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June 4, 2010

Bento Bako Bonus: Itazura na Kiss vol. 2

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Written by: Kristin
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Title: Itazura na Kiss
Author: Kaoru Tada
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Volume: Volume 2 (see my review of volume 1 here)
Vintage: 2008 by Fairbell in Japan, May 2010 by DMP
Romantic comedy, old school shojo, young teens and up

The story so far: Airhead Kotoko finally gathered up the courage to confess her feelings to super genius Naoki Irie, but he coldly rejected her.  When her new house crumbled to the ground after a small earthquake, Kotoko and her father moved in with the Irie family, putting Kotoko in very close proximity with the boy she loves.  Too bad he hates her.  Naoki’s mother loves her, though, and does everything she can to try to get the two of them together.  Angry at Naoki’s treatment, Kotoko decided to crush him during the exams…but she had to have Naoki tutor her.  Later they heard their parents discussing house renovations, to make room for a married Naoki and Kotoko.  Naoki, as usual, erupted in fury and destroyed the blueprints.  However, at the school sports meet, Naoki showed some kindness by carrying an injured Kotoko to the infirmary.  In another amazing miracle, Naoki helped tutor Kotoko’s entire class for their college entrance exams.

Things haven’t changed much by volume 2.  Naoki and Kotoko still live under the same roof.  Naoki’s life is still turned upside down by Kotoko’s presence.  But there are some subtle changes.  Naoki actually seems grateful for Kotoko’s presence, though unfortunately not in a way she would like.  As his life is normally boring and generic, Naoki finds himself welcoming Kotoko’s presence because it brings some excitement into his life.  Of course, this “excitement” generally involves running him ragged trying to deal with outrageous rumors, or having his schedule disrupted by Kotoko’s abnormally bad luck and clumsiness.  Like when Kotoko accompanies him when he goes to take his entrance exam for Tokyo University, and she gets appendicitis along the way, causing Naoki to miss the exam while he takes her to the hospital.  It shakes things up, but it doesn’t make him any less annoyed, or behave any less coldly toward her.  In fact, he’s even worse.  When Kotoko decides she’s finally had enough of his abuse, she swears to forget him…and Naoki responds by giving her a kiss on the lips.  What a twisted guy!  He keeps rejecting her, but keeps giving her hope and stringing her along at the same time.  It only gets more confusing from there.

Naoki, despite his hurtful words and actions, appears to be exhibiting a human emotion – jealousy!  Unconsciously, of course.  Emotionally inept Naoki doesn’t appear to realize what it is he’s doing, and Kotoko would never expect such a thing.  But as readers, we can see those feelings begin to develop.  It’s subtle, and it’s agonizingly slow, but Kotoko seems to be wearing him down.  Mrs. Irie’s constant interference and inability to mind her own business might be helping.  But Kotoko’s unending perseverance just might be paying off.  I should emphasize again that it’s happening slowly.  Kotoko has a rival, a woman, named Matsumoto, on Naoki’s level who is practically throwing herself at him.  It’s all Kotoko can do to keep up; she even desperately joins the tennis club along with them, despite how terrible she is athletically.

Kinnosuke hasn’t given up on Kotoko yet.  He keeps shoving himself into her life, taking a job at her father’s restaurant, and working in the cafeteria at her college.  Unfortunately his constant antagonizing of Naoki is part of what sets his rival off, so he may be doing more harm to his cause than good.  A new character has also been introduced, causing even more trouble.  Tennis club member Sudo, who himself is in love with Matsumoto, decides to work with Kotoko to try and get the attention of the person they each love.  Unfortunately it seems to be backfiring badly….  You’ll have to read volume 2 to learn more, and volume 3 to see how it plays out (it was in May’s Previews and should be out this July or August).


Review copy provided by Digital Manga Publishing.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: New review: @digitalmanga's Itazura na Kiss vol 2 https://comicattack.net/2010/06/bbbitazura2/ #manga […]

  2. […] Manga) Greg McElhatton on vol. 5 of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Read About Comics) Kristin on vol. 2 of Itazura Na Kiss (Comic Attack) Liz McKinney on vol. 5 of Maid Sama (Manga Life) Shaenon Garrity on Monster Men […]

  3. […] Manga) Greg McElhatton on vol. 5 of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Read About Comics) Kristin on vol. 2 of Itazura Na Kiss (Comic Attack) Liz McKinney on vol. 5 of Maid Sama (Manga Life) Shaenon Garrity on Monster Men […]

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