Episode 6 is in the recap machine… In the meantime, here is a little taste of the original.
Where did it all begin? With a manga, of course! If you are looking for your shoujo fix, and you’ve exhausted all 3 dramas based on this story (see ISWAK episode 1 recap), you might ask the question, “Is the manga worth reading?” Well, of course it is! How does it compare to your favorite drama version? Here is a little background, just for fun.
Itazura na kiss (イタズラなKiss) by Tada Kaoru ran in Margaret Magazine starting in 1991. The story begins with Aihara Kotoko 相原 琴子 handing a love letter to Naoki Irie 入江 直樹, who immediately rejects it. Kotoko has loved Irie from afar since she first heard him give a speech as the freshman representative. Separated by their classes, the school’s top genius Irie in Class A and Kotoko in Class F, these two are an unlikely pair. And although very intelligent, attractive, and athletic, Irie has a very bad personality.
Kotoko has a group of very faithful friends, including her longtime admirer, Ikezawa Kinnosuke 池澤 金之助. He is there to stick up for her when their group happens to cross paths with Irie on the day of Kotoko’s rejection. Irie’s reason for not reading the love letter is simply, “I hate brainless women.” Kotoko’s friends think she should give up and find someone better. Kinnosuke is always ready and eager for that day to come.
Kotoko’s relationship with Irie is far from over after the rejection. When Kotoko’s dad finishes building their new home, it collapses in an earthquake. As a result, Kotoko and her dad have to move in temporarily with the family of her dad’s best friend (anyone else think it’s funny they hadn’t met before this point if it was her dad’s longtime best friend?). As we know, this old friend happens to be none other than Irie Naoki’s dad. So, Kotoko’s and Irie Naoki’s once separate destinies converge in this one home. Will a warm girl be able to thaw the icy heart this cold-blooded boy?
As you can see, the Taiwanese drama follows the manga very closely. If you have time to kill, you might get a kick out of reading the original story. The art is a little old fashioned, but it’s a nice way to get the feel for the original Japanese perspective.
Tada Kaoru-sensei never completed Itazura na Kiss. Unfortunately, she passed away at the young age of 38 from a cerebral hemorrhage, caused by bumping her head on a marble table. I’m sure if she were alive today, she would be very gratified to see what her story has become! Although mangas are fast becoming the subject of dramas in and outside of Japan, which other shoujo manga (aside from Hana Yori Dango) has achieved this level of fame?