A How to Guide for your 5201314th Itazura na Kiss Love in Tokyo marathon: ep7

This episode prompts me to reread the manga (Ch 12, 13 of vol. 4 btw) right away after it ends.

[All gifs and pics from weibo, thanks to original posters!]

Firstly, this week in the Itakiss C fandom:

1. @匪我思存: [可怜][可怜][可怜]

A tweet from our ‘ebil stepmom’ ladywriter of rapey makjang FeiWoSiChun, at it again, commenting under some perfect fan MV.  AHHHH , who doesn’t LURVE the Kimi Ni Todoke theme song and has it on playlists?! The movie is cute too and it is my fav HARUMAKUNNNN outing!!)  and how befitting is the lyrics for this crossover?! Unrelated but I need a non-nikkid fur-halo’ed Harumakun:

2. 昂帕帕斯: **<-don’t click link JUST yet** I am slow, and tardy, and not the brightest bulb.  There is a sudden shift of handles at weibo last few weeks, all pertaining to the itakiss fandom with these characters sneaked in, I thought it’s just the newest mando slang I’m clueless about and have something to do with tennis?  Sampras (totally age showing) is translated as 森帕斯 and is 昂帕 pronounced as…..Op-pa?!?!?! I’m finally curious and puzzled enough to google translate.  Go, and hit listen for pronunciation of those 4 characters in Chinese.  IF you don’t get it yet (shame on you, disowned from fandom!), you click the link, and play the clip.  And lets see how you can stop the giggles! *G* Irie repeating on purpose with J accent without any fuss, just for Kotoko’s sake.  For a perfect geniusto even know how it’s spoken in Japlish is bizarre, he must’ve heard it from Kotoko and he noticed and made note and remembers.

3. This is the watching routine of a typical C fangirl (each phase is marked by a new onslaught of spamming @weibo):

  • stream live @ midnight
  • stream ENG SUB *a first for many, they are mostly not fluent in English. Csubs r usu so prompt, but engsubbers have the time diff advantage*  any time in between waiting, do a manga reread of relevant chapters
  • stream raw for the most amazing comments of the fandom live at bilibili (streaming site)
  • or/and acfun (another streaming site), whichever site has it first.
  • stream Csubbed first thing the next morning in the streaming sites you’ve watched raws with the comments shut down.  As of last night when I watch subbed at bilibili, uploaded ~ a day, the ep was watched 742,952 times already.  O____O
  • rewatch ad nauseum during the week turning on the amazing comments screens  @___@
  • THEN make  glorious list of the best comments made on the streaming sites.  @@___@@
  • rewatch ISWAK corresponding episodes @@@____@@@

I’ve never followed a mania jdorama live.  But since I prefer watching Asian dramas in Csubs, I can’t get away from picking this cutest craziness rampant everywhere I look.  Is it the same in your woods?  Is there such a huge phenom ever?!  Has it always been like THIS?!?!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why I jump to the manga right away is this is the episode where drastic plot,’key’ scenes are left out.  Instead of training camp, they stayed put (it must be more manageable for filming, I guess), we do not have Girl2 being TypeA (A=annoying) OTPmeddling-by-lovedeclaring Girl2, and  Kotoko+Senpai joining hands fighting love battles.  It also cut out some Irie scenes and lines.  * eg manga Irie and ISWAK ZhiShu…cooks* Imo I appreciate the deft touches, Yuki’s Irie is more cohesive *lets not forget what is yet to come REAL SOON in his set of plans he’s kept from everyone*, he is stewing in Kotoko is moving out, out of his life, that is not his plan, if like in the manga he witnessed Kinchan making his opportune move for the N th time and him jealous and toying Kotoko yet again, that has been done for 2 whole eps+ now and he has much more on his mind to be petty.  A break from the teasing, jealous Irie actually gives way to some welcomed Kotoko character growth.  Kotoko has the opportunity to test out life without Irie, she figures it out herself this will be the first baby-step of putting aside her crush.   She stays with the Tennis Club because she wants to try hard at something, she has little to no chance bumping into Irie anyway, stuck at the bottom of the pack not even able to be on court holding a racket.  We see her encouraging herself on, starting a new leaf, grateful of the cute doting by Kinchan but be honest with him her feelings, never leading him on.

Kinchan in this episode is truly winning, must be a threatening rival all along in Mr Mangaka’s mind never a note touched on in all the previous adapts, none of the off-putting obtuse, his tete a tete with Kotoko when he brought her his homemade bento out of concern is sweet, heartfelt and moving.  Not much is said, they are feeling the exact woe, understanding each other like no one else.  They are so alike, even how they nurse their own bruised heart is the same enthusiastic optimistic Kinchan and Kotoko.  He likes Kotoko as much as Kotoko likes Irie, he does not take the opportunity to be pushy of his own agenda, harping on his love, he always puts her first, continues to be this true great friend and support even when he himself is suffering.  It pains him seeing what Kotoko is suffering for love and we know he’ll wholeheartedly give his blessing with his weeping bleeding heart to be a KotokoNaoki shipper like us all just for her happiness.

How he is mesmerized just watching Kotoko enjoying his food, accompanied by the perfect lighting, cinematography in that scene…your heart is cold and unfeeling to not ship them however little that very moment.

This is an episode where Irie is at peace with himself concerning Kotoko.  After obviously confused but aware of his own jealousy for a while now, even a dimwit in the romance dept like him can figure out he has some, however minutely obvious to him, feelings for Kotoko.  He can’t deny, he can’t ignore.  In his mind he made his hurt known as well as he could when she shocked him with the news of moving out.  We all know his logic is now that he is used to her in his life, spending time with her doing nothing, not even conversing, everything with her tagging along is a routine and she is not allowed to disrupt that, including not loving him.  But she said she’ll forget him, she is even physically leaving him and her only concern is if he would miss her, doubting he has any feelings towards her, when the Kotoko he thought he knew would never ever give up on him, he had proof with every of his provocation since the kiss.  When he said ‘back to normal’, what is normal now Iriekun? Is this another mindteaser for Kotoko?  Back at end of ep5 his normal was Kotoko loves him, forever, and he has to make sure she’ll never be able to forget him.  He is not skilled at expressing with his words.  ‘How about conveying it in action?’  Naoki must’ve contemplated.

After a few episodes of us having a ball  kekekekeing at poor and so very confused Iriekun, let us not forget this is still the normally very cool-headed practical genius who makes meticulous calculation even of where the opponent will hit his every ball, the one and only Naoki Irie.  After all the fog of confusion clearing out, he must have analyzed with his most advance left brain what he should do with these FEELINGS, his next move, like a most complicated chess game.  With his dilemma of life’s goal dangling, he must’ve figured he can’t afford to lose any more of his brain, his time to these scary intangible uncontrollable tugs of his heart.  He is aware, finally, he has also decided to stay numb and hide it even deeper.  But he still has a right brain and our body parts rarely work exclusively.  When our genius thought he has figured it out analytically and what a relief it must have been, confident he can submerge his feelings and impulses now, diverting himself focusing on manageable tasks, like tennis, tennis balls, Kotoko picking up tennis balls, Kotoko hitting tennis balls, sprinkled with the bonus to see Kotoko at dusk, till dawn, he unwittingly sets his emotional and expressive parts of his brain on even higher gears:

1. 

