Itazura na Kiss 2~Love in Okinawa SP

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The lovely Kotoko and Naoki have returned and even though it’s a short 43 minutes, I savored every moment of watching these two together again. Will our newlyweds have the sweet honeymoon they deserve or will there be more obstacles in their way? Well you know it’s never quiet around Kotoko….

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The Iries are flying to Okinawa with Kotoko positively over the moon as she looks at a guidebook while Naoki…is sleeping. Yeah, some things never change. A woman (Masuda Yuka) watches them from a seat over, amused by Kotoko ordering coffee from the flight attendant in English.

Naoki, who’s feigning sleep, asks Kotoko why she’s speaking English when they’re flying to Okinawa. Kotoko points out that pilots and flight attendants always speak English so she thought she should too.  Naoki thinks she’s getting carried away, but gone are the days when harsh words could put Kotoko down.

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She just smiles, pulls out her camera, and starts taking pictures of them together. Of course, Naoki doesn’t crack a smile even once. Naoki chides her for looking at their wedding photos for the millionth time, but Kotoko can’t help it; it’s just now settling in that they’re really married. Naoki, ever the party pooper, decides to go to sleep; he’s exhausted from the surprise wedding and honeymoon his mother sprung on them.

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Kotoko3The woman from earlier overhears the conversation and uses the opportunity to introduce herself. This is Horiuchi Mari, who is also on her honeymoon with her new husband Takumi (Okabe Nao). They pity Kotoko for having such an apathetic husband on her honeymoon and I can’t shake the feeling Mari’s trying to rub her relationship in her face, despite saying they just had a boring office romance (though it was love at first sight for Takumi).

Mari ignores her husband and asks for Kotoko’s name. Ha, I love how Kotoko tucks her hair behind her ear as she introduces herself for the first time as Kotoko Irie.

Takumi asks if Naoki proposed to her, but she says she was the one following him around and we get a recap of their push-and-pull relationship. It has been over a year since we last saw them, so I guess we need a little refresher.  Kotoko concludes happily that her six year one-sided love ended with their marriage.

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Mari and Takumi admire Kotoko’s persistence and Mari slyly remarks she must have pushed him into bed. Kotoko frantically denies having gotten that far, regretfully remembering that Naoki went to bed first the night before, complaining that he was tired. Oh, so we will get to see their first night together?

Mari’s shocked that Kotoko and Naoki haven’t slept together (and announces it to the whole plane. Is Naoki really sleeping through all this?). She asks if Kotoko isn’t worried. If she were in her position, she’d think that her husband wasn’t attracted to her or didn’t see her as a woman.

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Pfft, Kotoko looking over her assets to see if she’s woman enough.

Mari hopes that the two don’t become a Narita Divorce couple (an old school drama with Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Seta Asaka), though she laughs and says in their case it would be a Haneda divorce. Obviously Kotoko’s horrified at the thought, but more angry that Mari would give her the idea on the first day of her honeymoon.

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Kotoko can’t find her sunglasses once they get off the plane (even though it’s night time so she doesn’t need them) and decides to look for them in her suitcase. She struggles to get the suitcase open, only to realize it’s not hers when she sees a sexy swimsuit. Lol, Naoki’s just like, “There’s no way that’s yours.” and of course that’s when Mari and Takumi pop up with an identical suitcase.

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Naoki chastises Kotoko for not checking the name tag and Mari uses the chance to introduce herself. Uh-oh, I’ve seen that look before, Naoki’s got another fangirl. She notes how good looking Naoki is and now understands why Kotoko’s love was unrequited for so long, dealing another blow to Kotoko’s pride.

Kotoko’s mood only gets worse as Mari and Takumi are staying at the same hotel they are, but she manages to escape them temporarily. Unfortunately she’s in such a rush that she almost runs over pop singer Go Mi Nam (Cheng Yu Xi) of A.N.JELL. Continuing the most random cameo ever, the other Fabulous Boys Shin Woo (Hwang In Deok) and Jeremy (Evan Yo) appear as well while Promise starts playing in the background. What, no Tae Kyung? I guess Jiro Wang couldn’t make it.

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Kotoko goes into fangirl mode as she’s a huge fan and pesters Naoki to ask why they’re here. It turns out they’re shooting a music video. They wish Kotoko and Naoki have a nice trip before going on their way. No autograph, no picture? I’m disappointed in your fangirl abilities Kotoko.

Kotoko is thrilled to see their room, squealing at the ocean view, much to Naoki’s annoyance, and begins running around and rolling on the bed like a little kid. Well, at least until she remembers this is her honeymoon and other things will be happening in this bed.

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She calms down and approaches Naoki, saying she’ll become a good wife so he shouldn’t give up on her. He points out that she was all over A.N.JELL a moment ago, but he lets his jealousy slide, saying he doesn’t expect much out of her. It’s fine if she just stays as she is. Kotoko prepares for a kiss, but the romantic moment is ruined when the phone rings. Pooh.

It’s Mari calling them out to the pool and of course she’s wearing her revealing swimsuit. Kotoko can’t believe the nerve of Mari, calling Naoki by his first name already as if they’re close.

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Mari drags Naoki off to get drinks and Takumi asks Kotoko be lenient about Mari’s affection for Naoki. Kotoko blows up and asks what Takumi is doing as a husband. Shouldn’t he try to keep his wife in line? Poor Takumi was also in a one-sided love for a long time and he barely got Mari to marry him, so he doesn’t want to spoil her mood. Besides, Kotoko and Naoki are already married, so Kotoko’s got nothing to worry about. This just makes Kotoko even more irritated and she says it’s “visa-verse” instead of “vise-versa”

A voice that sounds like  Yuki’s says only stupid Kotoko would say something like that.  Kotoko looks around, missing Yuki walk by disguised as a girl in a blonde wig and figures she’s just hearing things.

She turns her attention back to Naoki and Mari, just in time to see Mari stick to Naoki’s arm. Cmon Naoki, I know she’s clingy, but at least try to shake her off. As Kotoko seethes in anger, a big beach ball knocks Mari away from Naoki and into a tray of drinks.

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I see you Irie-mama, protecting Naoki and Kotoko’s love like always. Good job. She pretends to be a foreigner and half-heartedly apologizes in a mix of clumsy Japanese and English.

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Seriously, Yuki makes the prettiest girl.

Yuki calls his mom away before Mari can get mad. Kotoko doesn’t catch on, but Naoki’s not stupid enough to not know what his family’s up to.

The two couples end up drinking together and of course Mari is fawning over Naoki once she finds out he’s going to become a doctor. Mari recalls how Kotoko said they married only because of her impetuous behavior, but Kotoko (who isn’t good at holding her liquor) says it’s because Naoki seems to live in another world.

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Mari notes that Kotoko still calls Naoki by his surname even though they’re married and figures they’re not that close. Kotoko says she’s just used to it before passing out despite only having a few sips of her drink.

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Naoki piggybacks the knocked out Kotoko back to their room. He calls out to her several times, but she’s out cold.  Making sure she’s really sleep, Naoki says quietly “Honey, we’re in our room.” Aww, you’re just as excited about this trip as Kotoko is aren’t you? Why can’t you be like this when Kotoko’s awake? He smooths the hair from her face, as Kotoko mumbles in her sleep, “Irie, I love you.” and Naoki smiles.

The second day of the honeymoon starts off well with Kotoko and Naoki looking at statues. Kotoko grabs a tourist to take their picture and of course it’s Irie-papa in disguise, much to Naoki’s annoyance. Kotoko’s still clueless, even when she sees him together with their family. Unfortunately, Mari and Takumi catch up with them by lunch and Kotoko is forced to endure more of Mari’s flirting.

