I was browsing some Japanese drama titles when one of my favorite Japanese actresses caught my attention – it was Emi Takei with a handsome male lead, Tori Matsuzaka, from a live action adaptation of Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu. I have already watched the anime and read several chapters of the manga so I am quite aware with regards to the events in the story including those smutty scenes, however, the live action doesn’t seem to make  an exact parallel to the manga as some of the scenes have been altered, and lots.

Despite her talent in hairstyling, Tsubaki Hibino possesses low self-esteem and is always teased by her classmates with her old-fashioned outfit until a popular student who shares the same name as her, Kyouta Tsubaki, decides to make her as his target for teasing. As several days pass, they begin to understand each other and eventually start their romantic relationship.

Written by Kanan Minami, the series is an ordinary story of romance as what the plot depicts, like an average-girl -meets-a -popular-boy scenario and how their romantic relationship progresses from starting off as complete strangers to a point where they begin to know each other well. Although it portrays the most cliche aspect of romance, it creates a realistic view that every viewers can ponder upon.

If you’ve either watched the anime or read the manga, you’ll easily notice the wide difference from this live action adaptation, such that, Kyouta doesn’t show his frequent intimate attachment to Tsubaki. The ecchi involvement should have been the most prominent aspect in the movie as the manga but I personally think that limitation has been done in the movie because the female lead is just so young to perform a more intimate romantic scene as more than a kissing scene. Nevertheless, the romance makes a big blast on wide screen as it becomes more lighthearted and shows typical slice-of-life events among the couple which are simply good to kill your time.

Progress in the story flows very quickly especially when it comes to the development of Kyouta and Tsubaki. If you are an avid fan of the manga, you might dislike how the movie rushes everything in just more than an hour. You might also get bored by the setting as most of the scenes are quite plain and silent in mood. The delivery of this live action adaptation, in accordance with the manga, doesn’t meet my satisfaction and it would be better if it was a series rather than a movie.

Emi Takei is simply good as portraying the real character of Tsubaki. The role isn’t that challenging but at least she tries to make the mirror of the female protagonist that would impress the manga fans of the series. She makes a perfect expression for the character from being a plain, new-to-love girl until she becomes a beautiful lady who dresses elegantly.

Tori Matsuzaka doesn’t have a look of a complete playboy as Kyouta, but he is definitely a handsome actor. I think he should exert more effort for the character, like possessing more flirtatious, seducing expression towards Tsubaki, but at the near end, he acts really good along with the character development of Kyouta as he transforms into an ideal man for Tsubaki. In reality, I would like Emi to be with Tori. They look good together as young couple.

If you are a manga enthusiast, this movie isn’t your cup of tea, but if you’d like to take a quick glance on the average-typed story of romance among youngsters, Kyou, Koi wo Hajimemasu is the one you’ve might been looking for.

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