a fake relationship with Chitoge Kirisaki, he hides his feelings for his crush, Kosaki Onodera.[ch. 4-5] He wears a locket that symbolizes a promise of love he made to a girl ten years ago, and hopes he can reunite with the girl who bears the key to unlock it. Raku shows kindness and care even to people he is supposed to hate, as he helps Chitoge and others throughout the series.[ch. 6,7] As the story progresses, he grows closer to Chitoge,[ch. 48] although he has yet to figure out his true feelings.[ch. 63]
Chitoge is a half-Japanese transfer student from America, and the daughter of the leader of the Beehive Gangsters. She is annoyed by Raku, who calls her a gorilla woman, but pretends to be in a relationship with him in order to prevent their family gangs from going to war.[ch. 1-2] Ten years before, Chitoge makes a promise with a boy, but does not realize it could be Raku until she finds a key that could potentially unlock his locket.[ch. 21] She develops feelings towards Raku, and becomes jealous when girls such as Marika show open affections towards him.[ch. 35] Eventually, she realizes that she is truly in love with him, and changes her internal attitude.[ch. 49,51]
Kosaki Onodera is a kind and sweet classmate of Raku. She has a shoulder-length dark brown hair and chestnut brown eyes. Although Raku has a major crush on her, she does not reveal that she has a similar crush on him. She bears a key that could unlock Raku's locket but denies it when Raku asks, and acts extremely shy whenever they have a potential romantic situation.[ch. 4,5] Her family owns a dessert shop where she fashions good-looking treats, but she makes terrible food when left to her own devices.[ch. 7,19]
Shū is Raku's best friend. He enjoys doing anything for a laugh, and often makes perverted passes or comments without shame to his friends. He is perceptive of Raku's relationships, knowing immediately that Raku was not really dating Chitoge, that Raku and Onodera have secret crushes on each other,[ch. 8-9] and that Tsugumi has developed romantic feelings for Raku.[ch. 20] Academically, he places next to "glasses buddy" Ruri, much to the latter's chagrin.[ch. 56,58] He has not expressed romantic interest in Raku's friends, but in one storyline, he has a crush on their homeroom teacher Kyoko.[ch. 84]
Claude, one of the leaders of the Beehive gangsters, is one of the few characters who suspects the relationship between Raku and Chitoge is fake.[ch. 2] He stalks Chitoge regularly to make sure Raku does not take advantage of her.[ch. 3,5] Chitoge stated that when she was young, she was unable to make friends because of Claude's overprotectiveness and background checks. He raises Tsugumi as a hitman, disregarding her gender by giving her a boy's name Seishirou.[ch. 17]
Ruri is Kosaki's best friend. She often speaks what is on her mind, and actively pushes Kosaki to get closer to Raku.[ch. 8] She regularly beats up Shu for his perverted comments,[ch. 10,11] although sometimes Shu has pearls of wisdom that she can respect.[ch. 58]
Tsugumi is a hitwoman who was raised and trained by Claude of the Beehive Gangsters.[ch. 14-16] Tsugumi is originally introduced as a guy who transfers to Chitoge's class, and has orders to protect her from Raku, whom she thinks forced Chitoge into the relationship.[ch. 15] She and Chitoge are childhood friends; she tries to keep a ten year old promise of becoming strong to protect Chitoge.[ch. 16] However, after Raku treats her nicely, she begins to develop feelings for him, even though she is too stubborn and embarrassed to admit it.[ch. 18,20,40] In America, her assassin code name is "Black Tiger", who had a rivalry with "White Fang" Paula McCoy.[ch. 54] She does well academically, having ranked next to Chitoge on a yearly exam.[ch. 56] Raku has occasionally confided with her as a good friend and also for romance advice.[ch. 68,79,80,83]
Marika transfers to Raku's class and is introduced as his fiancée; she bears a key that she thinks will unlock Raku's pendant, and is the most vocal about expressing her love to Raku. She is the daughter of the police chief, and has been in love with Raku for the past ten years.[ch. 33] She does not get along with Chitoge; she states she hates girls with long hair despite the fact that she also has long hair.[ch. 34] Although she has a reputation of being a fighter, she has a frail constitution; ten years prior, she was frequently visited by a young Raku, who brought her gifts and sparked a friendship with her. Because Raku mentions he likes a girly girl with long hair, she grows her hair out and tries to speak politely and feminine, only reverting to her crude Kyushu accent when flustered.[ch. 35-36]
Paula is an assassin for the Beehive gangsters who has trained in America; her alias is "White Fang".[ch. 54] She is a colleague of Tsugumi, whom she considers her rival as she has finished second to her in many missions. She is upset that Tsugumi has gotten soft after going to Japan.[ch. 54] When she challenges Tsugumi to a match where the goal is to steal a kiss from Raku,[ch. 54] she eventually loses and has to give up on Seishirou returning to America with her.[ch. 54,55] She later returns to Japan as a student at Tsugumi's school.[ch. 75] After seeing that Tsugumi acts shy and embarrassed when near Raku, she sets up romantic situations where the two are together.[ch. 79,80] She eventually opens up to the possibility of being friends with people after talking with Haru Onodera.[ch. 81,82]