The Irie brother on the right got 99.99999% of the ‘abuse’ of a bumbling Kotoko in the house.  The Irie brother on the left tasted a bite of the most awful agedashi tofu and a few shocks of an almost grownup could be much dumber than a smug 5th grader. But the thought of never having to taste yucky tofu and saving a few smirks calls for a joyous twirl with fav stuffed giraffe, while the right Irie brother is not even in the mood of faking this is news to him, let alone ‘good’ news, nor is he any good in faking it is none of his business because his faking it business on hand is to read that book and unless that book is possessed with some dancing spirits it should not be darting around as his eyes are, so detached and deflated he is not even functional to give his unknowing bro any acknowledgement, blinking away an almost somber tear, a face of obvious mourning.  Yes, the debilitating grievance all over your face can only be that of mourning a love loss, indeed.  When Kotoko is crying her hearts out *sobz* you are still reading that darn book, you can’t bring yourself to the window because I know you will CRY! Or made a mad dash down the stairs and smooch her a kiss hollering ‘lets see if you can leave ME!!’ *RAWWWRRRRR*

2. BEST META EVER!

Kotoko, don’t cry, Iriekun’s sulky face is obviously saying exactly this over and over in his head with a lot of pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasecomebackhome, and he is even reenacting this gif ad nauseum with that little paperback he ohsooooooobviouslyisreading as prop for the newspaper.

2.

Kinchan has his gesture of affection by petting Kotoko’s head, you have your tennis ball hits.  Yes, you can come to practice because you can, even though you had never.  Lets do shoujo logic 1+1=OTP here, A at C, B at C for the first time, A never at C before, A is at C because?!  Answer:  A needs to be with B  *sigh* Kotoko, you really need to figure that out yourself, read more shoujo, never expect Irie-kun to answer that out loud.

My fingers are tired typing the same thing again Iriekun:  Did Kotoko expect you?  No.  Did Kotoko see you? Only your shoes and not your face, so not really. *but bad ‘ex’ obsessive fangirl Kotoko, you can’t recognize his tennis shoes?!?!*  She did not utter her ‘Irie-kun~’ once and all her focus is on tennis balls while dancing ballet  Are you collecting balls still?  (and ignoring me?!!?!?!??!?! How come you can keep doing the same thing except be conveniently in my sight? Here have the ball you want more than ME! )<_<‘  A New thing Irie-kun, jealous of tennis balls now that Kotoko is putting her words to action forgetting you!?

3.  My guess is Irie-kun pokes Senpai just so Senpai will challenge him again and he can dazzle with his prefect self all around the court in front of Kotoko.  Playing with Kotoko defies the point, initially, also he is at his most confused and clumsiest when Kotoko is around. Don’t ever get in my way! (of luring you!)’  But notice him keeping a concerned corner of his eye on Kotoko as they are changing court.  I SEE YOU IRIEKUN~!

Your pain is my pain, exactly the same spot guys, and we have CP wristbands. lalala~

Let me get hit by Senpai’s ball, you can only be hit (on) by me!

4.  Senpai’s rematch proposal is clearly a passing joke (Senpai himself is shocked by Irie taking up the challenge).  Old Irie may still be so competitive to agree but we are missing an annoyed disdaining look at Kotoko if she’s really ‘getting in his way’ for the Nth time.  Kotoko is the one truly not looking forward to it.  Oh, our pure, naive heroine, how little you know of your Irie-kun!

An aside: O______0

L: Sudou senpei R: the actor playing Sudou senpai a 88er(!!!) Kaji Másaki

5.

Kotoko’s ‘DUUUUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!’ face.  Good that Iriekun is not around witnessing this, he’ll interpret it as you hated him kissing you and will piss him off to an unimaginable degree, because gf you do not go to this extreme of making such an OMFUG face.   Bad that Iriekun is not around exactly because of the aforementioned, he WILL kiss your brains out right then and there, so pissed he would not even bothering dragging you to some deserted stairway.

‘Iriekun’s feelings never changed.’ NUHH. Wrong, Kotoko, so very very wrong.  Yes, you have coerced and blackmailed and pleaded Iriekun to help you do a few things together, but did you ask for his help this time?!?!? Do you want the match?  Do you want to spend a week with him training?!  I genuinely see you dreading all of it.   Again, so little you know of your Iriekun, so little.

6.

You are late. (It is the first date I…initiated)  I don’t need to hear excuses.

From this point on Irie’s eyes on Kotoko: 99% of the time.  Kotoko’s eyes on tennis balls: 99% of the time.  And he is the one who said he wants to come train just because?  He is not hitting a ball unless it’s towards Kotoko??!!?!

Old Irie: smirksmirksmirk and hit ball squarely at Kotoko’s forehead.  New Irie: you darn tennis balls, how dare you take all Kotoko’s attention away from MEEEEEEEEEEEE! And why are you flying everywhere torturing myKotoko.  Go die you tennis ball in my hand and that whole basket of darn tennis balls in btn me and myKotoko!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh and Don’t close your eyes (at me!) Don’t look at the ground…Never my shoes! Look at me!…Move your body towards where the ball is coming from (ermm I just swung a ball at your direction, ie ME!) Understand?!

 Not the brightest bulb.  Very cute though, and I bet out of frame an Irie is hawking.

Kotoko is still not paying attention to me.  What will a 5yo 6ft tall IQ200 genius do?  Hair grab!  Notice how stiff I am once I touched her hair, and how much genius tactile control to make sure there is no yanking yet I get her at arm’s reach, turning around, looking at me.  5 yo genius is 5 yo and genius.

7.

-Oh RAIN!  Shall we…kissu

-Later.

Oh Kotoko, you like the rain now?  You’ll LURVE it more… a whole bit later.  kekekekekekekekekeke  And I must say Bravo! Iriekun, that is one smooth move getting a second date at dawn after keeping her with you in the rain most of the night.  You have only stayed up late a few nights in your life (and many more to come…oh my trashy brain!) and it’s ALL with Kotoko.

Girls and boys lets take note and prepare ourselves of how ridiculously hot the vision of Iriekun in the rain, just standing there, harping his yummy voice at hisKotoko.  HMMM what if he’s not just standing there and doing something else with hisKotoko?  I wonder.  LOLZ where did our cutiepieyummycoach get those rubber ducklings?!

