I love harem anime, it’s one of, if not my favourite genre of anime. I find that in harem anime, the insanity dial is usually turned up the highest, the comedy at times is at its best and I don’t have a problem with sexuality and innuendo, so it works for me. Normally too with harem anime, it’s sexy and raunchy as fuck, takes shows like Highschool DxD, Freezing or even my personal favourite, Infinite Stratos.
But in the case of Nisekoi, while there is a tiny bit of ecchi in the show, Nisekoi actually becomes one of my favourite all-time harem anime shows by just being really funny, really well-written and really sweet to watch.
The concept of the show is fantastic as well. Raku owns a locket with a keyhole, he has not opened it and cannot remember who holds the key, other than that it’s a girl that he made essentially a promise to marry when he was a little kid. And as the show progresses, without spoiling too much, it’s not as simple as there just being one girl with the key to his locket.
What I like immediately about the show is that unlike most harem anime main characters, Raku actually knows in the back of his mind from Episode 1 which girl he’s in love with, regardless of the fact he doesn’t know at the time who has the key to his locket. How often in harem anime does that main character have someone they’re in love with at all, let alone right from the very start? Not that many. And not only that, but he actually tries to pursue that relationship, albeit constantly interrupted.
Secondly, the majority of female characters in the show for the majority of the show aren’t even into him. Kosaki certainly is from the start, but every other female character starts off indifferent to Raku or straight up doesn’t like him. Take Seishirou, who I did a Character Spotlight yesterday on, she wants Raku dead when they first meet. Seriously, she tries to straight up kill him! But after learning that while yes, he is the son of a Yakuza leader, he’s not trying to take Chitoge who’s the daughter of a mafia boss and force her into a relationship, rather the two of them are being forced into a relationship, she actually calms the fuck down and begins to half-ass like him and even fall for him, even though she doesn’t admit it.
And that’s another thing that makes this show interesting, it’s not just Raku’s journey to find the girl who has the key to his locket, he has multiple relationships going on, whether he wants them or not. He’s after Kosaki, the girl he’s fallen for in his class, but because his father, who’s a Yakuza leader made a deal with a mafia boss to end a turf war between both sides by having their children marry each other, Raku now has to deal with Chitoge and they hate each other from the very start. So not only does he have to try and act like he loves this girl he hates, he has to struggle with the fact that he still wants to be with Kosaki, yet he has to advertise to everyone including her that he’s already taken and will be marrying Chitoge. It’s such a complicated, yet seamlessly told story that the anime employs in its first season especially.
Once you add in other characters like Seishirou and Ruri, the anime takes on a fantastic personality, ridden with slapstick humour, ridiculous situations and yet a really interesting love story between one boy and a few girls who over time grow to fall for him as well. And while the anime hasn’t finished and the manga has (which depresses me that I was spoiled on who he ends up with), the two seasons so far, that is if the show will finish the story in anime form as well, they’ve been fantastic. They’ve been super funny and super sweet, able to hit both sides of the spectrum whether you like to laugh your ass off or be lovestruck by the various relationships slowly forming before your very eyes.
If you’re into romantic comedies and don’t mind the harem genre added into it, this is a perfect show to watch. It’s not too heavy on the ecchi content either, there’s not a myriad of panty shots to turn you off, there’s not jiggling breasts or excess nudity, none of that jazz that while I don’t have an issue with, it’s a deal breaker for others. This show is pure and simple, a romantic comedy and a damn good one at that!