Raku, a high school student, is still pining away for a girl he met in his childhood. When they parted, he kept a pendant with a lock and she kept the key so that when they found each other again, they would know it’s the right person. And then they would get married.
Now, ten years later, Raku wonders about the long-lost girl, secretly wishing it could be Onodera, the sweet girl in his class. It couldn’t be Chitoge, the girl he can’t stand. She’s loudmouthed, obnoxious and violent. And, unfortunately, he has to pretend to be head over heels in love with her.
That’s because Raku and Chitoge are both children of yakuza bosses. Their rival gangs were getting ready to fight, and the only way to stop the fighting and save lives was for Raku and Chitoge to pretend to be a couple.
So Raku can’t tell Onodera his feelings for her, and she, thinking he’s in love with Chitoge, isn’t about to tell him she likes him. Another girl, knowing Onodera’s feelings for Raku, sets up a study group for them and some other people, hoping to push the two together. Raku wants to help Onodera with her homework, but that falls apart when it turns out Chitoge is much smarter than he is, and she can do the tutoring herself.
The study group gets even more messed up when Raku’s gang throw Raku and Chitoge together in an empty storehouse, wanting to force them to kiss and become closer. It does give Raku and Chitoge an opportunity to talk a little more, but Chitoge’s helper Claude is outraged that his mistress was treated this way. Shortly after this, Raku overhears a conversation involving Onodera and a key she got from a boy years ago… wait, could it be? But then Chitoge admits to Onodera that the relationship with Raku is a charade, though at other times Chitoge does seem to have feelings for Raku… it’s a big mess.
And because it’s such a big mess, it’s quite entertaining for the reader. Nisekoi is a cute manga with lots of humor. Even though it seems pretty straightforward at first, it does throw in some surprises. Nisekoi is one of the titles VIZ is doing simultaneous releases on, and it’s soon clear from reading it why this is a popular title.
Publisher: VIZ Media
Story & Art: Naoshi Komi