Nisekoi: False Love Volume 11 features Raku Ichijo, a high school boy who pretends to date Chitoge Kirisaki in order to keep the peace between their yakuza families. During the series, Raku attracts other girls’ attention, which only complicates his situation. And if that isn’t enough, Raku is also trying to find a girl he made a promise with 10 years ago that included giving her a key that would open a locket that he wears.
Volume 11 opens with Raku still having amnesia after being hit by a ball at the end of Volume 10. As Raku and his friends meet at Onodera’s house to try to help him jog his memory, Marika finds an old picture book. Surprisingly, this particular book starts to jog Raku’s memory a little, and the story and pictures seem to fit in with the locket, key, and promise aspect of the overarching story. Just as it appears this might actually provide a clue to solve the mystery of the girl Raku made the promise with, it’s discovered that the final pages of the book are missing. While finding this book was a good thing due to helping Raku with his amnesia to some extent and for starting to provide some kind of a clue for the overarching story, it’s a little frustrating that this ends up being a loose end. I expect this picture book will become important at some point later in the story.
But during the amnesia storyline, Chitoge finds herself feeling awkward. Since Raku doesn’t remember anything, he believes that Chitoge is really his girlfriend because he was told that this was a fact. It seems like Chitoge is starting to fall for Raku for real, but she keeps trying to deny this to herself. But she feels bad about the situation Raku is in, and she decides she can’t continue the charade of bring his real girlfriend. And it’s Chitoge who turns out to be the catalyst for Raku getting his memory back due to a humorous misunderstanding. While I have to admit that the amnesia storyline was kind of interesting, I’m glad Komi didn’t try to stretch it out any farther. If he had, I think this storyline would have found itself resorting to overused gags.
Next, there’s a one chapter story focusing on Onodera thinking she’s gained weight and deciding not to eat in order to try to lose weight. Raku notices that something’s wrong, and he’s ultimately the one who’s able to steer her on the right path. Personally, I didn’t care much for this story, since the humor was being derived from someone thinking they have a weight problem and need to go on a crash diet.
This is followed by another story about Onodera, this time about Raku wanting to celebrate her birthday but not knowing what to get her. Raku asks for help from her sister Haru, who only does so reluctantly since she’s still not a fan of his at this point in the story. While the interactions are awkward, it’s revealed that Raku had helped Haru in the past but she didn’t know it. By the end of this chapter, Haru may still not like Raku, but she doesn’t seem to be quite so antagonistic toward him. While it may not have been much progression for Haru’s attitude toward Raku, this small step is better than nothing.
Marika receives an unexpected visit from her friend, Mikage. She’s come to check up on Marika and to meet Raku. She gives them a hard time, and says she won’t leave until the two of them kiss. This leads to Mikage helping them cut school to go to an amusement park. But among the hijinks and comedy, a discussion that Mikage has with Marika seems to be dropping a hint that Marika is hiding something important from Raku and the others. After reading this story, I found Mikage to be rather annoying. In fact, I think I’d even go so far as to say that I find her to be even more annoying than Marika.
The final chapter of Nisekoi: False Love Volume 11 was my favorite. It’s a flashback of Onodera and Raku in junior high, with Onodera narrating how she met him and fell for him. It’s also a sweet story that shows that the two of them almost ended up at different high schools. I thought this was some wonderful background information and character development to include for the series.
Outside of Onodera’s crash diet storyline, the rest of the volume seems to include important information, character progression, and plot progression for the overarching story. While Volume 10 may have had more of an emotional punch, Volume 11 did more to progress the story.
Fans of the series will be happy to receive another piece of the puzzle for the locket, key, and promise story. They will also want to read Nisekoi: False Love Volume 11 to see Onodera’s flashback. It’s really worth the wait, since the flashback appears in the final chapter in the volume.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media