Itazura na Kiss
Cover of the first manga volume
(Itazura na Kiss)
|Genre||Romantic comedy, Slice of life|
|Written by||Kaoru Tada|
|Original run||June 1990 – March 1999|
|Directed by||Morita Mitsunori, Nemoto Minoki, Ikezoe Hiroshi|
|Produced by||Morita Mitsunori, Sato Ryoichi, Uchiyama Seiko|
|Written by||Kusumoto Hiromi, Mori Harumi|
|Music by||Nakamura Yukiyo|
|Original run||14 October 1996 – 16 December 1996|
|Directed by||Bejo Sulaktono|
|Produced by||Leo Sutanto|
|Written by||Serena Luna|
|Network||SCTV, RCTI, MNC Drama|
|Original run||September 1, 2006 – February 9, 2007|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Osamu Yamazaki|
|Music by||Yasuharu Takanashi|
|Original run||April 4, 2008 – September 25, 2008|
Itazura na Kiss (Japanese: イタズラなKiss Hepburn: Playful Kiss?) is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada. Itazura na Kiss began to be serialized and published in 1990 by Shueisha through Margaret magazine. It became successful very quickly and became the manga series that Tada became known for in Japan. The manga became so popular that three live TV series have been made so far in 1996, 2005, and 2010, with a sequel of the 2005 drama in late 2007. In 2013, a remake of the Japanese live TV series, called Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo, was made. Despite its success, the manga was never completed due to the unexpected death of the author in a house accident while she was moving to another house with her husband and son. However the manga series continues to be published with the permission of the artist's widower.
A drama CD series was released in 2005–2006 and a 25 episode anime adaptation aired in 2008. In an interview, the author's widower, Shigeru Nishikawa, revealed that the manga's intended finale was to be conceptualized in the anime for the first time. Scripts regarding the plot of the anime closely followed the author's planned ending.
On January 27, 2009, Digital Manga Publishing issued a press release announcing the acquisition of the license to publish Itazura na Kiss in English. They will be publishing the series in 12 omnibus editions; the first two are scheduled for November 2009 and March 2010, respectively.
In this romantic comedy story, a high school girl named Kotoko Aihara finally tells a fellow senior named Naoki that she has loved him from afar since she saw him on their first day of high school. However, Naoki, a hottie "super-ikemen" (handsome male) who is smart and good at sports, rejects her offhand. Fate intervenes when a mild earthquake ruins Kotoko's family house. While the house gets rebuilt, Kotoko and her dad stay at the home of her dad's childhood bestfriend...whose son is Naoki. Naoki eventually falls for Kotoko and starts to have romantic, protective feelings for her.
- Kotoko Aihara (相原 琴子 Aihara Kotoko?) (Voiced by: Nana Mizuki, Portrayed by: Aiko Sato, Honoka Miki in 2013 remake) - Kotoko Aihara is a ditzy and poor achieving high school student. She has been in love with the handsome and intelligent Naoki Irie since their first year in high school after hearing his speech at the opening ceremony. She eventually writes a love letter to Naoki, but is rejected right away. On the same day as her confession, Kotoko's poorly constructed house is destroyed in a mild earthquake, and she and her father Shigeo are invited to stay at a house owned by her father's close friend Shigeki. Arriving to the house, she is shocked to find out that Shigeo's friend is the dad of Naoki, and that she will be living in the same house as him. In the beginning of their new life together, Naoki often teased Kotoko, but the two eventually warm up to each other. Naoki later realizes that he is in love with Kotoko and confesses to her, and the couple marry in their first year of college (the third year in the manga version). Kotoko is known as Kotoko Irie onwards. After coming back from her honeymoon with Naoki, Kotoko decides to become a nurse, so that she could be a wife fit for Naoki. After several years of marriage, Kotoko has a daughter with Naoki named Kotomi.
- Naoki Irie (入江 直樹 Irie Naoki?) (Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (drama CD), Daisuke Hirakawa (anime), Portrayed by: Takashi Kashiwabara, Yuki Furukawa (Remake-2013) - Naoki Irie is the smartest and most handsome guy in his high school. He is rumored to have an IQ of 200, and is praised by his peers as being perfect all around. He receives a love letter from Kotoko, but rejects her before she finishes confessing, explaining that he despises "dumb girls." When Kotoko and her father move in with Naoki and his father, he gives Kotoko many hardships and maintains a rather cold attitude towards her, although he secretly began to fall in love with her, because he believed that the trouble she caused made his mundane life more interesting. Though Naoki's grades allow for him to attend any university of his choosing, he eventually decides to attend the same college as Kotoko. After his wedding to Kotoko, Naoki becomes a doctor.
- Noriko Irie is Naoki and Yuuki's mother, and eventually Kotoko's mother-in-law. She loves Kotoko very much, and was the first person to suggest that Naoki and Kotoko date.
- Kotomi Irie is Naoki and Kotoko's daughter. She constantly fights for Naoki's affection with Kotoko much to her mother's dismay, in which Naoki favors Kotomi over his wife. Kotomi has a father complex and tells Naoki that she wants to marry him when she grows up. However, Naoki replies that he can't because he already belongs to her mother.
- Reiko Matsumoto (松本 裕子 Matsumoto Reiko?) (Yuko in the anime)(Voiced by: Akiko Kimura), Portrayed by: Maju Ozawa and Kanna Mori (remake 2013)) is one of Naoki's many love trials. She has been interested in him since before college, but decides to give up after Kotoko and Naoki get married. After graduation, she starts to work for a computer company.
- Christine "Chris" Robbins is a foreign exchange student from the United Kingdom who has gone to Japan to find a Japanese boyfriend. She falls for Kinnosuke, and manages wins his heart and marries him. She is then known as Christine Ikezawa and has several children with Kinnosuke. after their marriage. In the anime adaptation, she is the daughter of the bank involved with Naoki's father's company. Sahoko does not appear and Chris is the one Naoki casually dates. She is voiced by Yūko Gotō
- Jinko Komori (小森 じん子 Komori Jinko?) is one of Kotoko's best friends, who belonged in the F-class with Kotoko. She eventually attends the same university as Kotoko as well.
- Satomi Ishikawa (石川 理美 Ishikawa Satomi?) is one of Kotoko's best friends. She gets married after she gets pregnant and has a daughter named Kiseki, who seems to be very attached to Yuuki.
- Ayako Matsumoto (松本 綾子 Matsumoto Ayako?) (Voiced by: Saori Seto) is the little sister of Reiko. She liked Naoki at first, but eventually fell for Kotoko's admirer; Takendo.
- Konomi (好美?) shares the same personality as Kotoko; both are as naïve and caring. She has liked Yuuki since junior high, but he refused to be her friend. After a while, Yuuki has a change of heart.
- Sahoko is the granddaughter of an old CEO of a successful company. She was arranged to marry Naoki to help fix his father's company's problems. But when she understood that he was in love with Kotoko, she gave up. In the anime adaptation, she does not appear at all and Chris is the one who dates Naoki.
- Tomoko Ogura (小倉 智子 Ogura Tomoko?) is Kotoko's classmate in nursing school. She is sweet and kind and gentle like an angel, but is also crazy about seeing blood, which makes her somewhat scary.
- Marina Shinagawa (品川 真理奈 Shinagawa Marina?) is Kotoko's classmate in nursing school. She went to study nursing to marry a doctor. Eventually, she becomes involved with Funetsu, although she keeps trying to get close to other guys.
- Rika is Naoki's and Yuuki's cousin. She moved to America five years ago. When she comes back, she tries to break Naoki and Kotoko apart but eventually fails. She also turns out to be Naoki's first kiss, but it was against his wishes. She appeared in the Korean adaptation's special in YouTube.
- Akiko (秋子?) (Voiced by: Saori Seto) is a handicapped patient that Keita was assigned to take care of when he went on an internship. During that time, the two of them fell for each other. Because she lost faith in herself, she stopped trying to walk. However, after an unexpected fright from Kotoko, she walks again.
- Grandma Yoshida is an 80 year-old lady which is picky and gives nurses problems especially towards Kotoko. She was looked after by Kotoko, and eventually realises that Kotoko is a hard worker and gives her less of a hard time.
- Shigeo Aihara is Kotoko's widowed father. He is the chef and owner of a restaurant. When Shigeo and Kotoko's house collapses from an earthquake, his close friend Shigeki immediately invites them to live at his home. Shigeo later makes Kinosuke his apprentice.
- Shigeki Irie is the father of Naoki and Yuuki, and the close friend of Shigeo. He is the president of a banking company, thus enabling his family to have a wealthy lifestyle. Shigeki originally pressured Naoki to become his successor, but relents after seeing Naoki's passion for medicine. Yuuki later offers to become his successor.
