Hello HIHI WAVE~ Tadaima! (Okaeri! )

Du~Du~Du~!  DuDuDuDUUUUU~~~!

[I shamelessly stole every pic/gif from the loveliest OP from weibo.  I stole because I LOVE!]

I still hum that theme, and get misty eyed grinning like mad like DaddyAihara walking Kotoko down the aisle.

She (haha I mean MamaIrie actually) DID  IT!  ***CONFETTI***

* I chopped a bit of a finger off in a domestic freak accident an hour after starting this gosh 3,4 days ago.  ie this has been a frustrating draggy big AHHHHHHARRRGGGHHHH with grumpy grimaces of ouch! of a post since. *

First thing first, rant time.  ( Warning: do not read this, my word count says 3000(!) of filthflarnfilth. scroll down to some Yukikun pic and gifs spam and start there)

Let me tell you why I watch a worthy for me Itakiss remake:  it is a good old shoujo fable of faith, of hard work pays off.   The escapism fantasy of a Kotoko with her unshakable will, of a faith in her feelings, it is not that she did not have moments of clarity and sense, but her stubborn and unwavering faith in love for a boy is nothing short of a miracle like the meteor hitting her house.  We all have moments, spending time with Kotoko, to wanna lecture her, telling her to leave that boy, he is not worthy, you deserve better babe, but love is irrational, it’s not a matter of worth.  Love will take over all logic and rational even for an IQ200 genius.  Without her heady will, sticking with her love when we ALL are shouting at her to abandon ship, he would not be forced into giving his own feelings for her a worthy thought and realized he loves her back and  would not be attuned to act upon if she’s not around, the boy would have a very different life trajectory.  She is his anchor.  She will always be by his side even when he is not sure he wants to be by his own side.  When he is confused and lost, she would unconditionally irrevocably love him, giving him all these interesting challenges and moving him most unexpectedly constantly, making his life exciting to live.  In so many ways it is because Irie is gaining so much from Kotoko, the ability to feel, the skipping of heartbeats, even to rage and be jealous, to desire for something against his will, to know it’s ok to throw logic and sensibility, his brand of sensibility that is, out the window.   He likes what he’s become around her, I, for one, do not wholeheartedly care for Irie, but my enjoyment of watching an Itakiss is also seeing this potential in him to be a better man with a Kotoko in his life.

It was never a matter of choice for Kotoko to not have her heart completely owned by Irie and no one else.  And love has never been a matter of choice.  It is not because he’s worthy, not because he suffered enough to earn her, not even he’s pleasant to be with, but she’s most happy when he’s in her orbit, it is just how her heart beats.  This is why we all were 16, young, once.  With this Itakiss, I relived days of being young and naive and mostly stupid, but hopelessly obsessed with one thing or the other like I could no longer.   It is not hard to guess the episodes leading up to 16 were not exactly swoonworthy for me, but NEVER did I once miss a step with our Kotoko.  *Now Irie, that needs one ugly, long rant coming up.*   Once life forced some sense down our throats, once we’re out of the adolescent fog of hormones, our perspective would forever be changed.  Love is the opposite of a mathematical induction problem of logic and proofs.  13 and 14 were quite depressing to watch because the adapt deviated a bit in not just painting the miai as a beneficial business deal.  I saw Irie genuinely contemplating this as a very sound life option. I kept wandering off what would Kotoko’s life be if Irie did marry Sahoko?  I’ve read a fanfic starting with Naoki pov, 10 years later, 10th yr anni with Sahoko, their taxi stalled after a minor accident in front of an electronics store and he caught Kotoko on TV.  The Aiharas has moved out the day after his decision to be engaged to Sahoko, they’ve left Japan, traveled the world and Kotoko has her little restaurant 10 years later, herself being interviewed on TV.   He hasn’t seen her for 10 years, every Christmas the Iries will get a card from the Aiharas, there will be sweet words asking about how everybody is doing from K.  He had never thought she would be out of his life almost completely, and life, goes on.   She has grown into a confident lady, a successful chef, foreign to him, but the smile is exactly like he remembers her, he realized he’s not smiled like he did since.  Later on in the fanfic,  we have Kotoko attending Naoki’s funeral 30 years later, and a letter to Kotoko from Irie’s daughter, who witnessed her dad breaking down in sobs in the garden the very first time that night after the accident, and since he would have a smile unbeknownst on his face whenever a pretty auntie would appear on TV talking about her food.  And  I lost it, I sobbed for a good while.  You never know what is dearest to you till you’ve lost it, Naoki!