8.  Warm fuzzies time AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW  :___: and Kinchan’s bento and warm words of TLC too!

9. After a few days and nights of most patient coaching *lets not start on how yummy Yuki’s voice has been tenderly uttering his commands, if ovaries are in our middle  ears, they had combusted* and yourKotoko has finally served!  She also serves you a most exuberant hug!   Now if that is really an annoyed stare you are beaming Kotoko’s face, and so against the skinship, you have a free hand and a racket, you, of all cold unfeeling prince could’ve shoved her lightly away from koala-ing you.  Instead you stand there not moving anything except turning your stoic face towards her.  And your speech right after is your kind of sweet words of loving, not a mean word of dissing and teasing and toying at all!  How our Iriekun grown in a few days of abstaining from Kotoko’s undivided attention on him and him alone:  ‘It’s great (you are great) to have so many things to get excited about in your life.  (I have only one….YOU!)    I envy you. ( And I love you.)  One more time. (Hug me)’

10.  Girl2, because I can’t stand your face, so lets save the decorum of serving you a cap.  Are you the biggest closeted KotokoNaoki shipper?  It is not the first day Kotokoo is ’embarrassing Irie, wasting Irie’s time, giving Irie trouble’, it is different this time because the dude ASKS for it himself, all of it.  Kotoko may be the slowest in the bunch, but given enough poking, she may some day wonder why is it that she keeps unwittingly embarrassing, troubling, getting into his way, wasting his time yet he is not showing any Old Irie nonchalant/disdain of it.  And is this any of your business especially when the guy Kotoko is loving enjoys every bit of the trouble to the point of can’t live without it?!?!  And yeah, I need to hate you for spoiling the deliciousness of Kinchan’s lovely katsu-winning-sandwich.

11.  You are not alone.  I am with you.  Don’t be scared. <-A dime a dozen overused lines of hero to his damsel lover in a horror flick.  Keyword: LOVER

This could not just be pertaining to a little tennis match you don’t even have a thought of winning( a bit ahead of myself but Naoki, you of all peeps, not winning?!).  If this not a love declaration put to words I do not know what is.  I don’t know if Iriekun is aware of Kinchan’s winning sandwich of love, that is cute and sweet, but it is Iriekun’s strict coaching that brings the best out of you Kotoko (and not the first time).   There is one kind of love that is lifelong nourishing sustenance, we call that friendship, then there is the kind aspiring you to be the best, to dream your unimaginable dreams and shock your jaws till they drop on the floor being moved by his few actions and even fewer words.  Or just an approving nod your way:

12.  ‘Kotoko!’  shouts Iriekun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What is this Itakiss beast doing to us all!?!?!??!  Did you grasp out a little squee just when our cold prince FINALLY utter his beloved Kotoko’s name, the loudest of squees only a hot angsty kiss frenchie in a monsoon or a candlelit ‘boating’ scene can trigger in the other dramas.   KO-TO-KO!!!!!!!!!!!

-You did it!

You’ve wormed into my heart, you’ve given me the never known to me joy of satisfaction of fighting hard for a thing TOGETHER.

13.  Last episode we have an injured in action Kotoko, passed out on the court and we had an Irie in out of character uncontrollable laughing fits.  We are all puzzled with how juvenile and uncaring he was, yes at least there was a reaction but it’s NOT a show of loving caring concern, on surface.  Our Iriekun’s biggest advantage working for him is he’s DAMN SMART.  A few days of cool headed depressing deep thoughts while mourning, then a few more days of spending every spare waking moment with Kotoko he himself made happening, we have this, a reaction of clear care and concern (and love, coz why would an unfeeling cold prince Irie be caring and concerned and touchy and feely?  WHY?!?!):

He mined her shoulder, he mined her wrist, he mined her lips, he mined her hair, now he is mining her ankle.  THEN:

A princess embrace from Iriekun.  A better one than last time on his most unlucky day, he’s got practice.  That is after our most competitive genius who has never lost until twice teamed up with Kotoko, drops a calling match off, quitting because Kotoko can’t play, like he’s saying a kthxbye while we go get a room, in passing.

I do not know how much of this is pure acting, but what makes this Itakiss adapt inching out, winning my heart irrevocably as the best shoujo thing ever is in these littlest touches of how straight and stiff Yuki’s Irie is.  He is still awkward with expressing his feelings, with emotions.  This is scary nerve wrecking unknown territory for him, he learns the new emotions of ‘excitement’, ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’ for the very first time in his life.  While I still is fond of ArJoe’s combustible chemistry and their natural physical ease with each other, this is truer to character how a Naoki should behave, stiff and not really knowing what to do with a girl in his arms.  A sign of I’ve stared at this gif too freaken long is when I can pull my eyes away from the OTP and noticed Sudou senpai dance of celebration in the far far background in a court of no concern in this little slice of heaven our OTP and all of us are in, as if we are not doing our own happy dance!  And no Sweetie, God won’t be mad, at all.

14.  This needs no caption, it is clearly from an episode of HGTV’s househunters Newlyweds edition.

Naori: This is my face of- I don’t mind it, I’m clearly anal and will be bothered with a breadcrumb on some nobody of no concern of me, but now my shirt is wrinkled and my undershirt is showing and she’s depending on me…..I don’t mind it one bit and am actually screaming with joy inside while stealing a slightest glance at your happy face.  You guys will see a lot more of this face from now on.

Naori:  This is my face of ‘Oh!crap, there we go again, I am defenseless against my ditzy wife for the 1234354875644th time.  How this tiny cute INJURED thing manages to drag someone 1.5 ft taller and is a masterful powerful tennis player, even though that is my non arm, beats me. ‘  *Listen to oneechan Naori, this is both the power of love and the defenseless in love at play.  Heady stuff.*

….because you did not just go along out of saving your arm.  You displace the bag to your dominant arm so this arm can be totally Kotoko’s, to have and to hold.

Until next episode!

The most talented baidu dearie 庄婕希 who has been posting Irie’s pov, made a marvelous MV to Jay Chou’s 周杰倫/ 開不了口 Kai Bu Liao Kou (Can’t Speak).  Eng lyrics here

This is the flumpool 36C video LadyPDsama directed, and she posted this @ weibo, dedicating the video to all the fans of the rain kiss scene.  Lord.  Have.  Mercy.  On. Us.  ALL.  Now, do not be a big tease only LadyPDsama, we are not asking you to use your brain AT ALL, just Honoka and Yuki reenacting everything the couple in MV did, an exact replica and you insert it in InKLiT, SIMPLE.  And we’ll stop bombarding your weibo with manga scans such as:

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52 thoughts on “A How to Guide for your 5201314th Itazura na Kiss Love in Tokyo marathon: ep7

  1. This was another sweet episode:) My heart was breaking for Kinchan! Such a sweet guy! And Irie calling Kotoko’s name? So sweet! Shows how really chummy he is with her in his subconscious, hehe.

