We’re speeding right along as Kotoko and Naoki prepare for graduation and the transition into adulthood. As a married couple, the two carry a bit more baggage than your normal young adult and find themselves faced with a problem neither of them are prepared for. Yet if Itazura na Kiss has proven anything, there’s nothing Kotoko and Naoki can’t overcome together.
Episode 3: Hello Baby!?
It’s been nine months since the events of the last episode and it’s almost time for graduation. Jinko and Satomi are preparing for their jobs after school and though they say Kotoko has it easy since she can just be a housewife, Kotoko wonders if it’s okay to not pursue a career of her own.
Kotoko mopes about at school when she’s approached by a blonde foreigner for directions. She introduces herself in clumsy Japanese as Christine Robbins (Noemie Nakai) or Chris for short and she’s come to study at Tonan for half a year. In spite of the language barrier, Chris and Kotoko manage to bond quickly and Kotoko decides to show her around.
The two head over to the hospital to find Naoki and meet Funatsu Seiichi (Takeuchi Toshi), one of Naoki’s classmates. He’s surprised that Kotoko is Naoki’s wife, as he imagined that she would be different, much to Kotoko’s offense. When he sees Chris, Funatsu tries to hit on her by showing off his English skills and bragging about how he’s the best medical student, but Chris rejects him. Chris has high standards and Funatsu is zenzen dame ( “no good” just doesn’t have the same sting as Chris’s zenzen dame).
As Funatsu stews at his rejection, Naoki shows up and like most girls, Chris seems to be in awe of him. Kotoko asks Naoki to come with them to Dad’s restaurant if he has time, but when Naoki asks Chris if it’s okay, she just stares, mouth slightly agape. Uh-oh, that is not how you want your new friend to stare at your husband.
Funatsu finally recovers and tells Naoki not to fool around too much or his grades will drop, but Naoki coolly assures him that Funatsu can keep his number two spot. I’d probably feel bad for Funatsu if he didn’t come off as a pompous asshole, but he does, so he deserved that. He storms off, promising that he’ll crush Naoki at the next thesis presentation.
Chris and Kotoko head off to Dad’s restaurant first and though Kotoko’s all smiles, she’s worried that Chris could be a possible threat to her marriage. It seems that Kotoko’s fears have been realized when Naoki shows up and that same glazed look comes into Chris’s eyes. Kotoko doesn’t even notice that Kin-chan enters at the same time Naoki arrives and sits right next to him.
Chris snaps out of her daze and admits she has someone she likes. Kotoko clings to Naoki instinctively, but instead Chris grabs Kin-chan and kisses him. Well that’s one way to confess. Everyone just watches in shock, mouths wide open as Chris kisses Kin-chan until he passes out.
The kiss was so shocking for Kin-chan that he’s knocked out for a while and Chris admits that she went a little overboard. Kotoko still hasn’t quite digested that Chris likes Kin-chan; what does she even see in him? Chris says Kotoko can’t tell because she has bad taste in men; Naoki isn’t even that good looking. Wrong thing to say to Naoki’s number one fangirl.
The two start bickering over which one’s better, waking up Kin-chan who decides it’s best to just turn over and ignore everything.
Moving ahead a couple of weeks, Naoki’s thesis has been accepted for presentation at a conference, so he’ll be gone for three days. Kotoko’s excited for him, though Funatsu didn’t take not getting picked well and was dragged out of the school. Naoki admits that Funatsu has skill, it’s just his personality that’s messed up.
Kotoko will be lonely without Naoki around, no to mention she hasn’t been feeling well. Naoki goes into protective husband mode and checks to see if Kotoko has a fever. He tells her to lie down so he can see her stomach and Kotoko asks if they’re playing doctor. Lol, please give me more kinky Kotoko. Naoki chides her for playing around and tells her to take it easy for a few days.
Jinko and Satomi come to visit Kotoko while she’s resting at home and Kotoko mentions that she’s been feeling nauseous and craving sour food. Irie-mama, never too far away, rushes in and deduces that Kotoko must be pregnant.
It’s not totally out of the realm of possibility as Kotoko is a little late this month, but it does seem like Irie-mama is jumping to conclusions as usual. Irie-mama is sure her instincts aren’t wrong and though Kotoko would rather go to the doctor, she tells her to just trust her and wait for Naoki to come home.
As expected, Irie-mama tells anyone and everyone so the whole school knows that Kotoko’s expecting. Kotoko can’t help but feel a little embarrassed as she hasn’t been to the doctor yet, let alone told Naoki.
Irie-mama starts preparing, buying diapers and clothes that are all pink, certain that Kotoko will have a girl. Because that worked out so well for you when had Naoki. Irie-papa comes home with a bunch of toys for boys and the two start arguing about if their first grandchild will be a girl or a boy. Yuki’s face pretty much sums up my feelings.
Kotoko’s dad rushses home with a special meal for Kotoko, though she still feels uneasy with all this attention. It starts to sink in that maybe she is having a baby and she wonders how Naoki will react to the news.
Naoki returns the next day, only to get a face full of streamers and a congratulations as soon as he walks through the door. Irie-mama urges Kotoko to tell Naoki the good news, but she has a hard time getting her words straight. She finally blurts out that they’re going to have a baby…maybe.
