Manga Review: Nisekoi: False Love Volume Four

Raku Ichijo, a high school boy from a yakuza family, made a promise 10 years earlier with a girl he knew then that they would get married someday. He has a locket that the girl gave him, and she has the key that will open the locket. Unfortunately, he hasn’t seen this girl since, and he has no memory of her name or what she looked like. He has a crush on a girl named Kosaki Onodera, but he is having to pretend to date Chitoge Kirisaki in order to keep the peace between his father’s yakuza gang and Chitoge’s father’s gang.

Nisekoi: False Love Volume Four
Written by: Naoshi Komi
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 1, 2014

Previous to reading this volume, I had only read Volume One and the chapters that have been appearing in the Weekly Shonen Jump anthology since I started reading it in March 2014. Fortunately, the writeup at the beginning of this volume helped to fill in the gap of the story that would have been covered by the two volumes that I’ve skipped. At some point, I’m planning to go back and read Volumes Two and Three.

At the beginning of Volume Four, Seishiro Tsugumi, one of Chitoge’s servants who is now going to school with her, receives a love letter from a boy she doesn’t know and freaks out over it. Raku talks with her and explains what the sender is saying in his love letter and gives her some advice.

In the second story, Tsumugi pulls everyone aside while Chitoge’s away and tells them she’s throwing a surprise party for Chitoge that day because it’s her birthday. Ruri suggests that Raku and Onodera should shop for a present together. It’s a little awkward when they meet up, but when they’re done, Raku thinks it went by too fast. Onodera takes Raku to her secret spot where there’s a great view of the city. This spot is referenced in one of the later chapters that I’ve read, so when I saw this, I had an “ah ha” moment.

Raku asks Onodera out of the blue if she’s the girl he made the promise with 10 years ago. She says she thinks she is and says that she hopes that he is the boy she made her promise with. They meet up with everyone at Chitoge’s place for the party. When they’re alone, Chitoge tries her key in his locket. Unfortunately she turns it so hard that it breaks and Raku has to take the locket somewhere to get the broken key out of it.

Raku’s father finds a photograph from 10 years ago that he says shows the girl that he played with a lot back then, and Raku is surprised to see it’s a girl who isn’t either Onodera or Chitoge. After he sees the photograph, a new girl named Marika Tachibana transfers into his class. She recognizes Raku immediately and declares that she is his fiancée. Her father is the chief of police, and she’s very clingy when it comes to Raku and forces him to go on a date with her.

So this volume sees Raku’s harem growing with the addition of Marika. Personally, I find her to be rather annoying, especially since I’m already familiar with her from the later chapters I’ve read in Weekly Shonen Jump. She tries to come across as really sweet, but she can also be rather pushy, especially toward Raku.

But with Marika’s arrival, it appears that Chitoge is feeling jealous when she sees Marika pushing herself onto Raku. This seems to be dropping hints that perhaps Chitoge has started to develop some actual feelings for Raku.

As I read this series, I can’t help but wonder just how many girls in the world of Nisekoi just happened to make promises with boys 10 years ago that involve a locket and a key. From what I’ve seen later, I know there’s more than the three we’ve seen at this point in the series.

Volume Four builds on the world and story that were established in Volume One, and it’s been relatively easy to follow even though I haven’t read Volumes Two and Three yet. I have to say that while Nisekoi: False Love isn’t a bad series, it’s not one that I would consider to be one of my favorites. Like I mentioned in my review for Volume One, I’ve seen similar ideas and tropes in other manga series already, such as Ranma 1/2 and Love Hina. I believe this is a series that readers who may not have delved as much into manga and anime as I have can better appreciate it since the story won’t feel quite so recycled to them.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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