DramaFever is getting our first Japanese simulcast, Itazura na Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo, or MISCHIEVOUS KISS: LOVE IN TOKYO.
Sure, you've probably seen the Korean version of Playful Kiss
too, but do you know the history of the famous story before that?
Buckle down and let me take you on a trip down memory lane!
The original manga was a shōjo (for young women) series titled Itazura na Kiss
, written and illustrated by Kaoru Tada. The twenty three volume series revolves about a not-so-bright high school student Kotoko who falls for the school's straight-A golden boy Naoki. In a freak twist of fate, Kotoko's house collapses in a small earthquake and she and her father must temporarily move in with her father's best friend. At her new home, Kotoko finds her fathers friend's son is none other than Naoki himself!
The manga was published from 1991 until 1999, when the author died unexpectedly at 38 due to a fall at home. The manga was therefore never finished.
Following the manga, a 9 episode live action version of Itazura na Kiss
was released by TV Asahi. The series ran in late 1996 and starred Sato Aiko as Aihara Kotoko and Kashiwabara Takashi as Irie Naoki.
Then, a 25 episode anime adaptation was released in 2008. Because the manga was never finished, the conclusion of the anime relied on the late author's handwritten notes for the planned ending. According to the author's husband, this would be the first time the unfinished manga's ending would be conceptualized.
In 2005, the manga was rereleased as a Taiwanese television drama, It Started With a Kiss
(惡作劇之吻). The drama reached immense success, and catapulted both leads, Ariel Lin and Joe Cheng, to huge stardom. It was so promising that a sequel was made (They Kiss Again
) in 2007. This version was based on the first ten volumes of the manga, up to the wedding of the couple. The sequel continuous to follow the married couple and their career and relationship ups and downs.
The South Korean version of the story was born in 2010 with the drama Playful Kiss
, starring Jung So Min as Oh Ha Ni and Kim Hyun Joong as Baek Seung Jo. Despite the presence of the popular Kim Hyun Joong, this version attained mild success within Korea (although it was somewhat popular internationally). The Taiwanese and Korean versions were nearly identical in plot, but on average, the Taiwanese version's ratings ranked much higher.
Now this year in Japan at the end of March, another version of the beloved story will be released as Itazura na Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo.
It stars sixteen year old Miki Honoka as Aihara Kotoko and twenty five year old Furukawa Yuki as Irie Naoki. Honoka follows Ariel Lin and Jung So Min as the bumbling Kotoko, a role portrayed as a cute but "plain" type of girl.
Which one's your favorite version? Will you be watching our new Japanese simulcast?
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