Timeout: Naoki! Kotoko! Love in Tokyo!

I’ve actually managed to watch this final episode last Saturday night but poor Internet reception and having only the iPad made it impossible to write this out immediately. Let me assure you though that it pained me as much as it did to you (if you’d been anticipating this!) that this entry isn’t released sooner than it could’ve and should’ve. What can I say? So many things to squeal about!

A quick head’s up – I thought it’s only fitting to assess and discuss (okay, squeal) over episode 16 of Mischievous Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo on its own. I promise I’ll write a separate entry, an overall review of the show in due time. Let’s get right to this last episode though, so we can collectively squeal in delight at the ending because if my impatience isn’t enough proof of my excitement, let me tell ya – 83 screen caps of this episode alone!

Did you love it? Did you hate it? Personally, I LOVED IT. Like uber, madly, squealing and drunken with happiness kind of loved it.

I agree the first half of the episode was rather lackluster, or at least tonally subdued but I think this is necessary so that the finer and well-played out second half could kick in. An early warning – this entry is a lot longer (and so full of fluff and squeals, more than anything…) than the usual Timeout, which I can’t help aha cos so many scenes are too good not to share!

We pick up from last week, namely Kin-chan’s proposal to Kotoko, who is still reeling from the shock of the proposal. She ‘fessed up to Jinko and Satomi about the proposal and despite them singing praises about Kin-chan, her facial expression…

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Yeah, betrays what she feels about the situation. In my opinion she obviously wants to say no, holding back due to two reasons: 1) it’s Kin-chan who is a sweetheart, especially towards her and 2) she’s uncertain if she’s making the wrong decision by saying no when he’s only ever been nice.

Naoki is also wavering though stubbornly holding on to – or trying to – his decision to go ahead with the arranged marriage, believing so much that this is the only way to save the company. He did however, ask for the marriage to be postponed to next year, citing his father’s operation and recovery at the end of the year as the primary reasons. It took a bit of convincing but Chairman Oizumi agreed. Unsurprisingly, Naoki did not look any more relieved or happy.

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Oh Naoki, come on now – come to your senses already!

I love this shot of Kotoko as she contemplates Kin-chan’s proposal. It’s a quiet moment but one that practically spells out to us Kotoko’s true feelings: no matter how great a person and friend Kin-chan is, the answer is a very solid no.

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A knock on the door and ah, Dad is awesome in this episode. This particular scene emotionally gutted me because he’s so incredibly understanding and sincerely wants only the best (happiness) for his daughter. I love it when he stuttered in surprise, taken aback at her question on what he thinks of her marrying Kin-chan and loved him more for his answer, “Oh, don’t feel obligated to marry him because of me. Your feelings are most important to me, Kotoko.”

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The fact that the panda doll is hidden underneath the pillow is so telling of what’s to come, no?

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Date-time. Uh-oh, why does this particular place looks familiar? Kotoko is seeing alright, Kin-chan.

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Ack, Kotoko’s expression kills me, I swear. Half-surprised and half-broken, not only because the memories of her and Naoki’s first date here spiraled through to her cores but also because being back here with Kin-chan feels so weird and perhaps even… wrong.

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And of course, speak of the devil-bot himself. Appearing just at the nick of time with his fiancé, no less. Talk about awkward.

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Some embarrassing (misinterpreted) conversations later, Kotoko and Kin-chan left in a huff while Sahoko called it a day. I love her parting words to Naoki, “You don’t know your own feelings, Naoki.”

So in the end, Naoki’s left standing on his own amid the excited crowd around him. It’s a beautiful shot, tonally contemplative as it resonates to Naoki’s feelings at this particular moment. One-man island, the result of his own decisions.

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What is sad however, is how incredibly lost he looks – not just deep in thoughts, but genuinely afloat in the turbulent ocean of adulthood.

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The next day Naoki goes off in search of Kotoko – actually making the trip to the tennis court and asking about her! – but of course she’s not there. On the way out, he bumped into Matsumoto and next, Kotoko’s besties Jinko and Satomi whom personally, I don’t fancy but they’re plot plodders so as expected, they let the cat out of the bag about Kin-chan’s proposal to Naoki.

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Despite trying to keep his cool, there’s a split-second moment in which his expression betrays his façade, as usual. He not only looked shocked but also worried at the piece of news just delivered to him. On his way out to wherever – home perhaps – there’s this beautiful moment in which he stops in his tracks, pondering upon Kotoko and himself and where they stand now, as is. Based on his expression below, it’s like an epiphany just hit.

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As if hinting the calm after a long, winding storm – it suddenly rains. I love this particular scene so much primarily because of Naoki’s expression; he seems genuinely at peace, as if finally hearing and about to act upon his heart’s desire.