- Yuki Irie is the brother of Naoki. He really looks up to his older especially because of his strong composure during situations and the fact that he can do anything. In the beginning he openly hated Kotoko, but as she spent more time with his family he grew used to her but openly insults. At first he never believed his brother would ever fall for Kotoko until he saw his brother kiss Kotoko secretly while she was sleeping and promised not to tell anyone. But when Naoki almost got married to Sahoko (in the anime adaptation Chris is engaged to naoki instead) , he questioned him about whether he really wants to marry her and let Kotoko go.
- Kinnosuke Ikezawa (池澤 金之助 Ikezawa Kinnosuke?) (Voiced by: Shuuhei Sakaguchi, Portrayed by: Shinsuke Aoki, Yuki Yamada in the 2013 remake) is the guy who has liked Kotoko ever since high school and didn't give up until Naoki confessed that he was emotionally involved with her as well. After a year, he meets Christine and marries her, thus ending his devotion to Kotoko. However, he and Kotoko retain their friendship.
- Sudou (須藤 Sudō?) (Voiced by: Mitsuo Iwata) is Kotoko and Naoki's sempai in college and the school's tennis captain. He has liked Reiko since meeting her, but hasn't been successful in winning her heart. In the anime, however, he is shown to have married her in Episode 24. Kotoko describes him as someone who has a dual personality. He is very kind when he's not holding the tennis racquet, but once he holds it, he becomes vicious and competitive (most especially to Naoki, but he always loses to him).
- Takendo Nakagawa (中川 武人 Nakagawa Takehito?) is one of Kotoko's few admirers. He met her in college and tried to date her, but eventually fell for Ayako, Reiko's little sister.
- Ryo Takamiya (高宮 良 Takamiya Ryō?) is Satomi's rich boyfriend and later husband. Because he is a very obedient boy, he had a hard time defying his mother who was against his marriage with Satomi, but after a little support from Kotoko, decides to follow his heart.
- Keita Kamogari (鴨狩 啓太?) is one of Kotoko's classmates in nursing school. He is very passionate about nursing and can therefore be very fierce if things don't go right. Naoki was jealous because of Keita's and Kotoko's relationship. Keita liked Kotoko once, but after he realized how much Kotoko and Naoki loved each other, he gave up. Finally, he met the handicapped Akiko during training and fell for her.
- Kikyou Motoki (桔梗 幹?) is Kotoko's classmate in nursing school. He is born a boy, but prefers to be a girl. Of all the guys that Kotoko knows, he is the most girly one. He is the president of Naoki's fan club.
- Funatsu (船津?) is Naoki's rival in medical school. He always tried to beat him, but never succeeded once as Naoki was always the smarter one. He claimed that he didn't like to date, but eventually fell in love with Kotoko's classmate, Marina.
- Nobuhiro Kimura (阿諾?) became Yuuki's friend when he went to the hospital. This boy has a kidney problem and was unable to live with his parents. Years later, he reappears as a young and famous singer known as Nobuhiro. His parents have divorced, both remarried. He moved out after his father had a baby with his new wife. He appears to have given up on life... until Kotoko and Naoki give him hope again. Kotoko offers him hope and he turns into a kinder person.
In 1996, Itazura na Kiss was first adapted into a Japanese television drama of the same title, which ran from 14 October to 16 December 1996 for 9 episodes every Monday at 21:00 until 22:00 JST. This version did not cover Kotoko's and Naoki's married life.
In 2005, it was adapted into two Taiwanese dramas, It Started With a Kiss and its sequel They Kiss Again, both starring Ariel Lin as not-so-bright Yuan Xiang Qin and Joe Cheng as the genius Jiang Zhi Shu.
In 2010, it was adapted into a South Korean drama series Playful Kiss starring Kim Hyun-joong of SS501 as the perfectionist Baek Seung-Jo and Jung So-min as the clumsy Oh Ha-Ni. The series consisted of 16 TV episodes and 7 webisodes.
In 2013, another Japanese remake aired on Fuji TV under the title Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo. It starred Miki Honoka as Aihara Kotoko and Furukawa Yuki as Irie Naoki. The sequel, Love in Okinawa, is currently being filmed, with both lead actors reprising their roles.
Itazura na Kiss was adapted into a 25 episode anime by TMS Entertainment and shown on TBS from April 4, 2008 to September 25, 2008. The opening theme was "Kimi, Meguru, Boku" by Motohiro Hata, and the primary ending themes were "Kataomoi Fighter" by GO!GO!7188 and "Jikan yo Tomare (Stop Time)" by Azu featuring Seamo. Discotek Media licensed the anime and put it out on DVD in late 2014.