Nisekoi – That Outfit Needs a Snappy Hat
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.
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.