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This scene below, for weird reasons, has me feeling so much for him because his loneliness feels so palpable as he remains standing and unmoved, letting the rain wash over him, leaving him soaking wet. One-man island, but not for long.

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Meanwhile, Kotoko and Kin-chan’s date turned disastrous the moment Kin-chan brought up the topic of the proposal. In trying to kiss Kotoko, she’d instead yelped no and of all names… Naoki’s name. Shock and surprise hit her immediately, clear as day.

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Apologizing profusely, she ran out of the restaurant, leaving Kin-chan alone. In another heartbreaking scene of this episode, Kin-chan finally breaks down in sobs. The scene below is powerful and captivating because it captures so eloquently Kin-chan’s feelings as he sits alone, between darkness and a faint glint of light. The camera works is so telling of his current emotional state and let’s just say none of which are pleasant.

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The rain’s affecting everyone, isn’t it? Here’s Kotoko, having made it out and running like her dear life’s at stake. Her frustration at herself and confusion at the situation just minutes ago are both so palpable here. I get the sense that she’s aware of it herself that she’s running around in circles when it comes to her feelings and it’s frustrating because it’s not like she’s not trying – she clearly is! – but in the end, perhaps it’s simply too much, too soon.

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So Kotoko has her own epic breakdown moment, squatting and sobbing at the same spot she did just couple weeks ago. It’s a beautifully shot scene as the rain continues to pour.

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But whaddya know? This time it’s different, after all. Why? Well, for starters – someone’s here.

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Both Kotoko and I are holding our hearts on our sleeves as she looks up at the umbrella bearer…

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And it’s of course, none other than our resident hero! Oh Naoki, you’re turning me to goo…

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This rainy scene is another gorgeous one in a string of great scenes in this episode alone. These two remain like that for a good few seconds, both milking in each other’s presence. So romantic, gah.
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Then he kills me more – he extended his hand, she takes it…

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And I’m a goner, just like that. Oh my god my heart, emotions are on overdrive!

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Later, they walk back together and this scene is just so friggin’ gorgeous. The rain, lighting, pacing and these two under the umbrella together – it’s like even without having to exchange words, we’ve arrived at the conclusion and outcome: these two, they’re meant to be. Justifiably too because it’s taken them a long time to finally meet halfway as they are doing so, right now.

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More banters and then Naoki stopped in his tracks. They face each other and this is when I start going off on my screen cap frenzy because these two, homg my heart. Be still, please. I LOVE THIS SHOT. There’s so much suppressed emotions just waiting to boil over as they stand facing each other, finally square to the truth about what they feel towards one another.

MKLit 16-31Then! Oh my god!

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Not exactly my kinda line, but significant because ah heck, Naoki’s finally ‘fessing up!

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And swooooooon – the kiss to seal the deal, it finally happened.

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There are little things about this entire scene which I love, most especially the pacing. For some reason it feels like a lifetime has taken place, slow and easy. It’s not only them who are in the moment but we are too, just basking in on their happiness through inanimate objects and scenes of the surrounding, like the ripples formed from the raindrops as depicted below.

MKLit 16-36Aw man, Naoki’s really bringing his A-game.

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Kotoko, bless her, cutely said that this is the second kiss and that’s when he said the swooniest statement ever for my ears. I literally squealed and giggled like a loon, so happy for them both!

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Then of course he’s to seal the deal once more, swooping her up for one more kiss. I LOVE IT.

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Can I also say that I absolutely love it when he hugs her and how he does so? It’s like she THE most precious thing in his life, for real, as he holds her close and tight.

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I’m pretty sure he was nuzzling her too, which ack, too romantic. Naoki, who knew you’re actually a closeted romantic?!

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Naoki, being his typical bulldozer-minded self, immediately asked for permission to wed Kotoko in front of the entire family.

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For some unknown reasons, I love this particular shot below. It’s like he’s stealing a glance at Kotoko (but really, he isn’t) and I just find this to be so sweet. I don’t know why, though perhaps it’s because this shot depicts Naoki’s attitude towards Kotoko throughout the show – always the silent observer, without her having a clue that he’s been into her all this while, all along.

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Of course it’s a yes! Much to everyone’s delight, especially Irie-Mama.

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And then… Whaddya know, more cute scenes! Gah this show, it’s trying to be the death of me, for real. This scene is just PRECIOUS.

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She said she’s scared because she’s afraid things will be back to the usual come morning. To which he nonchalantly and cheekily replies,

MKLit 16-52OMG SAY YES KOTOKO, SAY YES!!!

(ahem)

Unfortunately she said no (darn, girl!), but at least she got this out of him! SO CUTE.

