Manga Review: Nisekoi: False Love Volume Six

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 has to pretend to date Chitoge Kirisaki in order to keep the peace between his father’s yakuza gang and Chitoge’s father’s gang. As the series has progressed up to this point, Raku has also acquired two more potential love interests: Marika Tachibana and Seishiro Tsugumi.

Nisekoi: False Love Volume Six
Written by: Naoshi Komi
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: November 4, 2014

Volume Six picks up where Volume Five left off, with Raku and his friends off on summer vacation and spending time at the beach. Chitoge overhears Onodera asking Raku if he’d kiss her, and this bothers Chitoge. One night, Chitoge asks Raku if he thought it would work if they were really going out, and after some hesitation says it wouldn’t. This angers Chitoge, and she doesn’t speak to him for the rest of summer vacation. But during summer vacation, Raku finds himself thinking of Chitoge and berates himself for it because he’s in love with Onodera.

When they return to school after break, we find that Chitoge still doesn’t want to be around Raku. Chitoge’s question at the beach ends up playing an important role in the story that begins when they return to school. I have to say that Komi did a fantastic job of running this thread throughout most of the story in Volume Six, and that it helped to make this particular volume feel the most cohesive of the six that I’ve read up to this point.

The school festival is coming up, and Raku’s class decides to put on a play of Romeo and Juliet. Raku is cast as Romeo, and Chitoge is supposed to be Juliet, but she declines. Onodera ends up with the role, and Marika insists on being her understudy. The buildup to the play, as well as the play itself, ends up taking up most of the Volume Six. On the day of the performance, Onodera sprains her ankle and Marika is sick, so Raku has to convince Chitoge to fill in as Juliet at the last minute. The play ends up not going as originally written, thanks to hijinks and interruptions by various members of the cast. However, the end result is actually rather amusing and goes over really well with the audience watching it.

Romeo and Juliet is a popular play to see in manga, especially with the production turning into a comedy. Other series, such as Ranma 1/2 have done this trick, but I thought it worked well for Nisekoi: False Love. There’s a lot of parallels between the story of Romeo and Juliet and the situation that Raku and Chitoge find themselves in, so they’re able to pull off their roles in the play rather convincingly.

Chitoge is a major focus of Volume Six, with a thread running through most of it over her confusion about her feelings for Raku. But in the story immediately following the play, she finally admits to herself that she’s really in love with him. This realization is a big step forward for her, and it adds another layer to her character. This particular chapter also sees Raku getting his pendant back, but they can’t test the keys due to the fact that there’s something stuck deep inside the lock that keeps it from being opened. In order to get it out, the pendant would have to be destroyed. Well, this answers a question I had while reading the recent chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump as to why they simply haven’t tried unlocking the locket with the various keys. Now I can be a little less critical on this point going forward with the most recent chapters!

Overall, the final two chapters, which are stand-alone stories, aren’t quite as strong as the end of the summer vacation story and the story about the play. They brought down what was otherwise a rather strong volume up to that point.

I have to say that so far, this is the strongest volume of Nisekoi: False Love that I’ve read. Unfortunately, I already know from reading the most recent chapters that the quality that I saw in this volume doesn’t continue for the long term. But when Komi puts his mind to it, he can produce a story that’s compelling even though many of the elements of the series feel derivative.

I’m still going on with Nisekoi: False Love in order to continue filling in the gaps that I have from jumping into the series a few months back, but at least Volume Six was an enjoyable enough read. After reading this volume, I believe that if you’re a fan of Nisekoi: False Love and have enjoyed the previous five volumes, then you’ll definitely enjoy reading Volume Six.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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