Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anime Review- Itazura na Kiss



Itazura na kiss (playful kiss) is a popular shoujo manga and is considered a shoujo classic. The mangaka, Kaoru Tada died before completing the manga and it was halted abruptly at 23 volume. When the anime was made, her husband told the animators about the ending Kaoru Tada was planning and urged them to end this anime in the way she had pictured. Therefore, logically, the anime is the only complete version of this story. It was adapted into a drama form.

The story is a classic shoujo manga story- Kotoko, a complete ditz falls for the most popular and amazing boy in school- Irie who is one year her senior. When she finally gathers the courage to give him her love letter, he rejects her off hand. However, fate has other plans. Kotoko's house is destroyed in an earthquake and she moves with her father to his friend's house who coincidentally turns out to be Naoki Irie's father. His mother is convinced that she'll make a perfect bride for Naoki although he thinks otherwise. He helps her study and become better although she remains a ditz throughout most of her studying life.

The story is quite long as it progresses from high school days to marriage and children.

The story overall was quite good. Though Kotoko progressed from a ditz to a responsible working woman.The change in Naoki was not that drastic. He only admitted hisn feelings in the end.

The love doesn't appear rushed because the story covers a long timeline. Even after marriage, Kotoko decides to transfer to nursing school and Naoki transfers to medical department from engineering department. They gradually have children and go back to Naoki's grandfather's house with the child.

It started out pretty well with the classic shoujo plot and went well until marriage. It is strange that Naoki should ignore Kotoko when he married her out of love. He changes in the end but for most of the episodes, Kotoko is the one who makes all the adjustments.

Kotoko's weakness is terribly annoying and irritating especially in the beginning. How can someone be so pathetic and useless?- a disgrace to the female race. However, as the story progressed, she did show some character development. She tried hard at nursing and became a good wife. She also works hard as a nurse and teaches us the very essential lesson- our roles at school and college are trivial in life. A ditz in school and college can become a respected nurse.
Her tenacity and jealousy are the good things about her.
After marriage, I felt that Naoki was the lucky one. Kotoko is infinitely selfless and tries to be a good wife. She makes too many sacrifices, another annoying point. She is not one bit demanding and this gives the feeling that the love always remained one sided. Naoki's feelings are never prominent. She is always afraid of losing him even after marriage and does nothing to annoy him. Only near the last episode does Naoki admit he loves Kotoko eternally. He admits that in the middle (before marirage) but gets submerged in his profession and starts ignoring her after marriage.

Story- 3/5 (genric)
Characters- 4.2/5
Illustrations- 4.4 (for anime), 3.2 (for manga)
Overall- 4.1



Kotoko's mother in law, father in law, Kin Chan, Chris, Matusmoto, her lover and her father were good and realistic supporting character. As Rumiko Takahashi's Maison Ikkoku , in this manga everyone had a happy ending, which is quite unrealistic (that's why it is shoujo).

The events were good and the story progressed well. The best thing about it was the fact that it progressed from school to college to marriage and children. This is what makes the story complete.

Also, the anime was much much better than the manga. I read the manga and watched the anime and the manga had terrible illustrations (very old) which made it hard to read on. The anime is also complete and the manga is not.

Even though the story is pretty genric and the characters are either too strong or too weak, it was good overall. When I finished watching the anime, I felt undescribably happy though I found it genric. It is like knowing the characters personally. Also, the good thing was that all the characters had a happy ending. The story felt complete since it progressed from school to children. Though the love was unrealistic, the story overall was realistic. The settings, supporting characters and the conclusions were realistic just like we see around us. The characters showed development, especially Kotoko which made it worthwhile. I would recommend the anime over the manga.

All the shoujo manga lovers will like this one. It is a shoujo manga classic. Only half of the story is about high school and college life (1-14 eps.), the other half follows Naoki and Kotoko's life after marriage.

Pros

Long timeline over which the story takes place
Realistic
Supporting characters
Happy ending

Cons

Hero
Cliched plot
Too much role of fate

Best bargains

DMP had launched an omnibus edition of Itazura na kiss manga which is a good bargain.

Anime

Soasianstyle.com sells the full anime for around $24 and charges $4 for shipping (15 days).

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