Archive for May 25th, 2008

Itazura na Kiss: One Step Forward, 6.022×10^23 Steps Back

Although for all we know each of those steps back was as long as a Planck length, so maybe there’s still hope! And there’s still 18 episodes left, anyway. I’m frightened of the remaining episode count. I might destroy my monitor in a fit of passionate rage somewhere around episode 20 if I’m not careful.

As if this series wasn’t complicated enough for Kotoko, now, not only does she have to deal with the teasing/flirting/God knows what Irie dishes out to her, but she now has that one thing shoujo heroines fear the most: a Rival. Matsumoto Yuuko, who is “beautiful” (I find it highly amusing that many of the characters in anime that the characters describe for the viewer as “beautiful” are frequently anything but to my eyes, but I think we’ve already established in previous posts my sheer devotion to Kotoko where Itazura na Kiss is concerned, so this observation may be slightly innaccurate) and smart and intelligent (I won’t doubt those, although whether or not she has any kind of social grace is up for grabs); in short, she is everything Kotoko is not, or at least thinks she is not.

Although things are still in flux at the moment, as the rivalry only seems to extend to the two girls involved in it, leaving Irie totally out of the picture. It was with much relish that I noted that Irie treated every girl with the same disinterested way he treated Kotoko at the start. This tells us one important thing: Irie doesn’t really care for interacting with women, period. Whether it’s because he’s a chauvinist pig, overly concerned with his image as a cool, detached guy, or just simple disinterest in the act of pursuing women, the fact that he doesn’t fawn all over Yuuko–especially when you know he doesn’t know Kotoko is watching, as was the case in front of the tennis club (because if she was watching, Irie would probably be dropping some kind of bad pickup line on Yuuko,  just to spite Kotoko)–simply means that for him to feel any kind of emotion towards Kotoko–the “defrosting” moments–in his own tsundere way means that Kotoko has the edge up on just about everyone else. He only torments Kotoko about Yuuko at home, in private, when no one else is around, which lends a tiny bit more credence to this simply being him expressing…whatever it is he feels…to Kotoko, rather than outright maliciousness. He’s certainly much more playful in how he interacts with Kotoko than the cold cruelty he exhibited at the beginning of the series, which is a milestone if I ever saw one.

Either way, we won’t know what’s going to happen until next episode, which apparently involves dates and stalking and maybe some tennis practice (over one thousand push-ups. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to do a single push-up in my life, as I’ve never figured out exactly how to do them, despite being told multiple times by various gym teachers; imaginging one thousand of the things is enough to give me nightmares for a week), but probably far more of the first two than the third, as I’m pretty sure this isn’t Aim for the Ace!. Whatever happens, though, we still have two-thirds of the series left to go–anything and everything could happen, and frequently does. Despite the seemingly “stereotypical” plot setup (“stereotypical” in quotes because as far as I know, Itazura na Kiss set the stereotype, rather than following it), Itazura na Kiss has managed to surprise me in varying ways, both with the speed of the plot progression and with the actual events themselves.  Which is only a good thing.

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NOTICE SHAMELESSLY STOLEN FROM G.K. CHESTERTON

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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