Pimp that Manga: Faster than a Kiss (Kisu yori mo Hayaku)

I’ll be the first to argue that the quality of mangas has been on a steady decline since the late-90s. But as an addict of the original brand of crack, I can’t help but still read them regularly. Call it a habit, or perhaps just a fervent hope that occasionally I’ll hit on that one jackpot (such as I did with Atatsuki no Aria earlier this year). Before I read AnA, I actually read a few passable teen school mangas that were not steeped in misogyny or random groping (Hot Gimmick, imma talking to you), and I’m here to talk about one that I actually like very much. It’s not great, but being solidly good is quite a feat in itself these days. I hereby present Faster than a Kiss (Kisu yori mo Hayaku) by Tanaka Meca.

The first time I read it, when only 6 books had been published, I told my sister that I was reading a manga that was just perfect for a live-action adaptation. Back then I didn’t have anyone in mind for the roles of the OTP, a 24 year old glasses-wearing high school teacher who is a reformed delinquent and the 16 year old student he marries out of compassion and protective instinct. But now I do. This story is tailored made to reunite Daito Shunsuke and Kawaguchi Haruna onscreen again. Japan, you make it happen! As for the story itself, read on for a quick synopsis of its cuteness.

The story centers around a 16 year old girl Kaji Fumino, who loses her parents in a car accident and finds herself and her 5 year old brother shunted from relative to relative. Tired of depending on the goodwill of others, and not much of a student in school, Fumino decides to drop out of school and work to raise her little brother Teppei herself. Her English teacher, 24 year old Ojiro Kazuma, overhears her making this decision and offers to help Fumino if she won’t quit school. Fumino asks him what he can possibly do for her! In frustration she asks rhetorically if he can he marry her and take care of her and Teppei? Kazuma smiles and says yes, he’ll marry her if she stays in school. So therein starts the world’s most chaste and illicit marriage between a teacher and student.

We discover later that Kazuma, a former delinquent who turned his life around because of meeting a great teacher, takes a deep concern into the welfare of his students. So when Fumino is at the brink of throwing her future away, he steps in and marries her purely out of compassion and a sense of protectiveness. Their marriage is purely so she can live with him, but remains chaste because neither are expecting to consummate the marriage for real. But through the course of the story, gradually Kazuma and Fumino fall in love, with Teppei as the world’s cutest cupid any chance he gets.

What’s great about this story is that while there is a lot of romantic tension, Kazuma knows how young Fumino is and how her feelings can be unreliable due to her age, so he makes a very concerted effort to keep his respectful distance from her. Kazuma is a wonderfully cheerful guy, and has lots of quirks that add much humor to the oddball family he created with Fumino. For instance, because he enjoys the illusion of a family life, the only requirement he asks of Fumino and Teppei is for them to cosplay cute outfits to welcome him home. What follows is really a study in relationship development between two people who clearly adore each other but aren’t quite sure what do in a situation that is so odd.

I like Faster than a Kiss because the story, however simple, is told in a sweet, humorous, and tender way. There are no gimmicks, and Fumino behaves like a teenager while Kazuma is just so swoonworthy as the perfect teacher/husband. There are plenty of interesting side characters to liven up the story, which is pretty much a series of vignettes dealing with school issues that run parallel with the growing affection between Fumino and Kazuma.

Later in the story, Kazuma’s younger half brother Shoma makes an appearance, and to no one’s surprise, he becomes a potential third party interloper between Kazuma and Fumino’s paper marriage that is fast becoming a real one in emotional attachment. But the author does not create unnecessary angst and all the characters behave rationally and admirably no matter how complicated their feelings are getting. By the end of book 8, Fumino is studying hard so she can become worthy of being with Kazuma in the future, and Kazuma tells Shoma point blank that if Shoma likes Fumino, he should compete directly with Kazuma for her. Oh hells yes, things are getting soooo good.

As for any live-action adaptation, which this story is perfect for (the school setting, the marriage-secrecy hijinks, the cute kid Teppei, the chaste but romantic developments between Kazuma and Fumino), clearly this story screams out for Shunsuke and Haruna, whose 9 year age difference makes them perfect for the roles of Kazuma and Fumino. Plus they even look the part! As for little Teppei, they totally need to get that cute little Piitaro from Zenkai Girl over here. Gah, why can’t I have this now! Until my dream becomes a reality, I’ll just insert their faces into the manga as I read it. But all kidding aside, Faster than a Kiss is quite a cute little thing that I recommend as a breezy read without much brain hurting angst and plenty of squeeworthy moments hidden within.

