So I've watched It Started with a Kiss (Tw), and I've watched Playful Kiss (Kr), now it's time to watch ItaKiss: Love in Tokyo. So far I want to say this is my favorite. The things that I've hated about this series seem to make sense here in a way that I didn't see in the Taiwanese and Korean version. And frankly it's as simple as reaction shots (and maybe just a little more dialogue).
One of my biggest pet peeves has always been the male lead. He always come off as an asshole. Someone that the female lead spends her time putting all her love into only to have it thrown into her face at every moment until she can't take it anymore. Naoki still looks like an ass, but he's that boy who pulls on a girls pig tails to get their attention. We're often given reaction shots of Naoki being annoyed when Kotoko changes direction. Kotoko spends time with Kin, Naoki gets annoyed and ignores her more than usual or does something to mess with her almost immediately. Kotoko moves out with her dad, Naoki has new interest in the only place he can see her, the tennis club. The drama takes the time to make those chains of reaction clear, so you don't feel confused as a viewer. His mother doesn't have to constantly reassure Kotoko and explain his thought process. I also appreciate that Naoki is played warmer here. In the other two versions we get a cold loner who's impossibly good at everything. In this version, Naoki has a friend in high school, he gets a long with people his age. He's not developed as being totally unapproachable. And most importantly, he's shown as someone who constantly misunderstands the situation, which I like.
I also really like the other characters. As for the female lead, Kotoko feels self aware. Similar to the Korean version, the drama takes the the time show that Kotoko knows she's crazy to keep running after Naoki. She's also more silly rather than straight up dumb, which is appreciated. Kin's over the top and out there behavior is more palatable here. And while I was worried that Yuki would get the generic female antagonist treatment (a la the Korean version), she's showing her funny bone and is similar to Zi Yu from the Taiwanese version. I am kind of sad that I don't like Naoki's mom as much here. It's most likely because Naoki is managing to do his own character growth that mom's antics seem counterproductive and just a little bit evil.
I've been enjoying ItaKiss~LIT every week. It feels charming instead of heavy like it's counterpart. It's almost rewatchable.
- Current Music:The Life of the Party by Jackson 5