Itazura na Kiss: Male Tsundere Before There Was Tsundere

Irie is such a delightful bastard. And Kotoko is still the cutest thing ever. Well, not ever, but you know. Hyperbole. There’s going to be a lot of it in this post, as I feel especially hyperbolic at the moment.

So, over the course of the last, what, two days now?, I’ve gone from thinking Itazura na Kiss is a fun retro-romp to thinking it is pure awesome broken up into 26 24-minute chunks for my viewing pleasure. Part of this has been exposing someone else to the glory that is Itazura na Kiss, and part of this is the fact that, after this happened, I spent the endire day jonesing for episode 2. Which I have just watched. And yes, it was Pure Awesome.

Other people have expressed their love and joy for Peach-Pit’s Shugo Chara! adaptation, and, while I watched two episodes and enjoyed them, I’m not much of a mahou shoujo person, so, for me, Itazura na Kiss is hitting that shoujo sweet spot that’s gone unhit for far too long, and it’s hitting it with pure, unadulterated, weapons-grade shoujo. In my face. And I, for one, welcome it. This is shoujo meant for actual shoujo, ladies and gentlemen (I expect, for this post, rather more of the former than the latter, but everyone here from the latter category, well, you’ve got the right mindset, probably) and it’s bowling me over. If the first episode left me with any minor doubts, they have been cast away in the forty-eight hours between episode 1 and 2.

But why do I like it? A good question indeed. The comedic timing of the series is spot-on, as expected from the talented Yamazaki Osamu. The lead female is appropriately adorable and lovable, and is a perfect example of a character you want to root on over the course of the series, and esecpially when she’s bullied by the dastardly Irie. The fun thing about the series is of course the tantalizing bits of shoujo-service scattered throughout. In the second episode, Kotoko blackmails Irie into tutoring her in her studies through the use of a photo of him as a toddler in a dress (Irie’s mother is hilariously awesome like this), and throughout the episode you get the feeling that they’re getting oh so closer and you’re getting all fired up in the way that only shoujo can make you fired up and then

And then it ends up all for naught, as Irie maybe hasn’t changed that much after all, but you don’t care because it’s shoujo. The original manga ran for 23 volumes (tragically cut short due to the abrupt death of the mangaka, Tada Kaoru), for one, and for two, Itazura na Kiss is probably the grandmother of this brand of shoujo wherin the relationship develops a bit, then goes backwards, then goes forwards, then goes backwards, etc. I was never really put off by that plot mechanism, really–it’s perhaps a tad on the unrealistic side, but then, this is manga and anime we’re talking about, so who gives a darn about realism? That’s why we watch anime, right? We’re tired of this realistic garbage! Or something.

There’s no way 26 episodes can cover 23 volumes of plot, so I’m assuming that Itazura na Kiss will be a much abbreviated version, albeit this time with an actual ending (at episode 2 I’m already getting upset over the remote future of the series ending; to console me I must remind myself that Gundam 00 will start around that dreadful time. But it still won’t be the same). I’m quite glad I’ve caught the stride of this series, and I will continue to follow it. I might not have something important or valuable to say every episode, but that’s probably more due to the seeming insanity of this season in terms of sheer volume of good series, rather than any fault with the series in general.

If there was some way to inject Itazura na Kiss intraveneously, I would totally do it. Next week can’t come fast enough.

4 Responses to “Itazura na Kiss: Male Tsundere Before There Was Tsundere”

  1. 1 flou 13 April 2008 at 12:58 am

    I know what you mean. It’s not mecha or action (my favorites), but shoujo, which as a girl makes it all the more rewarding :D I checked out the manga up to volume 23 and I think they can do a fine job with it. The cliffhanger on 23 was horrible, but I know where they can go with it and how they can end the series from it, which eases any worries I may have had.

  2. 2 OGT 13 April 2008 at 1:06 am

    I may be male, but I’m a teenage girl at heart.

    I think.

  3. 3 flou 13 April 2008 at 1:49 am

    Bah. It’s a free world. You can be whatever gender you want to be when you want to be….I think.

  4. 4 Orez 13 April 2008 at 5:03 am

    I’m not a teenage girl at heart, but I still like good shows when I see them and think this is one of them. It’ll help me get over my post Honey & Clover II blues.

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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April 2008

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