Compared to the other famous teacher-student married manga My Wife is a High School Girl (Oku-sama wa Joshi Kลsei) by Kobayashi Hiyoko, I like Faster than a Kiss much better. It’s lessย melodramatic and convoluted. Plus the relationship in My Wife had the guy actually watching the girl grow up before marrying her, which was totally squicky now that I think about it. I like how Fumino and Kazuma really start off as student and teacher and through a situation caused by a tragedy, they forge a new and different family together through honesty, respect, and emotional growth as a couple.


Pimp that Manga: Faster than a Kiss (Kisu yori mo Hayaku) — 63 Comments

  1. Ms Koala if you give me Shunsuke and Haruna in that last drawing up there….I think my computer screen would have a meltdown.That is way too much skinship for my brain to compute @__@

    You…will be so glued rewatching you’ll forget to recap for us ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. i like it! i really wish that the aforementioned two actors will once again act as a couple!ahem!(i might say the “faster than a kiss!”) its a light and refreshing manga, and all the characters has their own purpose. ๐Ÿ™‚ Koala, thumbs up for your wonderful idea!

    • I might add: can they do that again the particular scene from high school club episode 5?? that’s the best lesson learned ever!!

      • There are tons of scenes in FtaK that are like the Ouran ep5 bed scene btw Haruhi and Kyoya. *fans self*

  3. Ah this would be a very cute live action drama!
    I really miss the shojo type jdrama genre. Lately Jdramas seem to be focusing on serious real life themes. They’re great, but at the end of a long tiring day, shojo crack is the best to unwind to.

    Ah Daito and Haruna would be so perfect for these roles ^___^. I’ve read some of this manga before, but have yet to finish it. Kyoya and Haruhi’s fandom is growing, so I think we would be seeing them as a OTP very very soon. *crosses fingers*
    Have you heard of Dengeki Daisy? I’ve read a few chapters, and I think it may be a possible live-action Daito and Haruna would also fit into. Ah if fangirls were to direct/write dramas, how different the world shall be.

    • Oh I’ve read Hot Gimmick as well… It was my first time that I ‘hated’ the lead male. *sigh* I suddenly remembered the scar that manga left me v_v…it’s still burning~

      • I hate everything about Hot Gimmick. Not just the horrific male lead I wanted to brain pan, everything about that manga was just vile.


    I think your casting is 500% spot-on – I swoon just thinking about it. I think if we all join forces and beam thoughts towards whoever makes these decisions in Japan, we might get to see this…next year? One can only hope.

    Seriously. I need to see this!

    • Hee. Right, right? I did find them THE perfect drama vehicle to reteam and collectively blow our minds. They can totally do this drama by the end of next year when Shunsuke is done with his Taiga duty. Kinda koping his character gets off sooner rather than later. XD

      Sigh, I need them together so bad it’s like a illness at this point.

  5. i love this manga! but it would be great if they did make it into a drama. Shunsuke and Haruna FIGHTING! ๐Ÿ™‚
    otherwise, i’m waiting for ranma 1/2.

  6. woww Unnie i love you:D now way to go into mangas:D I am also a fan of Faster than a kiss:D and a drama adaptation would be perfect:D you should be in the production companies and that would make it better for all of us:D and even i am not a fan of Haruna i really love the pairing:D so lets pray now:D

  7. I love this manga. I had to stop reading it because of class but i don’t mind picking this up again and i also think this would be a very cute live action drama. Plus it would be cute to see J drama pull the teacher/student relationship turn husband/wife

  8. Oh.My.Gosh. The first thing I thought of when I saw the first photo was Shunsuke and Haruna.

    Please. please let this come true!!!!!!!! incidentally..does anyone know if you can buy this manga in a store or is it only available online?

  9. Ooooh you bad koala! It’s 2am now, and I’m finding myself reading the manga online. By reading your post, I thought the ambiance for the manga would be sweet & mellow, and the heroine would be a submissive character & the hero would be this cool & collected person. Err… NOT! I was laughing since the beginning.. This was not what I expected. So silly & crazy even from the start. LOVE IT! Thank you for introducing us to this little gem..

    can I say that I’m in love with Kazuma? He’s just sooo handsome! *sigh*

  10. “Iโ€™ll be the first to argue that the quality of mangas has been on a steady decline since the late-90s”

    Thank you !!
    Their best decade remains 80’s

  11. I loved this manga. I stopped reading manga when I realised I didn’t have enough budget for my manga addiction. Sigh.
    Their neighbour is cute too! Very hot, and a kindergarden teacher as well.

  12. Dear drama gods,
    Please make Koala’s wish true.

    Damn!!! I agree with your suggestion! I can’t think of anyone right now who can play the leads than Shunsuke and Haruna! XD I hope someone from the industry could see this post to make our wishes come true. XD

    • Once you see Shunsuke as Kazuma and Haruka as Fumino, you literally cannot unsee the possibilities and the fursploding chemistry.

