Shoujo anime is not my favorite genre, but I do enjoy it every now and then. Skip Beat for example is still one of my favorites (and I'm still waiting for the second season to it) and Full Moon wo Sagashite was also very heartwarming anime. Most of the time though, Shoujo anime is the one genre that causes me most headache. Headache, which is caused by a huge amount of facepalms.
Itazura na Kiss was luckily one of the animes that had a lot less facepalm moments so in the end of it, I walked away without a headache. Though it was 6:00 AM at that time, because I watched the entire series in one sitting, so the only place I walked out of it was straight to bed. Not many animes can actually keep me interested enough to watch it from beginning to end in one sitting, so the series was at least able to do that.
On to the actual review.
Itazura na Kiss offers nothing new to the genre. It does however show the "happily ever after" that most other animes leave to your imagination, which immediately puts it on the same page as Clannad After Story. For me, the half way point was the turning point of this anime as everything before the half way were just generic romance anime that I have seen so many times before. As it delves into the married life section, a feeling of dread came over me. Not because marriage scares me (being a guy and all), but because of Clannad After Story. That anime seriously scarred me for life since I was constantly expecting something awful to happen and shatter the smooth happiness that this anime was all about. I'm not exaggerating when I say that nothing bad happens in this anime. Not a single thing. Sure there are a lot of crying and all sorts of hassle, but nothing has any effect in the grand scheme of things. And after Clannad After Story, I was pleased with this fact.
The characters in this anime are very standard. Aihara Kotoko is the idiot with heart of gold. Irie Naoki is the typical cool and bright student that everyone admires but no one can approach. Neither of them change much throughout the anime. Irie becomes more open to express his feelings, but not much else change with them. Everyone else are just backround with a few characters here and there that rise above the others. Ikezawa Kinnosuke (Kin-chan) for example becomes a very central character at one point, but soon falls back into the backround. He is also one of the few characters that go through a complete transformation throughout the anime. He starts as an annoying idiot, who wants nothing but to love Kotoko. Slowly he stops being an annoyance and starts becoming a strong and dependable character that I started to like. Luckily in this anime, everyone gets a happy ending.
All in all, Itazure na Kiss starts very slowly and very blandly, but after the halfway point it becomes more interesting in both character development and storywise. Itazura na Kiss is an anime to watch, when you are not in a mood for tragedies or just want to uplift yourself with a series full of happiness. Though do be careful of the crashland back to the cruel reality.