I like to consider myself a DIEHARD Itazura na Kiss fan. I love all the characters, love all the arcs in the story, love the music in the drama. I just love it all. My condolences go to the mangaka’s husband and family. She created the groundwork for arguably one of my favorite manga and drama of all time. When I think about Itazura na Kiss, I become very tenderhearted, it’s definitely my soft spot. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in comedy/romance/school dramas or the classic shoujo mangas. I think what makes me love it so much is the fact that we are able to see the characters grow, from high school, through college, and into the married life. I’ve become so emotionally attached to Kotoko (Xiang Qin) and Naoki (Zhi Shu), that I completely accept the character traits given to them. It seems that lots of people can’t get pass the fact that the female lead is written to be incredibly dumb, and the male lead is a huge douchebag. For some reason, that made me want to watch/ read more about Itazura na Kiss. I wanted to see how the writer was going to make these two completely polar opposites fall in love. You are given an onion at the beginning of this story. Little by little, as you start to peel away, you begin to understand that despite Kotoko (Xiang Qin) being a bit slow, she is very warmhearted. She cares for others more than herself sometimes, and her determination reaches heights you wouldn’t even imagine. You keep peeling, and notice that Naoki (Zhi Shu) is very weak. Only when he is with Kotoko (Xiang Qin) is when he is able to be himself, and essentially become complete. Once you get to the core of the onion, where the heart of this story lies, you begin to cry. I hope the director for It Started With a Kiss and They Kissed Again see’s my tears, Season 3 please, I am desperately waiting for season 3.
You may or may not have noticed that I didn’t mention the names of the Kotoko and Naoki characters from the Korean drama. Yeah…let’s forget that drama ever happened… I’m totally just kidding. I have read the Itazura na Kiss manga up to date, watched both seasons of the Taiwanese adaption, and saw the Korean adaptation. I hail ISWAK and TKA as the winners by a landslide. A lot of people like to argue over which one is better, I’m just putting my voice of opinion out there. Playful Kiss or Mischievous Kiss does well in the aesthetics category. They had an advantage because that version was made in 2010, while ISWAK and TKA were made in 2005 and 2007 respectively. So I love Oh Ha Ni and Baek Seung Jo’s outfits, and the scenery is very bright and cheery. Yes, I know, that is very shallow of me in a way. But it ends right there. It is also hard to compare this one season to two season’s of the taiwanese adaption…but ISAWK still accomplished more than Playful Kiss in my eyes. What It Started With a Kiss and They Kissed Again accomplished in is the acting. Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng have amazing chemistry, comedic chops…everything feels just right, and once the acting is done well, I am won over. Even if Joe Cheng is playing a coldhearted, stiff face guy, he still does it better than Kim Hyun Joong (No offense to the fangirls..I like him too). And again you can argue that the Taiwanese adaption had more time to build up Naoki’s character…but…I’m super biased. I’m a total Arjoe fan.
It’s hard for me to like EVERY character in a drama or manga, but Itazura na Kiss is an exception. No matter how annoying Kinnosuke (Ah Jin) is or Yuuoko Masumoto (Zi Yu) are, I love them both. Mostly because no matter what antics they come up with, they cannot break through a love, so impenetrable as Kotoko and Naoki’s. I just realized while writing this that I haven’t watched the anime…and I consider myself a diehard fan. Bluff right? Not exactly. I’m scared of this story ending…and I know the anime adaption ends it cleanly. I will get to the anime when I have time, but for now, I will indulge in the goodies ISAWK and TKA give me. Also, I just found out that yet ANOTHER drama adaption of Itazura na Kiss will be coming out soon. This time in Japanese, which will become the second Japanese adaption of this story made, the first being made in 1996. I’m fangirling so much, I don’t think my heart will be able to take it. MORE ITAZURA NA KISS. FEED ME MORE.
This is just a glance at Itazura na kiss. I could go on and on about how much I love this story, but I’ll spare you that torture. There are a lot of fan pictures out there for all these adaptions, but I would like to make my own. When that happens, I’ll happily post them here.
*It Started With a Kiss Goodies