Title: Nisekoi Season One
Anime Studio: Shaft
Genre: Harem / Romantic Comedy
Raku and the girls are back! The hunt for the key to his heart and locket continues in the second season of this fan favourite anime series. Nisekoi: features all the familiar characters from the first season joined by Kosaki’s younger sister Haru. With a new girl entering the equation, will it really be “more the merrier” for Raku? What will happen to this false love?
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? Well, let’s find out. As per the aforementioned review, the source manga is written and illustrated by Naoshi Komi and was serialised in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The anime is again by the studio Shaft of Puella Magi Madoka Magica fame. Once again, we follow Raku and Chitoge as they continue the ‘fake love’ relationship that their parents thrust upon them to prevent a gang war from breaking out.
With those similarities in mind, it’s worth noting that one thing Nisekoi continues to do well is telling 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 superb two-parter that sees Raku move Heaven and Hell to ensure Chitoge’s happiness. Finally, Haru Onodera, the younger sister of Kosaki Onodera, turns up as a regular and immediately takes a disliking to Raku whom she views as immoral.
The animation was also consistent again, and there was a supremely catchy opening theme to boot. In fact, the only significant difference between this and season one is that, at twelve episodes long, it’s almost half the length of the twenty episode original. That actually went in its favour, overall. With a shorter running time, the series whizzed by at a remarkable pace and never really let up, even when dropping into episodes that contain multiple shorter parts.
The series does have its faults though. There is an ongoing gag where Raku accidentally catches sight of Haru’s underwear. Okay, so it’s never on purpose. And Raku is labelled a pervert for seeing said items, making it clear that it would entirely wrong if he had done it on purpose. It’s still an unwelcome joke though, especially as it happens more than once.
It is also 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. Speaking of whom, Kosaki doesn’t really develop at all through the season, leaving her in pretty much exactly the same position as she was in before: overly nice, and overly bland.
Even with these gripes though, 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. This gets 4 out of 5 from me.