Manga / Itazura Na Kiss

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A manga by Kaoru Tada that debuted in 1991, Itazura Na Kiss (also known as ItaKiss) follows the story of Kotoko Aihara and Naoki Irie. Beginning in their senior year of high school, Kotoko, rejected by Naoki, the guy she likes, finds she and her father homeless after their house collapses in an earthquake due to shoddy construction. Hearing the news, her father's childhood friend invites them to stay with them. Concidentally, she finds her father's friend is Naoki's father, and comes to live in their house with her cold, distant crush.

Unlike lots of conventional shoujo, the story spans a considerable time frame of well over a decade. It's important to note as well that it's not just a simple time-skip either, the progression is filled in with lots of development.

The series' popularity has earned it a 2008 anime adaptation, two Japanese live action adaptations, two Taiwanese live action TV series, and a Korean live action TV series.


This show features examples of:

  • Accidental Kiss: In the manga, the story opens with one of these between Kotoko and Naoki during a hallway collision.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Considering the author's death before the manga was completed, most adaptations do this, especially regarding later development.
  • Arc Welding: The anime does some serious arc welding. Also, minor arcs covered by the manga are entirely skipped away into the abyss.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Naoki.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Yuuki, Naoki's younger brother.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: A good number of these delivered throughout the series, usually between couples.
  • Babies Ever After: In the anime, Naoki and Kotoko, Kinnosuke and Chris, Satomi with her husband, and Junko with her husband.
  • Book Dumb: Kotoko Aihara and the others in Class F.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Naoki, at least until he finds his true calling as a doctor.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: A lot of grief would've been avoided had Naoki simply voiced his growing feelings for Kotoko earlier.
  • Composite Character: In the anime, Christine Robbins is one of these combining the manga characters of Christine and Sahoko.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Kotoko.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Naoki. He personally admits that he only started to feel certain emotions after meeting Kotoko.
  • Elevator School
  • Even the Guys Want Him: We can't blame Motoki for being all over Naoki, hmmmm?
  • First Kiss: In the manga, Kotoko and Naoki manage this several times: an Accidental Kiss, then non-romantic kiss, and finally romantic kiss. In the anime, this takes the form of a combination Shut Up and Take That kiss.
  • Genki Girl: Kotoko, her mother, and her daughter, Kotomi.
  • Genre Savvy: Chris likes the Yamato Nadeshiko concept so much that she researches it.
  • Gold Digger: Kotoko's friend Marina. She went into nursing to find a rich doctor to marry.
  • Gratuitous English: Naoki and Christine converse this way in one episode.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: The prospect of Kotoko marrying Kinnosuke is what made Naoki finally declare his love and desire to marry her.
  • Green Eyedmonster: Both Kotoko and Naoki suffer from this, but Naoki deserves a special mention since he tends to lash out at Kotoko when he feels threatened, sometimes even showing a downright vicious attitude.
  • Happily Married: Every main or supporting character ends up this way.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Both subverted ( Kotoko and Chris) and played straight ( Kinnosuke and Keita).
  • Hospital Hottie: Who wouldn't want to be taken care of by Dr. Irie and Nurse Kotoko? Seriously!
  • The Idiot from Osaka: Kinnosuke.
  • Ill Girl: Akiko
  • Kissing Cousins: Implied very heavily in the Japanese adaptation. Rika - Naoki's cousin - claims to have loved him very much since she was little and has no trouble at all describing her 'romantic moments' with Naoki to Kotoko
  • Innocent Cohabitation: It starts this way, at least for Naoki, but Kotoko is living with her crush, after all.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: Kinnosuke has a very thick Kansai dialect. He also has the lively personality to go along with it.
  • Lethal Chef: Both Kotoko and and her Mother.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: One in Japan, two in Taiwan, and one in Korea.
  • Love Bubbles: Often present, especially with the lead couple.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Kotoko loves Naoki, as does his classmate Matsumoto; Kinnosuke loves Kotoko, who loves Naoki, who went out with Chris/Sasuiko, who loves Kinnosuke; and who does Naoki love? — An interesting example of a non-closed love polygon.
  • Loving a Shadow: Keita's wooing of Kotoko comes across as being much more about the idea of having her than the reality.
  • Missing Mom: Kotoko's mother dies before the time of the story. Her cause of death is never specified.
  • Ojou: Christine Robbins and her mother. Heck, Charles was even invited to her and Kinnosuke's wedding!
  • The Patient Has Left the Building: When Yuuko Matsumoto is admitted due to a duodenal ulcer, she's required to have surgery and rest, but she refuses to listen to any doctor's orders and leaves the building, in her hospital clothes, to get to a meeting related to the company she started.
  • Plucky Girl: Kotoko, and how.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Naoki is often guilty of this. A lot of grief in the series could have been avoided had he simply explained the reasons behind his actions beforehand rather than letting Kotoko misunderstand.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Played straight with Kotoko and Naoki. Inverted with Kinnosuke and Chris.
  • Shipper on Deck: Naoki's mother makes it clear from the start that she thinks Naoki and Kotoko are perfect for each other. She also tries her best to sabotage Naoki's interactions with other women so that he and Kotoko will end up together.
  • Shoujo Demographic
  • Shout-Out: "Goemon baths" are a reference to Ishikawa Goemon, and are seen in volume 7.
  • Time Skip: Heavily used. A Time Skip occurs after the following events:
    • Naoki decides to change his degree to medicine. A half-year skip.
    • After Kotoko's capping ceremony, it skips four years where we are taken to Kotoko being a fully fledged nurse.
    • Short skips during Kotoko's pregnancy.
    • After Kotoko has given birth to Kotomi, a Time Skip takes place; we are shown that Kotomi is now a toddler
  • Training Montage: In the live-action drama when Naoki is doing late-night tennis practice with Kotoko.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: Happens when Naoki declares his love to Kotoko.
  • What Does She See in Him?
    • Played for Laughs with Chris and her mother, Maria, both have very strange tastes in men. They apparently find guys like Kinnosuke attractive and handsome.
    • Played straight with Kotoko loving Naoki, who starts cold, brash, and insulting.
    • Spear Counterpart with Naoki loving and marrying Kotoko. Even lampshaded by Kotoko's father.
  • Will They or Won't They?: They Do and in all three cases (Kotoko and Naoki, Kinnosuke and Chris, Sudou and Matsumoto).
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Out of all the lead girls, English-born Christine aka Chris, acts the most like one. She's beautiful, domestic, and keen on Japanese cuisine. She also makes a refrence to Yamato Nadeshiko in Episode 19 and wears kimonos with ease.
  • Yuko Goto - Christine (Also, she shows off her Surprisingly Gratuitous English in one episode. "Surprisingly" because she also voiced Kate.)

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