InK12-2 Well now that Heisui described this episode as more “slice-of-life” than most of the previous episodes, I almost feel a little bad about not liking it so much.   Maybe it’s because I feel that this drama gives me whiplash sometimes with its problematic pacing issues.   Episode 11 was a slow burn that made me love it, despite having very little forward plot movement.  Then 12 arrived with yet another time jump, dully announced.   How can you just casually announce that nothing happened after that sweet, longing, stare-into-the-eyes moment over Christmas cake and mood lighting? Drama - why?? Nande?? Moving on. InK12-9 This was Kotoko’s episode, more than anything else.   It’s about time she’s given more than a passing moment to dwell on her future.   Up until now her focus is purely on Naoki, and while it’s cute to watch, it’s hardly realistic – plus, it doesn’t exactly give off a good message for girls.   I winced and cringed all the way through Kotoko’s fantasies of landing a [subordinate] job to whatever Naoki does in life, but at least there was a point to it all. InK12-1 At least she knows that this is silly and she’s going to have to start thinking for herself.  Good girl.  You’re on the right track now, Kotoko!   Even if she does end up being a helpmate for her future husband (as the Irie family desperately wishes), I’m glad that she’s giving some actual thoughts to her currently direction-less existence. (P.S. Good luck to Jinko if she hopes she’s going to find a band and turn them into a raging success – That’s not going to be easy!  Hope it’s not her boyfriend’s band.  His Christmas Eve song was…. Ouch) inK12-11 I also agree that Naoki was quite lackluster this episode.   It’s not his fault though.   He’s got almost nothing to work with, and for the most part he is overshadowed by Kin simply because Kin – poor baby – wears his heart on his sleeves, and somehow that gives him leeway to have more heart-to-heart talks of a serious nature. InK12-5 Now, I am prone to forgiving these silent types for their lack of initiative, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Naoki is damned lucky Kotoko is so loyal to him.  Had this not been a drama, I would have told that girl to give up on him long ago, and said a hearty good riddance.  If Naoki seriously likes her, there is absolutely no reason to keep a girl dangling for this amount of time.  It’s been nearly two years already, and the only thing we’ve got to go on is Naoki’s confession that… dun dun dun! He wants to be a doctor. Wishful translation: “Kotoko I love you and want to share my life with you and that’s the only reason why I told you directly about my dream to become a doctor.”  Let me emphasis the “wishful” part of this translation.  I know in a sense it’s true, but couldn’t there be just a tad bit more to say….? Oh well. I will wait patiently. InK12-3 So, should we be excited to have yet another love rival, from whom I expect nothing eventful?   Drama love rivals usually act in such a way to spur on the main lovers to actually do something with their feelings.  However it’s been a few good episodes since Yuko was considered a menace, and Naoki already had his fun leading her on at the expense of making Kotoko jealous.    What exactly is the role of the new girl?  Will she finally annoy him enough for Naoki to unexpectedly make a public proposal to Kotoko?  (I swear, nothing less will appease me at this point).  But I wish the girl luck – not really. InK12-10 This is the only kind of family gathering I want to see. Only I’d replace the bored expression on Naoki’s face with a grin, and his arm around Kotoko, not his glass.  Such a shame this happy little family party was upset by the parents-son discussion, Naoki’s exit, and dad’s not so unexpected collapse. What contrivances shall we see next week?   Hopefully some that will also create more one on one Naoki-Kotoko time. PS. Don't forget to watch Yuki-kun's exclusive video for his DramaFever fans here! Read more from the Mischievous Kiss Drama Club:  Stalk the Drama Club on their blogs: