When a friend of mine handed me the DVDs of this Japanese TV series, my first reaction was: What? They made another adaptation of the hit manga Itazura na Kiss? I've already heard about a Taiwan and Korean adaptation; and have watched the original Japanese TV series filmed in the 1990s. Making yet another adaptation was for me, the production's wrong move. Still, I managed to bring myself to watching the series, since it was highly recommended by my friend.
The story of Itazura na Kiss, specifically bearing the title of Love in Tokyo for this adaptation, is about a high school female student Aihara Kotoko who has a crush on the popular and genius Irie Naoki. She hands Naoki a love letter, but is turned down on-the-spot, while the whole school is watching. Kotoko thinks she has no chance anymore, but after a hard-to-believe accident, she and her father are forced to live with the latter's childhood best friend, Mr. Irie - the father of the young Irie Naoki. Living under the same roof, Kotoko gets the chance to get to know Naoki. As days become months, and months become years, Naoki slowly starts to see Kotoko's good side.
Watching the first two episodes was the hardest time for me. I had to get used to the new actors playing the roles of Naoki and Kotoko. Hearing the name Naoki immediately reminds me of the gorgeous Kashiwabara Takashi, who originally played the role - and fit the role perfectly in my opinion. Seeing another actor, Furukawa Yuki, to play Kashiwabara's famous role was a difficult transition on my part. Likewise, Aiko Sato, who played the leading female role of Kotoko, was replaced by the similarly large-eared Miki Honoka, who according to my first impression, would never equal the acting talent of the original.
However, after viewing a couple of episodes, I suddenly wanted to retract my first impressions about the series. I realized the series to be watchable and highly entertaining. I would catch myself laughing at some parts of the story. I find myself to be genuinely enjoying the show; it didn't feel like a chore at all to finish the episodes. I would feel my excitement rising up, only to be cut short by the cliff-hanging episode ending. Because of this, I would watch episode after episode, until after a few days, the series reached to its end.
Despite the fact that the story deals with high school students, the series is anything but shallow. I am way past the age of thinking about crushes and dreaming about romance, yet this series reminded me of how happy it is to be back in my teenage years. The series simply answers the question: "How do you fall in love?" As the series progresses, I get to see how Naoki realizes his feelings for Kotoko. Although the actor who plays him isn't as gorgeous as Kashiwabara (my apologies, Furukawa fans!), but he managed to stir up some feelings from me. He made me become very aware how good it is to be in love.
Overall, this is a great series to watch; the unfolding of the story is remarkable and the two leads have good chemistry. The general mood of the story is cheerful, but some moments are a tear-jerking experience to me. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to feel good.
Love in Tokyo Lyra Kua 2015-03-25 4.5 0 5