This is another joint review this time on episodes 14 ,15&16 because I have once again caught myself busy in the midst of real life and then I got really lazy in writing this post. I did manage to squeeze in some time to finish it and while the drama had a poor start, it managed to finish on a better note which is a very nice way to draw a conclusion to the story that was quite a struggle for me to even get through the middle few eps of the drama. As a sequel, I loved how flowed on from the first season visually. Whether it be the casting, the setting to even the colour tones used, it was just like that of the first season and that is something that really constitutes it as a sequel. I really enjoyed how it seemed to flow so seamlessly from the first season through to this season.
The good stuff finally came through but it’s such a shame that it is only came through towards the finishing of the drama. Itazura na Kiss 2 ~ Love in TOKYO is a love story about married couple Kotoko and Naoki but I never felt like they were one despite how the writing pushes them together. Even though the good stuff kicked in towards the end but it was not enough to convey the sense of them being a loving couple. I don’t want to make a comparison but I’m going to anyways. The atmosphere between the OTP here is so different compared to that between the OTP in the Taiwanese version They Kiss Again. In They Kiss Again the OTP is very loving with one another despite how imperfect they are for one another. There is a nice warmth that radiates between them that Kotoko and Naoki lack. In fact, Kotoko and Naoki are quite the opposite with coldness that is between them. There is that sense of distance between them that really emphasises on the coldness, and this isn’t fault on Kotoko but rather Naoki who just doesn’t seem to want to close their distance and that is the biggest problem that lies between them. Kotoko is always pushing to bridge their distance together but she is the only putting in effort towards their relationship.
The biggest problem of me here has been Naoki who, despite having been together with Kotoko for quite a long time, keeps a distance from Kotoko. When she needs him, he is never there for her. She has those who just want to feel loved but her hubby doesn’t give her that feeling. She puts in a whole lot of love and effort into their relationship but he doesn’t seem to care about where their relationship is heading. Never once did I feel as though Naoki truly and wholeheartedly loved Kotoko as who she is. She just wants to be his wife but he never bats an eye to her despite her trying and willingness to learn to be a wife suitable for him. She is always trying to be better and she does this for him but he doesn’t seem to care. She’s his wife but really doesn’t seem like it, especially not with the way he treats her. He doesn’t see her as his wife just as he doesn’t see himself as her husband. For me, I see them as a couple but a couple who is only together because it is righteous to do so. Their parents expect them to be together, their friends expect them to be together and even they expect them to be together. Obviously there is love in their relationship but I just never quite saw the extent of their love. It always Kotoko doing the chasing but none on Naoki’s part. That’s what got me most frustrated throughout the drama. A relationship will only work if the two parties put in the effort but here it is just Kotoko putting in the effort. Furthermore, Kotoko and Naoki never had an equal relationship. Naoki was always the superior one and in many ways Kotoko is afraid of him, afraid of failing him, afraid of not being the perfect wife for her but more than that she is afraid of not being able to support Naoki in what he does. That inequality in their relationship is one of the number of reasons why there is distance in their relationship.
It seems like for Naoki, kisses seem to fix all the problems between him and Kotoko. But they can only go so far because kisses alone does not speak of love. I feel like for Naoki, kisses are the only way he shows affection towards Kotoko. He is either really cold towards her or he just pulls her in for a kiss when he feels like it. He leads their relationship and when he feels like it he will loosen up around Kotoko but when he isn’t in the mood for it, he will keep his distance. It’d be nice for their relationship if he’d try more and show more care to her. Just a a little more affection would have really warmed up their relationship.
The drama did end on a good note which is pretty nice. I really adore Kotoko and her determination. It doesn’t matter that she is met with setbacks, she still tries and tries again. She doesn’t let these setbacks stop her from chasing after Naoki and really, these setbacks only gives her more determination and more energy to keep going. Kotoko is a girl who doesn’t give up chasing after what she loves, something that Naoki really sees in her. She is quite different in this sense to him. She does before she thinks, and Naoki cleans up her mess. He plans ahead before he takes action and maybe it is because of this opposite side to them that makes them right in the ways possible to be with one another.
An ending’s an ending and of course there is nothing better than a happy ending. It was one that I expected but I would have liked to see more from Naoki’s behalf rather than just his cold face. Hitting another milestone in his life should have warranted happiness but instead he showed anything but that. Throughout the entire drama, I have been most frustrated with Naoki, who along with Kotoko, should have been lifting the drama. Instead, he doesn’t seem to be putting in the effort. Just a little more expression and a little more life in him would have been more enough to make me like him more as a person but he just made me frustrated and made the drama hard to watch.
Regardless, the drama stood nicely as a sequel and that’s not something easy for sequels to achieve. Kotoko and Naoki got their happy ending that’s as happy it can get for the couple.
Click here to watch Itazura na Kiss 2 ~ Love in TOKYO.