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We’ve got to have the parents at least get in one picture.

Day after day is the same until finally it’s the final day in Okinawa.  Kotoko’s more than a little annoyed with Mari’s interference; not only have Mari and Takumi tagged along every day, but they can’t even be alone at night as Mari always takes them out for drinks and Kotoko gets drunk.

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She wonders if they’ll really have a Narita divorce, but she recalls Irie-mama’s high expectations and becomes determined that today it will be just the two of them.

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The day starts off well with a quick look around an aquarium before they stop at a chapel. They get some wedding pictures taken there because…I don’t know, we need more cute Kotoko in a wedding dress in our lives? Doesn’t matter, I don’t care, Kotoko’s dress is amazing. Naoki’s grumpy the whole time and swears he’s never doing this again.

After the pictures are taken, the photographer mentions they were waiting for another couple which probably means…

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Ugh. Mari clings to Naoki and thinks they should take pictures together, offering to give Takumi to Kotoko. Seriously? Reign it in girl, he’s not interested. Thankfully Naoki puts Mari in her place, saying they need to go buy souvenirs. A relieved Kotoko follows after Naoki, leaving an upset Mari behind. Please take a hint and back off.

It looks like the Iries will finally have a night alone, at least until Takumi shows up, frantically worried about Mari who’s complaining about stomach pain. Surprisingly Kotoko’s the only person speaking sense right now, pointing out that if Mari’s so sick, she should go to a hospital or they should call an ambulance, but Mari doesn’t want this to become a big deal. Then you should have taken care of it yourself is all I’m saying.

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Takumi remembers that Naoki’s studying to become a doctor and asks that he take a look at Mari. Naoki obliges (even though you know, you’re not a doctor, I don’t care if you are a genius), but Kotoko can’t curb her uneasiness about the situation and tries to deter Naoki. It’s only when Naoki decides to take a look at Mari’s stomach that Kotoko finally bursts.

She tells him not to touch other women, but Naoki snaps back that this isn’t the time for her to be like this. He’s going to be a doctor, so is she going to react this way every time he has patients? If she doesn’t understand that, they can’t be together.  A teary-eyed Kotoko is at a loss for words and just runs out of the room.

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Takumi thinks Naoki was too harsh, but Naoki doesn’t bother chasing after her. He calmly diagnoses Mari’s problem as food poisoning and Mari orders Takumi to go buy the medicine from the pharmacy. Takumi leaves, but not before telling Naoki he should go after his wife.

As soon as Takumi’s gone, Mari latches onto Naoki’s arm, finally glad to be alone. Food poisoning my ass. She’s certain that Naoki doesn’t like Kotoko and confesses she fell in love with him at first sight. She goes on and on about how they were unfortunate enough to meet the wrong partners before meeting each other, her hand snaking up his arm as she says it’s not too late.

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Naoki shoves her away (finally) and tells her to shut up. Even if he met her a hundred times, he would’ve ignored her every time. He tells her to not even compare herself to Kotoko and leaves just as Takumi comes in.

A clueless Takumi asks what happened, but Mari angrily declares she won’t suffer such humiliation and that she’ll definitely break those two up. Takumi’s finally fed up with being ignored and slaps Mari.  Whoa, Takumi calm down. You have every right to be mad and all, but don’t slap the woman.

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Mari retaliates by yelling that she’s done with him, but Takumi’s done with being jerked around. He roars that they’re married and while she’s with him she shouldn’t look at other men. Gob-smacked, Mari just nods in agreement.

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Kotoko wanders around in a daze, embarrassed about her outburst and wondering if she really understands Naoki’s desire to become a doctor. She finally looks around and realizes she has no idea where she is. She tries to find a way out when a man appears offering to help her, but Kotoko can’t understand a word he’s saying and thinks he’s trying to kidnap her.

