The so called in English “Mischievous Kiss – love in Tokyo”, is the second Japanese adaptation to the manga and anime “Itazura na Kiss”. Across Asia there are a lot of adaptations: “It started with a kiss” and” They kiss again” 2005, in Taiwan; “Playful Kiss”2010, South Korea; “Kiss me” 2015, Thailand; and a new version from Taiwan “miss in Kiss” 2016.
However, the First adaptation was Itazura na Kiss, 1996, Japan. Its alternative title in English: Naughty Kiss / Teasing Kiss
The creator of the story was Kaoru Tada(多田かおる), who still made part of the staff for the 1996 adaptation, before her dead in 1999.
The Original Plot goes like: As Kotoko ran to a meeting, she bumped into Naoki and their lips met. Naoki showed his disgust and Kotoko started to idolize him because he was good at everything. When Kotoko’s house burned down, her father’s good friend Machiko invited them to move in with her family. It was then that Kotoko realized Naoki was the elder son of Machiko, who took up the role of a fairy-godmother to bring the two together. Gradually, the icy-cold Naoki who disliked girls started to feel for Kotoko.
As far as I noticed, only the 1996 adaptation starts with a Kiss. The other adaptations that came after start with the Love letter. The most recent Japanese version “Mischievous kiss love in Tokyo 1” (2013) follows the same path. Its starts with Kotoko trying her love letter declaration. So, in honesty the name should change to “started with a letter”. This fact creates a gap that doesn’t answer “how did Kotoko fell in love?”. No, it wasn’t with the Irie’s ceremony speech, but rather the accidental first kiss that happen moments before the ceremony started. Another difference the last part of the drama adaptation from 1996 and original story, which is Kotoko moving to college abroad to study nursing, doesn’t happen on this 2013 version.
Of course, the story and character follow him can be seen as Cringe behaviour. But are you any different when you meet your first love? The first love looking from the outside can be 90% seen as cringe depends on the person that sees the behaviour. The first love is that pure and innocent love which never meet rejection and deception, and that makes one of the reasons why in Japan people under 19 years old die from “broken heart”. No, I don’t mean heart attack, I mean reason for their suicide. In the 2020, around 150 people under 29 years old committed suicide by broken heart.
So, in every version, Kotoko gets rejected by Naoki on the attempt of delivering the letter. However, between Japanese versions, 1996s version shows Kotoko study in another prefecture, while the 2013 that moving away was Kotoko and her father moving to a different house because they felt guilty about Naoki missing the Tokyo University Entrance Exam.
There are few main points I would like to mention regarding all adaptation’s versions:
- Japanese are not known to be disrespectful against rescue, or firefighters, forces. In one or two of the versions at least, there is one character that seems to disrespect the society norms and invade an unsafe place against the authorities’ orders. The Japanese hazards events such as earthquake and tsunamis, you don’t risk your life for a photo. In my perspective, if you didn’t remember at the time the world crash, what’s the point of going back. If I was on that situation, I would grab my cat.
- The whole concept between Class A and Class F. This concept is shown of the highest score students in the A and B, which can also include the people with interest in the science and math departments. While the other classes have lower scores in the exams and have people with desire, or interest, in English learning and Arts. So, we can easily say the representation in all animes, mangas and dramas are a little exaggerated. Because the degree of the preference to separate the highest score from the lowest also depends on the school policies.
- English knowledge. Japan is known for not having a high level of English speaker skill. What you can say or write in Katakana way will have more success than the real English speaker talking. However, do to the Tokyo Olympics that scenario change a little as the borders open slowly, the returnees , also known as the people returning to Japan at this moment, find Japanese Speaking English and guide people in the airport for the next flight, which might be on another terminal and outside the typical Bag Tag system( airlines inside Oneworld alliance, like JAL, share Bag Tag system which allows you to catch the next flight without having to check and recheck. Airlines inside the Staralliance, Like ANA, share the same bag system. In a normal day, alliances don’t share bag systems).
- Another thing not really in tuned with all versions, its how creative people are destroying Kotoko’s house: We have fire, we have little earthquake with 1 or 2 intensity , we have stones falling from the sky, we have shaking floors due to the car passing by … I am surprise they still haven’t come up with something more extreme like a sinkhole and godzilla appears. ( I am joking but you know what I mean)
Finally, if you still question yourself about how good the Jdrama is on Viki, which is Part of the Japanese Platform Rakuten, 44 434 viewers rated the drama and the total result 9.3 score out 10.