Currently watching : Itazura na Kiss – Love in Tokyo

Another adaption to the original manga, and a second Japanese drama based on the manga.  Japan produced a first drama for this manga in 1996.

This was followed by Taiwan’s 2005 version, “It started with a kiss”,  which brought Joe Cheng and Ariel Lin to fame. They had a sequel to that too, called, “They Kiss Again”. Cheesy, haha.

Then,  Korea decided to produce their own adaption of the manga in 2010,  “Playful Kiss” starring Kim Hyun Joong and Jung So Min. Jung So Min probably outshined Kim Hyun Joong here. And the only reason I finished it was because they were a cute couple to look at 🙂

Of all the adaptations, I’ve only watched the Korean Playful Kiss and now the newest Japanese adaptation,  Itazura na Kiss – Love in Tokyo.


Miki Honoka plays Aihara Kotoko, a high school student with a major crush on genius boy, Irie Naoki (Furukawa Yuki). If you have no clue about the story plot, here you go…

At a high school entrance ceremony, high school student Aihara Kotoko, who isn’t that smart, notices pretty boy Irie Naoki. She falls in love with him immediately. Kotoko initially doesn’t express her feelings to him, but finally has a chance to tell him how she feels. Unfortunately, Naoki turns Kotoko down, saying “I don’t like dumb women.”

One day, Kotoko’s house is severely damaged by an earthquake. Until the house is rebuilt, Kotoko Aihara and her father decide to live with her father’s friend. When Kotoko moves to her new temporary house, she is surprised to learn that Irie Naoki lives there as well.

-Excerpt from Dramawiki-

It’s the standard high school teenage rom-com plot that everybody loves apparently, that’s why it has so much adaptation. Another drama with this privilege is probably, You’re Beautiful from Korea.

SPOILERS AHEAD, if you have ZERO clue on the story.

I’m at episode 8 now and I really enjoy the newest adaptation. What I love about this drama is probably Miki Honoka. She’s a rookie actress, really fresh and young. I needed to get a breather away from Emi Takei, the only famous teenage Japanese actress nowadays. Miki is 16 so she can express the young and in love feelings, naivety and the kawaii(cute).

Another thing I loved about the drama was, Aihara and Kinnosuke’s relationship. Kinnosuke is played by Yamada Yuki(see two pics above, on the left). In the other versions, he was this avid fan of the heroine who pursues her to no end. A really annoying character if you ship the leads. But here, I can see that Aihara and Kinnosuke are actually really good friends despite all the love fever. They have moments where they talk to each other, friend to friend, sincerely. There are moments where I thought, Kin actually stepped up his game. He promised to give Aihara a better life with him, and he proved that he was making effort. Naoki actually gets jealous and you can see what motivated him. I like that this version has better relationship motives and the chemistry is quite good despite a 10 year age gap between Miki and Furukawa.

The theme song, “Update” by Sabou is catchy and after a few episodes, you just light up to the song really. I think that the plot allows the female lead to shine but the male lead really sit back and relax. They are mostly emotionless and Furukawa can pull off emotionless and cool at the same time but nothing more. Maybe the jealousy a little but I think Joe Cheng can probably do better.

The mother to Naoki is the same as they all are in the other version. A total shipper of her son with Aihara and will resort to anything to make it happen. That’s cute in a drama but I’m not so sure in real life. But we all love her for being so nice to Aihara, don’t we?

I’ll probably post another review after I watch til the end but as of now, I love it. It’s the best drama to watch for spring. 😀

This is my reaction to the drama.. XD ❤ ❤

And this is how the drama pampers us. Not that I mind. MOARR.


8 thoughts on “Currently watching : Itazura na Kiss – Love in Tokyo

    • Marie says:

      Yes, the couple in the taiwanese version has great chemistry too, especially if you also watch the second season! this version is also very complete, and rather faithful to the manga (the director even asked the author’s husband if he could change a few scenes in the adaptation) but if you can’t stand the heroine, you won’t really like the taiwanese version! I love it to bits mainly because I ship the main couple! Still, Love in Tokyo is also very good in its own way. The actors give brilliant performances IMO, even Furukawa (his Naoki is actually a lot like the Naoki of the manga)!

  1. Melinda Rokhadiyan says:

    I first knew Itazura na Kiss from the 1996 japanese version and loved it, then I realized it was based on a manga. I read the manga and fell in love with it even more. I tried watching the korean version, but only managed to watch 2 episodes. Then I realized about Love in Tokyo, the newest remake of the famous manga. I watched it, and yup.. This is definitely the best adaptation. Yuki Furukawa IS Naoki Irie, and Miki Honoka is truly our beloved Kotoko. When I heard many people say the taiwan version is also very good, I tried watching it starting from the after marriage life because I want to continue the Love in Tokyo story, but eventhough it’s quite alright, it just not work for me.. In the manga, naoki can not easily express his feelings as the taiwan version naoki does, in the manga we only speculate by looking at how he glance his eyes, how he smirks, how he looks at his Kotoko, and I found that kind of reaction in Furukawa’s and Kashiwabara’s Naoki. And eventhough the taiwan version of Kotoko is also cute and innocent, I still think Miki Honoka played the part best. She can light up the day just by smiling. So i f you ask me, personally, Love in Tokyo is by far the best adaptation of the manga.

    • dramamochi says:

      I’ve glanced through the Taiwan version and yes, Joe Cheng is more expressive which perhaps isn’t following the real furukawa naoki from the manga. For fans of the manga like you,I believe that the latest love in Tokyo version is the best replicate 🙂 I have actually finished watching the Korean one. It was admittedly good, before Love in Tokyo came out…. Haha.

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