I’ll give Kotoko some credit though, since the stranger’s supposed to be trying to help, but he keeps dragging Kotoko by the shoulders. I’d be freaking out too. She starts screaming for Naoki, saying she doesn’t want a Narita divorce.  Thankfully Naoki hears her and finds them quickly. He smoothly sorts out the situation by informing the stranger that Kotoko is his wife. Kotoko’s so relieved to see Naoki that she jumps into his arms, crying that she thought she’d never see him again.

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The stranger is surprised that Kotoko is Naoki’s wife, saying she looks like an elementary student (lol) and Naoki tells Kotoko to apologize. The man’s good-natured about it and hopes they have a nice honeymoon.

Kotoko and Naoki go to the beach and she says she’s relieved Naoki found her so quickly. Naoki is Naoki and says that her scream about a Narita divorce was so loud he couldn’t help but find her. Kotoko apologizes for being jealous and says she was a bad wife, but Naoki was worried more about her and all of Kotoko’s anger dissipates as they kiss.

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It’s such a pretty moment that Irie-mama can’t help but catch it on film with her new camera as she and the rest of the family watch from the trees.

And now, finally, Kotoko and Naoki get to have their first night together. Even Naoki can’t deny it took them forever to get her, but Kotoko didn’t mind as long as she was with him. Naoki pulls her into a hug and says it wasn’t fine with him.

Oh, we’re getting an actual bed scene? The production team is pretty bold this time around. It’s a sweet (okay, and slightly awkward, I won’t lie) scene as Naoki kisses Kotoko’s forehead, nose, and lips before fading to black.

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Kotoko: “If there was a way to measure happiness, I would rank as the happiest person in the entire world today. I’ll never forget what happened today. Never.”

On the plane ride home, Kotoko is sad that their honeymoon is over and complains that they didn’t get to spend a lot of time together. She turns around in her seat when she hears a couple being lovey-dovey and sees Mari and Takumi taking turns feeding each other. Oookay, that’s surprising. It puts Kotoko in an even worse mood, since those two were the reason her honeymoon went sour.

Naoki says it’s good that they reconciled, which Kotoko has to admit. She leans against Naoki, thinking to herself that though their time was short, she and Naoki made memorable memories in Okinawa and she didn’t disappoint Irie-mama.

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The two fall asleep on the plane and of course, Irie-mama is there to catch the moment.

Thoughts: And that’s it till season two. A part of me feels like Kotoko got dumbed down a bit for the SP. I really can’t believe she didn’t recognize her family lurking around, they’re always so obvious. -_-. Maybe I just need to get used to Kotoko again. I did feel more like Kotoko and Naoki were standing on even footing unlike in the drama where Kotoko was always bending over backwards to get Naoki to give her the time of day or just basic respect. And even if it’s in snippets, it’s good to see Naoki taking care of Kotoko (though I wish he had rejected Mari’s advances a little earlier).

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I’ll be honest, I hate the other couple honeymoon plot (though I got a kick out of Kotoko’s internal monologue and facial expressions) and wish Mari and Takumi’s problems weren’t solved so neatly. I probably would’ve been more satisfied if Mari and Takumi ended up divorced as it was fairly obvious they were a mismatched pair. I’ve read enough shoujo manga to know that there’s pretty much no conflict unless there’s a third wheel and almost everyone gets a happy ending but Kotoko and Naoki are married.  It just felt unnecessary, though it did, in a roundabout way, confirm that Naoki is just as committed to this relationship as Kotoko is, even if he doesn’t always show it.

I think I’ll take the SP as a sweet, if sometimes irritating, tourism commercial for Okinawa outing that shows Kotoko and Naoki still have a bit of growing to do as husband and wife while reaffirming that they’re in this together for the long haul. There’s still plenty of good fluff in here and I will probably re-watch this another two to three times to satiate my need to see  Kotoko and Naoki before the second season starts. The trailer looks amazing, so I’m ready. C’mon November 24th!

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