You’ll probably be tired to watch a series with a flashback presentation- the image of childhood memories between two people who made a promise to each other they’ll get married as they grow up. At first glance, it seemed ordinary so you wanted to skip the series. You would also expect that the series will spend most of the episodes searching desperately for the key to unlock the heart with an oh-so cheesy ending you wouldn’t want to see in your entire life. But of course, the series won’t allow you to keep away from your screen just because of superficial lovey-dovey scenarios. It’s far different from what you’ve imagined. Take a look further, and your heart will skip a beat.

Nisekoi. It literally means False Love. This is a story of a young boy, Raku Ichijo, the son of the leader in the Yakuza faction Shuei-Gumi. Along with his goal to search for the girl from his past however believes she is Onodera, encounters a disastrous circumstance. He meets a half-American girl, Chitoge Kirisaki, who is the daughter of the rival gang, Beehive. She accidentally knees Raku on the face after she hops over the wall. They begin to dislike each other after realizing she is the new transfer student, and much more, Raku asks her to look for his lost locket. One day, he is then arranged by his Yakuza family to be the boyfriend of, with much surprise, Kirisaki, to settle the feud and maintain peace between the gangs. Though against their will, the two must pretend to be in a relationship.

My first attempt to watch this series was a total disappointment because I was extremely bored with the main lead who keeps dwelling over something that happened years ago, and the concept pertains to promises from the past with sadness, angst and anything emotional, which, in my point of view, is an overused idea from other creator. It was plain at first with a very classic beginning as a visual novel harem plot. I could also see these cute girls I have exactly imagined these types of persona would exist, deres and moes around this poor guy. Honestly, I’m not fond of harem anime, but it all depends how the story flows finely. Eventually, I dropped the series after watching the half of its first episode. After much thought within a week, I decided to look back and re-started watching the first episode because it bothered me a lot why the anime is one of those highly recommended series. I finally realized it is something extraordinary, not just all about the dramatic flashback stories but more on the comical angle which makes the series perfectly fine.

Nisekoi is far different from other romantic comedy series and almost makes it to the top point because it has a good sense of lighthearted perspectives. It doesn’t have a cliche on hate-to-love or vice versa scenario as the presence of a typical image of youngsters in their romantic life is out from the event. However, demographically, I won’t consider the series to have a strong spice of shounen because the image of the male protagonist, Raku, seems to be a conventional harem guy with cute girls around him. Though with your typical male lead, the story is made in a hilarious way especially when it comes to his personality – an average-type, dumbass, all-for-nothing guy, who is in love with Onodera, and another entertaining point in the series is the wild gorilla behavior of Kirisaki towards Raku. No matter how perfectly you visualize whom the male protagonist will end up with, you will be clueless as you go on with the series.

The characterization is the notable factor in the series. It is really important for a rom-com anime to portray a good expression of characters especially when it comes to humorous events, and a good example is the embarrassing moment of Raku towards Onodera whenever he makes a super deformed face out from the real world. Like other dorky protagonists from harem shows, it is expected that Raku has a hard time expressing himself towards his love interest and makes those situations into the funniest way just to entertain the viewers. It shows that the series tries to maintain a good balance between romance and comedy. Moreover, there are some sort of fan-service and different types of dere among the female leads which make it even more appealing.

The first opening theme titled Click is one of the best anime themes I’ve heard so far in this modern times. It sounds lovely with the well-blended melody and harmony of the performer, ClariS, a Japanese pop duo. The second opening theme, performed by the same artists, is fairly good and very refreshing to ears, but I prefer the first theme though. I also appreciate the ending themes which, although not that superb, are still good to listen.

Nisekoi isn’t that outstanding when it comes to a notable rom-com show, but the series has a decent feel. It is kind of refreshing at first, but I ended up watching the anime for convenience. I still enjoyed watching the whole thing though. So, if you’re looking for a series with an average story of romance with some splash of harem, Nisekoi is the one you shouldn’t ignore in the list.

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