Itazura Na Kiss/Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo/イタズラなKiss～Love in Tokyo
Mischevious Kiss: Love In Tokyo is a 2013 Fuji TV Japanese television drama that aired from March 29, 2013 to July 19, 2013 and has 16 episodes.
It follows a determined high-schooler named Aihara Kotoko (played by Honoka Miki) who has never been considered smart or talented. Of course this doesn’t stop her from gathering up the courage to confess to the star student genius Irie Naoki (played by Furukawa Yuki) in front of the entire school. After Naoki coldly refuses to even take her letter (let alone read it) Kotoko is resolved to get over him and move on with her life. That’s when fate intervenes and sends a tiny meteor to hit her family’s new home and destroy it. With nowhere else to go, Kotoko and her father (played by Tanaka Yoji) are offered a chance to move in with his long lost friend who turns out to be the father of none other than Irie Naoki.
Between the love of her life living in the room next door, his energetic mom (played by Nishimura Tomomi) trying to push them together and having to keep all of this a secret from everyone at school including her two best friends and a guy friend who is in love with her, Kotoko’s life is turned upside down.
Aihara Kotoko (played by Honoka Miki) is a bubbly and optimistic girl who has had a one-sided love for the school’s most popular boy since her freshman year. For what she lacks in academics, she makes up with will and determination. She lives with her single father, with her mother having died when she was young. Due to an incident with their new house, Kotoko and her father are forced to move out and now live with the Irie family. Although Naoki and his younger brother are initially cold to her, she is openly welcomed by their parents — especially their mother, who develops an instant attachment to Kotoko due to always wanting a daughter and of course she tries to push Naoki and Kotoko together.
Kotoko feels as though Naoki hates her and is slow in realizing that he is actually falling in love with her. Kotoko has two best friends Jinko and Satomi, and she is also close friends with a boy in her class named Kinnosuke (or ‘Kin-chan’) who openly expresses his love for her on a daily basis, but she does not return his feelings. She has the tendency to fantasize out loud about her love for Naoki throughout the show.
Naoki Irie (played by Furukawa Yuki) is the smartest and most handsome boy at Tonan High School. He is rumored to have an IQ of 200 and is very popular among the girls due to his intelligence and good looks. He can be somewhat intimidating to other students at Tonan, particularly the bottom ranking class F, which Kotoko is a part of. Despite being loved by almost all the girls in his school, he has no interest in any of them. Initially, he is very cold and rather mean to Kotoko, leaving the impression that he dislikes her. However, he warms up to her as the story progresses and begins to fall in love with her. However, he fails to understand his feelings since he has never experienced such emotions before. Although he is an academic genius, he is very slow in terms of emotional intelligence and does not realize that he is in love with Kotoko.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY from Drama Princess!
I’m so glad you’ve had a chance to happen upon this blog and spend your Valentine’s Day with me. When I realized Valentine’s Day is coming up soon I barely even had to think to myself “what drama should I feature?” before Itazura Na Kiss immediately popped into my head. If there’s one drama that epitomizes love between two people, Itazura Na Kiss is it. What can I say about Itazura Na Kiss? There are many many adaptations of this show across many different countries and languages, but since Itazura Na Kiss was originally a Japanese manga/anime, I find this one the closest to the original. Also, I must say I have a crazy bias because Furukawa Yuki is my favourite Japanese actor of all time (swoon).
Just a quick note before I begin the review, I purposely only put Kotoko and Naoki in the characters section rather than going into detail about every single supporting character in the show. This is because I want to try to do my best to focus specifically on the love between these two characters. This is a Valentine’s Day review, after all! 😉
This drama followed the manga absolutely perfectly. The adaptation featured actors which brought the manga to life right before my eyes. You could tell that each character studied the original characters extensively, but they didn’t just COPY the characters, I felt like they actually brought their own individuality into the acting as well. I also feel like the people in charge of casting did a great job casting mostly people who already have similar personalities. With the exception of a few, of course, as Furukawa Yuki isn’t mean by any regard in real life. His acting skills make Naoki Irie the perfect mixture of cold, genius, and unsure what love is all in one.
But here I go going on about Furukawa Yuki again! Did I mention he’s my favourite? I do have to mention him one more time so I might as well get it out of the way: One of my favourite things about Furukawa Yuki is that he was born in Toronto (which is where Drama Princess lives!) and therefore is fluent in English. Irie Naoki is also fluent in English so this makes for an incredibly funny amount of flawless English throughout the show.
I can’t say the show’s plot is entirely original since it’s an adaptation, but I’ve always liked this scenario (girl and boy have a history, eventually boy and girl somehow end up living together) It’s a theme that’s been prevalent in many animes/mangas/dramas (Marmalade Boy and Good Morning Call to name two off the top of my head) One thing I noticed that was really well done with this drama adaptation is the REACTIONS. For example, when Kokoto first finds out the house she’s about to move into is the same house as Naoki. Honoka Miki perfectly portrayed the utter disbelief and terror that Kotoko would undoubtedly feel in that moment.
OR how about that moment when he kisses her for the very first time?
Honoka Miki x Furukawa Yuki = ❤?
Of course this HAS to be talked about. Many think they weren’t actually acting, and that they’re actually in love. You can’t go onto either of their social media profiles without seeing people shipping these two in real life. I’ve seen countless interviews where Furukawa Yuki is asked about Honoka Miki and he always has to curb rumours by saying she’s a good friend. This puts into perspective just how perfect their “love acting” is in this drama. And another great reason for choosing this drama for my special Valentine’s Day review.
I also have to make two quick honourable mentions to Kotoko’s two adorable best friends who I would be surprised if they weren’t best friends in real life. The way Jinko and Satomi act together is just wonderful. I truly feel that the actors who played Jinko and Satomi (Kasumi Yamaya and Nanami Fujimoto) outdid the original characters. They were more upbeat, more involved, and more concerned and there for Kotoko than in the original manga.
Spoilers Ahead: If you haven’t finished/watched the show yet, don’t read on.
This is where I have to do the whole “spoil the ending” thing, so I hope you decided to stop reading at the tags above if you haven’t watched/finished the show. I feel it’s important to review endings of a drama, as the ending can make or break a rating entirely.
At the end of the Season 1 finale, Naoki is about to be arranged to marry Sahoko so Kotoko finally decides to give up on him and tries to move on with Kin-chan. When Kin-chan proposes to her she realizes that she is unable to ever let go of her love for Naoki and turns down the proposal. After hearing from her friends that she was proposed to by Kin-chan, Naoki soon admits his true feelings and rushes off to find her crying under a tree in the rain. Naoki kisses her and takes her by the hand and leads her home to the rest of their family where he proposes. This leaves her initially shocked, but of course she happily accepts. A few weeks later, Naoki’s mother surprises them with a wedding and voila! The show ends with Kotoko and Naoki married surrounded by their friends and family.
I can honestly say I don’t even know HOW many times I’ve watched this drama, but this scene still has me in tears (happy tears, of course!) every single time. I can’t get over how perfectly this scene was adapted — From Kotoko’s dumbfounded face when Naoki kisses her, to Kotoko completely without words when he proposes to her in front of their family.
The show was already going to get top marks from me but this scene in itself made me want to add two extra bonus marks to it for nailing this scene so well.
And heck! it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m full of extra love so:
Overall Rating: 12/10
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Don’t forget to subscribe and let me know what you thought of this show if you watched it.