Kosaki's sister who is a school year younger than Raku and the gang.[ch. 75,76] On her way to school she is saved from some delinquents by a mysterious prince (actually Raku Ichijo)[ch. 75] and ends up with his locket.[ch. 76] Her first impression of Raku is negative as she believes that he is a womanizer who is trying to trick her sister, a dangerous yakuza, and a pervert for looking at her panties.[ch. 75,76] She also refuses to return his locket until Raku convinces her that he is helping the prince.[ch. 78] Unlike her sister, she is a good cook.[ch. 77] She later reveals that she was helped by a guy in a mascot costume (also Raku) who treats her with vanilla ice cream.[ch. 94] Later, Haru finally warms up to Raku and even states that she has fallen in love with him, but does not want to get in the way of her sister's love for Raku and decides that she will support her.[ch. 109]
Yui is Raku's childhood friend and the chair of the Char Siu mafia.[ch. 118] She came back to Japan after spending several years in a foreign country. She also knows Chitoge, Kosaki and Marika, and like them, holds a key which could unlock Raku's locket.[ch. 119,120] Shortly after her arrival in Japan, she becomes the gang's new homeroom teacher, having replaced Kyoko who retired because of marriage, and later moves in with Raku.[ch. 119] She later publicizes to Chitoge that she also holds romantic feelings for Raku, who solely views Yui as an older sister.[ch. 126]
Nisekoi is written and illustrated by Naoshi Komi and began as a one-shot manga, published in Shueisha's seasonal Jump NEXT! magazine on January 8, 2011, before beginning serialization in Weekly Shōnen Jump on November 7, 2011. In December 2011, Shueisha published the first chapter in English online. A voice comic (vomic) was also produced and its first episode was released on June 1, 2012. The manga has been licensed in English by Viz Media and published in their digital magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump since November 26, 2012, under the name Nisekoi: False Love.
Nisekoi's chapters have been compiled in 12 tankōbon volumes, which were published under Shueisha's Jump Comics imprint between May 2, 2012, and May 2, 2014. The ninth volume was released simultaneously with a special edition, bundled with a drama CD, on November 1, 2013. Since November 26, 2012, Viz Media's have been releasing volumes in English digitally. They also released the first volume in print on January 7, 2014, and plan to release a new one every two months.
A 20-episode anime adaptation produced by Shaft and directed by Akiyuki Shinbo aired from January 11 to May 24 2014. The opening theme is "Click" by ClariS. The first ending theme besides "Click" for episode 1 is "Heart Pattern" by Nao Toyama starting from episode 2. The second ending theme is "Recover Decoration" (リカバーデコレーション,Rikabā Dekorēshon?) by Kana Hanazawa starting from episode 8. The third ending theme is "Trick Box" by Mikako Komatsu starting from episode 15. The fourth ending theme is "Hanagonomi" (はなごのみ?) by Kana Asumi starting from episode 18. The fifth ending "Sōzō Diary" (想像ダイアリー,Sōzō Daiarī?) by Toyama as Chitoge Kirisaki, Hanazawa as Kosaki Onodera, Komatsu as Seishirou Tsugumi, and Asumi as Marika Tachibana at the end of Episode 20. On the Japanese Blu-ray version, the fourth ending theme is "Order×Order" (オーダー×オーダー,Ōdā×Ōdā?) by Yumi Uchiyama. The second opening theme is "Step" by ClariS. An OVA was announced for a release in fall of 2014 with the 14th tankōbon volume of the manga.
This section requires expansion with: add brief summary of novel series and how it is different from the comic. (March 2014)
A two-volume novel series, titled Nisekoi: Urabana, was published by Shueisha under their Jump j-Books imprint. The novels are written by Hajime Tanaka and illustrated by Naoshi Komi. The first volume was published on June 4, 2013 and the second on December 28, 2013.
Nisekoi was listed at number 30 out of Oricon's top 30 manga series sold in 2013, with 1,542,417 copies sold.
Rebecca Silverman of Anime News Network writes that the Nisekoi manga has a large lack of originality, such as "nearly every plot point can be traced back to another shounen series (primarily Sumomomo, Momomo in terms of Raku's home life)." Also "seasoned readers of shounen romance will recognize elements from at least three other series in there." However, she enjoyed the art and overall sense of fun.
Andy Hanley of UK Anime Network found Nisekoi: False Love to be "packed to the rafters with clichés" but light-hearted and fun to read. He said the character designs were traditional but the author knows when to detail backgrounds or keep things simple. The translations were decent and the dialogue smooth.
In reviewing the anime, Theron Martin of Anime News Network saw the "plot twist coming a mile away" but "the setup shows promise". Hope Chapman critiqued the show's pacing: "Telling a simple story in a complex way kills the pacing, in this case. Plot points and character moments that could be communicated in one minute take three in Shinbo-style, and it just doesn't add anything when the story is this small and straightforward". Carl Kimlinger found the "improbably romantic fantasy" done right, a story relatively enjoyable after having reviewed No-Rin.
In his UK Anime Network review of the first five episodes, Andy Hanley found the series an exercise in box ticking, if viewed cynically, but it "has simply taken old concepts and polished them until they're gleaming and immaculate - and it works". He felt that Shaft's animation style was a bit overbearing in the first episode, but settles well in accenting the important parts of the show. The voice cast captured the characters well, and the overall presentation was top notch.