      They can find other actors of the same ages to play those two characters, but I highly doubt it can ever hope to have the same level of chemistry these two have already proved they have.

      This must happen!

  13. While I have an intense drama addiction, I have never read any mangas, but I have been thinking about checking some out and see if I like them. I think I might start with this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. LOVE your idea and would watch that drama so much my laptop would catch fire – unfortunately that’s only a minor exaggeration. I’d also love a K-drama based on this.

    And in the K-drama we can have Song Joong Ki play the teacher
    as for the female character… Han Groo? Just because I’m high on Girl K right now and because she’s a pretty great actress and would fit the part ๐Ÿ˜›

  15. I admit it, I donยดt like to read much…however, after this review, I am reading this manga!! pretty funny! and YES!!! I want this one into a drama!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. GAH. This? Is awesome. Shunsuke and Haruna would be PERFECT. Moreover, this will help to satisfy my craving. I think I’ll wait until after Ouran ends before reading it. It’s going to be such a long time until the movie comes out :S

  17. You and I have quite the same taste in mangas. I hated the lead so much in Hot Gimmick. I prayed that she would end up with Shinogu the “older brother” (yea I know, this manga was always pushing it) in the end but as you know with shoujo mangas, you already know who’s gonna end up with who long before the end. The fact that the main girl fell for the abuse EVER. SINGLE. TIME. was sick. I had to skip around to the end because the main leads annoyed me so much. I’m not overly feminist but this manga will bring the out the feminists in anyone. Perhaps by the end the public realized how stupid Ryoki the main lead was because someone apparently created an alternate ending featuring Shinogu (which I still haven’t read). But ARRRGGGH. Hot Gimmick had so much potential. The art was gorgeous but I abhorred the main leads and the abusive story.

    Moving on, I LOVE everything about Faster Than A Kiss. My only qualm about it is that I wish the mangaka would hurry up with new chapters lol. Plot wise, it’s also a little slow until the younger brother appeared but the chemistry between the leads is amazing enough to read every single chapter. These two leads seriously complete each other. And Teppei! So cute! I don’t read too many shoujos nowadays because I’m busy and I tend to get really picky about the art (80s, 90s and early 2000s shoujo was more my thing) but if you like Faster than a Kiss, I would like to recommend ZETTAI HEIWA DAISAKUSEN. The feel and tone is very similar to FTAK, the art is great and the chemistry between the leads are explosive. Best of all, it’s complete and fully scanned in english!

  18. This is really funny lately I been reading and checking out alot of mangas giving myself a break from dramas in general…. Right now I’m reading Paradise Kiss and what’s right after in my list yes you guess it “Faster Than a Kiss” I think I’n going to switch gear here and push aside PK and check FTAK….
    As of right now with out having read the story for myself I will trust Captain Koala assessment that this is the perfect drama for Shunsuke and Haruna. Because at this point I take anything where those two could be together they have such awsome chemitry it would be a shame to waste it.

    I need to start to consentrate,meditated and visualise so this happens soon……..
    ummhhh…. Please drama gods or anyone from the celestian court please allow this to happend.

  19. First, they have to star in my favorite manga “Skip Beat”. A 16 year old Kyoko Mogami is dumped by her boyfriend Shotaro who becomes a hot rock star so she swears to get revenge and become a famous actress where she meets her 20 year old senpai Ren Tsuruga who she dubs “the King of the Night” because of his effect on all the women around him. Both characters would be perfect for these two actors because they have the ability to shift between sweet romantic and deliciously wicked while maintaining their innocent vulnerable sides.

    • I’m AMAZED Japan hasn’t made this into a drama yet. Taiwan is working on one (finally) but Skip Beat is perfect for a drama. The plot is original, the characters are three-dimensional, and I can’t think of anything that would make it difficult to adapt. Japan–get on it!

    • Oh hells no. Shunsuke is better suited for Sho than Ren, and I can’t handle him not getting the girl. Also, am finding the TW-casting almost pitch perfect based on the previews, so am pleased with that version as is. Not eager for a J-dorama on this story.

      Also Haruka wouldn’t be my pick for Kyoko, who is really 16 going on 39 by the time she decides to get revenge on Sho. Really it’s a role tailor made for Maki from 5 years ago.

      • Shunsuke better as Sho? But he would make such a good BJ watching out for Setsuka…

        I am looking forward to see the Taiwan version but Siwon seems too shallow to portray Ren’s mysterious violent past. It depends on how far into the story they go. Will it be like the anime and stop before the dark arc begins?

  20. miz K…

    can you give me a link where I can download it instead of reading online? OR any other kind hearted reader in here can help me?? ๐Ÿ˜€

    thank youuuuuu ๐Ÿ™‚

      • ouwch..ok.. miz. K….thnks anyway ๐Ÿ™‚
        it’s just my inet connection usually sucks, i just don’t want it interrupt me while reading it online…not much great manga these days…gonna try this one

  21. Manga quality is on the decline? Then you have to read “The One”! Technically it’s a Taiwanese manhua; the art is exceptional and the plot is interesting (at least in the beginning, lately it’s getting heavy)– it’s easily one of the best mangas out there. You should definitely try it out!
    I’m tempted to go and give Faster Than a Kiss a second try, having passed up on it before.
    Thank you!

    • The One is okay. The beginning was definitely better than the insane last few books. But even then, I thought it was merely a mediocre manga. Better than most mangas lately, but nothing memorable.

      It had shades of ParaKiss, which I liked better.

  22. Great idea! Thumbs up!!! The interactions between Fumino and Kazuma are intense to say the least. I must say your suggestion of Shunsuke and Haruna being Kazuma and Fumino is now searingly etched in my mind. I can’t think of a better pairing. Although Shunsuke will probably have to dye his hair blond. If I remember correctly, Kazuma’s mother is a foreigner. I hope I have it wrong. I have been reading so many mangas, it is not unusual to get the facts wrong. However, if it is true, I cannot imagine Shunsuke with other coloured hair except for black… Yada…

    • Squick. This is one thing that mangaka’s always do and it drives the inner scientist in me crazy. If a blonde caucasian and an Asian have a child, it’s not going to have blonde hair. Period. So in this case, I would be so happy if Shunsuke kept his black hair, or at the most, dyed it dark (dark) brown. Anything else would make my heart cry.

  23. Oh Koala! You made me break my promise not to read any more manga after Ouran. Now, I’m getting hooked because Teppei is just so adorable!!!

    Should we start a petition for a Live version of FtaK? I agree with your casting suggestion. Shunsuka and Haruna would be perfect! And I want more scenes of them together in bed (fully-clothed of course! ahhhhh, such a pervert!!!). Please drama gods. Make this happen.

  24. I loooooove this manga! I just caught up on reading the latest chapters the other day. I think one of the things I love most is how realistic they are in their feelings for one another. Such a good story.

    Lately I haven’t been reading too many manga series…I think I’ve found a lot better one shots and short stories then series recently. But this is def. one of the exceptions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I LOVE this manga and you are right, they would be perfect for the live action version. Now that I think about it, Shunsuke has the perfect looks to play a live action manga male lead for many mangas. I know he has the acting chops for serious roles but I do hope he does a few more live actions.

  26. If what you’re dreaming comes true miss K, it’s gonna be my first romcom jdorama I’ll watch in the last 10 years….
    The last jdorama i watch was Ordinary People *grin*

  27. Thanks Ms. Koala a really good choice for a Shunsuke and Haruna reteam… Do we petition, pray to the dramagods or do a march to whoever have resources to make this come true… can’t stop myself in imagining the scenes already with Shunsuke and Haruna in it…^_^

  28. I’ve read Hot Gimmick too. I totally could not stand the male lead who was absolutely emotionally and sexually abusive towards the female lead. I kept hoping that the female lead would end up with her sweet, older adoptive brother Shinogu! But alas that didn’t happen. I will never understand why the manga was a hot favourite…. (Unless one’s into that sort of relationship *shrugs*)

    Anyhoo, I’m thinking….Yamamoto Yuusuke to play Ryuu!!!! On a side note, has anyone here ever read Koukou Debut? There’s supposed to be a live-action that aired this year.

  29. OMG! I’m reading the Christmas chapter, and when Kazuma wiped the sweat from Fumiko’s back and then kiss her naked back! OMG!! SO HOT!!

    *back to reading*

  30. I super love Faster than a Kiss. And i’m looking forward to a live-action adaptation. One of the mangas that i still have time to update (despite my busy sched haha). Make it happen this year please?

  31. Due to your entry on this, i started to read it and i’m hooked. Thank you for writing about this manga as i am looking for manga to read as i wait for Kimi Ni Todoke, Skip Beat, Black Bird, Bleach and others…

  32. miss koala,
    i am gigs and want you to read my most favourite manga/anime…Kaichou wa maid sama!! It’s one hell of a manga and the anime just gets to your heart. I really love this manga/anime.You can read the eng version in http://www.mangareader.com . I know you will love it!!!
    from loyal reader,
    Gigs.W.Laugh!(not my actually name!)

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