  2. “One more time. (Hug me)” LOL
    Awww and I LOVE the film version of Kimi ni Todoke (more than the super slow paced manga). I love Haruma and Tabe there <3.

    1. Me too, the movie is such a delight for me. I went back to read the manga afterwards and draggy is my impression as well. IF they are making a drama version and since Harumakun is now poised to transition to more mature roles, I’m all for Honoka and Yuki to be in Sawako and Shota!

  3. “New Irie: you darn tennis balls, how dare you take all Kotoko’s attention away from MEEEEEEEEEEEE! And why are you flying everywhere torturing myKotoko. Go die you tennis ball in my hand and that whole basket of darn tennis balls in btn me and myKotoko!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh and Don’t close your eyes (at me!) Don’t look at the ground…Never my shoes! Look at me!…Move your body towards where the ball is coming from (ermm I just swung a ball at your direction, ie ME!) Understand?!”<——i died!haha

    love your recap so much!!i've been smiling and giggling reading ypur review..i i love the fact it seem kotoko can live without naoki but it turns out naoki who dont!take that naoki..you have been bewitched by kotoko..mama naoki is the best! i love her so much!yahhooo…makes me lol hard…epi 7 is one of the best episode…for kinchan, i seems to tell that he is slightly know if one day naoki accept kotoko love, he will give his blessing for them..he can see himself in kotoko..nway, he always support her from the back..at some moment i told myself please please dont make me ship him with kotoko as i ship kotokoxnaoki..he is so kind!

    1. I’m so glad you like my silly post haha ^^
      What I’m loving the most thus far is the adaptation is actually quite bold in revamping the manga, at this point in the manga, Irie is still grumpy and haughty towards Kotoko while in this episode, Yuki’s Irie really toned everything annoying he did towards Kotoko down to his form of TLC and even manga Kotoko said she would try to chill her obsession of Irie but she’s so miserable every waking moment even if she stopped physically being her fangirl stalker extraordinaire. To be brutally honest, I can’t say I’m an inspired fangirl of Ariel’s XQ till the end, yes cheered and rooted for her and Ariel did a tremendous job, but I saw her more as being terribly lucky in making the Top100, or hitting senpai’s ball, but she was truly hopeless to function without her ZS. Here I never doubt our Kotoko able to be a normal cheery girl growing into a decently contributing member of society, it’s more the other way round that iceburg Irie caught her fancy to be so obsessed by her. And the fine-tuning of Kinchan’s character is most apparent actually, even when the wedding is on the way, in the manga Kinchan is still reeling and devastated. I have hope this Kinchan has the sensibility to truly be a wellwishing friend by then.

      Mama Naoki has always been hilariously OTT endearing. I love her in the manga, in ISWAK and here, equally as much.

      1. IKR!!kotoko in here seems to be capable of doing things than XQ..i totally can see her hardword paid off and seems logic for her to get 100 place and hit sudou senpai tennis ball..it is not lucky or magic..she just did it with her strength and of course “little” help from her prince….as i watch iswak i totally cannot tell if ZS truly fall in love with XQ until the rain kiss moment..but in INKLIT i can see slowly that naoki is falling in love with her.. its normal for kotoko did not realizes in current stages bcoz naoki shows a very subtle hint toward her..it is pure love story and bring audience together enjoying the moment as we slowly see our OTP fall in love with each other..i love it so much..and as for kin..he is wayyyyy better than ah jin bcoz we can see the important of him in this story..kotoko did not ignore her and he is on a par rival for naoki..for iswak he is on par level during the end when he propose to XQ…nway i love your review so much..it fun and every important moment is delighted and the way you notice small hints making me keep rewatching it again and again!!haha..CP wristband/your pain is my pain<—never realized that until you point it out..i think until now i just watch epi 7 for 5th times..

        1. This whole post/comment is mostly me being craycray fangirl shoujo fiend. I don’t think drama intended us to go berserk hahahahahahaha *but WE CAN YY our hearts OUT!!! ^^*
          This is why a ladyPD’s touch, one who possess a very thorough read of the source material is so refreshing here, I think. PD Winnie is good too with the ISWAK adaptation, but he did not attempt to read between the lines, his rendition adhered to the manga almost page to page, his interpretation focused on filling in a lot of the warm family dynamics, but the OTP’s characterization lacked the needed depth from the get-go. As I’ve said in ISWAK, I felt like ZS was a victim of stockholm syndrome, it’s almost like he gave in to the annoying inconvenience of a XQ in his life and become morbidly curious and thus attached. When he moved out and went on date with Girl2, it felt like he did not like XQ enough to me and want to try something else, being very self-centered, without putting XQ’s feelings in the equation at all. Manga could be a very succinct medium, and a lot happens between the columns and lines. This ladyPD put in a lot of effort to put in her interpretation of the characters from the get-go, she did a lot of deft editing of the material, and with Mr Mangaka’s input, these characters have never been as sound and likeable.

  4. Ep 7 is much much better than Ep 6 at first glance (haven’t gotten to rewatch ep 6 yet). I guess I like the slower, more meditative episodes of INK… lol as always, Kin-Kotoko scenes are always pure awesomeness. Irie’s less unexplicably mean in this episode (at least to me), Kotoko’s not being a strangely mindless stalker anymore, and I’ve decided to kick OTT senpai off to the curb and ignore his character LOL

    But I think best of all is just getting to see Kotoko as a normal girl again– yes it’s sad for her that she’s leaving Naoki’s side by moving out… but it’s obvious that what she misses way, wayyyyy more (though she’s probably not totally conscious of the difference herself) is the more wholesome family dynamic that she couldn’t have with just her and her dad (as much as he loves her with all he can)… she so desperately wants to keep having that motherly-figure in her life. And for that, my heart breaks for this poor girl.

    Of course~ I just LOVE it when Naoki pushes Kotoko HARD to better herself, out of sincerity, because he believes that she CAN be better and just needs some pushing towards it ❤ it's the best part of Naoki imho

    1. I have no complaints on 6, I love the nuanced transition of 5, 6 to 7 very much. lolz I never find Irie inexplicable in his meanness and Kotoko can never be no strangely mindless stalker to me in this adapt. This Irie is truly much more palatable in his obtuse towards Kotoko, Yuki is super fine with his nuances. He may still say or do mean things, but just under the surface, his face has everything going on, that tenderness and care and longing, there. I can count how many times Yuki’s Irie has raised his voice truly at Kotoko, it was just a very few handful (when she slapped him, when she showed his pic to the whole class thus the kiss) then he raised his voice more at senpai than Kotoko at the arrangement of the lopsided match, that’s not the case in manga, nor ISWAK. After the match is set, and he go along with the intensive training, he has been most patient even I doubt I could be when it took clearly several long early morning and late night training just for her to serve once in court, We didn’t hear must of one grumble or one mean word towards Kotoko from him.

      haha and I don’t see how if I’m kissed by a crush I’ve obsessed all of highschool and not even have the hope there is sth more, finally maybe a chance right after it, so I honestly think I would do exactly what Kotoko did in 6, every action and word even.

      1. LOL I rewatched Ep 6 today (though only in Irie-Kotoko scenes for the most part haha) and surprisingly, it didn’t erk me as much as it did the first time I watched it. Yuki’s nuances is no joke and I’m starting to catch on for where his character was in ep 6. Maybe senpai’s OTT was too much for me to handle (compared to all the other side characters who still retain the cartoonish-ness more than the main leads) and it threw me off track. It kinda caught me unexpectedly the first time, so in this second viewing, I was ready for it, tune it out, and focus more on Irie and Kotoko– I got to appreciate it more. Ep 6 was kinda almost like Ep 1– the set-up portion of the story for this new chapter…

        Me getting older might also factor into this… well actually even when I was in JHS i was generally more mature than my peers at the time: quietly sitting and listening in to the conversations of the uncles and aunties instead of playing with my peers, hanging out with the college oppas and unnis… I end up being too harsh on an understandably real portrayal of 18-19 yr-olds. I’m going to have to actively remind myself that these are KIDS for goodness sake. so I need to cut them some slack, and enjoy the growth into adulthood from these characters, as this version so delightfully promises.

        1. You must be too rational and coolheaded a teenager! I can ignore senpei’s OTT off the bat just because this is Jdorama manga-adapt territory, I guess it’s just like I’m still a bit puzzled why every sageuk MUST start with a childhood fated romance. MUST.

          Yes, these are kids, very convincingly so, and these 2 two oddballs at the extremes. This is shoujo fantasyland, even when it’s based on Mangakasama’s RL love story with her husband, she put in her pov and exaggeration for the 2D characters on the pages of the manga

          1. lol thank you for your adjectives XD back then I just thought I was too serious and boring of a person XP

  5. omygoshhhh I LOVE THISSSS in the first tennis match, Naoki obviously was burning with a boy/man’s pride under threat (nothing like jabbing at a man’s pride to get them all worked up/sucker them in to doing things they usually wouldn’t huh), and so he harshly tells Kotoko to keep out of his way. But as he trains her, with his emotions cooled down, he’s not in it for the win. In the second game, he doesn’t tell Kotoko to get out of the way. When the ball comes her way, he doesn’t go to hit it for her, he let’s her try. And it’s so winning that Kotoko actually hits it instead of shirking away. Nor does Naoki admonish her when her hits fail to go across the net and cost them points. And the face of pride he has when Kotoko returns senpai’s shot? Need I say more? ~~ lol kekekeke

    1. I have a slightly different read, yes it’s pride at work and he’s harsh and whiny with the teaming up with Kotoko, but it’s not because Kotoko is in his way, she seriously knows nth of tennis to the point of never hitting a ball in court, and he knows Kotoko will receive the bulk of craycraysenpai’s onslaught, let alone Girl2 making a point she will be da b8tch, Kotoko will get hurt like she did last time with no training at all. IF he wasn’t harsh and warned her most effectively, as he’s said the same line to her before and she really would get out of the way, he’s never gd and really couldn’t think of more effective words. So he said it purely out of concern for Kotoko’s safety, not because of his pride, because he has the coolest of practical heads, he had done the calculation and there is no way unless he’s world champion to win.

      1. lol you give credit to Irie a lot more than I do. Kotoko getting most of the onslaught just because she’s the weakest link on this team and it’s just competition logic– that I don’t doubt at all that Irie could forsee. But I’d be hesistant to say that he said “stay out of the way” purely from concern– I saw it more like a mixture of “I’m not going to let people using underhanded methods get their way; NOT TO MENTION, this simple-minded girl is just going to end up hurt again and I don’t like that” the two priority looks pretty even to me =P but the provocation for rematch? haha highly likely~ i’ll need to rewatch it for confirmation, but i need to tell myself no for now… for the sake of my grades.

        Again, that’s what I really like about this Irie– it’s absolutely clear that he gets stringent on Kotoko not because he feels like picking on this bumbling, “lacking” girl, or for winning anything, but because a) he sees that she has the potential to be better, with some guidance, because she can be so persevering and b) it’s his source of joy, his opportunity to experience and share the exhilaration of having achieved something through a lot of hard work

        who can’t love a person who strives and sacrifices to make another person better?

        1. You can not pick this to bits as a singular event and ignore everything that has happened since 5 though. He was the one kissing her. What is jealousy again? He is clearly distraught when she moves out, and sulking, miserable after while his young bro is ecstatic, why? WHY did he flop himself at tennis training?!?! For competition? That’s most unlikely of all.

          1. well then again =__= i’m watching this all out of order Ep 5–> Ep 6 (not happy viewing)–> Ep 7 after a long week+ –> Ep 6 again @__@ this was my first impression: he had pride mixed in there when he first uttered “stay out of my way”, but by the time he mentions a rematch/training, he’s worked off some of the impulsiveness and now it’s much more about making Kotoko a better person (skill, self-confidence, esteem before others)

            again, this is a first-viewing observation… Irie has good insight and level-headed intelligence for a commendable majority of the time, but he IS still a KID– he still succumbs to impulses from time to time (especially since Kotoko’s appearance, she tends to raise the stakes for the various things in his life), in terms of interacting with people he still makes not-so-wise choices, he’s still learning and perhaps I’m simply not as smart as him… I couldn’t fathom that he had it THAT all together and in control when he got pissed at senpai during the first match and function purely out of concern for Kotoko…

            It’s really cool discussing this though XD– thanks mookie~~ because it’s definitely opening my eyes to perspectives that I haven’t thought of before. Any who’s it’ll take me a rewatch after finals… with ep 5-7 in order XP to come up with a more… finalized opinion

            1. Lets spazz and party some more after your finals sweetie! Again ADDDDDD OILLLLLL!

              we’ll have to agree to disagree, maybe a tinge, but I think after all the ‘conditioning’ of a Kotoko in his life for a yr+ now, his pride has been drowned by those copious amount of green tea he downed super jealous. IF he’s not the one interacting with Kotoko first thing being quite a scene himself attending training for the first time ever when senpai has made it a point he never needs to when he joins the club, he is the one giving senpai the idea to team them up. It is more frustration he got himself (and Kotoko) into this because I can’t for the love in me think he would be pissed at Kotoko in his way for winning a stupid tennis taunt when he can care less about a T Uni entrance exam, when he has never not aced/be #1 of any exams in his life.

