After giving the first season of Nisekoi a very good 4 stars out of 5 in my ORIGINAL REVIEW, it should be no surprise to hear that I was looking forward to the second season. So how did it compare?
Background: As per aforementioned review, the source manga is written and illustrated by Naoshi Komi and is currently being serialised in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The anime is again by the studio Shaft (Puella Magi Madoka Magica).
Once again, we follow Raku and Chitoge as they continue the ‘fake love’ relationship that their parents thrust upon them to prevent gang war breaking out. At twelve episodes long, the season is almost half the length of the twenty episode original, but that shouldn’t in itself be a deterrent. So … let’s get to the review!
The Good: One thing that Nisekoi continues to do well is tell a fairly standard story in an incredibly endearing way. The humour has maintained its light-hearted feel and the two leads are no less likeable than in our previous run with them. Thankfully, while it really takes until the end of the season to happen, they also both develop a little throughout. Raku is slowly realising that he likes Chitoge, with his occasional blushes popping up more and more when he thinks about her. Chitoge meanwhile is also coming to terms with the possibility that she might have feelings for her dense fake lover.
Season two also introduces some new characters into the mix. A young assassin named Paula McCoy turns up and reunites with the masculine Seishirō in a city wide battle that the hapless Raku manages to get dragged into without meaning to. As episodes go, it’s good fun. Hana, the workaholic Mother of Chitoge is also introduced in a super two-parter that sees Raku move Heaven and hell to ensure Chitoge’s happiness. Finally, Haru Onodera, younger sister of Kosaki Onodera turns up as a regular and immediately takes a disliking to Raku whom she views as immoral.
While not the best part of the series, Haru does do something that surprised me. There is an ongoing gag where Raku accidentally catches sight of Haru’s underwear. While my previous reviews and comments should make my negative view of fan service and the sexualisation of children clear, what they do here is unusual: the incident is never painted as sexual. If anything, Raku is labelled a pervert for seeing said items, even though it is always accidental, and the events are always painted as bad things. While not a terrific joke to begin with, this does at least paint such occurrences up to be negative. I can appreciate that sentiment.
With a shorter running time, the series whizzes by at a remarkable pace and never really lets up, even when dropping into episodes that contain multiple shorter parts. The animation is also consistent again, as can be seen in the supremely catch OPENING VIDEO. In fact, I would go so far to say that it even addresses the minor issues I mentioned from the last season. Huzzah!
The Bad: It is commonly said that season two does not advance the main storyline of Nisekoi. While that may be an exaggeration, it does take a long time for any significant advances to be made, which is a shame. The result of this is that the locket storyline never really reaches prominence, leaving that particular thread hanging.
But hey, they introduced a bunch of new characters so spent the time focussing on them instead, right? Unfortunately not. Paula rarely appears after her awesome initial episode and Hana disappears after her two (bar a brief mention by Chitoge’s Dad in the final episode). Haru, who is probably the least interesting of the three, gets more appearances than either of the other two, usually around her sister Kosaki.
Oh yes, Kosaki. She doesn’t really develop at all through the season, leaving her in pretty much the exactly same position as she was in before: overly nice, and overly bland. That she remains a constant roadblock to Raku coming to terms with his growing feelings for Chitoge also bugs me as, as I said before, I do love them as a couple and am not a fan of Kosaki preventing their growth on such a regular basis.
Subbed or Dubbed: No dubbed version again, so subbed it is. As before, the main cast is really good. The newcomers hold their own as well, so you’ll have no complaints from me.
Final View: Nisekoi continues to endear me and the second season doesn’t do anything to dampen that. Sure, it didn’t do much to advance things, but the episodes themselves are still strong. For that reason, I have no reason to rate it any lower than the first season. If you go into it expecting fun but little else, you won’t be disappointed.
Final Score: 4 / 5