After just writing about how Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu manages to trump an average plot with lovable character, it's rather ironic that my next task was to tackle the latest episode of Itazura na Kiss, a series with more in the way of a plot, but a bunch of characters that you can't help but hate.
Once again, Naoki's shambolic marriage to Kotoko has to be seen to be believed - What kind of married couple can trade one of them passing their exams for a date? They're marriage for God's sake; dates just happen when you're married, they aren't some kind of bargaining tool! This is perhaps only trumped by Kotoko having a pregnancy scare, as the idea of her and Naoki having any sort of intimacy is... well, laughable. Besides, if she were to have Naoki's baby, it would doubtless turn out to be some kind of demonic klutz, which I shudder at the thought of.
Oddly though, none of this is really the focus of the episode, with those aspects seemingly shoe-horned into an episode that really concentrates on the relationship (or lack thereof) between Chris and Kinnosuke. Again, we somehow manage to be convinced that the best way to build a relationship is to wear down the other party by being as irritating as possible until they give in, and as with Kotoko this seems to work somewhat for Chris in the end. After making fun of the possibility of some of Allison to Lillia's writing a good parenting guide, I could soon see this followed up by Chris and Kotoko's best-seller, "How To Get The Man You Want By Dogged Persistence Alone (Even Though He's An Asshole)". A catchy title, I'm sure you'll agree.
By now, there doesn't seem to be much point in me hiding my feelings that I wanted virtually all of these characters (Kotoko excluded perhaps) to die in a fire and put us all out of our misery. It sounds harsh I know, but I really can't find anything to like about any of these characters, with Naoki in particular proving to be as bad a husband as he was a man prior to marriage, which is beyond unforgiveable for a series that, at it's core, is supposed to be about love. For a romantic comedy, there's a distinct lack of humour to be found in having a spouse whose an asshole.