Itazura Na Kiss 1996 & Love In Tokyo Remake

Konnichiwa. O genki desuka?

Itazura Na Kiss (Mischievous Kiss) are originally a japanase manga that was published from June 1990 to March 1999. It become very successful that it was made to few different version of live action and anime:
  • 1996: Itazura Na Kiss (Japanese 11 episode drama)
  • 2005-2006: It Started with a Kiss (Taiwan Remake)
  • 2006-2007: Cowok Impian (Indonesian Remake, unofficial)
  • 2007-2008: They Kiss Again (Taiwan Season 2)
  • 2008: Japanese anime
  • 2010: Mischievous Kiss (Korean Remake)
  • 2013: Itazura Na Kiss ~ Love In Tokyo (Japanese Remake, 16 episode)
  • 2014: Itazura Na Kiss 2 ~ Love in Okinawa (Special episode that the same as Ep.1 season 2)
  • 2014: Itazura Na Kiss 2 (Season 2, 16 episode)

Basic Plot

Itazura Na Kiss is about Kotoko Aihara whom fall in love with the best student in her school, Naoki Irie since the first day of high school. She only watching him from a far, but decided to confess to Naoki in her third year. Obviously the cool Naoki that never interested in girl, reject her immediately. In the twist turn of fate, Kotoko house was destroyed in disaster (fire, earthquake, meteorite in different version), thus forcing Kotoko and her father to accept invitation to stay at her father’s best friend house. . . and that is also happen to be Naoki house. As time pass, the two spend a lot of time together and Naoki unconsciously start to care for Kotoko.

Itazura Na Kiss 1996

I got confuse with too many version that I end up start watching this drama version too. But I make good choice, this is seriously good drama. This is a 1996 drama & I only watching it in 2015. Even after 19 years, I do feel that the drama is still relevant.
Kashiwabara Takashi play very good version of Naoki as he is not trying to be so cool, but just normal teenage high school boy. He is naturally handsome and charismatic, but show lots of different expression too.
Sato Aiko however play a very noisy & very ‘cartoon’ kind of lady. She’s very loud, keep on day-dreaming and never reserved in showing her feeling, but somehow it look natural on her. It’s not annoying at all to watch her, thus good job Sato-san.
Although the drama have good story line so far, i really need to complain on the ending. !!Spoiler alert, highlight to read: Well, in few last episode, Naoki did show that he care for Kotoko. However, after a year separated in different city, he back to Naoki that didn’t show interest in Kotoko at all. Up until the very last minutes that he suddenly run to Kotoko. I say it not so smooth. He should show bit of resistance or uncomfortable gesture as Kotoko leaving again, but no, he show no expression at all until very last minutes where he suddenly get hunted by Kotoko voice…LOL. I don’t blame the actor, but rather the script writing. Japanese drama usually complete their filming before airing, thus they should wrap it better. (Spoiler end. Select text at this white area to read it…lol)

Itazura Na Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo

First of all, since when did Japanese drama have 16 episode drama format per season? Last time, most drama only have 9-11 episode per season. Anyway, this drama is seriously seriously great. Every episode is very exciting.
I love to see how Naoki (played by Yuki Furukawa) unconsiously give his attention on Kotoko (played by Honoka Miki). When everyone not noticing, he silently look on Kotoko. He can’t control his feeling but never want to admit it. (Spoiler again:) He trust Kotoko can improve in her tennis, as how she manage to get Top 100 in school before. He feel threatened by Kin-chan. He didn’t want Kotoko to give up on her thus he kiss her. He even give upon Todai and decide to enter the same collage as Kotoko. Well, he can choose other collage right, like following his classmate to other collage, but no, he decide to go to Tonan Uni instead.
The sweet thing that, when Kotoko misunderstood him, he go all the way by calling Matsumoto little sister to explain the situation.. omo omo omo….how sweet is that…haha. He even go to tennis practice and call his little brother Yuki to understand the situation. LOL. And screammmm at that scene where he kiss her in her sleep… omaiiiiiiii… hahaha.
How funny to think that the drama show from the perspective of Kotoko, but we get so many hint from Naoki side too…haha. On side note, Kin-chan in this version is super cute & handsome no…hahaha. such eye candy…lol.
Kin-chan in Love in Tokyo version is super cute..haha
They surely have ups and down along the way, and i really love how they wrap on season 1. Ending is perfect & i can’t ask for more.
Season 2 (and Okinawa special episode) shows on how their life after marriage. They get married right away, but I love to see how Naoki didn’t change much right after marrying Kotoko..but rather slowly learn to build the marital bonds together. They learn to trust and have confidence with each other, learn to express themselves in their own way (well knowing Naoki, it’s no way standard “romantic drama” way isn’t it), and also how they work hard and improved in their works. Especially Kotoko that improve so much. Warning: since this is after marriage drama, it probably not suitable for teens under 15 years old (or 18 for conservative people..haha). I too kinda surprise that this drama more intimate than normal japan drama, but its romance drama after all.
Whats special about this drama is that it cover long period of time. Season 1 start with Kotoko first fall in love with Noaki in first year of high school, get closer in third year, continued with 3 years collage life. Season 2 saw they work hard in medical department for another few years.
I love how they properly wrap this drama. Together with all side characters received their owh glimps of ending. In season 2, we can see how it’s no longer Kotoko one sided love, but Naoki slowly acknowledge that he love & need Kotoko. And the sweetest thing where Naoki finally give Kotoko a ring as his first present to her. But more importantly is “the best present” that come at the very end. And i just love how Naoki find out first…lol.
They do a lot of flash back which will explain lot of things that happen in season 1. Like how Naoki really become doctor because Kotoko say he will be good at that. He even choose his specialty on same reason too. With the thing happen with Yuki & Kin-chan, Naoki acknowledge that he like Kotoko from very beginning too.
This is love <3
My only complaint is that Kotoko keeps addresing Naoki as Irie-kun even after years of marriage. I’m not really sure if Japan culture prefer a wife calling using family name, but if she change to call him just Naoki-kun, it’s would be much more endearing isn’t it?
I also wonder since when Kotoko in this version become very noisy. During her high school, she’s in fact a day dreamer, but usually really quite. Is it because her confidence level increase, thus she become more responsive?
I haven’t watch the Taiwan & Indonesian version, and only manage to watch few episode of Korean version. It was said that Taiwan version is quite good, perhaps i should give it a try later. But after finish watching Love in Tokyo Season 2, i think it’s probably not good idea to watch other version. This version is so perfect & great, i dont want to spoil a good memory of this.
Trivia: 
1) The manga never finish as the original author suddenly pass away, but the anime version shows the intended ending as told by author’s widower. I should check that out.
2) Sato Aiko make cameo appearance in Love in Tokyo episode 10.

You see, if I make this kind of long review, that simply mean that the drama is really exciting..hoho.
p/s: I watch these drama in Nov 2015 & write this review soon after…donno why I didn’t publish this post earlier..haha.
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