InK11-23 Does anyone else love this Christmas in June theme?  I tend to find it slightly odd when a currently airing series takes its story through particular holidays during different times of the year, but in this case I think it’s fitting that we watch our principle characters season and mature through all times of the year.  Bonus points if it gives the show plenty of time to enjoy the small things like decorating and eating special cake. Even more bonus points when said characters aren’t just sitting around looking lovey-dovey, but Naoki has given up squeezing hearts out of his eyes, and is now positively shooting love rays from every angle. It’s another mostly plot-less episode, and so predictable at times.  From the moment Jinko and Satomi introduce their boyfriends (practically out of thin air!) there wasn’t a single doubt in my mind that this girls’ time Christmas party wouldn't end up being cancelled. InK11-2 The next 20 minutes were an exercise in patience, while the episode proceeds to set up its ending sequence, and lay just a few more hints at upcoming conflict. 1)  Father-Son Business InK11-6 I’m no stranger to this storyline, but as of yet Mischievous Kiss hasn’t shown much interest in jumpstarting this part of the plot.  We’ve heard from Naoki about his determination to find his own desires in life, rather than meekly following in line with his parents’ expectations.  Think back to Naoki’s initial reluctance to even attend college in one his most daring rebelliousness moods to date.  I suspect Dad will become more and more earnest and eager for Naoki to take on his role as heir to the company.  His insistence to have his son appear at the party seems more than just a desire to have his family all around. Sadly for him though, it seems that Naoki has… 2)  A Different Plan for the Future InK11-7 As we learned from the past episode between that heart-to-heart talk between Naoki and Kotoko, Naoki has his mind set on another career goal.  Drop the business, bring on medicine.  This drama doesn’t always give viewers a lot of one on one time with our lead man, but when it does, it’s not to just watch Naoki brooding on what he plans to eat for dinner – it’s for some serious life issues. I’m glad he’s been able to share some these hopes with Kotoko, and it pretty much proves he thinks of her as his future life partner.  At least that much expectation he shares with his parents – just as long as he does it his way.  You know, with lots of purposeful taunting followed up by lame excuses for why he supposedly doesn’t think about her. InK11-9 I was so thrilled to see the prodigal son return home! I’m not even sure why he made a first appearance, but it was nice to see the family under one roof again, even if for a moment. I’ve greatly missed the family dynamic these past few episodes Naoki’s been living on his own. Of course the bigger thrill was his return home for the second time, like a thief in the night [according to Kotoko]. Is it just me, but I love how she smacked him on the head.  Not that I condone violence or anything… but sometimes I think Naoki deserves a nice whack. Welcome home! Kotoko loves Naoki! *BAM* InK11-17 Even if the joke’s halfway on her, it made me laugh when Kotoko giggles at her own mistake in the face of Naoki’s stoicism.  It’s what Kotoko does best: be light-hearted when the time calls for it.  Guess the strategy’s working well, but it couldn’t be more obvious how much Naoki has come to adore this girl. InK11-1 Even when she spends hours and hours drinking water just to watch him work.  If a guy doesn’t get scared off by that, I guess she’s safe.  Who can’t help but love a girl with such an indomitable personality. As Heisui mentioned, Kotoko is self-motivated (and resourceful!) even when she’s down. Unfortunately, this episode probably clinched the remaining hopes Kin-chan may have had. I want to be sad for him, but it would be nice if both he and the show could just move on with him already. Kin – you’re making me feel guilty about shipping the leads. Quit moping, and move on.  I get that he’s still a good friend, and I don’t see that changing any time soon (it doesn’t need to either), but if we could get rid of the sad puppy eyes, I’d feel much better all around. InK11-24 Next episode should be good. Maybe even too good?  I’m not sure, but something makes me think I’ll be missing the slowness of this episode once the real drama starts. Then again, time to move on and out!   More Mischievous Kiss posts! Stalk the Drama Club on their blogs: