piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[personal profile] piranha
i regret that i called hana yori dango "unmitigated crap", because now i need an expression that describes something considerably worse.

i watched itazura na kiss because the manga by tada kaoru is popular and "ground-breaking" shoujo, and i put it on my list without checking the comments at mangaupdates. they would have probably tipped me off that i would hate it, because most people are enraptured by the "dumb but cute and funny" protagonist. i never, ever, find dumb "cute and funny". i mean, tom hanks as forrest gump is oftentimes (unintentionally) funny, but hanks doesn't play gump for laughs; i can handle that. this, i couldn't.

in retrospect i gather the "ground-breaking" part is that the manga goes beyond the two lead characters getting together and shows them as a married couple, so the "happily ever after" isn't merely implied as is usual in romance. the live action, however, doesn't go there; it stops at the point where they get together. i don't think i could have handled to watch any more; as it is i forced myself through 8 of the 9 episodes and was glad when it ended.

one day in bandcamp in high school, aihara kotoko (sato aiko) and irie naoki (kashiwabara takashi) bump into each other accidentally, and their lips meet. oh no, it's the dreaded accidental kiss (very popular in shoujo)! from that point on kotoko idolises naoki -- while he thinks she is stupid, and wants nothing to do with her. she isn't smart intellectually; she is at the bottom of her class, which is at the bottom of her grade, and naoki is a tad cruel when he tells her that he doesn't associate with stupid people after she presses him with her love confession. but idolising a boy after you accidentally bumped lips is pretty dumb to start with, and that doesn't even plumb the depths of kotoko's idiocy. i know i am supposed to be moved by her heart being in the right place, but i actually don't even think it is.

kotoko lives with her father; her mother died years ago. when their house burns down, they move in with a couple who were her father's best friends in university (and yet, kotoko had apparently never met them). surprise! they happen to be naoki's parents. so now kotoko lives in the same house as her idol, and from here on she becomes a dedicated stalker, because apparently living in the same house means that she can now follow him around with impunity, and burst into his room with the slightest excuse. which she does, relentlessly. those reviewers who love kotoko complain that naoki is a cold, arrogant jerk -- and he is, somewhat. he isn't nice to stupid people who bother him. he is actually icily polite to kotoko at the start, but she wears him down until he starts telling her to get the hell away from him, and uses stronger and stronger language -- but what the hell is he supposed to do? she won't let up. she never leaves him any peace; she takes it upon herself to embarrass him in front of his friends, to make him a laughing stock, to interfere with the good relationship he has with his younger brother -- oh no, she doesn't do that on purpose; she is just clueless -- but i can stomach cluelessness only for so long before apologies stop working. her heart is supposed to be in the right place because she berates naoki when he does something she thinks is wrong, and thus she melts his cold heart and makes him more human.

"wrong" doesn't just refer to an act of shop lifting some time ago (she's right about telling him he should apologize for that, though the way she goes about it is terrible). "wrong" is also when he finally snaps at his mother for pushing him and kotoko together. uh hn. from where i stand naoki could use a bit of humility, but he isn't particularly nasty -- right from the start he is shown as loving and playing with his little brother. he's arrogant, yes, but he isn't one of those elite kids who rule their school with an iron fist (cf hana yori dango); his arrogance shows itself by him not interacting with people he views as below him.

IMO the one who is very clearly wrong more often is kotoko -- not just the stalking; but when naoki's mother shows her pictures of him as a child, dressed in girl clothes (mother really wanted a girl); kotoko blackmails him into helping her study. WTF? in which worldview is this not wrong? i know perseverance is prized in japan, so i won't go on more about the stalking, but blackmail?

i completely fail to see why naoki develops any feelings for her. if somebody treated me like she does, i wouldn't fall in love; i'd start to hate her.

what makes this whole mess much, much worse is kotoko's shrillness. she's always squealing, shrieking, shouting, yelling. i swear, not 10 minutes pass that we don't have an outbreak of loud "cuteness" from her. this has turned me so much off sato aiko that i will make it a point to avoid any dramas she's in as more than a minor character.

kashiwabara takashi
so, no love from me. well, maybe a little love for kashiwabara takashi who's one of the few characters in this show not overacting, and for akashi ryoutarou who plays yuki, naoki's little brother -- he's smarter and more mature than kotoko, and he writes and draws a diary about her which is actually funny.

i won't bother with the manga or anime or the korean and chinese adaptations.

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piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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