Ryu’s Musings – Itazura na Kiss Volume 04

9781569701911 ISBN-13: 9781569701911
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 360
by: Kaoru Tada
Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Type: Series
Genre: Shojo, Drama, Romance


High school senior Kotoko Aihara has had a crush on Naoki Irie since freshman year. Unfortunately, there a few things are discouraging her from to him: he’s a member of "Class A," the top ranking class in school, whereas she’s in "Class F"; he gets the top score on every exam; and he’s so smart, popular and handsome that he’s been class president every year. When Kotoko finally musters up the courage to present him with a love letter, though, Naoki outright refuses it, telling her point blank–with a look of disgust and boredom—that he doesn’t like "stupid girls." Poor Kotoko’s worst nightmare! Her heart is broken, but then a change in circumstance forces Naoki and Kotoko to be together every day…!?

Character Musings:

Kotoko Aihara is the heroine of the series, she’s not the brightest bulb in the pack. But what she lacks in smarts she makes up for in determination and her happy go lucky personality. As a character she’s well developed, personality wise, and while she does grow over the three volumes she starts off well rounded.

Naoki Irie is the complete reverse of Kotoko, he’s one of the smartest students in Japan, but also a rather apathetic person who has closed himself off. This does cause some problems for Tada, trying to bring out his personality well is very hard due to his cold nature. If it’s done wrong we’d have a character that just didn’t work. Thankfully Tada pulls it off perfectly.

These two characters are the main characters, and frankly, the atmosphere  between the two of them is amazing. It worked splendidly and I found myself being drawn more and more into their relationship.

General Musings:

An other excellent volume. The story flows at a bit slower pace in this volume, but doesn’t lose any of it’s style or feel.

I loved the first part of the series, dealing with Yuki’s hospital stay. Primarily because we get to see Kotoko mature a little bit, and start thinking of things beyond her desire for Naoki. And we also get to see Naoki thawing a bit more due to the plight of those around him. Yuki was another character I found myself liking more and more. In the previous volumes he was never quite right for me, but in this volume he comes into his own and becomes a very interesting, if a bit twisted character.

The first part of the volume also included some comedy scenes, such as the ghost of the hospital. I really enjoyed reading this part of the volume, it started off great with humour and laughs and went from strength to strength.

The second arc in the volume starts off with a reused image, with Kotoko doing her fright impression. Though I have to admit I didn’t mind it so much this time, for some reason it did fit the setting.

Sadly this second arc didn’t really work out that well, and I feel it was rushed and not really given a chance to bloom. This arc deals with Kotoko getting a confession, and how she and those around her deal with it. Personally I think this would have been an excellent arc if more time had been spent on it, but it’s short and to the point, and a bit disappointing in a way.

The next few arcs of story were predictable and while i got a few laughs from it, I also ended up feeling like this volume was a bit “scenario of the week” or rather scenario of the chapter. While they did all interconnect, it also felt weird, to many events being thrown together.

The arc where both Naoki and Kotoko finally go to work at Naoki’s dad’s company was rather funny, some interesting revelations along the way, as well as getting to see just how much of a genius Naoki really is, as well as just how much of an idiot Kotoko is. What I really liked those was we got to see Naoki reaffirming his statement from an earlier volume about how he envies the way Kotoko looks at things. The way this arc worked out was very well scripted, though the ending was sort of obvious.

The last two arcs were probably my favourite for this volume. The first deals with Christmas, and while nothing major happens, it was a nice change of pace, and a bit touching. The final arc though was amazing, and that’s all I’ll say on it ‘cause anymore would be a spoiler 😀 Needless to say the last arc was totally out of left field and unexpected, I’m eagerly awaiting volume five now to see the after effects of the revelations!!

All told i really enjoyed this volume, and i have to admit that i didn’t mind the art so much. In fact I’m really getting into this series now. Guess this proves that art doesn’t make a series 😀

Author: Ryu Sheng