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And again, as I’d stated earlier – the way he hugs her is beyond romantic. Seriously it’s like she’s the most precious thing in the world and he doesn’t want to lose her ever again, especially after having come so close to that. There is such tenderness in the gesture that’s incredibly moving.

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The next day, Irie-Mama is back at it again… You just know she is, based on her gleeful facial expression as seen below.

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Turns out it’s an invitation to their own wedding, right then and there at the church. See, even all their friends are in attendance!

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Someone’s about to be a bride, ack I can’t believe it.

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There’s this really random and somewhat weird conversation and phrase said by Yuki to Kotoko but the important part is basically that he’s finally letting her in on the secret we’ve all been privy to. You know, that epic second kiss?

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In a moment of defeat and acceptance, the two men shake hands as truce. Kin-chan’s all bravado in the beginning but once he retrieves his hand, his expression is hilarious – somewhere between laughing and crying. I’m also loving this particular scene because of the white versus black donned by the guys – simple, but gets the point across that these two are different gentlemen and thus, there can only be one winner.

MKLit 16-70Here comes the bride! I’m weeping in excitement.

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And the groom! The look on his face? Gahhh, can I theorize that Naoki is squealing internally?

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Wonderfully done scene of the wedding, including when Dad and Kotoko walked down the aisle. Kotoko’s all grown up now, sob.

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Hands are exchanged and well, this is it folks – get excited, if you’re not already. Our couple’s actually getting hitched!

MKLit 16-75Almost man and wife…

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And finally they’re it, sealed with another kiss! What more it’s initiated by Kotoko herself, much to Naoki’s surprise.

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Dear God help me, these two are just too cute for words. Look at the way he’s looking and grinning at her! Naoki, you should’ve just confessed way back when and not wait until the finale, you man-child you.

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Our resident couple will finally begin a new chapter in their lives, together!

I wouldn’t coin this a happy ending because marriage does not automatically equal happiness but I will say that they’re obviously gaga over each other and overjoyed, which is simply lovely to witness.

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It’s been a long but incredibly enjoyable ride – here’s to Mischievous Kiss ~ Love in Tokyo!

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Once more – an overall review will be written in due time, so watch this space!


4 thoughts on “Timeout: Naoki! Kotoko! Love in Tokyo!

  1. Let me say first that I really love your review. I am in the Camp of I love the Ending. After stalking the blogosphere and tumblr, reading various reviews, saving lots and lots of pic especialy those with Naoki in it, I am so in love with this drama and mostly with Furukawa Yuki’s portrayal of Naoki. And my baby Kotoko, the character in other versions really irritates me but here I just want to squish her cheeks. This drama had me read the manga and the characterisation followed the manga to a T. My drama of the year. It is not without fault of course, a higher budget will make a whole lot of different, but in the heart of it the main cast and how fell in love really speaks to me.I have watched other versions and this is the first time I felt the main character are truly in love with each other and in a balance relationship. In other versions I felt , because of the persistance of the heroin ,the hero at last give in creating him having the upper hand in the relationship.

    My favourite scenes in ep 16, all scenes leading to the rain kiss and all the way to the wedding. Who knew our Naoki could sweet talk Kotoko in the last line after seeing him unleashing that side of him to other females besides Kotoko. I am still squealing here, yes Kotoko why don’t you take him on his offer to sleep with you. At last Naoki is not restraining himself towards Kotoko anymore. The need to touch and hold her is a joy to see. With the great burden lifted from his heart, just love to see them being happy together.

    1. Hi Sara! Knew i would see you here again :) I totally agree with you about loving Kotoko – same here, I could not for the life of anyone love the other two versions (to be honest there was nothing in both I liked, so I jumped into this one super skeptically too) but the actress acted her with so much sincerity. Green on the acting and very young (she’s only 16!) but really, so endearing. As for Furukawa Yuki… Augh, he’s PERFECT as Naoki. Once again, I’m still not entirely convinced to call him a good actor but he’s definitely great as Naoki, bot that he sometimes is notwithstanding. I’ll try to talk more on the balanced relationship between the two you mentioned in my overall review when I can get to it later, cos I totally agree too!

      About ep 16, I’ll say that our wish was granted, the one we made last week about wanting kisses and happiness between the two :D Trust Jdramas, indeed, to deliver in 50 minutes haha!

  2. I admired your share and love to work love in tokyo.
    The movie is more becautiful by your lines :)
    Give us more of your share. I felt like I get closer to you since we both so much life the attitude and fresh love in this Japanese verson.
    Always have good days, drear friend.
    Best regard,
    Hong Nhung

  3. I love your review and the drama so much~
    But as for the last episode, I kind of feel like the pacing was too fast, but oh well haha~

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