Nisekoi – That Outfit Needs a Snappy Hat

Nisekoi 16

Tsugumi knows to go into combat with style.

For those of you who have never read this series before, I’m gonna say what happened in this chapter before going into my discussion. I’m curious if you can tell how the chapter ended before I show it.

The boy on the left and the girl below are Ichijou and Kirisaki. They have to pretend to be dating or else their yakusa families will go to war. The one on the right is Tsugumi, who has called their relationship into question and challenged Ichijou to a fight to see if he really loves her. The two of them apparently made a promise ten years ago, so Tsugumi is rather protective of Kirisaki and will even resort to murder to see her safe. Ichijou comes to the conclusion that he may have a rival for his “love”, but realizes in this chapter that he’s probably wrong.

Now, from the above picture and what I just said, I’d like you to see if you can guess why Ichijou thinks Tsugumi doesn’t want to go out with Kirisaki.

Nisekoi 16

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a reverse trap.

I’ve seen this happen enough times that I never thought it would surprise me again, but I guess I was wrong. Maybe it was the character design or the way she openly threatened Ichijou, but the possibility of this being a girl just never hit me. Apparently there were a few people who saw this coming, but I can’t see how.

Of course my main concern right now is what this will mean for Tsugumi’s characterization. There’s been a rather uncomfortable level of focus on gender politics in this series, and the last thing I want is for it to directly affect the way someone acts. What I’m reminded of most is a character in the second Ratchet and Clank game, who was revealed to be a girl behind a mask, at which point the writers apparently forgot it was the same person and pushed her into a more damsel-like role. Tsugumi came off as fairly menacing before, but now that she’s been outed I’m more than a little worried she won’t be taken seriously by the other characters or, worse, the mangaka.

With the abundance of old-fashioned yakuza comes the abundance of old-fashioned systems of belief, so I shouldn’t be too shocked if there’s a big emphasis on it, but I would still rather it not get a lot of focus. I’m sure that for a lot of people, the main things that this twist affects are her relationships with the other characters, but I’m still more concerned with her internal development. Maybe I’m over-thinking this, but I don’t want to see Tsugumi tied to a post by Horn Rimmed Glasses Claude and used to lure out the main characters in a few chapters.

Posted on March 5, 2012, in Chapter Discussions, Nisekoi, Series and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I was surprised, very surprised. He’s..wait..she’s very much like a guy.

    What I don’t want to happen is for Tsugumi to fall for Ichijou. Sooooo not want to see that.

  2. Jaw is still firmly planted on the ground. Not because of the girl thing, but because you made a video game reference. Didn’t see that coming.

    Anyway, yeah very curious to see how this will go. Personally, i don’t know where i would want this to go. If this was my series, this would be the point when i realized that i just wrote myself into a corner.

    • There were supposed to be TWO game references. The title was meant to refer to Naoto from Persona 4, but I couldn’t think of a way to word it that didn’t give away too much.

      At this point, the best option would be to keep portraying her like before. Don’t put too much focus on this, or it could seriously screw up a lot.

  3. “He” was way too pretty to be a dude…and this being a harem series, I kind of saw that coming, lol (l v l).

    • I’ve seen my share of insanely pretty guys, so I don’t generally think of them as girls like that. Still, good to know some people saw it coming.

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