TITLE: Nisekoi: False Love Vol. 22
YEAR: July 2017 (USA release)
COMPANY: Viz Media
Story and Art by Naoshi Komi
Marika’s mother is forcing her to get married and with Raku and friends trying to protect and save their friend from getting into a forced marriage, her mother wants to make the wedding happen immediately.
Will Raku and friends be able to get to Marika in time?
All this and more in Naoshi Komi’s hit manga series, “Nisekoi: False Love” vol. 22!
What is “Nisekoi: False Love”?
Naoshi Komi’s manga work is well-known for readers of Shonen Jump. From “Koi no Kami-sama”, “Williams” and “Double Arts”, Komi’s manga “Nisekoi” (False Love) was created as a one shot for Jump NEXT! in 2011 but then receiving the go-ahead as a weekly manga serialized in “Weekly Shonen Jump”.
“Nisekoi” revolves around high school Raku Ichijou. When Ichijou was a kid, he met a girl and he kept a lock, she kept the key and promised each other to get married if they one day find each other.
Since then, Ichijou has kept his promise and has worn the lock around his neck and has been hoping to meet her again.
But Ichijou’s life is a little complicated. While a good-natured individual, unfortunately for him, he is the son of the leader of the Shuei-gumi yakuza syndicate. He has no interested in become part of the yakuza but everyone expects him to be the next one to lead the syndicate in the future.
Meanwhile, while going to school, he sees a foreign girl jumping from a wall and landing on him. He loses the lock on his neck and is very upset of what had transpired. Next thing you know in class, that same girl becomes a new student in his class.
Chitoge Kirisaki just moved from the U.S. to Japan and since her mom is Japanese and her dad is America, she is fluent in both Japanese and English. And suffice to say, when both Ichijou and Kirisaki see each other, they start yelling at each other and she nails him with a hit after he calls her “monkey girl”. People see how tough she is but to make them get along, his teacher puts Ichijou in charge of showing her around school.
He tries his best but the two are like oil and water, they just don’t get along. For the next week of trying to assist her, the two end up arguing and getting in each other’s faces.
If anything, Ichijou focus is more on finding the lock that was lost when Kirisaki landed on him. And he wonders if Kosaki Onodera, the popular girl in school and a person who has treated him with nothing but kindness is the girl that he made the promise with. He hopes it is her.
But just when Ichijou is about to give up, Onodera pleads with him to keep his promise and Ichijou is reminded that a promise is a promise and he intends to keep it. But wants to ask Onodera if there is any chance she may be the girl he made the promise too.
What he doesn’t know is that Onodera does have a key and she has always liked Ichijou but doesn’t have the guts to tell him.
But as Ichijou wonders if Onodera is the girl he made a promise too and excited for the possibility that it might be, when he gets home, his father talks to him about something important.
The problem is that the Shuei-gumi and another rival yakuza gang are in the brink of all-out war that would damage both yakuza gangs, he and the other leader have come up with the plan. Ichijou must pretend to be dating the daughter of the leader of the opposing yakuza gang.
Ichijou doesn’t want to get involved and his father told him that he must forget dating any other girl and focus liking this girl they set him up with.
When the two are introduces, Ichijou is shocked that the girl is Chitoge Kirisaki. And for both of them, they must promise to be boyfriend and girlfriend for three whole years and be convincing to both yakuza gangs that they are truly in love.
Both don’t want to be involved with each other but they have no choice. But now they must find a way to co-exist with each other as both yakuza gangs are suspicious of their relationship especially Kirisaki’s guardian, Claude.
Meanwhile, Ichijou still wants to ask Onodera if she is the girl with the key and Onodera is about to let him know that she is. But before they can, the whole school are told that both Ichijo and Kirasaki are boyfriend and girlfriend.
And now it has made things tough for both Ichijou and Kirisaki, but can they keep this charade of being in love with each other, especially if they despite one another?
And since then, there are a few other complications as not only Chitoge and Onodera have fallen for Raku, but also Chitoge’s bodyguard Tsugumi and Marika Tachibana, who Raku’s father promised Marika’s father that they would marry?
But while Raku Ichijou and Chitoge Kirisaki are supposed to fake their relationship, Chitoge is starting to realize that with each moment spent with Raku, she is slowly falling in love with him.
For volume 22, Marika’s wedding is to take place. Forcing her daughter to wed a man she doesn’t love and wanting to have the marriage take place much earlier than planned, Raku, Chitoge and friends try to get to her and prevent the wedding from happening.
With volume 22 of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”, the manga is now heading towards its final volumes.
As we have read many volumes and seeing women who have fallen for Raku, I think we are now starting to see the storylines start to narrow down which girl Raku would end up with.
With this storyline, this volume completes Marika’s storyline and what a fascinating way to properly do a sendoff for the character.
As Marika is arranged to wed another man and forced by her mother to follow her strict rules, Raku and the others know she doesn’t like the forced marriage but also know that when it comes to her mother, Marika is not a person to go against her mother. With the wedding security on heightened alert and are prepared for Raku and friends to interfere, will Raku and friends get to her in time?
But what happens when Raku and Marika finally get to talk. Will he accept her or reject her?
22 volumes in through the series, I really enjoy this manga series because it’s fresh take on the young promise made by youngsters to marry each other and it also has that similarity to “Ranma 1/2” of two people arranged by their parents to be together, although not to be married but to have this fake romance for three years. And then having multiple young ladies vying for his attention.
But with the introduction of other girls who made promises when they were younger, we clearly don’t know which girl Raku promised to marry when he was younger. But with everyone vying for Raku’s attention (and he being totally oblivious to what’s going on), it makes for a very entertaining storyline and series! But now that we are nearing the finish line, we have seen how Raku starts to pair things down with the ladies who fallen for him.
The artwork by Naoshi Komi is well-drawn, the series is full of humor and for the most part quite delightful in capturing their emotions on each page. But Naoshi Komi’s manga series has been nothing but delightful and very entertaining!
Will Raku accept Marika? And what happens as Raku and friends try to prevent the forced marriage of Marika. All this and more in this entertaining 22nd volume of Naoshi Komi’s “Nisekoi: False Love”. Recommended!