They Kiss Again (2007) is the sequel of It Started with a Kiss–the 2005 Taiwanese live action adaptation of the 1999 popular Japanese manga Itazura na Kiss by Kaoru Tada. It stars Ariel Lin as Yuan Xiang Qin (袁湘琴) and Joe Cheng as Jiang Zhi Shu (江直樹). This sequel starts with the honeymoon in Guam of couple Xiang Qin and Zhi Shu and ends with the anticipation of the pregnancy of Xiang Qin. It focuses on how the young married couple weather the challenges in their lives while studying to become a nurse and a doctor. Xiang Qin’s life is fully devoted to Zhi Shu, almost to the point of complete dependency on Zhi Zhu in the sense that she loses grip on her life everytime Zhi Zhu is away from her (here, Zhi Zhu goes on military service in remote Matsu Island for a year). Zhi Zhu on the other hand, wants Xiang Qin to be independent to the point of not even answering her calls thus increasing the worries and fears of the wife on the fate of her husband. The drama shows a cold Zhi Zhu whose reaction to jealousy over a male nursing student, Yang Qing Tai, (played by Figaro Ceng, who I must say is a look alike of Japanese idol Kimura Takuya when he was in his 20s). was to completely ignore his miserable wife. This was the part when I most hated Zhi Zhu when he was at the peak of his cruelty. Not even Qiang Xin’s father could restrain himself when he hit his son-in-law to put some sense into his passive reaction or his “unhusbandly” behavior. However, after this challenge was successfully overcome by the couple, the relationship between the two became more or less “stable.” It was Ah Jin, former suitor of Xiang Qin (played by Jiro Wang), who made Zhi Zhu realize that what he was feeling for Xiang Qin was “jealousy” and since he didn’t understand the feeling or has never experienced such strong emotion in his whole boring and uninteresting life, he could not cope and thus the weird behavior unbecoming of an intelligent and mature husband. As the drama progresses, Zhi Zhu develops into a relatively kinder and more loving husband and professes his love for Xiang Qin more easily and more often.
Insterspersed with the story of Xiang Qin and Zhi Zhu are the love stories of Xiang Qin’s best friend Lin Chun Mei (played by Petty Yang) and her boyfriend, Ah Bu (Aaron Yan) , Ah Jin and English exchange student Christine Robinson (Larisa Bakurova), and Zhi Zhu’s brother Yu Shu and Lin Hao Mei. Jiro Wang as Ah Jin was a bit overacting to the point of being annoying.
As with the prequel, I like the OST. My favorite songs were Ariel Lin’s NI (You), which was the ending theme and Joe Cheng’s Zhong Yu Yuan Wei (Loyal To The Original Taste). The excellent music enhanced the mood of the drama.
An unexpected reaction of mine was crying at the sad ending when Xiang Qin learned about her incurable genetic condition and ran away while a frantic Zhi Zhu looked desperately for her. There was a scene when Zhi Zhu broke down in frustration when he just missed Xiang Qin who visited the wall where he had first kissed Xiang Qin.
The last scene showed Zhi Zhu scraping the shit on Xiang Qin’s sneakers when she stepped on it while videotaping their walk to the OB-Gyne. We are not sure if Xiang Qin is really pregnant or not but since it is Zhi Zhu who suspected it, being a doctor, he may be right (if you will recall, there was a false alarm in the early episodes when a Xiang Qin had stomach ache). This kind of ending surely calls for a Part 3. I am wishing….although it has been seven years since Part 2….