Naoki sees the possible baby names written on the wall and the stack of toys, gauging the situation. He asks if she’s gone to hospital and wastes no time in taking her there.
Kotoko breaks the tension as they wait in the gynecology office and asks Naoki what he thought when he heard she was pregnant. Naoki seems a little hesitant to voice his thoughts, but is spared answering as the nurse calls for Kotoko.
Naoki’s the only person in the waiting room by the time Kotoko comes out. Verdict: no baby. But we all knew that right? Kotoko apologizes for causing such a fuss over nothing and while Naoki does think she’s a little at fault, he knows his mother is the one that got carried away. With all the excitement, Kotoko’s disappointed that there’s no baby, but Naoki points out it can’t be helped.
Kotoko’s still feeling down that night as she sits outside looking at the sky. Naoki joins and tells her to go inside before she gets sick. Kotoko says it’s fine since she’s a fool and therefore won’t get sick, something Naoki can’t argue with. Kotoko pouts and says he should have corrected her. These two, so cute.
Kotoko likes looking at the stars with Naoki and says it would be nice to always see the same view with him. The two sit in silence for a while before Kotoko shares what’s been brewing in her mind.
Kotoko realizes that what she wants to do the most is support Naoki at his job and the best way she can do that is by becoming a nurse. She knows her thoughts are naive, but seeing the doctors and nurses working together at the hospital hardened her resolve.
She asks Naoki his opinion and he says being a nurse is serious and will require more determination than her part time jobs. “Being a doctor, being a nurse, you can’t do it without the feeling of wanting to save someone.”
Kotoko wants to be useful to Naoki. If saving patients means she can be useful to him, then she’ll do everything she can to help them. She’s at least confident in that. Naoki knows nothing he says will stop her anyway, so he tells her to put everything she’s got into becoming a nurse. Of course, she has to pass her test first, which puts Kotoko out a little, but she’s determined to do her best.
Naoki brings up the question Kotoko posed earlier at the gynecologist and he admits that his mind went blank when Kotoko said she was pregnant. He couldn’t get his mind in order until he was alone in the waiting room and at that moment he had a father like feeling. Kotoko asks him how that felt and he admits it felt pretty good. Aww. Kotoko snuggles up closer to him and he says he’s started to want a baby, just a little bit. Kotoko’s caught off guard when he asks if they should make one before swooping in for a kiss.
In voiceover, Kotoko says she was happy for that short time she thought she was pregnant. She hopes they have a baby too, someday.
Kotoko tries to study for her nursing exam on her own, but it doesn’t go well, so she enlists Naoki’s help. Poor Naoki can’t refuse his wife, but tutoring is no easy task when Kotoko’s only admiring his face instead of listening to his words.
Time passes and it’s finally the day of Kotoko’s exam. Kotoko’s nervous, but probably not as much as Naoki who wonders if she’ll even be able to fill in her exam number. Kotoko protests that she can do that much, only to realize she left her card at home. Thankfully her husband has it, but he’s still worried. Kotoko assures him she’ll be okay, getting pumped up and zooming off towards the exam hall. Before entering, she turns around and gives Naoki a cute “I love you.” which seems to set him at ease.
Catching up with our other couple, Chris waits around for Kin-chan after he gets off work, I’m assuming not for the first time as she’s ready to drag him off. Kin-chan makes it clear that the only one he has feelings for is Kotoko, married or not, but he does feel a little bad to see Chris waiting all night for him. However, he’s already promised to go drinking with the other chef, so he leaves Chris alone.
A dejected Chris heads home and stares at her calendar where April 2nd is marked.
Some thoughts: This episode got a few laughs out of me, mostly because of Chris. She kind of reminds me of Kotoko, except less ditzy and a bit more forward and headstrong. I honestly want some crazy hijinks with Kotoko and Chris trying to make Kin-chan fall for Chris just because there would be so much amazing fail. I’m not quite on the Chris-Kin ship yet, just because they didn’t get a lot of interaction this episode, but I’m hoping that changes with the next episode.
With the introduction of Chris, the baby drama, and Kotoko finding her career all crammed into forty minutes, this episode felt rather rushed, which is weird considering we’re only on episode three. I feel like the drama’s trying to get us to a certain point, but the journey is just as important as the destination, so I wish the show could have slowed down a little and let each of these stories breathe.
A baby was not something Kotoko or Naoki were prepared for, as it was obviously something neither of them had considered up to this point. It’s no surprise since they’re still in their early twenties and are still trying to figure out their own lives; the last thing they need is to be responsible for another one. Even if it was the result of Irie-mama going overboard, I think it was the shock the couple needed to seriously start considering their future together.
While I think Kotoko deciding to become a nurse could have been handled better instead of merely being mentioned at the beginning and the end of the episode, it’s not something that I have an issue with. The biggest strength of Itazura na Kiss is that Kotoko and Naoki work best when they’re together, serving as each other’s support as has been shown time and time again. The last episode is a great example with Naoki working hard to make the online game so he could properly focus on Kotoko. Likewise, Naoki drives Kotoko to work harder and be better, like when he tutored her and gave her tennis lessons in the first season. These two depend upon each other to grow and change, personally and professionally, and that’s why I respect Kotoko’s decision. Yes, Kotoko’s choice is borne out of her single-minded desire to always be with Naoki, but there’s no doubt in my mind that she’ll become the best nurse there is by being by his side.