I’m back with another Sunday Live Action post~
Anyway, today I’m back with my review of the Daytime Shooting Star (Hirunaka no Ryuusei) live action movie!
I remember reading the manga a long time ago and I really enjoyed it. I honestly had no idea there was going to be a movie until I saw the movie poster and trailer during my trip to Japan back in March. I was low key excited about it~
Yosano Suzume is a first year high school student. Due to her parents transferring overseas for work, Suzume has to leave the countryside and live with her uncle in Tokyo. She meets Shishio Satsuki, an acquaintance of her uncle and her new teacher. He calls her “Chun-Chun”, and they become pretty close. Suzume, who has always been oblivious and naive, soon starts to develop feelings for the first time. Suzume also tries to befriend her male classmate, Mamura Daiki. Mamura hates girls and is very cold to them. However, he starts opening up to Suzume and develops feelings for her. How will these three deal with their feelings? Will Suzume be with her first love Shishio-sensei, or will she be with the shy Mamura?
I know it sounds like an uninteresting and basic shoujo-romance kind of story. However, what set it apart for me were the characters, especially Suzume. I also really liked the series because you could see all the characters developing.
What initially drew me to the manga the most was Suzume as the heroine. She’s very different from the typical shoujo heroine. She’s not a weak girly-girl. She’s pretty tomboyish and is rather playful, oblivious, and naive. She’s a glutton and doesn’t hide it. She’s also a bit quirky, and loves fish. What I liked most was that she seems expressionless at times, but she’s expressive of her feelings. Suzume also genuinely takes everyone and everything into careful consideration. Reading the manga, she just seemed like a naturally cool type of character at times. She wasn’t afraid to be who she was.
[Some Spoilers Ahead]
The movie version of Yosano Suzume is played by actress Nagano Mei, known for her roles in My Love Story!!, Koe Koi, Peach Girl, and Rurouni Kenshin. I admit that Mei didn’t really fit my expectation of Suzume, both appearance and personality wise. She wasn’t bad…rather, she just didn’t really fit the image I had in mind for Suzume. I will admit that her portrayal of Suzume was cute at times, and she did manage to portray some of Suzume’s quirkiness as well. My favorite scene was probably when Suzume finds out Mamura’s secret. He turns really red because he’s shy with girls and doesn’t know how to deal with them. She then just keeps poking him. I’d say that the movie version of Suzume was portrayed more like your typical high school girl shoujo herione. Which isn’t terrible, but went the opposite direction of why I liked Suzume in the first place.
The first male lead is Shishio Satsuki. He’s played by Miura Shohei, known for roles in Hanazakari no Kimitachi e 2011, Gokusen: The Movie, Please Love Me!, The Liar and His Lover, and The Liar and His Lover. Shishio is a young teacher. He’s about 24-26 throughout the events in the series. He’s outgoing, attractive, and popular with everyone. His character does initially only help Suzume and get closer to her out of concern as a teacher and adult figure. However, somewhere along the way it develops into attraction. The thing with Shishio is that he does try to fight that attraction and does what he thinks is best for Suzume. So it’s genuine concern and love…I suppose. Shishio supporters will hate me for this…but I wasn’t on that ship. In regards to this story, this love was more innocent. However, the logical side of my brain can’t help think “That’s a grown man and a baby…bruh…she’s a child still…” Suzume is after all, just 15-16 at the beginning of the series. Just because he’s considered hot doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be considered morally alarming. Now if Suzume was an adult and Shishio was no longer her teacher…that I might be able to be okay with. Shohei’s portrayal was alright. I think he did a good job in portraying the different characteristics of Shishio. Although, he didn’t quite fit my expectations appearance wise. I suppose I just expected someone that age who looked a bit younger and more hip? He is close to Shishio’s age range in real life, but the lighting and close ups sometimes made him look a bit older. Maybe it was just his hair that bugged me? I honestly can’t quite put my finger on it.
In real life, this would be considered pretty inappropriate. Sir, she is technically jail-bait.
The second male lead is Mamura Daiki. He’s played by Filipino-Japanese actor and singer Shirahama Alan. He’s also a member in J-Pop groups Exile and Generations. Mamura is Suzume’s classmate, seatmate, and first friend in Tokyo. He pretty much hates the female population. He finds them annoying and doesn’t know how to deal with them. The cause of this is of course due to some tragic backstory. His mom cheated and left their family. Mamura is cool, seemingly cold, but quite popular. He just doesn’t know how to deal with girls and becomes noticeably red when in contact with them. Suzume accidentally finds out and uses this to “blackmail” him into being her friend. Of course he starts to be more comfortable around her and starts to develop feelings for her. I know, it sounds like a typical story. Still, Mamura is a gentle and good guy (despite seeming like a cold jerk at first). Alan didn’t portray Mamura as cooly as I expected, but it wasn’t anything to really bug me. I thought he did a good job. The movie version also isn’t as straight-forward as the manga counterpart.
