Episode twelve of Itazura no Kiss was the moment when I finally lost almost all patience with this series, to the extent where I ever found myself railing against the mostly cute Kotoko, such were my frustrations with the series.
As we reach the half-way point of the show, a large chunk of this episode only served to reinforce those beliefs, with demonstrations of selfishness from a number of the major characters, from Naoki and his mother through to Kinsuke - It's the kind of attitude that's riled me up more and more while watching this series, and I can't simply ignore it any more.
Thankfully, there are a few moments in this episode where Itazura no Kiss finally gets its emotional tone about right - Hey, it only took thirteen long, laborious and painful episodes, what's the rush? Kotoko breaking down in tears as her father suggests leaving the Irie household for good to forget about Naoki actually moved me a bit, and while the ending of the episode was a little too saccharine and cliched for its own good it does at least give us some real progress thanks to Naoki finally admitting his feelings.
While this may sound like the kind of event that should elicit street parties and a national holiday, things aren't over just yet - Quite simply, Naoki is still an asshole, and it's going to take the second half of this series a lot of work to convince me otherwise. While he has at least dragged himself out of the gutter by admitting his feelings, that's only a very small step along the long and winding road towards actually becoming a likeable character.