Rating: 4.5/5 – A Christmas Wish Comes True
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Al Sparrow.
A lot has happened since I reviewed the first two volumes of Nisekoi:False Love. Raku and Chitoge have grown closer, but more women have shown up, with keys that potentially fit the locket to his heart, and like any good harem manga, nothing has been resolved yet to anyone’s satisfaction. Good for us as readers, not so great for the characters in the book. Chitoge has come to terms that she might actually have genuine feelings for Raku, but sadly, Raku remains oblivious to her as they keep up the pretense of being in love to satisfy their mafia-don fathers.
In volume 7, it’s the mothers, or at least Chitoge’s mother, who get a central role. Long estranged from her daughter, Hana Kirisaki is all business and no-nonsense. The two are lucky if they get together for more than a few moments, if at all, each year. So a Christmas visit is met with less than enthusiasm by Chitoge, and it doesn’t take long for Raku to figure out why. What follows is a heartwarming and often hilarious story as Raku attempts to create a mother and daughter reunion.
Niseoki has remained a favorite book of mine mainly because creator Naoshi Komi has managed to give me a story that delivers humor alongside the romance. I referred to it as a harem manga a few paragraphs back and really I don’t know if I’m being fair to it by doing so. Sure, there’s a love triangle (with a few extras thrown in) but ultimately there’s only one relationship that’s being taken seriously. While there’s still a possibility Raku and Chitoge may not end up together by the end of this book, it’s looking fairly slim at this point.
Fortunately, side characters like Marika Tachibana fill their roles nicely, providing a needed funny break from the more serious moments. If anything, this book knows how to pace itself and keep the reader engaged. A prime example of this is the introduction of yet another person trying to seek Raku’s romantic interest. How she’s introduced is a laugh-out-loud moment, and a testament to Komi’s ability to pace the jokes just right so when the blow is delivered, you’re not ready for it.
While Niseoki: False Love is a series best started at the beginning, volume 7 stands out as a great example of why I’m still sticking with it. The volume begins with a hilarious battle and jokes galore, and ends with a heartfelt Christmas story about how some gifts are more important than what we’re given wrapped up in paper and bows. We’re not even at the halfway point of released volumes, so I’m not sure how Komi can keep up this level of pacing and interest, but at least for now, I’m determined to hang around and find out.
Reviewed by: Al Sparrow
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