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Episode 6

by Theron Martin,

This being anime, a Valentine's Day episode is obligatory for any romantic comedy which runs more than one cour in length. That Nisekoi: has managed to avoid it so far is rather surprising, but the franchise makes up for it here. If only the producers and original creator could have done something a least a little fresher with it. . .

And that's the overriding problem with episode 6: Its content is as stale as a candy bar that is weeks past its expiration date. The course of events almost does not need elaboration beyond “it's Valentine's Day, and in-character hijinks ensue.” In fact, the only things which save the episode from mind-numbing mediocrity are the franchise's typical visual inventiveness and a couple of genuinely funny jokes involving (not surprisingly) Shu, one concerning a series of interactions with Seishiro and the other involving (even less surprisingly) Ruri giving Shu a great rebuff when he pesters her about Valentine's chocolates. To be sure, there are at least a couple of other laughs to potentially be had here, but these two scenes are the ones which actually show some inspiration.

As the story goes, Raku has never received Valentine's Day chocolate from a girl before – not even obligatory chocolate! – so since he has multiple girls in his life this year, he initially has high hopes for getting some. Those hopes gradually deteriorate as he does not get any early on, though each of the girls, in her own way, eventually comes through. The normally-terrible cook Kisaki has created a rare success in the form of chocolate cake but trips and crushes it the first time she tries to give it to Raku, Chitoge decides to try to make some at the last minute so that she can finally be honest about her feelings, Marika has made an epic statue of chocolate shaped like her beloved, and Seishiro even passes on a small obligatory chocolate. The latter does not happen, though, until after she gets chocolate from another girl and Shu mischievously fools her into believing that Valentine's Day chocolate is given to someone you hate – and that, of course, means that Raku walks in on her giving it to Shu and misunderstands. Meanwhile, Kisaki and Chitoge both admit to each other that they have someone they like (Raku) but they promise not to reveal who until they have successfully confessed to their love

Shu's stunt is exactly why he's one of the best comedy supporting characters of recent years, and Raku realizing that he's being hypocritical about telling Seishiro to respect the feelings behind a gift of chocolate (even obligatory ones) while dodging Marika is a nice touch. So is seeing Kisaki and Chitoge getting along so well. Too bad that the episode does not have more of them.

Rating: C+

Nisekoi: is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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