              1. =D thank you for cheering me on mookie unni~~~
                oh no i didn’t think that Irie was mad at Kotoko for losing the first match at all– it’s obvious that he knows Kotoko couldn’t handle it and losing is a high possibility, not surprising. If he was mad, he would have set the rematch differently– like requesting a fairer partner on his team. if he had anything to prove with the rematch, it’d be that they are wrong for thinking so little of Kotoko. LOL at him wanting to see Kotoko so badly that he went to practice– that part I surely caught on, even with first viewing =P

                anyway, overall I think I am getting the hang of adjusting my expectations for this story– Japanese dramas, especially romantic comedy, just CAN’T not have super dramatic elements (I’m more sensitive about comedy, preferring wittiness/black humor– slapstick/facial or overemoting makes me cringe), the main leads are still kids (so they’ll do stupid stuff from time to time, immature stuff out of pure spite)… but I can still appreciate INK A LOT for fleshing out the inner world of Naoki (so that he’s not a genius alien anymore) and Kotoko (hello, she does have something between her ears, pretty decent one at that)… and a growing-up story with plenty of heart-warming, thoughtful elements =D

    2. And I can even go further with the extrapolation haha he provoked the rematch in order to train Kotoko so at least she can fend for herself and not be a disaster, a flying ball magnet, getting herself hurt, because he knows even though she joined the club because of him, but she has no chance of seeing him as he never goes to training, and he saw how she stuck with it, won’t just quit when he’s not even around, so determined and vivacious even when abused and stuck with doing something any one else with grumble…but not Kotoko, he saw that, and it must’ve impressed him and set the whole exercise in motion.

  6. i didn’t enjoy the first watch of this ep. very much. it’s kinda slow and off the mark. But the second and third watch just none but winning. It is the first ep where Naoki actively come to Kotoko, and not the other way aound. She has always been in his orbit but now, he actively steps in her orbit. not only so, he put in efforts to make his presence known to her, eventhou in his own perculiar way.

    But the true winning moments are between Kotoko and Kin. True friendship, open and honest and understanding and caring and selfless and mature and humour. I love how Kin brings food to Kotoko, because she loves food and she also needs it. And the coversation they have in the auditorium is totally mature. Kin is not pushing it and Kotoko is not hiding it. He has become a true rival now. And a worthy one. Pitching Kin and Naoki at this moment, Kin is for the win!

    The moment between Naoki and Kotoko I like the most is when he whined at her for not taking the taxi and asked her “think about me too”. It’s like he has taken their relationship to an “equal” level: I think about you, so think about me too. And how he is easily swayed by her now. She hung herself on his arm, pulling and pushing him to do things her ways, and he whined but did everything!!! It feels like this episode he deliberately winds down his haughtiness so that he can be in the same sphere with her! so cute!

    1. Irie in this episode is even more subtle and nuanced than ever, because he thought Kotoko is out of his life, so he should hide his feelings even more, serious now to not even slip into his favorite past time of teasing and poking her. It was out of genuine concern for her he is frustrated with the match up. I am reaching a bit here, but it makes sense to me this way:
      Irie is the one who misses Kotoko, more so he is concerned about Kotoko, thus making an appearance in training. He sees how Kotoko is abused by craycraysenpei, and he himself is the culprit causing her demise, he is the sole reason she’s joining the club, not even knowing how to properly hold the racket, and now even picking up balls she’s so clueless she gets hit often. The match up against senpai and girl2 is initiated because of him again, as craycraysenpai is out for revenge, if he doesn’t appear in court, Kotoko will not be dragged into this…and she could get hurt like last time, and worst since she literally has to vend off senpai and girl2’s vicious attacks all aiming at her. That is why he haughtily hollers at Kotoko to stay out of his way, not because she’s really in his way to win, but to keep her safer. And we all know he is the one truly instigating the game, and pushes Kotoko to tap into the potential she doesn’t even know she has. He knows Kotoko will never quit, and he wants to help her, so this is a convenient happenstance to genuinely care and support her his way. At first I thought we have a bit too much tennis (I should say too much OTT senpei and girl2) but how Irie has been so patient with Kotoko, never much a grumble even in the rain, and I must say, a great tennis player doesn’t guarantee a good coach makes, he caters to her without belittling her, he did that with the ‘on purpusu’, now he did it again with letting her hit his racket as a ball, his racket. If he’s someone peeved by a breadcrumb and he is obviously quite passionate about tennis, letting the ditzy Kotoko hit his racket repetitively can ruin it. Not a care, just Kotoko. And when he said at the end he never thought they would win anyway…that confirms everything he did above is for Kotoko’s sake, never himself, not his pride, not winning, nothing is more important than Kotoko learning a skill, earning more confidence in herself.

      1. mookie!!!i felt like crying reading your comment..u truly understand naoki purpose and action..
        “now he did it again with letting her hit his racket as a ball, his racket”<—this words hit me..i never realise it until u point it out!..he scarifice his racket for her..my god!!i truly in naokixkotoko ship forever!

  7. Hiya! Just wanted to say I absolutely LOVE your guides to IKLIT! I look forward to them pretty much as much as I look forward to every week’s episodes. So please keep it up! 🙂
    I think ep7 has totally sealed the deal that our latest Kotoko is the best one ever. I’ve only seen the Korean adaptation, but based on what I’ve read about the ISWAK the others have always had nothing in their heads except Noaki. Look how focused 2013 Kotoko is on tennis! She was the same when Naoki was tutoring her as well. You go girl! It just ends up making so much more sense that Naoki is attracted to that part of her. I must say I really enjoyed the reversal of roles in this episodes where Naoki was the one going after Kotoko and her trying to get away. Boy needs to have a taste of his own medicine! That said, Kotoko was way nicer than he ever was. Hurm.
    “*lets not start on how yummy Yuki’s voice has been tenderly uttering his commands, if ovaries are in our middle ears, they had combusted*” Oooh couldn’t agree more. I still reckon his voice from when he said “Oh, are you jealous?” in ep6 was the sexiest ever. I am honestly looking forward to hearing that tone again (I can see a couple of scenes where it could materialise) *IMAGINES…….. MELTS INTO PUDDLE OF GOO*
    I admit I was one of the skeptical people when I first read news of this new adaptation. Even more so when I saw the posters. HonoMiki looked fine, but I wasn’t convinced about FuruYuki. I remember thinking he wasn’t good looking enough for his role in Koukou Debut (but I think that was more of a hair and wardrobe issue than anything else) and couldn’t see him as Naoki. Plus, as much as Kim Hyun Joong robot-ed Baek Seung Jo, he still looked like what the character was described as…. But I am 100% converted now! Yuki may not be stand-out gorgeous, but he’s definitely counts as good looking and I think it says a lot about his acting that he’s managed to charm a lot of people into loving him as Naoki.
    I’m also finding myself falling in love with HonoMiki as Kotoko! She’s just so lovable but strong at the same time. Seeing her put her ballet background into use just cracks me up. And I absolutely adore her love affair with food! Did you notice her pulling in her katsu-sando closer to herself when Yuko showed up? Such a possessive move! I also love the funny quirks she has eg when she went “CHAAA” when she first saw Yuko speaking to Naoki. It reminds me of Ueno Juri in Nodame Cantabile, which I loved to bits as well. 😀
    Oh what I intended as a short comment has turned into an essay. :/ Sorry about that!
    Anyways, thank you for bringing even more love to the English-speaking fandom and please continue doing so! *Bows*

