It seems that these days, the trend with anime romantic comedies is to stick with a tried and true formula, but insert some semi-unique element that works as a major plot device. Nisekoi is doing just that this season with the “rival gangs” plot point, while relying on some of the best all-time anime romcoms for story development. In fact, the last few weeks have shown just how much this series is relying on the past, with an early-season “save the drowning girl during a weird swim competition” episode straight out of Toradora and both the “girl falls on top of the boy” trope and “there are two promised girls” complication from Love Hina.
I’m a little saddened by the complete lack of imagination, since I’ve been pinning all of my hopes this season on Nisekoi, but I’m also not too disappointed, as the two classic series I mentioned are perhaps my favorite romantic comedies.
And there’s a lot to be said for imitating something really that’s already really well done. But while doing such smashes creativity in animation, there’s a good connection to real life, where imitation of what is good is part of the Christian life.
Scripture is clear that we’re supposed to imitate Christ – He is the perfect example of the righteous life we should live. But even flawed humans in the Bible, the heroes of the faith, are worthy of admiration. We read their stories, hear sermons about them, and celebrate these men and women for their faith and deeds. We are to imitate what is good in them.
But unlike with Nisekoi, which has become more and more of a duplicate anime as the weeks have gone by, we should still seek to be something original. I think there’s perhaps this feelings from those outside of Christianity that the religion would have us be very cultish, of one mind and personality. This despite vast differences in the personalities of the heroes of faith, like the whiny Jeremiah, the audacious Abraham, and the straight-talking Thomas. These men all believed in following God, but they were as different from each other as night and day.
We should continue to nourish that which makes us unique and special, while also imitating Christ and individuals whose faith we admire. Doing both will help keep us healthy, both spiritually and emotionally.
Now, we’ll just have to wait and see if Nisekoi will follow those same healthy lines, and becomes something more than a copycat.