Blu-ray Review: Nisekoi – Season 2 Part 1

After a slight delay the second season of Nisekoi finally returns to the UK courtesy of KAZE Entertainment on both Blu-ray and DVD but that aside what are our views on this first instalment into the second season? Well let’s find out in our review of Nisekoi – Season 2 Part 1.

Synopsis:

Raku and the girls are back! The hunt for the key to his heart and locket continues in the second season of this fan favorite anime series. Nisekoi: features all the familiar characters from the first season joined by Kosaki’s younger sister Haru. With a new girl entering the equation, will it really be “more the merrier” for Raku? What will happen to this false love?

Our View:

Adapted from Naoshi Komi’s Japanese manga series and animated by SHAFT Nisekoi is anime series about a ‘false love story’ which sees two unlikely characters pretend to date each other so that their rival families won’t destroy the city that they live within. It’s a comical story which saw these characters, namely Rakku Ichijo and Chitoge Kirisaki, overcome their hatred for one another in order to survive their families scrutiny over their potentially fake relationship. Interestingly enough Nisekoi offers so much more than a ‘false love story’ as Rakku not only has feelings for long-time-friend Kosaki Onodera, who in turn also feelings for Rakku, but Rakku also tries to discover the truth behind his mysterious locket that holds secrets to his first crush that happened ten years prior.

In a nutshell the events of the first season of Nisekoi, which was also released on DVD and Blu-ray via KAZE Entertainment within the UK, offered variety with its episodic content and even saw our fake couple become more friendlier with one another but still secretive about their true feelings. Alas we aren’t here to talk about the events of the first season; instead we are here to talk about the first half of Season 2 and, as you would expect, it’s pretty much how you’d imagine. By now things have settled down between the two rival households to an extent that Rakku and Chitoge act like the couple they initially hated to be with Kosaki Onodera lurking in the background still unable to express her feelings and long-time-friend Marika Tachibana openly expressing her feelings for Rakku; which of course generates mixed results from those looking on.

With the feelings of these characters at a stale-mate it’s obvious that new topics of discussion should be considered and that’s exactly whats delivered within this Part 1 instalment of Nisekoi – Season 2. The episodes within Nisekoi – Season 2 begin with a slight recap on events of the prior season as well as Rakku’s locket being ‘slightly fixed’ after the damage received from the previous events seen at the end of Season 1. From here we get to learn more about Chitoge and her questionable relationship with her mother, which is an obvious highlight for this Part 1 release of Season 2. Through numerous episodes we see Chitoge distressed about not having much time with her mother and when Rakku is tasked with working with Chitoge’s mother he seizes the opportunity to make Chitoge’s wish of quality alone time a reality. It’s a charming selection of events that digs deeper into the supposedly fake relationship between Chitoge and Rakku.

Other highlights within this ‘six episode collection’ of Nisekoi Season 2 see’s Chitoge’s bodyguard, and childhood friend, Seishiro Tsugumi, past explored and a duel between her and her long-time-rival Paula brought to the viewers attention. It’s more of a comical episode that serves no real meaning or purpose; but once again it provides that much needed background information on a character thats remained relatively quiet. This seems to be a common theme within Nisekoi – Season 2 Part 1; sure enough the events with Chitoge’s mother are the focal point within this instalment and provide that much needed progression with our main characters but elsewhere we have numerous episodes which explore the other characters strengths and weaknesses; something which hasn’t really been seen in past episodes of the franchise. It’s a nice change of pace and it makes these events of Nisekoi refreshing to watch; even though it is a short experience with only six episodes in this first part.

Extras:

Although the episodic contents of this disc proved to be engaging and entertaining the supplementary content included on this disc are not; as unfortunately the only bonus features are the various forms of textless opening and closing songs.

If you are looking for promotional trailers then you’ll want to view the ‘french side’ of the disc as upon choosing the French option when the disc starts you will welcome with a welcome of ‘french related’ trailers. Unless you understand French then these bonus materials are pointless; but its worth mentioning just because they can be fun to watch.

Specs:

Media:  BD 25 x1
Region: B
Running Time:  2.25.14
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English & French (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Nisekoi – Season 2 Part 1 manages to continue the momentum brought forward from the previous season to deliver another selection of emotionally –fuelled-episodes that further explores the characters we grew to love within the first season. This time it’s not about pretending to be in love; it’s about our characters exploring their own feelings and finding out whats real for themselves of which generates some mixed responses from those involved.

The events within this first instalment are mostly stand-a-lone that further explore support characters such as Seishiro Tsugumi and Marika Tachibana but surrounding this we have the highly entertaining story revolving around Chitoge and her work-obsessed-mother. This, for me, was the highlight of this release and it shows just how much devotion Rakku will put into something he cares deeply for and, in some aspects at least, it makes the relationship between Chitoge and Rakku go from a charade to a real relationship; even if it wasn’t one. In short each episode delivers an individual story (with the exception of those covering Chitoge’s Mother) and while they may be independent the events which happen within them further develop the characters for future events; an important aspect when the Valentines Day episode brings about a test of courage for everyone involved.

When it comes to this Blu-ray release by KAZE Entertainment, which is distributed in the UK via Manga Entertainment UK, then it’s business as usual with questionable subtitle options (such as only one line of translated text being displayed) and thin white subtitles resulting in difficulty of reading during certain scenes. Of course if you can overlook these issues, and the lack of supplementary content, then it’s presentation, packaging and implementation is just as good as you would expect – which is all we can really ask for.

Nisekoi – Season 2 Part 1 is surprisingly good for a series that (initially at least) I didn’t enjoy; but fortunately the positive momentum generated at the end of the first season carries over in to this first half of the second season to further explore the characters we love and enjoy. Sure enough plenty of story related content is presented to us but at the same time it still offers that quirky banter between characters and true emotions kept hidden. How it will all play out in the long run remains to be seen but for now everything is just as i’d hoped it would be; fun, emotional and quirky to the very end!

Score: review-stars-4

Nisekoi – Season 2 Part 1 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 17th April 2017 within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita or Xbox One.

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