Please God, please protect him.
No matter what happens, please don’t let him lose heart.
Don’t let him be crushed.
No matter how many times he may cry or collapse,
please give him the strength to stand again.
Please let the people whom he meet be warm people.
Please protect him.
That was my prayer.
Takahashi Nanami, We Were There: First Love (Bokura Ga Ita)
Hello, it’s been a little while! I’ve been keeping up with Sota’s blog and it looks like there are only staff updates about TV Appearances. He is probably extremely busy with [Strobe Edge] promotions, so when he does update us, I will be right onto translating!
I present to you today, my recommendations of “Seishun Eiga”s which typically describes the High School Romance genre. Because many dramas / movies are based on manga in Japan, the Japanese theater greatly embraces Seishun Eigas. It’s almost a “stepping stone” for rising actors / actresses to be a part of these dramas / movies.
First up! Bokura ga Ita Zenpen & Kohen (2012): This 2 part movie (Zenpen- 1st part, Kohen- 2nd part) chronicles the 10-year love life of Yano Motoharu (Ikuta Toma) and Nanami Takahashi (Yoshitaka Yuriko). I know it sounds really draggy and boring making two movies about one pair, but this one does a fantastic job. Bokura ga Ita is one of the few movies that I felt developed the characters, their feelings, and the different events that shape the characters in a touching manner. Yano made my heart soooo happy I watched the movie 8 times.
Hanamizuki (2010): This one is a slightly older one and fair to say that it was the first batch of Seishun Eigas. Again, this chronicles the 10-year love life of a couple, Sae Hirasawa (Yui Aragaki) and Kouhei Kiuchi (Ikuta Toma). This movie completely tackles a different setting from Bokura ga Ita, so rest assured that these first two are not the same story.
Kimi ni Todoke (2010): Another one of the first gen Seishun Eigas. This one is about a handsome & popular boy, Shota Kazehaya (Haruma Miura), who falls in love with a girl, Sawako Kuronuma (Mikako Tabe), who is bullied by the class. Kazehaya brings Kuronuma out of her shell, and the rest is history.
Kiyoku, Yawaku (2013): A fairly new one. This one is about two characters, Kanna Seto (Masami Nagasawa) and Roku Akazawa (Masaki Okada) who have lost a significant person in their life as they struggle to carry on with life and eventually love again. TBH, I watched it because of Masaki Okada, and thought it was a well-done movie.
High School Debut (2011): I was like ??? while watching this movie because it was sooooo manga-like silly & hilarious. Haruna Nagashima (Ito Ono) wants to find a boyfriend in high school because she had devoted her entire middle school life to softball. You Komiyama (Junpei Mizobata) is a popular upperclassman who ends up mentoring Nagashima, but instead, falls in love with her.
Sukitte ii na yo (2014): SUPER recent movie. The storyline is a little bit similar to Kimi ni Todoke, as a popular boy at school, Yamato Kurosawa (Sota Fukushi), brings a bullied girl, Mei Tachibana (Haruna Kawaguchi), out of her shell. Even though the underlying theme is the same, this one develops the female character greatly and chronicles her journey as she is coming out of her shell and really learns about loving another person. After watching “Kyou wa Kaisha Yasumimasu”, I went straight to this movie to see Sota Fukushi. Didn’t disappoint me at all. <3
Some others I haven’t watched yet: Koizora, Halfway, Boku no Hatsu Koi o Kimi ni Sasagu, Tada kimi wo Aishiteru.
Will be doing one for top dramas I’ve watched throughout my years of jdrama experience soon (this one shall be extremely hard….)!
Recommend: YES, because even the not-really-into-romance me enjoyed this long movie!
Let me just start by saying that you’ll need four hours to watch Bokura Ga Ita. There are two movies, each two hours long. A very big turn off for me, since I can’t stand long movies. But I decided to give it a go, mostly due to Ikuta Toma, and ended up watching it in 5 parts.
Not only the length, I also don’t particularly like Yoshitaka Yuriko.
So, it was a surprise that I really enjoyed this romantic movie!
Having not read the manga, nor know what it’s about, I started watching. To put it in a sentence, the movie follows a 10 years journey of a couple starting from when they were 17.
Ikuta Toma plays Motoharu Yano, the popular boy at school who has some dark internal conflict regarding his dead ex-girlfriend. Yoshitaka plays Takahashi Nanami, the ordinary girl in the class, who of course fell for Yano. Love blooms and the story follows them until one day Yano has to go away.. What happens next?
Nanami became suicidal and decided to kill herself cause she just cannot live without Yano.
Which brings me to another point to love about this movie, that is Nanami’s strength and commitment in loving Yano, no matter what happens. Sounds cliche, eh? It was shot beautifully though that you get immersed in her worries and happiness.
The interaction between the casts are great that even watching it in five parts, everytime I start another part I can instantly feel the chemistry of the characters. Brilliant.
Bokura Ga Ita made me take back all my dislike towards Yoshitaka here, she’s perfect as Nanami (according to me who haven’t read the manga).
Music is awesome too! I was expecting this romance/drama movie to be unbelievably silent like other Japanese movies (eg. my most hated movie, Halfway), but it was not. Instead, all instrumental songs were played at appropriate scenes creating the perfect mood.
If I have to say it, the only flaw would be the length of the movie, period. But then, if it was shorter, would it make as big an impact as it did with the four hours? I don’t know..
In conclusion, it’s a wonderfully breathtaking love story, with a hint of bittersweetness.
My friends made this awesome mep for me.I can’t even…I don’t deserve this.Billy watched the first Bokura ga Ita movie even though she doesn’t like such movies just because she knew I really like it.Rin used K even though she doesn’t even like it.And then Polly finally made that fuukam amv with the song flesh that she had promised me.And she even added a bit seisub.I love all of you to death!Thank you!