If my overall feelings regarding Itazura na Kiss haven't made themselves clear by now, then I've failed both as a 'Blogger and also as a man. How can I possible feel any real love for a series with so many unlovable characters?
While the Naoki we see before us in this twentieth episode isn't quite as outright evil as the man we encountered in the first, in a way he's worse, with his almost schizophrenic attentions towards Kotoko which veer from not far short of disgust to love. How can anyone marry a person like that? Actually, on second thoughts, that side of the equation is, sadly to me, perfectly understandable, so perhaps the question should be "How can anyone marry a person like that without looking to divorce them at the earliest opportunity?".
The first half of this episode is all about Kotoko's graduation as a nurse, and aside from Naoki being an ass as usual until the very last minute where he somehow redeems himself (in Kotoko's eyes at least, I'm far better at carrying a grudge), the episode is just as much about a battle for cross-dressers to be allowed to wear a skirt to the ceremony. Okay, it's a little more complicated than that, but I think that's basically the essence of it.
Anyway, the second half of the episode whisks us four years into the future, with Kotoko as a (klutzy, of course) trained nurse. Is Naoki now a paragon of the wonders of marriage and a hugely nice guy? Is the Pope Catholic? In reality, all that is changed is that we now have new characters to ask Kotoko to leave her husband to shack up with them, and new girls to fawn over Naoki and try and lure him away. So things change, so they stay the same, which really proves once and for all that the script writers have absolutely no decent ideas beyond this tired old formula of temptation towards adultery and Naoki being rude.
With only a few episodes to go, it's certainly too late for either myself or this series to change the record, and thus we both appear doomed to just ride out these final instalments in the hope of a half-decent ending - Preferably one that involves Naoki being trapped in a space shuttle's escape pod, destined to drift through space until his oxygen runs out with nothing or no-one to comfort him in his last moments. Of course, it might prove difficult to write this into the plot of Itzaura na Kiss, but a guy can dream...