Finally, after so much waiting, Itazura na Kiss returns for its second season and it feels good to know I get to see the Iries on my screen every week. With the honeymoon over, the newlyweds now have to settle into married life and Kotoko gets a harsh reality check when she realizes that it’s not all sunshine and roses like she imagined.
Episode 2: My Marriage Still On Hold?!
Kotoko and Naoki come back from Okinawa, all lovey-dovey, only to be greeted by a serious looking Kanamori. Naoki wonders if something happened to his dad, but Kanamori opts not to explain and just escorts them to the car. They arrive at a large, unfamiliar house and though Naoki wants to know what’s going on, Kanamori just tells them to go inside.
Kotoko and Naoki open the door nervously only to have confetti thrown in their face by their family. Turns out that Irie-mama had a new house built while they were away; the old one would be too small once the babies arrived. Count on Irie-mama to always be thinking ahead. Naoki doesn’t seem too bent out of shape about the new living arrangements, but he’s less than happy to see this picture on the wall.
Hahaha, Irie-mama would put that there. Kotoko finally realizes that their family was following them around in Okinawa, but she doesn’t care that they were invading their privacy because she likes the picture. Naoki tells Irie-mama to take it down, but no one else in the family has a problem with it, so the picture stays.
Irie-mama shows them around the house, which even has a nursery (Irie-mama is practically ordering them to give her grandbabies), but despite Kotoko’s squealing, Naoki is not thrilled and keeps sighing.
Kotoko wakes up the next morning, delighted that this is her first official day as Naoki’s wife. She’s determined to make an amazing breakfast and send him off to work (complete with a goodbye kiss of course), but since this is Kotoko, everything turns out to be a fantasy and she misses her alarm. By the time she actually wakes up, Naoki’s already out of bed.
She rushes into the kitchen only to find Irie-mama and Yuki finishing up breakfast. She’s disappointed that she wasn’t able to help, but Irie-mama assures her that it’s okay to sleep in since Naoki probably kept her up all night during the honeymoon (lol, Irie-mama is still the best mother-in-law). Yuki wastes no time in pointing out that she’s slacking in her bridal duties.
She catches Naoki right before he leaves for work and he laments that he wasn’t able to eat breakfast first thing this morning because his wife was still sleeping. Kotoko promises that she’ll do better tomorrow, but he’s just kidding since he doesn’t expect that much from her anyway. I am still not used to this Naoki that can make jokes.
He starts to leave, but Irie-mama, with camera in hand, refuses to let him leave without kissing Kotoko first. Priorities, Irie-mama has them. Naoki bluntly tells her to butt out, but Irie-mama, relationship expert she is, knows that Naoki’s forgotten something essential for his marriage.
Kotoko assures her that they already took care of that on their honeymoon, but Irie-mama is talking about their marriage registration. Kotoko goes into panic mode, but Irie-mama’s got it covered, pulling out several copies of the registration papers just in case they mess up filling them out the first time.
However, Naoki hasn’t forgotten, but is putting it off. He’s not ready to make their marriage official, though he doesn’t say why before heading off, leaving Kotoko and Irie-mama in shock. *Sigh* Nothing’s ever easy with you is it Naoki?
At tennis practice, Sudo congratulates Kotoko on her marriage, but Kotoko’s still down about the fact she’s not legally married. Kotoko can’t figure out what’s the problem and starts taking out her frustration on Sudo (“What are you men thinking?!”). Yuko overhears them and says that Kotoko’s on probation; if Kotoko is a bad wife, then Naoki can leave her without having to go through the messy divorce process. Don’t worry about her Kotoko, she’s just bitter that you got Naoki and she didn’t.
Here’s an odd scene: Naoki’s visited by his university’s anime club while at work. They have a game demo to show him and though Naoki’s really not interested, he perks up when he sees the name: Tennis Warrior Koto-rin.
