A girl named Aihara Kotoko confessed to a smart, handsome boy names Irie Naoki, but he rejects her. On the next day her and her father moves into their new house, but immediately it falls into pieces. After the incident, her father's best friend let's them stay at their house, and coincidently it was Irie kun's house, so now she has to deal with Irie kun, and choose what she's going to do about him.
Itazura na kiss is, like most stories that have withstood the test of time and remakes, filled with cliches. However, like other stories in that grouping, it still manages to be fun, even if it's not the best adaptation out there.
When compared to the other versions out there, Japan always inevitably seems to fall flat when it comes to their live-action versions. The actors always seem odd and out of place, and this version is no different. Miki Honoka, while loveable as the dim but resilient Kotoko, has some serious work to do with her acting; she over-exaggerated more often than not, which is great for most of Kotoko's scenes, but ruined the more quiet, sincere moments for me. Furukawa Yuuki had the general cool, aloof air that defines Naoki but seemed to lack the small changes that showed Naoki warming up to Kotoko. It's a similar story with the rest of the cast; the fill the general shape of the characters, but tend to miss the tiny beats. So they all work, not great, but not completely out of sync either.
The story works well if you're looking to see the manga recreated almost scene for scene as a live-action. Having recently read the manga, a lot of lines and actions are directly from the manga. Which is refreshing in having a solid, this-is-the-real-storyline, in a world of changing things up, but if you've read the manga and are looking for something familiar but new, this may not be ideal. So story is a matter of preference.
And while the overall quality of the show is far beneath the other adaptations (shaking camera, unfocused shots, talking people being half cut on the screen) there's a sincere heart that always follows this story that's here as well. A fun, breezy watch. Don't expect award-winning...anything really, but great for those pick-me-up days.
I can't be objective in reviewing this drama. The reason is, despite the many flaws and cliché, I was (almost) obsessed with this drama.
Rewatch Value: 10
This drama is an adaptation from a shoujo manga published before the 2000. Inevitably, the story is brimming with cliché. I suppose, Itazura na Kiss is the source of some of the cliché seen in manga and dramas in this decade. That makes Itazura na Kiss unfit for my taste. Well, it was supposed to be...
There are reasons that made the cliché bearable.
One, the perfect lines of the important scenes. For example, the rain scene in the finale (I can't get the finale out of my head these days). I love Naoki's lines XD
The second reason is the casting. While some of the actors are probably still green, they all brought the best out of their characters. Miki Honoka, who played the heroine, needs many improvements in her acting, but she managed to bring Kotoko who is not overly stupid or annoying; just adorable. As for Furukawa Yuuki (Irie Naoki), there are times when I thought that he lacked of facial expression. But, at the end of every episode, I always scrapped that thought out of my head. Furukawa's lack of expression at some scenes was actually the prove that he played Irie well, because Irie is a character who doesn't show his emotion easily. When he does show it, he didn't hold back, and Furukawa managed to portray that perfectly.
The characterization is also what made me tune in until the end. Kin-chan's character actually had more depth than he appeared at first. I don't usually like Kin-chan's type of character, because they pour all of their heart to the heroine, be all nice and supporting, yet NEVER gets the girl; it's just too painful to watch. Although Kin-chan fell into the same pattern, the dynamic of his character made me thought that watching him is worth the pain.
The music was quite nice, though not exceptional. Some people might hate the opening theme song, but I LOVE IT.
I gave the rewatch value a ten, because I couldn't help rewatching EVERY EPISODE for at least once after I watched them. As for the finale, I've probably watched it for five times. This drama is soooo cliche but it made me all fluffy inside~ Sometimes I need fluff in my life XD
I think this drama is for those who likes popular and cliche romance. It's not for those who feel uncomfortable with the casting or is looking for something serious.