Archive for June 14th, 2008

Itazura na Kiss: BUBBLES! BUBBLES!

This episode was amazing enough to send my fingers flying for the nearest chat client so that I could spam my keyboard for a few seconds in order to properly convey the emotion my inner fangirl was experiencing at the moment. The temptation to do the same for this post is remarkably high, however, I feel that I must exercise self-restraint and restrict myself to a single sentence. Here it is:

fkldhfldas fsabfjsa fkjas fsda fdjas fjkdas fds fsdakifsjklfaslo flasnfpoas fsalkf m,lafs!

I feel much better. Note that I was doing this long before the end of the episode. When the bubbles popped up, it was almost too much to bear. Bubbles, sparkles, bubbles with sparkles, and sparkles with bubbles (there is a difference) are my shoujo weaknesses, and I don’t remember an instance of them cropping up in Itazura na Kiss before now, but any previous appearance of the legendary shoujo visual trope has been completely topped by this one.

Er, anyway. Illness seems to be the plot device du jour in Itazura na Kiss, since we already had Kotoko suffering from appendicitis. I was like “Appencitis again?”  when Irie mentioned it to Kotoko as a possible cause for Yuuki’s symptoms, but, fortunately, Tada Kaori is much more subtle than that. From a storytelling perspective, it was almost like she (and/or the writers for the anime version) were playing a literary prank on the viewer by baiting and switching the plot devices. I for one applaud such attempts at meta (?) humor, regardless of whether or not the intent was to actually make meta (?) humor.

Although Matsumoto had a minimal presence in this episode, the proceedings of the scene in which she was featured leaves me increasingly convinced that Irie is using her as a tool, to what end I do not know. Perhaps she is simply a pawn in the “tease Kotoko” game, or perhaps he’s simply too disinterested to really tell her he’s not that interested in her at all and lets her cling all over him because he’s, well, he’s Irie, and that’s what Iries do best. She is clearly superfluous, however: Kin-chan, of course, stirs up trouble (because he’s Kin-chan, and that’s what he’s there for) and insults Irie and Matsumoto by calling them a “good couple”, which, of course, Matsumoto repeats, because evidently she’s far too obsessed with how cool and awesome she is with a boyfriend like Irie to actually care about anything else. Irie–and this is one of those subtle things he does that gives me these kinds of impressions–simply detaches himself from Matsumoto’s grasp and gets lunch from the counter. They didn’t even make a huge deal of this. It just…happened. Like it was business as normal. If this has been a adaptation from an Ikeda Riyoko manga, that moment would probably have merited at least a triple-take and perhaps even a quadruple-take, but Ikeda Riyoko is from the 70s, and Itazura na Kiss is from the 90s. Things are done a bit differently. The fact that they don’t call your attention to these little things Irie does–either through camera tricks, the characters pointing things out or having reactions to these things (well, okay, Matsumoto had a bit of a reaction)–makes them all the more fun when you notice them. The biggest things in this series aren’t always the things that get the most screentime, no matter how awesome it was when Irie hugged–nay, embraced–Kotoko after saving Yuuki from the horrors of…whatever he had. (the actual disease name sounded as painful as the disease itself, so I promptly forgot it)

In conclusion, it’s fairly surprising that it’s only episode 10 and we’ve gotten this much relationship progress. Yes, they’re cramming the manga into the anime as best they can, but I have no idea how many volumes of manga the anime has covered so far, and I’m sitting here thinking “This was episode 10, so there’s 16 more episodes to go in this series…what the hell is going to happen in them?” It’s not a bad thing, as it’s always refreshing to know that you’re watching something that, despite barreling down the plot at mach 5, still has the potential for a lot of surprises in store, rather than the remaining episodes being a somewhat predictable coast to the conclusion. That seems to be Itazura na KIss’s big strength thus far, this sense of unpredictibility–and it is this that I think I will use to arbitrarily defend my rating of 9 for it over on MAL. Yes, the 9 was assigned entirely based on the fact that it hit that shoujo sweet spot, but the more the series runs, the more I feel it actually deserves that rating genuinely, as opposed to simply being defined as a hedonistic knee-jerk rating. It’s easy for me to see why this series was so popular in the 90s–it gets everything shoujo is supposed to do right, adds its own spin on it, and manages to be extremely well-written on top of that. It’s not the most original of premises–although I wouldn’t call it cliched, because, well, in all likelihood, it set the cliche–but, as mentioned in the previous post, originality of concept doesn’t matter.

And, as a closing thought, here’s the cover for the Kataomoi Fighter ED single (by GO!GO!7188, who apparently refuse to disclose what their band name actually means; something involving 557188, no doubt), which you all probably already have and have seen if you have the single in a tangible or intangible format, but here it is, in all its reduced-size-to-fit-the-theme-of-this-blog glory:

I about had a heart attack when I saw this. Stop it, Yamazaki. Stop it. I don’t want to have my cause of death listed in the paper as “Overdosed on Itazura na Kiss.”


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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June 2008