Winter 2014 Harem Hill, Week 13, Nisekoi Edition: A treatise in stalling

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Don’t want your cash cow to die? Tune in this week to another exciting episode of Nisekoi where we’ll reveal more scintillating ways to stall your plot! By the way, who’s the girl on the left?

• Y’know, considering how uncommon it is to see a blonde halfie in Japan (or anywhere else for that matter), it should be pretty damn easy for Raku to remember whether or not his childhood love was Chitoge…

• This whole buildup is so meaningless. Even if Raku does eventually identify his childhood love, so what? It doesn’t mean anything. Relationships aren’t built on the chase and the chase alone. In fact, the actual relationship part of the storyline is getting the short end of the stick here. We’re so obsessed with the chase that we’re ignoring the more human, more organic part of a love story: the actual fucking relationship. To see two people work through their trials and tribulations can be fascinating, inspiring, heart-wrenching, etc. Some of the best stories aren’t even about the coming together of two people, but rather, how those two people manage to stay together. And sometimes they don’t, but even a tragic love story can be beautiful. The game’s not over once two people get together. In fact, the game’s just started!

The problem with most romantic anime series is that it’s almost always about the chase. Romantic anime shows typically end as soon as the main couple gets together, so you rarely get to see what happens to them afterward. It’s just assumed that the two of them will live happily ever after, and as a result, this part of their story is deemed by many as “boring.” But if anything, this simply reveals how utterly inexperienced a lot of people are about real, actual relationships if they think the chase is the most interesting part. We may as well just dump our significant others then. Why bother staying in a long-term relationship if the chase is the best part? Just pump and dump, am I right? Obviously, I’m not being serious here, but this is the implicit takeaway from these shows. But hey, people always say, “Write what you know,” right? So I mean, if all you’ve ever done in your life is chase after others, well…

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• The characters continue to stall when all they have to do in order to settle this matter is stick Chitoge’s key into the goddamn locket. This is why we can’t have good things. This is why we have to endure episodes upon episodes of this nonsensical harem.

• Oh finally, Raku suggests that they just try to open his dumbass locket once and for all. Alright then, let’s do this. Let’s get over this proverbial hump.

• But Chitoge goes back to prattling on and on about how Raku couldn’t possibly be the boy from her childhood. ‘Cause y’know, it’s not like people can change. Nope, we’re absolutely static as human beings. Who I am when I was five is who I am now! I still eat nothing but mac and cheese, and I still do nothing but watch cartoons all day… wait a minute… shit!

Nah, I’m just kidding; I don’t eat mac and cheese. And oh my god, these are anime from Japan, not cartoons!

But seriously though, people change all the time. Statistically, most high school relationships do not work out in real life, because we all undergo massive changes in our lives during our 20s. Hell, even couples that have been married for decades will suddenly divorce each other one day because, well, change is human. But in the world of rigid tropes and character types, i.e. you totally have to be the tsunderekko from now till the Big Crunch, I guess change is impossible.

• Raku asks Chitoge what she would do if it turns out the boy from her past was really him all along. Chitoge accidentally blurts out that she would kiss him. I’m sure this is supposed to be a squee moment for the fans, i.e. “Oh my god, she totally loves him but she just can’t admit it!!!” But the way I see it, I’d have to really question a person’s judgment if they are ready and willing to kiss someone just because the two of them used to have play dates ten years ago.

• Five minutes into the anime, they still haven’t unlocked the locket.

• Literally one full minute has passed, but Chitoge’s penis has yet to breach Raku’s hymen. Guys, guys… this is like so funny! They’re stalling and that in itself is the height of comedy! Ha ha ha.

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• Oh my! Does it hurt, Raku? Would you like her to go slower? Do you want her to be more gentle?

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• It’s totally up against my womb!

• Well, would you look at that? The key fucking broke:

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So y’know, the story can now reset itself. None of the girls are closer to winning the world’s shittest version of The Bachelor yet. Y’all don’t have to worry a damn thing ’cause this anime is still going to continue on forever and ever. But hey, it’s not like we can use the broken key gimmick twice, so we’ll have to come up with something new the next time the characters ever have the damn gall to advance the storyline. Like maybe when Kosaki gets her turn at Raku’s tight hole, a mysterious alien race attacks! Just let your imagination run wild! As long as this particular subplot never advances, anything else is fair game!

