Nisekoi’s final chapter is underwhelming in a lot of ways.
I wasn’t expecting much to be honest, and most of my minor depression over the series ending stems more from the whole experience of translating it week-by-week rather than the ending being particularly good. Though of course, best girl won. I avoided reading earlier releases of this chapter (I avoid them for every chapter, actually), so fuck off, Mangastream.
As for actual complaints? This is originally a rant blog, after all. I’d say I wish that maybe the chapter was twice as long. Also if we had gotten a Love Hina-style wedding chapter hey that’d been great too. Instead we got a bunch of whatever stuff. Maybe you could argue that it’s all just hearkening back to the more slice of life style of the series, but honestly if you’re gonna include a bunch of preparations and invitations to the wedding of the couple at the end, you better damn well show the actual wedding. I can only hope there’ll somehow be an epilogue but it’s pretty much delusions anyway.
There are a lot of rushed elements that seem to have come out of nowhere, like Chitoge’s career as a fashion designer and Raku’s acceptance of the yakuza boss position. If those development had been planned out from the start, I feel like there were tons of opportunities throughout the entirety of the series for Raku to see the benevolent stuff they apparently do that he discusses at the beginning, or for Chitoge to express an interest in fashion. Raku tries to kinda shoehorn retroactive character development in by saying “she did stuff with Tsugumi” way back when. I haven’t reread the series in the while but is that just referring to the stuff with the ribbon and her making Tsugumi wear more feminine clothes every now and then? Well, whatever.
Something vaguely surprising to me is that Komi never really ended up deepening Onodera’s character in any way. I’ve commented before saying that the reason I don’t like her much is because she’s rather one-dimensional even by the standards of harem manga. She started the series as a girl who like making sweets and had no other real hobbies other than liking Raku, and ended as a girl who makes sweets and at one point liked Raku. There’s no real narration or dialogue for the others confirming that she does anything much with her life, and for all we know she could just be making that cake in her mom’s basement with her paychecks from working at WcDonalds or Mendy’s or whatever (though I doubt that’s actually how Komi envisions it). The series comes to a close and the most we see of her feelings about being rejected and Chitoge being chosen over her and such is a “terrible” face and a single tear. It seems a bit weird. Maybe Komi doesn’t have the heart to draw such suffering? I understand the whole yamato nadeshiko trope is popular in Japan but surely you could expand upon a character and her emotions more? I feel kind of sorry for the character in that she seemed to only exist to blush, be ditzy, have the main character’s affections dangled in front of her like the bone for the dog in the beginning of Mulan and then get rejected.
Positives? Pretty much all of the Marika segment. She’s cut her hair (as expected from her last lines) and she looks pretty damn good. Her hair was mostly short from the start anyway, but the new look is cute and refreshing. I’ve said it to Irru a few times before, but Marika is a very, very good character and I feel like the fact that Nisekoi had a guaranteed winner worked against her. I’m definitely a Chitoge fan, but Marika won my heart as well, even though I didn’t like her at first. Also, the memetic character poll god Y-san actually won (or got a marriage interview with, if you’re being pedantic,) his waifu. Pretty impressive.
The ending to Nise is disappointing, but in the end the series ain’t top-tier material [unless it is to you like it is to me] so why does it even matter. I’ve translated this series for a longer-than-brief stint, so I love it. Nise has ended, and so ends a minor chapter of my life.
Also, another gripe is that the end of the manga (not the final chapter, but the final arc) was far worse than that of the one-shot.
Anyway, this post should be brief, but it won’t be. It might be on the shorter side, though, at least compared to my other posts. I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about Nisekoi and the stuff that’s happened during my stint as its TL. In the end, this is a blog that I created to rant about stuff, and that’s how it’ll [tentatively] end. I don’t know if I’ll continue to post stuff on this blog, but I like to write out my thoughts on stuff so I might talk about other stuff I translate in the future.
I’d like to take this opportunity to first and foremost condemn the absolutely awful subreddit community associated with Nisekoi. I’m most likely making sweeping generalizations here, but my perception of the community over there has been sub-par at best (there are a few okay people, though. Probably). More than anything else, the subreddit’s near-predatory hunger for the fastest and shittiest scan quality possible has me disgusted. I remember saying in a previous post that I wouldn’t express my views on the whole speedscan vs. quality scan debate, but my frowns week-after-week as we desperately tried to finagle for faster raws to try—and ultimately fail—to compete with speedscans have spurred me on to make my annoyance more apparent. I understand that there is a contingent of people who eagerly awaited Tsurezure’s version, and I also understand that our circumstances have caused some delays in chapter releases, which can be frustrating. But in the end, there are other manga communities—such as the Berserk subreddit—where a vocal majority of its members condemn even touching certain scans and instead vouch for higher quality material. It’s disappointing that the scanlation status of Nisekoi was as fraught with community conflict as it was when it all ended. But I guess that’s just how most internet communities are. And in the end, I’m pretty much telling people to pirate something one way over another so the point is moot.
Secondly, the more recent thing to complain about has been Mangastream picking up Nisekoi for just the final chapter. This isn’t that much of a justified gripe—since the scanlation “world” is just greys and grays anyway—but it was definitely annoying to see it happen. We’ve been doing Nise for quite a while now, and I’ve developed an odd sense of pride about it. Seeing just the last chapter cherry-picked from us is, to be honest, just one last annoyance to add to the pile. I won’t bother saying anything particularly vitriolic, since at this point I’m more just resigned and Irru’s already said our share of stuff on reddit as well. I’ve tried to distance myself as much as possible from scanlation politics, and I’m not really feeling like jumping in now. I have to say it was somewhat nice to see people being supportive on r/manga. And it was hilarious watching the one guy from Mangastream delete his reply comment to Irru calling them out on that thread.