    1. ikr!!!kotoko has her pride and girlpower..i like that poins so much..it seems like naoki is the one who seek kotoko attention in this episode..keke

    2. TYTY!
      Agree! I did not finish Playful Kiss, and I actually dropped ISWAK a few times before grudgingly made myself sit through the first few eps (It gets a whole lot more endearing and is my sentimental fav TWdrama ever) exactly because of an unpalatable Kotoko, I’m not the hugest fan of Naoki in the previous adapts as well tbvh, it went the usual extreme of a very stupid but good nature ordinary girl falling for the annoying cold prince, yes it’s fun to watch the unlikely romance but on their own, both of the characters out of the romance are not too attractive (to me at least).

      Yuki is seriously such a fine fine choice for Naoki, his voice is sooooooooooo yummy he could be a brilliant voice actor, that is so adding a tenderness to Naoki even when he’s just being deadpan stoic.

      haha you know I did compare FuruYuki to Miss Shin (fr K varieties) to the extend I even posted a sidebyside of the two?!?!?! YET, I still think they have an eerie resemblance, but the power of Yuki’s acting, he IS Naoki Irie, totally owning it. It took me maybe 2 eps to warm up to him as Naoki, but Honoka as Kotoko is instant LURVE, I never truly LOVED any Kotoko off the bat, and never expected I would, that was truly a nice surprise as well. And Honoka is truly balancing the tightrope of convincing and manga-ish OTT so well, her comic timing is brilliant, that can’t be taught, and I rem I was first very impressed with her ‘SHOCK!’ scene seeing Irie first time after moving in, it was an explosive bout of physical acting but not missing a beat emoting spot on, she’s made for showbiz.

      haha I didn’t notice she pulled the katsu-sando closer to her!! AWWWWW that is too cute. It is these little gestures, all over the place that is making this a slice of shouko heaven! I read at weibo Yuki said he is the one coming up with the ‘on purposu’ idea. Yup, I just loved him some more right there!

  8. Well, I took you up on your words and watched all the aired epis during the past weekend. 😉 Can’t say I’m in love with Itakiss but I found it quite adorable and a surprisingly easy watch. I do LOVE Honoka’s Kotoko though. She is wonderful! I’m slowly warming up to Irie-kun too.^^ I haven’t seen the original J-drama nor the TW version but Playful Kiss put me to sleep, LOL! I’m glad that this Itakiss is not all that OTT and there are many genuinely lovely, quiet moments.

    Because of my current k-drama draught I’ve been watching more j-dramas recently and what I’m really liking about them is that no matter how OTT silly they get, they still manage to feel more home grown and real than Korean or even TW dramas. One contribution to this is probably the fact that Japanese actors/actresses seem to be less plastic surgery addicted and thus look more naturally pretty/handsome. E.g Honoka hasn’t had her teeth fixed and I love that, it adds up to her charm. 🙂

    1. I think your take on this dorama is exactly what it sets out to do. This is an easy breezy watch, nth fancy, a simplest of story of 2 babies falling in love. BUT it’s hard to come across one that can rein in all the dramatics, the embellishments, vamping it up till it’s no longer believable.

      J dorama is always my go-to, not exactly crack (this is not crack, I am just a diehard of the manga, can wait a day or 2 and just knowing this will be enjoyable, filled with little squees and cuteness). I sense there is usually a bottom line of quality they won’t cross out of pride or whatnots, adhering to the specific genre, it could be very formularic but that is a dependable safety net. I also think although plastic surgery is quite rampant in J, but they are into subtlety and it’s seldom very jarring, distracting a performance, I should say I think they have a very poetic aesthetics where an overall harmony of facial features is appreciated, and slight unique flaws are welcomed, where in K/C dramaland, PS is almost in vogue, like parading a chanel bag, and it begs everyone to have the identical style, identical nose/chin/lips, a symbol of whatever to flaunt. And PS or no PS, they still put in the care to interview and audition suitable actors befitting the role, not just in skills or looks but more importantly in aura, instead of letting the ratings/$$$ calculation be all that is to casting.

      1. In all honesty, I don’t think j-dramas either have managed to keep up to the standards they once were. Money talks everwhere but somehow it’s less blatantly obvious in Japan. Like I said, j-dramas are more down to earth, sort of homey. And they do seem to put much more effort in casting so that the token Johnny doesn’t spoil the overall acting quality. 🙂 There isn’t as much diversity anymore though. Sometimes I feel like they’ve only got 2 genres – high scool dramas and crime/mystery stories. I don’t mind the latter, procedurals are my bread and butter and I tend to lap ’em up, no matter what country they are from, heh.

        I think you may be right about PS, I’ve never been able to understand the ridiculously strict standardised ideal for beauty they have e.g in Korea. The need for everyone to look identical. Guess it’s something to do with the Korean collectivity and fear of individuality, of ‘Otherness’… or something.

        1. Agree, yup it’s not the heydays where I can randomly watch 3, 4 doramas a season and they are all good. Now it’s more nostalgia/inertia/I’musedtothis/notoffensive kinda deal. But I mean even THAT is hard to come by these days in even Kdramaland. Kdramaland, when sth is terrific, say the jTBC shows, they can still be surprising kickass. Dorama, no longer the case.

          Yeah, I think since procedurals are my thing too, I’m more a dorama girl. It still does a slice of life decently here and there. Those I lap up. Saikou no rikon was quite a delight last season.

          There is the fear of individuality and Otherness in J culture, maybe even more so, but maybe that’s exactly why there are a lot of little tweaking, botox done, but all is with the goal to look more humanly ‘normal’. The Kr PS scene is turning everyone into zombie aliens with some boobs.

    2. Hi Timescout! Long time no talk.

      I agree with you 100%, Honoka IS GORGEOUS with her unfixed teeth and all. Please give me real people to look at instead of PSed robots wearing fugly brand names ><. I think British TV (and some European TV as well) is much better with that too than American TV.

      1. I’ve…a different opinion on straightening teeth. I do not consider it too drastic a change that would make someone look…plastic. I can see the health benefit, better the bite and improve enunciation and it’s not as intrusive and risky a procedure as any plastic surgery. I’m all for her to keep the cute un-touched, but when an actress/actor needs to transition to more serious roles, it would be challenging and I won’t be against her straightening them. Take Maggie Cheung, without straightening her teeth in her 20s, she would’ve been stuck being the cute ditzy bimbo and she would not even be given the chance in more mature roles to hone her skills. That is the reality.

