Anime Review: Itazura Na Kiss

This is a new type of review. I recently finished an anime I just had to gush about.

Itazura Na Kiss (Mischievous Kiss)

Length: 25 episodes
Genre: Shoujo, Drama, Romance
Age Group: Older Teen 16+

Basic Premise:
Kotoko Aihara loves Naoki Irie. She has loved him ever since she saw his commencement ceremony speech their freshman year of high school (10th grade). Junior year (11th grade) has rolled around and she’s decided to confess but Naoki shoots her down before she even gets out her request for him to read the letter. If that’s not bad enough, her brand new house where she lives with her father collapses. Her father decides to move them in temporarily with an old friend, who just happens to be Naoki Irie’s father.

Living under one roof should up her chances, but Kotoko is finding her chances are even worse than before. Maybe she should just give up… or should she?

This anime spans ten years, starting in their junior year.

First, I have to say there was a lot of forehead smacking and desk head-banging going on while I watched this anime. I was torn between feeling sorry for Kotoko and wanting to smack her. I couldn’t get over how dumb she was being over such an insensitive, unfeeling jerk. Then of course, irony set in since I recently wrote a book with a similar theme ;P.

Second, if you can make it to episode seven then you should have no problems watching the entire series.

Overall I loved this anime. I like to go back and watch my favorite parts. It wasn’t the normal shoujo fair where everything is roses as soon as the hero finds out that the heroine likes him and the only occasional thrones are from outside forces. Everything with this anime was internal and originated from either Kotoko or Naoki with only a few outside problems.

It felt like a real relationship. True, most people don’t read/watch fiction for real, but that was one of the endearing qualities to me. I loved that Naoki’s personality didn’t change that much even when he finally gives in to the relationship. He’s still an insensitive, unemotional jerk and that’s what made him fun.

My favorite character of the whole series is Naoki’s mother. That woman is a force to be reckoned with. She added just the right amount of humor to the whole anime. However, her somewhat unhealthy obsession with her son’s love life — and filming it at every opportunity, even if they are in the bedroom — was kind of creepy. Funny but creepy.

I can’t wait to buy the DVD collection once it’s licensed and released (I watch fansubs) and I’m seriously thinking about buying the manga (I have to go thru Amazon Japan since it hasn’t been licensed yet either).

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