• As Raku stomps away from his latest encounter with Chitoge, he ends up running into her dad. And her dad then proceeds to drop a not-so-surprising bombshell on us: all three of them, i.e. Raku, Chitoge, and Kosaki, were once childhood friends. So once again, the story hasn’t been advanced at all. Oh sure, we now have more details about these characters’ halcyon days, but nothing has actually changed. Let’s be honest: the fact that all three of them were once friends is completely superficial. Who cares?

But oh man, how curious is it that no one can seemingly remember that their shining friendship was really a trio! In fact, Chitoge found no mention in her diary whatsoever of a girlfriend! ‘Cause y’know, even though children at that age usually have no inkling of romantic love within them whatsoever, young Chitoge conveniently decided not to write a single word about her once playing with a girlfriend. This is some top-notch writing!

• Chitoge’s dad: “Oh, I don’t blame you for not remembering! It was ten years ago.”

oh come on

Seriously though, I still remember who I used to hang out with from twenty years ago, and y’know, I never even made any fucking childhood promises with them.

• But then he reveals that Chitoge was only in Japan for a month. A month! So maybe Raku does have a good reason to forget all about that one month of super special playtime. If we buy this, however, we run into another problem: why should we give a shit about a childhood promise made between two friends who have only spent a single month together? Because anime.

• Y’know what would be a good twist? Kosaki and Chitoge both made their promises to two other boys, one for each girl. And out of jealousy, young Raku bought himself a locket just so that he could feel wanted. Who then has the key to Raku’s locket? Well, who ever said that the you could even open his locket? That’s why Chitoge’s key broke! J’accuse! And the girl in his memories was none other than Raku staring at himself in the mirror! I’d dare say this twist would be quite psychologically taut.

• Raku: “Even if Kirisaki turns out to be that girl, it was just something that happened when we were kids, right?”

seriously

• Hey, guess what? It’ll take some time to fix Raku’s locket. In other words, you can forget about even entertaining the thought of the story advancing any time soon!

• So on the following day, Chitoge acts as though she doesn’t care whatsoever about the events that had transpired on the night before. But as soon as Raku touches her shoulder, she turns beet-red and yelps. Oh, how girls’ silly bodies betray them! This is why we police them so much, y’see.

• Body language 101: if a girl’s face is constantly flushed around you, it means that ________.

A. She secretly has a crush on you, dude! Go for it!
B. This gorilla is acting up, so I better neg her some more.
C. I don’t have a clue, LOL! After all, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Why bother trying to understand each other!
D. Cut to a scene about Kosaki instead because I get bored if I have to focus on a single girl.
E. All of the above

• Raku: “If [Kosaki] finds out that we met before, years ago, I wonder what kind of look she’ll get on her face?” If I was her, I’d be scared to learn just how poor my memory is: “Holy shit, do I have Alzheimer’s already?”

• Hey guys, we want to stall the story some more, but we’re all out of ideas, so is it okay if we just show you a clip montage of moments from previous episodes? It’s okay? Cool.

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• Even better, we’ll go through the photos from the school trip to the hot springs! I love rehashing old content!

• Raku: “…but don’t buy too many [photos], okay? I mean, these are 100 yen per photo. That’s too expensive…” This is the same guy who would only pay 2000 yen for Kosaki’s time. For a guy who’s supposed to inherit a yakuza clan, Raku can be such a miser. Besides, why is he even lecturing Chitoge about this? Naturally, the girl is excited to buy as many of the photos as she can, and honestly, who can blame her! With everyone’s shitty memory in this anime, you may as well immortalized your most cherished experiences in photographic form! Ten years from now, you wouldn’t want to forget all about that special trip to the hot springs, would you? But somehow, Raku takes offense to this: “Listen to me, both of you!” So he’s not just a miser! He’s also a control freak!

