k-chan (karice67) wrote,

More first impressions (or fourths, as they may turn out to be)

I was *this* close to writing a third DH entry in a row...which would also have made it a fourth HP entry in succession...and that's despite having a tonne of other series to look at...


The fourth episodes of Hanakimi and Yamada Tarou Monogatari have been aired. I should really approach these from two different viewpoints, as I've read the first manga but not the second one from which these dramas have been made, but it's difficult not to compare them. One is definitely more enjoyable than the other (thus far), but both have rather irritating elements...

Let's begin with Hanakimi, which I had been anticipating ever since I first heard about it, even with the trepidation from seeing various roles changed.
The good so far? Umeda-sensei (yes, to my surprise, I've gotten over the age difference), Yuujiro and the music that accompanies Kayashima (I'm undecided on the character himself). I'm ambivalent about the leads - whilst Oguri Shun probably is my favourite young Japanese actor, I don't particularly like his Sano so far. Horikita Maki is ok as Mizuki...but whilst I never thought of her as 'annoying' whilst I was reading the manga, the character is just on the borderline there. A lot of the side characters seem unrealistic and false - Nanba-senpai may be a womaniser, but he was never this flaky, and Himejima is just cringe-worthy...I'm bearing with it only because I don't expect them to be able to flesh out some of these characters, unlike in various other drama-adaptations that I could name. As for Nakatsu's 'Mizuki vision', the way they seem to have tried to put the manga images directly on screen makes it too...contrived.

As for the stuff I wish they hadn't done:
  • Effectively making Osaka-gakuen a school full of idols, and thus changing the girls at their sister school into a pretty shallow bunch. Whilst this may have been true of certain girls in the manga, I'm really missing Umeda Rio (and some of the others) at this point.
  • Changing the order of particular romantic developments - in the manga, Mizuki is the first one to realise who she likes, (vol.2) followed by Sano (I loved that chapter, which was in vol. 4/5) and then by Nakatsu (although the latter was always more obvious about it than the other two). It seems like they're making Nakatsu the first here...(hopefully I'll get the chance to take this statement back...). Sano finding out about Mizuki's gender so late means that Nakatsu is ahead on 'nice moments' with Mizuki atm...
  • Nakao...I'm sorry, but the manga version is much much cuter.
  • The theme song...seriously, I prefer having Yamada Tarou Monogatari's theme in my head...
I'm willing to attribute a large part of my negative reactions to how the screenplay has been written, but I'm sorry to say that, maybe, Hanakimi just isn't the kind of manga that can adapted properly... I'll continue watching this, because the changes mean that I don't know what coming, but also because I'm hoping to see some of my absolute favourite parts of the manga...

Until the most recent episode, Yamada Tarou has been rather more interesting. The title-character is a student who's only flaw is that he's exceedingly poor (largely because of the way his parents are). He attends a very good school (Ichinomiya Gakuen - I remember only because of tactics...) on a 3 million yen scholarship (to put that in perspective, that's what I'll be earning over 10 months in Japan...), maintains top grades despite having to take on various part-time jobs to support his 8 person family, and is forever the optimist (or so it seems). The story begins when his classmate Mimura-Takuya begins to take interest in various oddities he notices about Yamada, sparking a little investigation into the life of Yamada Tarou.

I really liked the first and second episodes, which deal mainly with the start of the friendship between the titular character and Mimura-kun. It's somewhat like Ouran, with Mimura-kun being exceeding curious about Yamada's commoner life (although I'd say it is really really extreme...). The majority of the background school students are also relatively normal (other than the fangirling), which is more than I can say for the title discussed above. The only thing that irritates me is that girl - *checks* Ikegami Takako - whose sole aim in attending that school is to find a rich husband so that she can escape the commoner's life that her parents have built. Maybe that's why I didn't particularly like the latest episode, since the focus on her increased. I've read that the manga doesn't focus on romance, and I do hope that it doesn't go much further in the drama!
Tags: (dorama)

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