In the manga, if Kotoko has more ‘sense’ in her, she would have left Irie on so many occasions, and it needs not be into Kinchan’s embrace at all.  Yes, she could have someone much better than Irie, it did not have to be six years of constant suffering of jerking of her feelings and belittlement for years, she could meet someone whom she loves and loves her back unconditionally.  I do not have a doubt she would still be her upbeat self leading a fruitful life without him.  10, 20 years later, she would remember the days fondly but rather contented with her current life and won’t change a thing, like this all is a phase she has grown out of.   She would grow up to be no different from most of us watching this show, reading the manga.   BUT Irie will lose out in maturing into a true dreamboat without Kotoko by her side, it is around her that his lack of bubbly warmth and cheerful compassion right under his aloofness is most prominent, that happens not according to any realistic time table,  but way after they settled in married life, after he gets past being immature, ignorant, not in tune of his and others’ feelings, gets down from his holier than thou snobbishness, growing real shoulders for taking up responsibility of caring for his loved ones while working towards his life’s goal like a grown man.

Where we left him off at e16,  he is still not totally off his snobbish prince complex trappings, he has not fully grasped humility, but this is much more progressive than I’ve ever seen a Naoki, canon was the usual His Royal PrinceGrumpy throughout the wedding, caught up in the whole Mama is forcing it (haha and in manga showing his girly babypics at wedding is a ball of fun but so very not kind Mommy!), even if it is blissful sweet happiness, down his throat. He went on with the engagement with Sahoko trusting his IQ200 decision making, if he engages only his brain, his logic is foolproof, he thinks.  In the shitstorm he’s in, he regressed to his gd pal all these years, his constant companion, his stoic brain prowess, overestimating what he figured out how to take care of the crisis must be the one and best solution, not realizing now that emotions and feelings have crept up and taken residency in him.   He underestimated how much he is affected by love, he belittled his own feelings towards Kotoko, quite sure he could leave it all behind like a detour in life.  15 was such an episode of jerkiness, I may be alone in thinking this Irie did whole-‘mindfully’ decided to follow through with the arranged marriage.   Let me repeat for the Nth time Irie is one lucky unreal stunted emotional retard to land a Kotoko.  Nobody can do it but a Kotoko, she is the real hero in this fluffy thing.  We fell in love with her, and it was not easy for me, but I did and there is no turning back.  Honoka’s Kotoko captures everything I want in a Kotoko and more, more as in I do see her able to make sound decisions on her own and she has a normal head screwed on half the time, she did not let Irie step all over her entirely when she did yelled back his pot calling kettle black in 15, even most of 16, when Irie was being his biggest jerk, whenever she has to make a rational decision her heart is not in it, she could cheer herself on and make the best out of it.

Yuki’s Naoki is a much softened up, welcomed version, we do see him conscious of his own shortcomings quite early on, after e10, there are his attempts to change, gone is his favorite sport of toying a Kotoko.  Other than the outburst in 12, the last arc till 15 has nothing of his annoying abrasive childish old self, mostly, but that makes 15 more a hard pill for me to swallow.  Naoki is awakening to his feelings, from a confused jealous brat to be at peace with it, to act upon it (the hospital kiss), to want more in building a realistic, nurturing relationship with Kotoko (his heart to heart in 12, his subsequent confiding in Kotoko after his Dad’s hospitalization, of his spilling and clearly begging for comforting to abandon his dream as a doctor) There was a backhug, there was an Irie miserable and alone in his room like his life’s been sucked out of him, entirely.  It was a slew of strange choice of emphasis where the miai took up 14, 15, even half of 16  1/7 of this adaptation, then conveniently added on a postponement right off 16, another date where Naoki can show his jerky ‘real’ side, then poof!  This is an Irie that has been slapped out of his egoistic aloofness for a while now unlike the other versions, It would be much better if we see Irie expressing MUCH more doubts and struggle with the decision.  Explore the realistic conundrum of marriage vs romance all you want, but not at the expense of the OTP!  Gone is the summer spent working together at Pandai, gone is Kotoko scalding her foot, jumped by a bugging Irie, after the surprisingly enjoyable date with Kinchan and Irie lost his facade and tended to her most tenderly <-ie showing us and Kotoko, he cares, still, thus Kotoko has more to work on rather than just all is well with a kiss alone.  The second half of 16 a mad sugar swoony rush, which I’m taking in happily, and gained back most of my goodwill for this adapt, but it also was unforgivable when the transition was handled so heavy-handed.  After a bit of struggle and giving up on his dream and happiness in 13, 14, 15 was as if he’s a refurbished robot, back to the factory rebooted to the unfeeling Irie, letting his genius logic drags his feet and mouth around, leaving his emotions in some locked dungeon in his heart, not even releasing it when he’s alone and that is how he copes?!  I actually thought it is refreshing to see how Irie approaches love vs marriage, rational vs irrational.  His feelings towards Kotoko is still this intangible beast, taking up an irrational space in his being, whereas Sahoko is this logical, eye-catching perfection meeting his ‘standards’.  Their first chance meeting has Irie clearly taking notice of her physical beauty, pleasant and gentlemanly, canon has the scene with Kotoko present, and Irie being impressed was not as blatant, but here, I wondered, are we going there…where Sahoko is not the only one attracted/interested at first sight?  I do not think Irie was joking when Matsumoto asked about his ideal type and Sahoko meets every criteria on his checklist.  Life would be full of challenges and curveballs with Kotoko, it is so against his better judgment to be in love with Kotoko.  With Sahoko even if the imminent solution for his Dad’s company with this agreeable marriage is out of the equation, this is a flawless match.   His interactions with Sahoko has been most pleasant, it is as if he’s in his zone, he can put his brains and logic on cruise control and planned out engaging dates, his every action gentleman, his every word eloquent, and it must feel good an inertia for his old self, flawless and successful in every thing he attempts, in control with his life, even the clarity of how exactly he’s feeling, no surprise, pulling of rug from under as with Kotoko.  He is aware this is not inexplicable, spontaneous sparks and fireworks, but a comfortable companionship, it could still be a satisfactory marriage made.    This arrangement is made more depressing with this Naoki because even though we started the journey with a less abrasive robot, he has also made the most of progress in compassion and reaching out to Kotoko for emotional support.  I could see his head was often firing all cylinders figuring out Kotoko, aware of her, trying to understand and communicate with her.  This plan of action, was him pushing the reset button back to his pre-Kotoko modus vivendi, he would shut that feeling part of his being and function with his brainy side alone.   It was made more aggravating when he’s back to teasing and be a jerk around Kotoko, he’s dumping his own frustration and angst on her, just like when he’s the childish brat in HS, lost his marbles because of jealousy and would release with poking and teasing or kissing her.   This is an inconsistency/regression in this characterization I will forever be grumpy about.  I can’t excuse him the whole fancy unnecessary martyr complex of an attempt to push her away, ‘cutting the pain short’, we are not watching a 瓊瑤 (the C/TWdrama  mother of all blood spitting romancing of the silliest of noble idiots).  While I understand Irie must be agitated and jealous of Kotoko really considering Kinchan’s affection, he’s made his bed and he must laid in it, writhing in his own pain.  And I would have felt for him immensely as I did with previous Iries.  However, it takes so much cowardly regression for this Irie to say words (the jabbing over Kotoko’s enjoying a date with Kinchan, whom he in very few words gave his nonchalant even if fake approval to pursue K in 14, when Kinchan doesn’t even need His royal PitB’s nod) and do deeds ( asking Sahoko and Grandpa to crash a homey intimate celebration of the Iries and Aiharas on welcoming Dad back home, unannounced.  If they need a meeting the parents, set up an evite or sth.  This is such a douchey time and occasion when he must be aware Kotoko and Daddy are present.  Oh wait, maybe not, because Kotoko must be transparent, squeezed out of a seat, had to grab her own chair and IRIE DID NOT EVEN GLANCE!


I absolutely flipped and paused and got myself a pint of dark chocolate gelato while googling pix of cute piggies eating ice cream to snap myself out of the RAgE! HEre:

).   For the other Iries, they were not as advanced in development of the sensitivity chip and the miai was not approached as serious as here with the formal exchange of betrothal gifts, while I appreciate how succinct many choice of scenes with our OTP has been throughout, was glad it left out the bulk of Irie bouncing back to his old silly self in between OTP goodness, where Kotoko’s thought of not much was progressed was frankly accurate from her perspective than here, but that also made this arc unacceptable.   Iriekun, when you yourself is writhing in some pain alone evident in 14, and you yourself is so not amused when Kotoko unintentionally provoked you going out on ONE date with Kinchan while YOU are engaged and steadily dating, it does not take a genius to figure out she is the one suffering more, in direr need of some release, having loved you twat madly for YEARS now and because you made a logical decision to go along with an advantageous relationship towards marriage and she is discarded like an unconcerned party on the side,  You never once have the agency to tell her how you truly feels but keeping it all in your neat head while according to you her sole purpose in life has to be stuck adoring you so devotedly forever and ever more EVEN when you told her to find herself some other dude.  In ISWAK and the manga, there is a consistency with Irie being grumpy and with a bratty temper, a vicious tongue even after the marriage, it was frustrating to follow, dampening my love for the silly boy stubbornly hiding behind his facade of annoyance with Kotoko in his life through and through.  BUT there is a consistency.  Yes, it was so refreshing to have a more tender Irie, who hasn’t really flare a mean temper much with Kotoko after his own awareness of falling for her, but it also made this angsty plot more insufferable.

How can he just be dazed and let himself bask in the sun as if it’s his only glimmer of hope and go a bit ‘poor me’ when Kotoko is off dating KinChan,  the Kinchan, truly the golden boy was beyond friendly, giving him an ultimatum to snap out of being an asstwat and have Kotoko happiness be a concern because even the cricket that night knew Irie is the only one Kotoko can be happy with AND Irie can only be happy with Kotoko, that other night by the tree, the tree where Kotoko later cried under.  It is really a matter of pick and choose for hisKotoko, oh go find yourself a replacement guy now and be merry just like me finding the perfect Sahoko?!?!  In the manga, it was thrown about to clearly snap Kotoko out of it, nothing more, so he can be firm on his fresh stance, very early on trying out another date with Sahoko, not as an assholery, part jealous, matter of fact patronizing snapback at Kotoko being SUCH a SWEET BIG PERSON wholeheartedly complimenting Sahoko, so it’s ok you find Sahoko a perfect match for perfect you, on paper and out loud with action to back up BUT when Kotoko is being agreeable, she has to suffer, after she’s suffered through being the outsider sitting with you and your new family, then comforting and giving pointers to Sahoko just because she asks and Kotoko is just this nice.  I do not appreciate this moving around dialogues taking it out of context and totally giving it unworthy annoying angsty significance for some useless roadblock for our OTP at the 11th hour 59min, penultimate episode for freak’s sake.  I cease to feel a thing nor a care for Irie that very moment.

*ARGH! ! !   I dunno Yukikun, do I need to care you getting your dose of Vitamin D, gazing prettily ( I guess), face blank at the freaken SUN at this point?!  I do know.  NAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! DUN CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

I don’t think I need to holler this is just before the 27min mark of e16.  This is the exact moment that SHUSH the above sillyrantymookiebaba and in dance that 12 yo shoujo fiend with a lobotomy!

686c1d13tw1e6y7b8kr5pg20b4069e84Why am I here if you’re there
So far away it’s not fair
To be without you like this
I miss you more than you know
The nights are long
The days slow
Without the warmth of your kiss
Wish you were back here with me
Cause out my window
All I see is

Rain , rain in the sky
Everywhere I look my eyes see
Rain , rain fallin down
Crying as it hits the ground
Rain , rain in my heart
Every day that were apart
Rain , rain
Falling rain , rain
Rain , rain
Only rain , rain

[ fr Cher: Rain Rain]


Yup, glad some sense/emotions/feelings are soaked onto you.  From now on, all is forgiven only if you smooch your Kotoko senseless whenever it rains, even just a spatter.

686c1d13tw1e6uqzqy2dfg20b40691l4I’m here to fetch you.

Just so you know, you lucky lucky silly boy, good that Kotoko only haz ONE angsty treefriend 直.樹 and thus easy to find (and as another block of wood, it is treating Kotoko better than you! *RAWR* )

686c1d13tw1e6z0mfpslmg20b4069kjrLets write an essay on the importance  of having lovely big hands on pretty asstwats, esp those making those cheapo 7/11 clear umbrella SQUEEWORTHY and ROMANTIC! AND SWOOOONNNNN~~~ in the rain. *Because I’m done with being charitable, this would be better if you stoop down and carry her up by the shoulder, tenderly while eyesexing her*


Yup, it’s true.  It does work.  K drama dudes, LEARN.  Whenever you are a jerk (almost always) and you need to turn things around with the heroine you tots not deserve, KISS HER, not wristgrab, NOT yadayadayelpittyblahblahwhinewhineRAWRhowDareyouwimmen… K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid! <- I robbed this from some silly TVB crack)


Here because these 2 awesomest BFFs deserve to get a seat front and center and this would be their faces.  D’awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!

686c1d13tw1e6usg49ebmg20b4069000  60b676c7gw1e6t3k5on51g20b4069wyl



I LOVE THIS TO DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The sweetnothings (IT MUST BE WHAT IS GOING ON! MUST!!)  he is whispering to her ears, even not with words but with his breath, and holding her head closer to him so there is not a hair between them.  LOVE!!LOVE!!!LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And I thought the ISWAK kiss can’t be surpassed by hotness alone, but there was this smidge of DarnIT! grumpiness I AM FORCED TO KISS YOU AND GAVE UP ALL CONTROL. (and manga has IRie SLAPPING Kotoko! ! !)  Here this is urgent but tender and loving and right and natural and the want, exactly the physical manifestation of the simple expression of I LOVE YOU KOTOKO I LOVE YOU IRIEKUN x forever and time stands still for them.


















I ❤ her.







OBVIOUSLY I LOVE MOMMYIRIE. L.O.V.E.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Sweetie and HerDreamboatrobotboy Live Happily EVER AFTER.




Although I’m quite sure they are very close in age, but Kassy next to MamaIrie will forever be the handsomest IRIEKUN!


7 thoughts on “Hello HIHI WAVE~ Tadaima! (Okaeri! )

  1. 3000 + words but i read each and every one of them. your review alone is already spazz-worthy and i agree with everything you say. was it a perfect drama? certainly not but i still love it to bits. it may have been the 3rd adaptation, but it still felt fresh. i hope we get a second season or at least a couple of specials.

    1. OMG! haha I did not even proofread and I already caught the booboos. It’s embarrassing to put you through this dearie! XD
      WORD. It is not perfect, but when it has my heart, it has it. I went and rewatched the last half of 16 so soooo soo many times since last Fri, it is not healthy and I have no life…to the point no more Itakiss LiT has not really sunk in. It is such a surprisingly tight perfect wrap up. Now I kinda wished the team was even ballsier and cut out the whole last arc, keep Kotoko going out on a date with Kinchan still, and Kinchan proposed while Irie put all his focus on Pandai and put off any time for romance or sth and we cut down to the usual dorama 11 eps of PURE fluffy goodness.

    1. I’m not greedy, I can live with rewatching all the good bits not terribly wanting SPs S2 yet. Plus personally I find Irie’s abrasiveness after marriage and cutting Kotoko off a lot of communication very hard to swallow. It would even be harder to adapt and compromise and still stay authentic to both this mellower Iriekun and the original Irie

  2. Thanks for your fantastic summary! I am a lurker, not a writer, but had to ask a few questions/voice some thoughts.
    I loved this finale and I can’t wish for a season 2, but I know the fandom is quite vocal in demanding another season.
    Just a few random thoughts after watching – 1. Irie’s hands are so large and expressive, he caresses Kotoko’s hair several times in 16 and I find that to be a very intimate touch in this adaptation. 2. The original angle on the rain kiss was much more passionate than the next cut – wonder how many takes that scene took to film? 3. Did you notice how dry the front of Kotoko’s skirt was when they returned home? Wonder if the excessive off screen hugging dried that faster than the sides of the skirt?
    Again thanks for the fantastic recaps of this perfect little summer escape.

    1. I’m just amazed to have a bunch of you around spazzing this cute thing! ^^ Usually, I love something crazily and I babbled nonstop a while but I had little care if many share my obsession at all, me weird having tragically strange taste. But this has been FUN!

      You and me both. I’m so surprised by how perfect this put an end to this adapt I do not want more.
      haha glad to know I’m not the only one totally having hand fetish enjoyable moments on top of all the squeeing! Imp I think Yuki is not as technically sound an actor, but he has a lot of potential in emoting whereas Honoka is more precise with her technique, that is why in the last stretch, when the writing is not as tight and the direction of the characters are murkier, he is a bit lost and will tackle every scene as it goes, the flow of Irie is a bit off, at times he is very wooden without the inner turmoil hat should be fiery volatile under the stoic but it’s not present. But come the second half of 16, he is perfection, every tiniest detail and gestures of both of them are so convincing and natural, little lovely touches that define what makes this adapt inching above the rest.

      I’ve actually read somewhere the rain scene was done in one perfect take, and they really did have a very apropos rainstorm that night when shooting and it’s actually freezing. They must have multiple angles and kudos to ladyPDKotosama, she apprenticed under the PD who made one of the best romance out of mostly snow, here the rain is perfectly shot and lit and used.

      HAHAHA you cracked me up, what an observation! XD I wondered if that umbrella is meticulously picked out to JUST fit them both under so perfectly, And since Kotoko was curling up like a wounded kitty under that trustworthy treefriend, her front must be shielded from the drenching and the sides and back got the bulk, moreover, after THAT kiss, and all the affection is out in open, Irie doesn’t have to pretend no more and he’ll shield Kotoko from any harm be it the umbrella or his body or maybe he piggyback her!

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