I love this anime so much, it is my comfort food. This must be my 3rd time watching (not as bad as my skip beat record, currently on 5)and I do love it so. Sadly I will never read the manga, as the mangaka died before its completion (perhaps an explanation for the last episode, more on that in a moment), cleaning her marble floor she cracked her head open and died (a ridiculous amount of mangakas die this way, I’m on 3 and counting), hence they used her sketch plan drawings to create an anime that finished the story.
The art is cute and simple, parallel with Kotoko herself. Despite being the typical dim helpless but determined protagonist in a shoujo, shes the best I have found yet. Not once have I hated her, or found her ridiculously annoying. In fact she is endearing and down to earth in comparison to her super cold love, Irie-kun. Irie himself can be a tad irritating, because he is cold, but that gets sorted out and he gets his karma for that, so don’t you worry.
The plot and character development is beautiful. It is nothing other worldly. Its just life, played out with a bit of shoujo plot developments, (ie romance walks etc) but it is beautiful. Kotoko and Irie’s relationship is shown from high school, through uni, to their chosen professions, and beyond. And it is beautiful. The people they meet and their relationships along the way were entertaining and dusted in fluff, and this was beautiful also. Apparently the manga was hugely successful when it was running over a decade ago, and I can see why. You know why? Yup, because it’s beautiful, in its unique simplistic, comedic, heart warming manner.
But I cannot bring myself to watch the last episode again.
The little daughter and the whole daddy complex and Kotoko being belittled by someone yet again, and this time its her daughter and a toddler at that really pissed me off. Flashback plot of it was, as I remember it really nice, and sweet at the end, even with the child. But I am not putting my blood pressure through that even for feels.
But y’know, clearly this wasn’t enough to stop me coming back for a rewatch again and again. The plot was unlike anything else, and beautifully stretched across an extended timeline in a manner I have never seen before, making room for creative arcs that suit the story and don’t feel just jammed in, as I feel they could have, had the anime not been created the way it was. Its a unique and beautiful anime, (SPOILER despite : bro don’t slap your wife when she’s not even hysterical SPOILER END ) , and a must watch for anyone who even even watched one episode of shoujo and enjoyed it. Hell even if you hate shoujo, watch it. Its a pure classic in my opinion. Mild character flaws here and there, but in the real world, everyone’s a little ridiculous and has such flaws anyway.
Itazura na Kiss, a beautiful anime that will make you simply smile. 5/5