• Anyway, Raku and Kosaki proceed to blush and stutter over some goddamn photos. Photos of friends spending time together is so hazukashii, ne~ Let’s just all be shut-ins and write shitty stories about the importance of childhood promises instead.

• This is truly the most filler-ish way to end this episode. Raku notices a photo in which Kosaki can be found changing out of her clothes in the background. Oh no, you can totally see her bra strap. How risque. Such impropriety. We must thus make sure that nobody ever sees this photo.

bored

Sigh…

• But misunderstandings abound when Raku bumps into Kosaki and she notices the photo in his possession. She doesn’t notice, however, that the photo has her changing her clothes in the background, so she thinks Raku only wanted the damn thing for a close-up of Chitoge’s face. Blah blah blah. This is so inane.

• Afterwards, Raku thinks to himself…

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Boy, I sure am glad we didn’t get to the bottom of that! Otherwise, I’d run out of Nisekoi episodes to watch! What would I ever do if I couldn’t watch a dumbass fumble around with a bunch of photos for a quarter of an episode?

• But of course, we need the audience to come back next week for more plot-stalling action. As such, Raku’s dad rears his ugly head to tell our bland harem lead that there is in fact one — just one! — photo remaining from those long-forgotten days ten years ago! That photo just happens to be in the storeroom.

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So tune in next week as can see how this photo ends up telling us jack shit about the childhood friend’s true identity! I can’t wait! I haven’t seen a mystery this shitty since Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru!

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15 thoughts on “Winter 2014 Harem Hill, Week 13, Nisekoi Edition: A treatise in stalling”

  1. “we’re ignoring the more human, more organic part of a love story: the actual fucking relationship”

    I’d like to highlight how this sentence has two distinct possible readings, and they both apply here to some extent.

  2. The girl on the left is called Tachibana Marika.
    She’s the daughter of a police chief.
    And here’s a major spoiler:
    She’s in love with Yuuji too. Oh, I mean Racoon Ichijou. Or whatever his name is.
    :-D

    1. Daughter of a police chief? Lemme guess, she used to be a tomboy but now she’s all girly because she can’t ignore her feminine instincts?

  3. If you’re curious, I believe the mangaka didn’t exactly like Nisekoi, so he went and tried to make it as generic and slow-progressing as possible. Turns out it backfired on him, somewhow making it a huge success, and now he’s stuck doing a series he doesn’t exactly like (some say he even kinda hates it) just because people buy it more.

    So yeah, when you complain “Why the hell can the mangaka get away with something so generic”, keep in mind that he’s also asking “Why won’t you let Nisekoi fail, dammit!”.

    1. That doesn’t really hold up though. If he wanted to ruin Nisekoi, by inverse psychology, then, shouldn’t he suddenly make things happen? Like, one chapter the male lead loses his virginity with a total stranger. The next one a couple girls suddenly find out they’re actually lesbians and don’t really care for him. Then they all start doing drugs. Shouldn’t that turn the readers off?

    2. Sources please.

      By the way, you don’t even need to put down an email to make a comment. I don’t care what your email is.

      1. I’ve digged up a bit and whaddataknow, it’s simply a popular speculation and I was fooled. Makes sense, no mangaka would say taht while the series are still running.

        And BTW, I believe we’re headed towards a Big Rip rather than a Crunch, but that’s beside the point. I see Nisekoi as I would Doraemon though, it’s better for kids.

  4. I was cracking up at the key sex. Nice call back to the womb-fucking HAhaha!
    Wait, wait, if the key broke doesn’t that mean we know Chitoge isn’t “the one”? I mean, she broke it off inside him.
    Also, how the hell did it break? Keys aren’t that easy to break like that.

    It will be interesting to see what comparisons you draw between this and School Days. This show is an example of contemporary harem tripe, while School Days is an example of that with some unusual overtones thrown in (before the nice boat).

  5. The girl on the left is another haremette: “She is the daughter of the police chief, and has been in love with Raku for the past ten years.” lol. But wait! there’s more:
    “She used to speak in a rather vulgar manner but has attempted to correct her language after Raku had told her that he likes a girly girl with long hair.”

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