So, Nisekoi, that was good last time I checked, right? Episode two wasn’t bad either. Episode three is borderline unwatchable. Why? Because everything.
In counting sins, let us start with the least offensive, the animation. It’s still not bad, but it’s also not nearly as enticing as in the first episode. There’s a lot less variety, less detail, less flare, and not anything new. At their best, when Shaft animates a scene, even if nothing actually happens in that scene, it will still look good, because Shaft plays with the camera enough to keep it interesting. In this episode however, that didn’t really happen; only a couple angles per scene were used and none of them really gave any new perspective, and I’m not quite sure why since the settings could easily have been made to suit more interesting ones. Coupled with that is the lack of movement; the characters hardly move, and when they do it’s in very plain, simply animated ways. I’m still not sure if it looks good or not. The style’s still pretty, but it’s all very dreary and lackluster. Then again, it’s hard to tell a boring story in an exciting way.
The plot offers nothing for anyone who does not enjoy tedious, predictable boredom. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, but have seen episode two, then just imagine episode two again, but this time set in school. Raku and Chitoge have to pretend to be dating; Raku tries to tell Onodere; we see the key again incase anyone’s stupid enough to not get that whole thing yet; bonding moment between Raku and Chitoge at the end. The love triangle doesn’t shift in anyway from where it was.
Even the few plot points that do occur are visible a mile away, for example: “At least Claude doesn’t watch us as school.” “Oh my god! Claude’s watching us at school too!” And you just know there’s gonna be a “I’m not convinced you’re actually dating. Kiss each other to prove it.” I would sooner drive nails into my head then watch that crap.
But wait, this is the anime equivalent of a romantic comedy, so if the romance sucks, it must be funny, right? Depends on your kind of funny, but… no. It’s just not. Moving on.
All of what I’ve said so far makes a mediocre anime. Nisekoi, at least episode three of it, is far worse than mediocre. Its most egregious sin of all is its characters. There’re still only three that matter, Onodere, Chitoge and Raku, or as like to called them, Satin, Tsundere and The King of Morons.
Satin earns her name for being the unique common denominator of what I can only call hellish torture. Whenever she appears it is only to bring up the childhood-friend romance plot, but the writers don’t seem to want to go anywhere with that, so it becomes this awkward “Oh, he’s going to find out! Psyche!” maneuver that makes the show look incompetent, and gives our main character his nickname.
Raku is incredibly stupid. And it’s not like where the main character is meant to be stupid; he’s stupid because the writers need him to not realize the obvious; he is stupid purely to cover up a plot hole, and it doesn’t even work. Not all stupid characters are bad (if they were, Kamina wouldn’t be nearly as popular), but when a character has nothing else going for them, making them at least a little bright is typically the best way to save them. Lacking even that, Raku is just a bland and hard to like character.
And tsundere, I was hoping she’d be more interesting, but she’s not. Tsundere really does sum her up; seen a tsundere trope? That’s her.
I wanted Nisekoi to be good, or at least above average; in the romance anime market, that’s really not a high bar. And as it goes on maybe it will pick up a bit, but as is it is boring my to death, and I don’t see a significant enough shift in it’s future to fix that. I might watch the next episode, I might not, but I’m pretty sure this will be my final word on the show.