Over this past year, Nisekoi has slowly but steadily been sliding into irrelevance. A second season aired earlier this year to absolutely zero fanfare. The manga has also consistently been ranking low in the WSJ magazine surveys. What’s more, the story is finally starting to wrap up, so there may come a time when there are no more Nisekoi shipping wars.
It will be a sad day for humanity. But nevertheless, life will go on.
So who will win the Nisekoi bowl? It was obvious from the start that it’s Chitoge, but that’s not really the point of a harem series. The fun comes from the possibility that your favourite character will come out on top. But Nisekoi has been failing at this lately, since nobody actually cares about who Raku should end up. How many years has it been since anyone last gave a shit about that whole key thing? In fact, I didn’t remember it until I started typing this post.
I’ve always said that Nisekoi is a better comedy than it is a romance, so it’s not like I ever expected much character development, but now that the story has turned fairly serious, the relationship drama falls flat. On the other hand, the action scenes have been really cool, so I guess it evens out. Komi, when are you going to start drawing Double Arts again?
But anyway, getting back to Nisekoi. The last few arcs in the manga have been rather transparent about sinking every ship besides Chitoge and Onodera. It just feels like Komi is just trying to get it over with, especially since he recycled the exact same plot device for Yui and Marika’s arcs (i.e. sudden possibility of marriage to unnamed dudes).
But even here, where ships are supposed to be sunk and tears are supposed to be shed, Komi tries to have it both ways. There’s no doubt that the girls give up on having a relationship with Raku, but they never stop having feelings for him and they stay single to boot. In effect, they’re just left hanging. In my opinion if you want to sink a ship you may as well go all the way guns blazing. Or at least don’t be a dick and give the characters some emotional closure.
This is why the state of Nisekoi shipping is so deplorable right now. You can technically still ship the characters who have dropped out of the race, but no reason why you would want to do so, especially since none of those characters are actually appearing in the manga regularly anymore. I know that shipping is appealing because the romance left to the audience’s imagination, but there are no interactions to even base any imaginary romances on. That’s why it’s no fun to ship Nisekoi anymore.
At this point, I doubt anyone even cares about questions like “who should Raku end up with?” These days, it’s all about “who is my favourite girl?” Hop onto any Nisekoi discussion thread and that’s where every conversation begins and ends. But to be fair, that’s how it is with most harem series.
Marika is the best girl, by the way.