Review: Nisekoi Volume: 1 Blu-ray

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Love sucks. At least, the heart-wrenching monogamous allegory called love that we’re presented with in the real world. Thankfully, in the bright and cheerful realm of ecchi romance harem anime, it’s an adventure through the life of one unbelievably lucky individual and his many pseudo-girlfriends.

I’ve never liked guys like these. The absolutely oblivious yet kind-hearted protagonist of this series continues a perpetuating trope prominent in slice-of-life anime (been there, done that). We recently received the Blu-ray collector’s edition of Nisekoi from Aniplex and decided to give Raku Ichijo another one-shot.

Synopsis (No Spoilers)

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Nisekoi (Fake Love) can be summed up shortly as a harem love story. We follow our male lead, a high school student by the name of Raku Ichijo, a kind young man with exceptional cooking abilities who happens to be the next heir of Japan’s infamous Yakuza faction, Shuei-Gumi. Before the opening ceremonies on his first day of school, he’s ambushed by the daughter of a rival gang known as Beehive. Chitoge Kirisaki, a rough and tomboyish gang heiress introduces her tsundere self by launching her torso over a ten foot wall, landing directly on poor Raku’s face. Yeah, I totally feel so bad for this guy.

Little does our protagonist realize that many new love interests will soon ambush him in an attempt to acquire half his gang through divorce. Okay, so maybe that isn’t the real plot, but it does seem much more believable than the actual story involving an elaborate, over-sized locket.

The first five episodes contained in this set include:

  • 1. The Promise
  • 2. Encounter
  • 3. Two of a Kind
  • 4. The Visit
  • 5. Swimming

Contents and Price

Nisekoi 1

Retail: $64.98
Sales Price: $49.98

Disc Spec
  • Spoken Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
  • Episodes: 1- 5
  • Number of Disc: 1
  • Total Run Time: Approx. 125 min.
  • Rating: 13 UP
Bonus Contents
  •  Textless Opening
  •  Textless Ending (Chitoge Version)
  •  Textless Ending (Kosaki Version)
Bonus Materials & Special Package
  •  Collectable Ending Card Pin-ups
  •  Deluxe Poster and Box Illustrated by Nobuhiro Sugiyama
    (Character Design & Chief Animation Director)

Nisakoi 4

 Video

It has been always a pleasure to watch or re-watch well drawn anime in Blu-ray quality. Nisekoi is recent release (Jan 2014) and the difference between its 1080p version on streaming services such as Crunchyroll and Blu-ray is honestly negligible. In fact, it was almost be impossible to distinguish between the two. This isn’t an anime with fast-paced action such as Kill la Kill, and an increased framerate won’t create the noticeable difference we’ve seen previously with other titles.

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The textless openings featuring different characters, however, did seem to have some sort of improved conversion rate. Unfortunately, this is all of the bonus content this disc offers.

 Audio

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As always with these U.S. releases, Aniplex offers Japanese voices with English subtitles of all five episodes.  The cast is as follows:

Ichijou, Raku
Ichijou, Raku

Main
Uchiyama, Kouki
Japanese
Uchiyama, Kouki
Saemann, Dennis
German
Saemann, Dennis
Sekine, Akira
Japanese
Sekine, Akira
Kirisaki, Chitoge
Kirisaki, Chitoge

Main
Touyama, Nao
Japanese
Touyama, Nao
Onodera, Kosaki
Onodera, Kosaki

Main
Hanazawa, Kana
Japanese
Hanazawa, Kana

As mentioned previously, the audio in the textless OPs is much higher quality than any streaming service. If anything, I would say it’s one of the main factors to consider when making this purchase.

Final Reaction

Nisekoi stands firmly in my category of “That anime I’ll watch when none of my favorites are updated.” Another slice of life ecchi harem romance shoujo series, predictable to the end. While this isn’t a genre that would normally capture my interest anyway, I’m ashamed to admitting to have marathon-ed this one in only a couple days. The Blu-ray set is a necessity for any die-hard fan of the show, although bonus content feels quite lacking. Otherwise, you may want to investigate for youself. Be warned, it’ll catch you, and hold you ever so loosely with promises of panty shots and super kawaii animation. I don’t hate it, but any expression of amorous desire for another season would simply be described as Nisekoi.

Rating: 3/5 Atoms

NR 3 Atoms - C

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Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 397 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.