Itazura Na Kiss 2 by Kaoru Tada: B+

One could easily expend five hundred words or more relaying all the ups and downs contained in this double-sized volume of Itazura Na Kiss, but the most important facts are these: Kotoko and Naoki graduate from high school and move on to attend the same college, where Kotoko’s attempts to fit into Naoki’s world generally meet with embarrassing results. They also share a single, somewhat spiteful, kiss, and various events lead Kotoko to proclaim her intention to give up on Naoki, just in time for a renewal of close proximity that makes this impossible to achieve.

This series is a fine example of a romantic comedy that puts equal emphasis on both factors. Not that Kotoko’s relationship with Naoki is romantic yet—he is still too mean to her for that to be true—but there are quite a few comedic scenes in which the two leads do not appear at all that serve to further flesh out the setting and supporting characters. The least amusing of these tend to feature Kin-san, a persistent classmate who carries a torch for Kotoko, while the best revolve around Naoki’s mother, who is an avid supporter of a relationship developing between Kotoko and her son.

Though it can be a little painful to observe the desperate floundering of people in love, the end result is a story that’s consistently entertaining. Even after consuming 300+ pages in one sitting, I still wanted more.

Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.

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