Nisekoi is a romance/comedy manga that has just recently released its first animated episode this season.
“Nisekoi a story about an Eternal Love. Ichijou Raku Despite of being the only child of the Yakuza’s head, all he wants is an ordinary Life. Many years ago a girl whose name he does not remember gave him a pendant of which she holds the key. He actually has a crush on a Girl named Kosaki Onodera. He also suspects that Onodera might be the girl He made the promise with. One Day He meets an Extremely Violent girl from America named Chitoge Kirisaki. It’s her first day in japan so Raku is forced to show her around the school. while hanging out with kirisaki he notices she has a smell that he is quite familiar to (Gunpowder). Later he finds out that her Father is the Leader of the Mafia and to prevent a war between the two Families He must date Kirisaki. so while trying to confess to Onodera and Fake Dating Kirisaki he gets in all kinds of Weird situations and meets new and interesting people and while still searching for the girl who holds the key to The pendant.” Summary by Anime News Network
The animated series is done by SHAFT and it is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (SIMBO). Shinbo is known for directing but not writing Bakemonogatari, he has also directed, but not given full power to, Madoka Magica.
Akiyuki Shinbo is notably (in my opinion) the worst director for anime series. He may do well in movies but definitely not in anime. Many fans out there choose the Monogatari series as their favorite anime. Some even say its “the best” that has ever been made because of its writing and its art direction. I’ll admit that Bakemonogatari has a good story if you can sit through it. One can dissect and find a well written story buried beneath fan-service scenes and random and unnecessary random scene cuts.
My problem with Akiyuki Shinbo is his neglect of the source material. Nisio Isin wrote the Monogatari series not Akiyuki Shinbo. Nisio Isin also wrote and had another anime released that was so different from Bakemonogatari in terms of its visuals. That anime was Katangatari. A superb anime with great writing, great pacing and great direction. Katanagatari was not directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and what captivated viewers was not the good looking CGI (because it had no CGI) or its “artsy” direction (it also had no artsy direction) but its story and unique world and unique characters.
Now Bakemonogatari is a shameful work that tells me that SHAFT was lazy. Purely because of how much CGI was used in every scene and how dialogue scenes are treated like paintings. If someone was talking the camera is pointed in a different angle that has no connection to the character speaking. Often times it would cut to a color panel with the name of the color on the panel. Completely irrelevant to the dialogue at hand. But what makes it worse is that throughout the series viewers are not listening to the dialogue as much as they should because what is shown on screen are flashy fan service shots or irrelevant items being shown. Katanagatari on the other hand was superb. No quick cuts to random color panels or random items during dialogue. The camera stays focused on what is happening and doesn’t become “artsy”. Another example where artsy conflicts with telling a good story is Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch has a great story that encompasses rape, reasons to live, and rising up against those who oppress you. But no one remembers the story of Sucker Punch because Zack Synder decided to put as much visual effects in the movie that made no sense for the context it was put in. And so Sucker Punch to me is the Monogatari series. It has a good story but is encompassed by the blatant unnecessary use of visuals to appeal to the audience rather than the story pulling viewers in.
So after all of this why haven’t I said anything about Nisekoi (anime)? Because I already have. Just replace the title Bakemonogatari with Nisekoi (anime) in the previous paragraphs and you have my argument. The color pallet is brighter than Bakemonogatari but the quick cuts and unnecessary camera angles are still apparent. Flashy images are at the forefront rather than the characters or the story. Everything that is noticeable about the first episode is not the characters, not the story, not the dialogue but on “how pretty it looks”. Everything but the characters were CGI and the characters have less movement that most. Usually having only two or no movement at all.
I was looking forward to Nisekoi (anime) for quite a while now. I reread the manga from Chapter 1 and was quietly anticipating its release. And yet the only thing that has been transferred to the anime was how the characters look. Nisekoi (anime) feels/looks like the Monogatari series. The backgrounds of the school and the Yakuza household are so different from the manga and the anime that its not even the same. Akiyuki Shinbo does not use the source material at all and instead puts his own flare on the source material. Is this bad? Yes and no. Yes because you piss off the fans of the manga and no because its a different iteration of the source material and in doing so creating different story and themes.
D-Frag is more like Nisekoi (manga) than Nisekoi (anime) is.
And for an example of a good manga being translated from the source material into an anime is D-Frag. (I didn’t even know D-Frag existed until the anime was released this season and was about the only Rom/Com that i could tolerate after watching the god awful iteration of Nisekoi)