「ハッピー・ラブ・カーニバル」 (Happii Rabu Kaanibaru)
“Happy Love Carnival”
Episode at a Glance:
Being pregnant, Kotoko is thrilled about having the C-cup breast size that she’s always wanted. Later that day, she stops by Kinnosuke’s restaurant to check out his wedding photos, where everyone is surprised to find out that Christine is pregnant too. Back at home, Naoki is busy working on his medical paper, so he neglects the labour pains that Kotoko’s going through. Despite the fact that she’s expecting soon, Kotoko refrains from taking her maternity leave and continues to work for as long as she can. With Naoki busy working on his paper again, he tells Kotoko to go home first, during which she collapses from the pain. Luckily though, a woman passes by and calls an ambulance and everyone rushes off to the hospital to check up on her. With everyone glad that both her and the baby are okay, Naoki starts to feel that he’s failed as a husband for not noticing what Kotoko’s been going through, prompting Yuuki to tell him how much he’s changed—but is still cool in his eyes. Naoki then apologizes to Kotoko, who says she heard him calling out for her.
One month later, Kotoko is invited to maternity classes by Chris, and Naoki surprisingly agrees to accompany her. During class though, Kotoko suffers from labour pains again and is brought to the hospital. With her about to give birth soon, everyone decides to stay with her; however, Yuuko suddenly arrives in a stretcher with Sudou, having collapsed from overworking herself again. With no other doctors around, Naoki takes a look at her and discovers that he needs to operate on her duondenal ulcer immediately. It turns out that Naoki still lacks experience in this operation though, so the nurses frantically try to contact the other doctors who turn to be either busy or several hours away. Kotoko then arrives, asking them to let Naoki perform the operation and save Yuuko, which the head nurses eventually agree to. With Naoki performing the operation, Kotoko is forced to give birth without him, but luckily things go well on both ends.
Four years later, their daughter Kotomi is proving to be a handful for Kotoko, but still likes her father more than the boy she has a crush on.
In my attempt to provide more coverage outside our regularly covered series, Omni and I decided that it might be a good idea to bring back Patrik’s Snapshots. Except here, I plan to take a different spin on it by providing posts that follow a format more like my usual ones (e.g. more screenshots). The only thing that really makes it a Snapshot is the fact that it’ll either involve a series introduction or simply a one-off episode that I feel the urge to write about. Having marathoned Itazura na Kiss yesterday in order catch up, this turned out to be a good opportunity to do the latter. So without further ado, here’s Itazura na Kiss 24, which is techinically the finale of the series, despite there being an extra episode next week.
So as many of you may be aware, Itazura na Kiss was written by the female mangaka Tada Kaoru, which was her most successful piece of work by far. However, the manga was never completely due to her unexpected death in 1999, when she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage from hitting her head on a marble table. This most unfortunate accident occured while Kaoru was moving residences with her husband and son. She was 38 years old at the time. With Itazura na Kiss incomplete, the producers of the anime conceptualized the ending in accordance to the notes and memos that Kaoru left behind. Kaoru’s husband, Nishikawa Shigeru, states that this is the intended finale of the manga; therefore, it can probably be seen as a homage to her.
With that said, I’ve always been surprised at how often this series time lapses things, often even in the middle of an episode. Given the time period they wish to cover (i.e. from Kotoko and Naoki in high school until well after they’re married), I can understand why this is necessary, with this episode being no different. In any case, this “finale” had me on the edge of my seat near the end, since the preview from last episode had me thinking miscarriage the entire time. This thought was reiterated when Yuuko was suddenly brought in on a stretcher, making me suspect that either her surgery or things on Kotoko’s end wouldn’t go well. Much to my relief though, both turned out fine and we got to see Sudou marry Yuuko and the birth of Kotomi. The ending sequence also reveals that Kinnosuke and Chris now have a couple of boys, Motoki seems to have found a guy for himself, Keita getting closer to Akiko, Satomi and Jinko starting their own families, Yuuki with his own girlfriend, and Noriko moving on to meddle with her second son’s relationships. In short, it really felt like things have come a long way since they started, so I was happy to see things end on such a good note.
As seen below, we still have an extra episode next week, which is good bonus for those who haven’t had enough Itazura na Kiss, but I would’ve been fine with things ending here.
「ハロー・アゲイン」 (Haroo Agein)
– Irie Kotoko (入江 琴子) / Mizuki Nana (水樹奈々)
– Irie Naoki (入江 直樹) / Hirakawa Daisuke (平川大輔)
– Irie Noriko (入江 紀子) / Matsui Naoko (松井 菜桜子)
– Irie Shigeki (入江 重樹) / Nagasako Takashi (長嶝 高士)
– Irie Yuuki (入江 裕樹) / Paku Romi (朴 璐美)
– Aihara Shigeo (相原 重雄) / Shimada Bin (島田 敏)
– Kaneda Tomoko (入江 琴美) / Kaneda Tomoko (金田 朋子)
– Sudou-senpai (須藤先輩) / Ootsuka Akio (大塚 明夫)
– Matsumoto Yuuko (松本 裕子) / Masuda Yuki (増田 ゆき)
– Ikezawa Kinnosuke (池沢 金之助) / Sakaguchi Shuuhei (阪口 周平)
– Christine Robbins (クリスティーヌ・ロビンス) / Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子)
– Ishikawa Satomi (石川 理美) / Hayamizu Risa (早水 リサ)
– Komori Jinko (小森 じん子) / Yamada Kinoko (山田 きのこ)
– Kikyou Motoki (桔梗 幹) / Saiga Mitsuki (斎賀 みつき)
– Kamogari Keita (鴨狩 啓太) / Kanna Nobutoshi (神奈 延年)
– Shinagawa Marina (品川 真里奈) / Inoue Marina (井上 麻里奈)
– Ogura Tomoko (小倉 智子) / Katagai Mako (片貝 まこ)
– Hosoi Sayuri (細井 小百合) / Saitou Kimiko (斉藤 貴美子)
– Shimizu Reiko (清水 玲子) / Akaike Yumiko (赤池 裕美子)
– Nishigaki Touma (西垣 東馬) / Narita Ken (成田 剣)