Kotoko stays up late waiting for Naoki, but it’s in vain as he calls to say he won’t be home for a few days. Kotoko stays up late night after night anyway, holding onto her husband’s PJs hoping he’ll come home, but to no avail. After 3 days, she’s had enough and starts cutting up Naoki’s pajamas. She stays up all night and we get this.
Oh Kotoko, that is so sad, yet cute.
Kotoko goes to visit Naoki at work with a bento, hopeful that he’ll see what a good wife she is and it’ll spur him to register their marriage. Unfortunately Naoki doesn’t have time to see her, so Kotoko reluctantly gives the security guard her lunchbox to deliver.
Satomi and Jinko finally make their appearance and are sympathetic about Kotoko’s situation; it’s already been two weeks since she last saw Naoki and Jinko wonders if he has another woman. Ha, unlikely. Their conversation reaches Kin-chan’s ears, and he drops his work to go figure out what’s up with Naoki.
I have no idea how Kin-chan gets into the building, but he makes enough ruckus to bring Naoki out. Kotoko follows Kin-chan there, but hangs back to watch. Kin-chan asks point blank why Naoki’s acting this way. He was ready to let Kotoko be with Naoki, but not if he was going to play with her like this. Naoki doesn’t answer, causing Kin-chan to throw a punch, but Naoki stops him easily. He tells him that this is between him and Kotoko, so Kin-chan should stay out it.
Kin-chan gets taken away by security, but Kotoko finally decides to step in. Kin-chan isn’t wrong; Naoki’s the one who isn’t treating her like his wife. “I’m the only one who gets excited. I’m the only one who feels insecure. This isn’t a marriage!”
Naoki coldly tells her to leave then, since their marriage isn’t official anyway. Damn it Naoki, could you not be an ass for one minute? Kotoko leaves in tears with Kin-chan following after her (though he tells Naoki before leaving that Kotoko still needs him and he won this round).
Kotoko sulks at Dad’s restaurant with Satomi and Jinko, but Dad , having heard what happened from Kin-chan, says she was wrong for picking a fight with Naoki at his workplace. Kotoko should put herself in his position; the fact that Naoki’s working hard and can’t come home isn’t his fault. I hear you Dad, but when her husband isn’t home for weeks, I think Kotoko at least deserves an explanation.
Kin-chan thinks Dad’s being too harsh, but he stands by his words. This isn’t their problem anyway, but an issue between a man and his wife. Kin-chan doesn’t agree, but asks that he at least take into consideration Kotoko’s feelings. Dad tells Kotoko to believe in Naoki, because if she doesn’t, who will?
Not that Kotoko doesn’t believe in Naoki, but not being able to see her husband on a regular basis gets her down and she zones out during tennis practice. As if an answer to her prayer, a black car zooms up and Naoki steps out. He’s in a rush, telling Kotoko to get in the car without even letting her put down her racket or change clothes, let alone explain what’s going on.
Kanamori is waiting for them at their destination, affirming that everything has been prepared. Kotoko, still unsure of what is going on, is taken aback when they enter a presentation room filled with reporters. It’s a conference for the new game that Irie-papa’s company is launching and as Naoki takes the stage, Irie-papa uses the chance to fill Kotoko in.
Naoki’s been busy designing an online game, which would normally take a few months to over a year, but he managed to do it only a couple of weeks with a small team. I expect nothing less of genius boy. He’s been pulling all-nighters in order to prepare it and finally they’ll see the results today. Kotoko obviously feels a little guilty for getting angry with Naoki before, but there’s a little smile there that hints she’s proud of him too.
Of course, the game Naoki’s been working on is Tennis Warrior Koto-rin and the anime club comes up to present it and invite Kotoko to the stage, citing her as the inspiration for their main character. I have no idea when Kotoko got an anime otaku fanclub, but okay.
For the record, this is Koto-rin at tennis.
And this is Kotoko at tennis.
Yeah, fan love sometimes stops you from seeing reality.
Naoki introduces her as his wife making Kotoko even more flustered and she fumbles for the right words to say. She settles for saying she’s honored to be the wife of such a smart man before handing over the mic. She whispers to Naoki if that was weird and Naoki, never one for sugar coating, affirms it was. She’s only put out for a moment though as Naoki says it’s been a while since they’ve seen each other, putting a smile on her face. Aww, you missed your little wife too didn’t you?
Kotoko poses for pictures at the conference, slightly embarrassed and bewildered by how much the anime club likes her, but happy nonetheless.
After a long time, Naoki’s finally home and he wonders what happened to his old pajamas. Kotoko shows him the little Naoki she made because she got lonely. I don’t know how much use Kotoko will get out of little Naoki though now that real Naoki has quit his job and will be going back to school soon. Yay, hot Dr. Irie here we come!
He mentions the bento she brought him and how it had eggshells in it (lol), and Kotoko promises to do better as always. He moves in for a quick kiss and hug and Kotoko says she’s missed him. Sadly, Naoki’s too tired to even respond as he falls over, fast asleep. Seeing the peaceful look on his face, Kotoko wishes him sweet dreams.
A month later, Koto-rin is a huge hit and Naoki is going back to school. As they head off, Naoki says they need to stop somewhere first and they go to the ward office, finally ready to make their marriage official. He pulls out the registration forms and tells Kotoko not to mess up, which she does of course. Thank goodness for all those copies.
Kotoko’s over the moon when the office worker addresses her as “oku-san” and is happy that she’s officially married now. And though Naoki chides her to get a grip, he can’t hide his smile.
On the way to school, Naoki explains that as a man, he didn’t want to marry her until his dad’s company was back on it’s feet, but his mother rushed things so much that he had decided to at least put the registration on hold. Look at you Naoki, taking responsibility for your wife like that. I mean, I wish you could have told her that instead of breeding misunderstanding, but all the same, I understand your decision.
Kotoko says it’s fine since she believed in him, but he points out that she was the one that barged into his office, with Kin-chan no less. Kotoko can’t really argue with that, but Naoki brushes it aside, saying that she’s his wife now. Kotoko lights up and chases after him, happily thinking that finally Naoki is officially her husband and she’s Irie Kotoko.
Thoughts: Other than the anger I felt last week about getting a re-airing of the special episode (seriously Fuji, get your shit together), I’m really glad to have ItaKiss back. Obviously the honeymoon was the right place to start, but I could’ve skipped right over that episode and it would not have made a difference. This was way better than the SP for me and a lot of that had to do with the fact that we were focusing on Kotoko and Naoki’s internal problems rather than throwing external and unnecessary ones at them.
The entire first season is spent on Kotoko chasing Naoki and changing him for the better and I was wondering if the second season was going to be more of the same. While the power dynamics are the same, with Naoki leading and Kotoko blindly following, and that does irk me a little, it is nice to see that Naoki is as dedicated to making this relationship work just as much as Kotoko is, even though he does it mostly behind the scenes.
I’m a little miffed that the show kind of brushes aside the fact that, despite Naoki’s good intentions, Kotoko feels isolated from him. Kin-chan touches on it briefly, but otherwise than that, I feel like everyone kind of disregarded the fact that Kotoko was being overlooked by her husband. Fine, he was working hard so they could be together more and have a secure marriage, and it’s admirable that Naoki had his priorities straight, but shouldn’t he have told her that? By this time, Naoki should be aware he needs to spell things out for Kotoko to understand what he means, because otherwise, she’s not going to get it and she’s going to do something crazy.
As much as I love Kin-chan for always being Kotoko’s cheerleader and being her friend in spite of everything, he needs to step back a little. It might have been throwaway dialogue, but the fact that he needed to tell Naoki that he “won” makes me think he’s still a little too involved and setting himself up for even more pain. This was not his fight, but a problem between Kotoko and Naoki that had nothing to do with him. I know he gets his own love line later on, but I’d prefer he get that reality check sooner rather than later.
Overall, I feel a lot better about the rest of the season now that we’ve had a proper first episode and I can’t wait to see what else the show has in store.