        1. I’m not a dentist but how exactly do you fix teeth like that without braces (which you can’t do only on lower teeth…you need to do both upper and lower at the same time) or doing something extremely intrusive/drastic? That is why I’m okay with actors having less than perfect teeth – it’s not always easy or safe. Plus it could add a certain charm as well, serious roles or not. Yamapi never got his teeth fixed, right? I still found him drop dead gorgeous in everything he did. But then again, maybe the reason why that boy can’t emote with his face is because he is so afraid to smile and show his teeth XD

          1. There is those…night guard like transparent molds u can put on at night (it’s called invisalign), and it straightens your teeth gradually as you change into the next one. it may not be for everyone. I have braces myself as a teen, and it was a lot of sticking of metals on my teeth and wiring but I did not consider that extremely intrusive (I need a sleep brace at night and it’d push my teeth back a bit to make space so I did not have any tooth pulled) so…all in all no blood, some discomfort, never considered that drastic.

            Yamapi is pretty and cute and charming and every word I can insert to say he has a pretty package, but imho HE CANT ACT A LICK. If I do a correlation, he has been decent/passable/his charming self is enough to make do a younger role very close to a YamaPi, but when it is meatier stuff, he totally is not doing the character justice. His teeth is not that crooked, or I should say he never holds my interest on screen to notice. BUT mark my words if he is finally getting serious in his craft, he should fix it. It did bother my enunciation and more so it was putting unbalanced stress on my jaw if I did not have it straightened out.

      1. hahaha but I’m never ever shy to share the humanly possible shameless stuff going on in my head already. Then there is the I’m not a scary ojisan faking as an ahjumma <-really…that kind of obvious random facts.

    1. haha isn’t this the silliest thing you’ve read lately?

      Thanks for the nomination. OH QUESTIONSSSS! I would love to answer them, let me get back to it, but hopefully not as spazzy and silly as I usually, really, am. XDDD

  9. “14. This needs no caption, it is clearly from an episode of HGTV’s househunters Newlyweds edition.” That cracked me up. lol

    I got hooked since the first time I read your review about IKLIT. After every episodes I watched, I would look forward to reading your reviews and rewatch the shows again. Thank you. I really enjoyed your reviews. Keep it up 🙂

    1. lolz this picks me up from my dreary busy day! This is fun for me to spazz and stare at those brilliant gifs shared by the dearest original posters with such a silly grin XD IT is a sweet bonus it brings you a few chuckles!

  10. I forgot to say. Since watching the past couple episodes, I have the strong desire to pick up a tennis racket!!! 🙂

    1. I just had a nightmare this night where I was playing tennis and failing miserably ><…especially at serving. I guess it's residual frustration from the time when me and my BF tried to start playing tennis as a mutual outdoor activity and he was great at it right away (but he played handball all his youth, so NOT FAIR), whereas I was practically Kotoko levels of fail.

      1. ^ that is my RL. STILL.

        my hubs is good at everything involving some form of a racket and a ball. One of the worst 30min of my life was playing squash with him on one of our first dates (his fav and best racket sport), how on earth was I dumb enough to even step into that glassed up torture chamber beats me.

    2. lolz not me. haha TMI, every bf I had, there was a date or 2 of teaching mookie tennis and those all failed spectacularly. I signed up for classes, and to this day I still can’t properly serve. I’m more pathetic than Kotoko with no ballet skills and without an Irie. XD

  11. I have to say, reading your InK posts make me love the drama 100 times more.

    1) I have to watch Kimi ni Todoke..

    2) I loved that there was no training camp in this. It’s another one of those forced type of situations, whereas here Naoki is given a chance to seek out Kotoko.

    3) Oh RAIN! Shall we…kissu? -Later. ….*cracking up madly* that fits the gif eerily well….

    4) ‘It’s great (you are great) to have so many things to get excited about in your life. (I have only one….YOU!) I envy you. ( And I love you.) One more time. (Hug me)’

    *explodes with fuzzies* THIS IS BETTER THAN FANFIC!!!

    5) Oh gawd, Sudo used to be hot.

    1. You are too sweet, haha and you love witnessing the inner workings of a banshee.

      YOU HAVE TO WATCH KnT!!!!! I remember you’ve read the manga right? <- don't judge my lost of memory. I really can't see you not liking it. I do not rabidly LOVE it to death, but it gets my vote for my fav role of Harumakun and you know I've tried out everything he's done for the pretty alone.

  12. hi Mookie..
    you know what, i really love your how to guide.. can i be your fan? 😀 since the first time i read this, i feel like want to re-read and re-watching ever more. i’m not the only one who doing this, right? 🙂

    and maybe this is too early for me to saying this, but i think this version is the best so far. everything feel so fit. the character, the story line, the actor and actress. i’m too obsessed and like this version so much that i need daily nourishment about this (just like Naoki need daily nourishment of Kotoko love him, lol). Naoki here is feel more a human being, not just a wax statue, but you can feel his feeling from his act and his eyes. Kotoko is adorable too, not only a dumb girl, but a girl who really have a great willpower and actually just needed someone to help her letting out her best. and Kin-chan, i have to say that this Kin-chan is the best too. i never feel like want Kin-chan to get Kotoko for his life, but this Kin-chan made me love him and really like to see the scenes when he is with Kotoko. Bravo for the director, staff, the Actor and Actress for giving their best. even though it feel so long that i have to wait every week just for one episode, i think it is worth it.

    lol. sorry for my ranting (with bad english too ><). looking forward to next how to guide. thank you for these beautiful posting, Mookie ^^

    1. can i be your fan? 😀 only if you promise not to un-fan me! XD jk

      At this vantage point, I am with you thinking this is the best version so far. Like you said, this is the only version that I think every aspect is more refined, and sum of the parts makes a better overall drama. The first thing that impressed me so much here is Honoka’s Kotoko is likeable, is still a believable normal girl even though she may not excel in anything. She caught my eye first, before Irie in this version. I thought an unbelievably handsome dreamboat is absolutely essential in an Irie, but I’m wrong, it’s not the looks, though Yuki is pleasant enough, but he really captures every beat of Irie so marvelously. Kinchan, needs I say more, the actor is a young talent that should go far! It is so easy to play kinchan as a cliche, and the manga character is all over the place OTT, but with the fine eye of the PD and writer and the performance of this young actor. I fell for him, it NEVER happens in an InK.

      Your english is fine, really. 🙂 As you can see I have typos and the most pathetic grammar ever. But you get me fine!

  13. Don’t slay me but I’ve just got the lightbulb moment of the ‘on purpose, ‘angpapasi’ japlish. Irie is so earnest in teaching his Kotoko So cute. I was wondering why this words mentioned all over in the comments of Yuki’s FB and now I get it.

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