So anyway, about Nisekoi. This post will be my biased and objectively boring actual farewell to Nisekoi as a series. I posted a farewell a while ago back when Red Hawk Scans broke down, but this is obviously more legitimate. No real chance of continuing it, after all.
I can say with confidence that despite my posts on this blog, Nisekoi has been the most enjoyable series I have translated. It’s probably not objectively the best (then again I’ve done some shit series in my time), but it was fun. I like the predictable ending, I like the archetypical girls, I like the stupid main character (more or less), and I like the fact that it’s utter trash. Wonderful, wonderful trash. As they say, “One man’s trash is also his treasure.” What do you mean, that’s not how it goes?
There was a time when Nisekoi was pretty much a dreaded point of every week. There was a time back when 1800+ word count scripts for it were the norm and Irru and I constantly complained about it and wanted to be put out of our misery. But I’ve stuck with Nisekoi since chapter 85 (and since before that for Irru) because it was cute and fun and I’d be damned if I had anything better to do with my time. This is the first major series I’ve actually gotten to translate to the end, which most likely heavily colours my opinion of it.
I won’t bother waxing any more maudlin over the specifics of my scanlation past. You can read about that in my original farewell post. All that’s really important for this section is that I explain why I’m so hideously biased in favour of the series. All of you on 4chan may very well condemn me for it, but in a general sense I’m not one that continued the series out of any particular duty or some form of self-loathing. I enjoyed it, and of course if you’re doing something for free it’s common sense to do that for something you enjoy. Of course, there’s a certain sense of obligation I’ve built up along the way as I translated Nisekoi and watched the community in the latter portion of the series’ run, but that was more an obligation to quality in fan scanlation in general rather than any kind of weird “I started it, so I have to finish it” mentality toward Nisekoi.
Nisekoi’s been my longest and most dedicated project, surviving through technically three scanlation groups, though it might as well be just one. It’s also the only major one that I’ve gotten to translate for a significant portion all the way to its ending. And I have to say, the weeks leading up to the final chapter have kinda gotten me down. There’s a moment where you think, “Wow. It’s really ending,” and never have I felt it more keenly than with Nisekoi. I generally don’t read series week-by-week, so with most things that I read or watch—books, manga, anime, visual novels, movies—I don’t have to feel this slow burn of tension as something I like finally ends. It’s pretty annoying, really. Nisekoi has ended and will now be replaced by some even shittier series on the Jump docket. Ah well. It was nice while it lasted, and to be honest I feel like it lasted quite a while.
Nisekoi isn’t really on the same level as Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, certain routes in other VNs, or my favourite books. I don’t feel a pang of “I wish that could have continued forever.” Probably because it continuing forever would make it a disservice to the genre. On my critique blog (which I will not be posting a review of Nisekoi on), I’d probably end up giving it a 6.5 (maybe a 6.6) out of 10 or something. Nisekoi isn’t the best manga I’ve ever read, but it’s the one I’ve invested the most time into, both in terms of translation and my attachments to the series in general. It’s the series that got me thinking that I should step up my translation game, as well as the series that allowed me to better formulate exactly what my personal expectations for good translation are. It’s the series where I got to laugh at the stupid /a/ threads where they made fun of my rant blog post while at the same time discussed the quality of our scans. I’m sad to see it go, but I’ll move on (probably).
It’s not like I’m in any real position to do so, but I’d like to thank all of the people who dutifully followed the RHS, Mangaconda, and Tsurezure Scans releases of Nisekoi. I’m willing to let it slide if you peeked at the speedscans for spoilers, I guess. Thanks to all of the people on /a/ who made me laugh with those threads and expressed an even cursory level of appreciation for the quality of our work, even if you didn’t actually enjoy the series itself. Thanks to everyone that worked on Nisekoi with me back in RHS, as well as the people who work with me now, and of course thanks to my eternal proofreader Irru, who tries to tell me what to do when I’m bored and sometimes I listen.
Irru and I, with the help of some friends, will be working on more things. We’ve already decided to pick the Tsurezure Children volume scans back up, and thus reclaim our more recent namesake. More series may perhaps be in the works as well, and plus we still do Nanatsu no Taizai over at Jaimini’s Box anyway. Look forward to quality trash in the future.
If you’ve read everything I wrote on this post, then thanks. If you’re some incensed r/Nisekoi subscriber or Mangastream fan who wants to comment to argue with me about what I said in that paragraphs toward the top, then sure whatever go ahead. Comments are moderated by me anyway, so I hope you post something hilariously vile.
TL;DR: Most of you are awful, but thanks anyway, I guess. /r/nisekoi is awful, Mangastream is awful, Nisekoi is awful, I’m awful. Also, why bother opening up this blog post if you’re too impatient to read the whole thing? Rude. Also, we better get a wedding epilogue chapter [or set of chapters] that includes shit like Maruusha being invited and the ceremony becoming a bizarrely public event for it, getting to see Rakumama (whose face we finally get to see) reunited and gossiping with her high school friends, and then another epilogue where we get to see an actual Chitoge married life chapter that doesn’t end with her being literally a dog. But probably not.
Lastly, some shameless promotion time. Obviously, take a look [and maybe bookmark or follow] the Tsurezure Scans blog, where we’ll be releasing the stuff we do. Keep an eye on this blog [with a now-artifact title] as well; despite what I said at the top I’ll most likely still be using it to talk about translation and such in the future. And for a more personal promotion, I have a critique blog that I’ve recently started that I plan to use frequently to put up reviews and recommendations of pretty much everything I read, watch, or play, from visual novels to films to books.
Goodbye for now.