Nisekoi – Episodes 4 & 5
Episode 4 Impression:
I swear, without Ruri and Shuu to egg them on, Onodera and Ichjou’s romance would be going nowhere.
In episode 4, we see Ruri, Onodera’s best friend, slotting Onodera into Ichijou’s life. After discovering her friend’s infatuation with the boy, despite his apparent romantic ties, Ruri takes it upon herself to hook them up, inviting herself, Onodera (and Shuu…) and Chitoge around Ichijou’s for a study session. Naturally, Chitoge inadvertently gets in the way of Ichijou’s smooth math teacher skills, resulting in yet more romantic tension, but you’ve got to give Ichijou credit for his consistency in the romantic failure department. Then again, I guess they’re both nervous, and Onodera’s cute behavior when smelling Ichijou’s room did make up for they’re romantic failures somewhat, so…I suppose…I forgive them.
Ichijou and Chitoge, in an attempt by Ichijou’s Yakuza friends to give Ichijou and Chitoge some alone time, end up locked in a dark shed, Chitoge then revealing to Ichijou her traumatic experience as a child, having spent five hours in a washing machine…yes. Watching Chitoge cling to Ichijou in what can only be surmised as a personality change of unprecedented proportions was…well, it was nice. Episode by episode we’re watching Ichijou and Chitoge grow closer, despite their intense feelings of “hatred” towards one another, and seeing Ichijou finally admit that Chitoge is relatively good looking (he called her beautiful but, manly man that I am, such flowery words shall never be entered by these muscle bound fingers!) was some welcome character development. It’s not that Ichijou hasn’t alluded to it before, it’s just that this time he outright stated it, and it was welcome to finally see him come to terms with it.
And, naturally, the fall awkwardly, landing atop one another. Primed to kiss, Ichijou appears to lean in but, naturally, the two false lovers are interrupted by an irate Claude and a clueless Onodera. Poor Onodera. It’s interesting to fathom what might have happened had the two been left to their own devices, but anime law dictates that at least twenty more girls must be introduced into the mix before Ichijou can finally make his choice, so I suppose we’ll have to wait. However, as a form of pseudo compensation for that fact, we see Chitoge amend her diary, setting the record straight and showing us all that Ichijou isn’t all that bad…poor guy.
As the series goes on, I can imagine that many people will become annoyed by Ichijou and Chitoge’s antics – Ichijou, for example, seeming to fall in love with any girl who exudes “cute” behavior. I’d hate to think that Ichijou is as frivolous as he’s being portrayed, and I wouldn’t want to think that he’d just fall for the girl who holds the key despite the character progression so far, but such a character trait shall only be revealed in time alongside the holder of the key (hopefully). And, in the case of Chitoge, the constant fluctuation between hot and cold, on and off, will become annoying if not handled properly. There’s being tsundere, and then there’s being a bitch. I suppose the view taken is entirely subject to viewer perception.
Episode 5 Impression:
The amount of nose-bleeding in this episode…ew.
In episode 5 we see Ichijou attempt to teach Onodera how to swim, after yet another intervention from Ruri…and Shuu. One thing I noticed immediately was the innumerable amount of close-ups – ass, boobs, cleavage, head-tilts: it’s all here folks! Then again, episode 5 is simply named “Swimming” and it is and Shaft anime so…I knew what I was in for when I signed up!
Ruri’s aim in this episode was to expose the cracks in Ichijou and Chitoge’s relationship whilst continuing to present Onodera with chances to grow closer to Ichijou. Ultimately, the end result was what I like to consider a culmination of “anime norms”. Fan-service combined with bloodied noses layered atop a “knight in shining armor” moment betwixt an overt love triangle alongside a background romance…the only concept setting Nisekoi a part at the moment is the key/locket concept, and Ichijou went ahead and messed that right up, accidentally inserting the girls locker room key into his locket!
But I digress, the episodes events ultimately result in an ironic turn of events as Chitoge, after ignoring Ichijou’s “stretch your muscles before swimming” warning, almost drowns…on the bright side, Ichijou dives in after her and saves her, manly man that he is – confusing Ruri even more…but, then again, if he didn’t jump in and try to save her, regardless of their relationship, he wouldn’t really be Ichijou now, would he? And it’s this very fact that’ll get in the way of Ichijou ever getting with Onodera – no matter how much he likes her, his continual need to help everyone (every girl, that is) shall forever hold him back. Onodera’s much too shy and reserved to ever asked for, or warrant, Ichijou’s help…sigh.
Not much really happened in episode 5. Episode 5, whilst marginally cliched, still managed to draw a chuckle here and there from me, wooing me with cutesy Onodera reactions and humoring me with Shuu’s pervy antics. Hopefully we receive a more plot based episode in episode 6, but here’s to hoping!