Nisekoi: Who Holds the True Key?

  • Nisekoi is an anime that has received a lot of praise from both Japan and the world by male and female viewers and readers. Nisekoi is a romantic comedy manga series that has also been adapted into two seasons of an anime series. If you haven’t watched or read Nisekoi yet, you might just be missing quite a lot of cute anime romance!

    Nisekoi’s Plot

    Nisekoi is about a high school boy and son of a gang leader named Ichijou Raku, who made a promise ten years ago to a girl he met. They promised themselves that they would marry each other when they meet again. Raku keeps the promise and wears a locket to show it. However, Raku’s father’s gang has made peace with their rivals and in doing so, Raku is forced to be in a fake relationship with the daughter of the rival gang leader. Worse than that, Raku can’t remember who he made the promise with and there are multiple keys belonging to several girls who want to try opening his locket!

    Main Characters in Nisekoi:
    (WARNING: May contain spoilers for those who haven’t watched or read Nisekoi yet!)

    Ichijou Raku(一条楽)

    Ichijou Raku is the main male protagonist in Nisekoi and is the son of the Shuei-Gumi Yakuza leader. In order to settle the feud between the Yakuza and Gang leader, both parties have agreed to pair their children. Raku is then forced to spend three years of his high school life in a fake relationship with Kirisaki Chitoge despite having a crush on one of his classmates, Onodera Kosaki. Raku is always wearing a locket which is the symbol for the childhood promise. His feelings for Chitoge are still unclear but are shown more throughout the series.

    Kirisaki Chitoge (桐崎千棘)

    Kirisaki Chitoge is the daughter of the leader of the Beehive Gang and is Raku’s fake girlfriend. She is half Japanese and transferred to Bonyari High School in Japan from the United States. During her childhood, she made a promise to marry a boy and holds a key to the boy’s locket as proof of their promise. Although Chitoge has a diary of her childhood, the details are not elaborate enough for her to remember. Chitoge also has a female bodyguard, Tsugumi, who is always there for her. She is often called as Gorilla by Raku and it is later revealed that Chitoge has developed feelings for him.

    Onodera Kosaki (小野寺小咲)

    Onodera Kosaki is Raku’s classmate and love interest. Despite Raku not knowing it, Kosaki also has feelings for him. They went to the same middle school and Kosaki took the exam to Bonyari High School when she found out Raku was planning to go there. Her family owns a Japanese sweets shop where Raku also helped a number of times. She also holds a key that could potentially open Raku’s locket.

    Tachibana Marika (橘万里花)

    Tachibana Marika is introduced as Raku’s fiance. Despite being expressive of her feelings towards Raku, Marika has always had a frail body. During her childhood, she spent time in a hospital in a mountainside. She and Raku met and became friends there and the latter would often visit her in the hospital bringing items he picked from the forest. On the day of their parting, the two took a photo to remember their promise. Marika is also a potential candidate because she also holds a key that may possibly open Raku’s locket. Marika used to call Raku Rakkun but she calls him Raku Sama when they met again.

    Seishiro Tsugumi (鶫誠士郎)

    Seishiro Tsugumi is Chitoge’s bodyguard and childhood friend. Known as Black Tiger, Tsugumi was raised and trained by Claude, a member of the Beehive Gang. Tsugumi transferred to the same school as Chitoge but is always wearing the boys uniform. She was also mistaken by Raku as a boy. Due to Raku’s kindness, Tsugumi has started to develop feelings for him but refuses to admit it. Despite this, Tsugumi and Raku are good friends as Raku often asks Tsugumi for advice.

    Kanakura Yui (奏倉羽)

    For those of you who have only watched the anime, Yui has not made an appearance there yet except for the manga. Kanakura Yui is Raku’s older childhood friend and is attracted to him, although Raku looks up to Yui as an older sister. She went overseas and eventually became the head of the Char Siu Mafia. Yui went back to Japan when both of her parents passed away having no relatives left except for Raku who she considers family. She becomes the new homeroom teacher for Raku’s class. Yui is also in possession of a key that could possibly open Raku’s locket. At the same time, Yui knows all of the main girls because all of them were together 10 years ago.

    The Nisekoi Franchise

    The manga is written and illustrated by artist Naoshi Komi which started out as a one-shot manga. As of this writing, 20 compilation volumes including 193 chapters have already been released. Nisekoi’s manga was listed at number 30 by Oricon’s top 30 manga series in 2013 with over 1,542,417 copies sold. Last year, Nisekoi’s manga sold more than twice of the copies from the previous year, ranking it number 16 out of the top 30.

    The first anime adaptation was aired in January 2014 which consisted of 20 episodes plus 3 original video animations. The first season covered mainly around 50 chapters from the manga and introduced all of the important main characters except for Yui. The second season was just aired this year in April, with only 12 episodes. Quite a few episodes less compared to the first season, but the second season actually covered up until around chapter 100 and introduced two new main supporting characters. This arc of the story is also where the characters start to express their affection more towards each other.

    Nisekoi is one of my favorite anime and manga because of its cute and slowly progressing story. There are a few fillers here and there, but this does not distract from the story. Many viewers and readers are curious as to who really holds the key that will open Raku’s locket. Not to mention if Yui will ever take part in the 3rd season of the anime if there will be one! So if you haven’t seen or read Nisekoi yet, check it out. It’s a fun franchise you’ll surely enjoy.

    *Featured Image: