Itazura na Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo Episode 3

Words cannot convey how much I am enjoying this. I’m constantly pausing the video because I need a moment to get my screaming, or blushing, or laughing under control. Either I’m easily amused or this is the best slice of shoujo crack I’ve had in a very long time.

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Naoki’s reprimands from previous episode unleash a river of tears from Kotoko and she admits to herself that she still “loves” him (I almost wish the translators would go with “like” for the Japanese “suki” because hearing love in HS dramas is always a little jarring).

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“Your bath is ready, Kotoko!” “How long do I have to wait for you?”

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What, he won’t read her love letter when he finds it like that?

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Next morning begins wonderfully, with – “you have bread crumbs in your hair”

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Uh-huh. *tries to get up from the floor*

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THE MOM! She is even more awesome here. She just tells them, “I think. I think you guys should marry.”

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Naoki pretty much admits that mom’s suggestion is not out of the realm of possibility by quoting Kotoko’s love letter, and succeeds in completely undermining his horrified objections moments prior along the way.

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I love that she slaps him for it. Dude, you can’t embarrass a girl like that, regardless of your genius bishounen privileges.

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Not-Jiro-Wang bursts through the door to put an end to Kotoko-Naoki marriage talk but only ends up rallying up Naoki to the cause of their possible marriage.

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“I won’t promise I won’t marry her. People change.”

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Everyone gasps: “Does that mean you like her?”

Naoki: “I don’t know yet”

THIS WAS MY FACE. WHILE I WAS ON THE FLOOR.

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But seriously, this Naoki is so much more sensible and open and flirtatious and territorial. I really thought Zhi Shu was the epitome of a restrained bishounen but I was wrong. He was flawed, so very flawed in being too restrained.

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Is this the first time he smiles like that at her? Ah, you can trace it so perfectly. His affection for her growing with every silly thing she does.

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Mom is awesome so she leaves the two of them alone in the house, hoping Kotoko will seduce him into marriage or AT least charm him into eating her food.

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No such luck. Instead, she almost burns down the house.

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“What is this?”

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Naoki’s expression is killer. I laughed. I never laugh in jdramas, ok? <insert grumpy cat picture>

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He helps her out though, and together, lovingly, they make book picture dinner.

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“Then, I want a sweet dessert from you”

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She’s imagining it, of course, but it still brought me to the floor.

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Time for some unimagined steamy scenes!

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He catches her stealing his homework (what happened to her night-blindness, btw?)

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And pulls her down on his bed with: “Did you come here to make love to me?”

MIND. BLOWN. CANNOT MAKE IT FROM THE FLOOR THIS TIME.

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“Um, aren’t we taking this a bit too fast? I love you and all but how did we go from making dinner to making love?” Kotoko rambles.

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He’s amused that she fell for it, but no one is going to fall for his lack of interest in her, when it’s clear that the only thing he cares about is if she still likes him.

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They stay up all night doing naughty things, homework

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“God, please, no more cooking from you. For some time. For a long time.”

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“But you can make me coffee.”

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A couple of more thoughts

1) This Naoki is a lot more affectionate this early in the series than Zhi Shu ever was. And even though I loved that aspect of ISWAK, where Zhu Shu’s largely ambivalent feelings constantly drove Xiang Qin (and me) crazy (masochism, hello), I’m satisfied with a more smitten portrayal of Naoki as well. The conflict is already being set up for why he might stay away from Kotoko despite his ever-growing attraction to her – his parents (more his mom though) are pushing it on him and his first instinct is to immediately rebel against their wishes. This same thread was developed in ISWAK as well; indeed, it might have been the only reason why it took so long for Zhi Shu to come around. I am not the biggest fan of that justification, teenage pride seems silly, when obviously his parents have no influence over his feelings for someone, but denial is sexy. Please, keep going.

2) 3rd episode started to diverge from ISWAK quite a bit. Some important scenes like making dinner, Kotoko’s night stalking are present but other scenes seem altered. In particular, I don’t remember the dinner party where Naoki maliciously embarrasses Kotoko over her love letter. I mean, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in ISWAK but I wonder if it’s taken directly from the manga. I really should read it.

3) Let me just squee over Naoki constantly trying to confirm Kotoko still likes him. Reading her love letter, announcing it to the world, confronting not-Jiro-Wang (also, he is totally jealous already), saying “she still likes me a lot more than you”, teasing her and seducing her just to see how she reacts – it’s all to make sure she is still fixated on him. Funny, how much a girl, who he considers stupid or perhaps even beneath him, manages to stroke his ego.

10 thoughts on “Itazura na Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo Episode 3

  1. I didn’t read the manga but I watched the 1996 Japanese version of Itazura na Kiss. The slap scene that took place during the dinner and the part where Naoki tells kin-chan “people change” and the night scene where she was caught stealing the hw were all in the 1996 version. Even the “did you come in here to make love to me” line was also used in that version as well. I think this follows very close to the 1996 version but with added changes…such as Kotoko’s personality…out of all the versions I’ve seen, I like newest Kotoko the best! I adore her! Her antics are quite endearing and not idiotic like in the other versions (even though I enjoyed Ariel in ISWAK) that makes me want to pull my hair out.

    • Yeah, Ariel’s Xiang Qin was incompetent to the point of incomprehension. Not the same levels of ‘endearing’ as this Kotoko. Not even close!

      I think it’s safe to assume the ’96 version closely followed the manga as well but now I’m wondering why they didn’t include that dinner slap scene in ISWAK because it seems very substantial, conflict and tension wise. I think ISWAK loved to keep things more ambiguous between the two of them and downplay Zhi Shu’s affection as much as possible, but still.

  2. I think the scene where Naoki embarrasses Kotoko over her love letter is from the coreen version : Playfull Kiss!
    This is really the best version I’ve seen so far, but I haven’t seen the first japanese version yet^^

  3. Pingback: Links To Check Out — Week One: Umeboshi, Makeup, Drama Fashions, And Kpop | Underrated Gems
  4. Your reviews are amazing! I read the manga, and I loathed Irie and Kotoko! This live drama actually makes me think Irie can be cute and Kotoko is the most adorable character ever! haha

  5. iSWAK has the scene where zhi shu read out her love letter at the dinner table. But x8ang qin didn’t slap him, hit I think, but I prefer the emotions portrayed by furukawa’s naoki, so much more emotional, affectionate etc. *spazzing* and I love the kin-chan in this adaptation!

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