I ship it. Yeah, you bet your ass I’m team second lead. Though I did like Shishio in the manga as well…I just leaned more towards second lead…
The first meeting.
Nekota Yuyuka is played by actress Yamamoto Maika. She’s been in the Assassination Classroom movies and Minami-kun no Koibito: My Little Lover drama. She’s the the popular girl at school and happens to have a crush on Mamura. At first Yuyuka is kind of two-faced. She seems all cute, sweet, and pure…however, her personality is a bit darker. She actually has a bit of a bad personality and temper. At first she’s mad and jealous of Suzume, so Yuyuka tries to mess with her a bit. Despite finding out the Yuyuka’s true personality, Suzume still covers for her. She understands that Yuyuka was only like that because she likes Mamura. They end up becoming good friends with Yuyuka helping Suzume with a make over, her feelings for Shishio, and other things. Yuyuka is your typical tsundere character. She has a bad personality, but she is a good friend. The movie version was just a little a bit different. You can’t really tell she’s the super popular chick and that everyone first sees her as just a very sweet and cute girl. Still, she’s still a good friend to Suzume.
Of course the movie has several changes from the source material. Although the movie did have many of the same scenarios and lines as the original manga. However, they were kind of jumbled up. The main flaw for this movie again comes down to cutting out alot of things story and character wise. We’ve talked about this time and time again, but they really should stop cutting out so much of the supporting characters. While Yuyuka still plays a role in the movie, all the other friends are just barely there. Suzume felt quite lonely when she first came to Tokyo. Yes, Yuyuka played a big hand, but all her friends helped her realize her feelings and grow. I was disappointed to see how all the other friends were just barely there, and didn’t play much of a role in the movie. The same thing with Suzume’s uncle. It’s really evident in the manga that he really cares about his niece, but he was also barely there in the movie. Of course there was also the fact that Suzume’s friend was crushing on him in the manga. However, I totally understand why they would cut that out in the movie (Though, why bother when the main leads also have a huge age gap). I’m also quite disappointed in the lack of background story on both Shishio and Mamura. It helped show how much the characters developed throughout the story. For Mamura, they do mention that his mom left him, his dad, and his brother. However, they don’t really go into just how much that really affected Mamura and ultimately led to his disdain for girls. I was also a bit sad that you don’t see his dad or brother. They were basically for the Mamura x Suzume ship, and it was fun to see her interact with his family.
In the manga, Shishio’s feelings are a bit more complex. He also has a bit of a complicated backstory. It involves his past relationship and one of the reasons why he’s so hesitant and troubled over his feelings for Suzume (Other than she’s his student). I definitely would’ve liked to see more of that, just anything to build Shishio’s character a bit more.
I have a bit of a confession to make. We all know live actions are tricky to pull off, but I always get a bit more nervous with Japanese live actions. Honestly, it’s because I feel like the Japanese productions on live action movies and dramas are lacking; Especially when compared to Korean productions. Of course this is just my personal opinion, but sometimes I find the Japanese productions to look very cheap. Sometimes the actors look like they’re in cheap cosplay. It’s a flaw for me, because it just detracts me from the story and this world I should be engrossed in. Often times I just feel like these productions don’t leave much of an impression. The stories feel very watered down. Live actions don’t have to follow the source material exactly, but it should still have something to make it stand on it’s own. My issue is that I don’t feel like the story and characters have really settled into my brain. They seem to lack depth, and I just wasn’t moved by it. I still watch and enjoy Japanese dramas and movies, but very few leave a good and long-lasting impression on me.
So my honest opinion on Daytime Shooting Star? I admit, I had mixed feelings for this movie. I enjoyed some aspects, but it really was incredibly watered down. It felt incredibly rushed to me. I didn’t really feel like there was a development with them realizing their feelings; Especially with Shishio and Suzume. For me it just kinda felt like they barely interacted with each other and then BAM! Now they suddenly have something between them. It was a disappointment in how much they really cut down on the important things regarding the characters and story. As I said before, it’s understandable that movies must make cuts and changes. However, it would have been beneficial to keep some of the integrity from the source material. Otherwise, have something original that can make the adaptation stand well on it’s own! It definitely would’ve strengthened the characters. Again, I felt like it lacked depth. I know I say that alot, but depth is so crucial to a good story and characters. Otherwise everything feels so shallow and superficial, and you just don’t really connect with the story and characters. Would I recommend this movie? Maybe. It wasn’t a terrible movie. It’s just that it fell a bit short of my expectations. While I disliked several things about it, it still had some cute and enjoyable moments. I was for the ending too. Do I consider it to be an incredibly solid live action, and is it a favorite and memorable movie? Not really. Still, I’m okay with watching it on a chill night to kill time because it was still an alright movie. Have you watched Daytime Shooting Star? What were your opinions and which ship were you for?
Random Observations and Things:
Dude was the character model for Mamura.
Like many others I had expected Sakaguchi Kentaro would play Mamura in a live action adaption. He’s a popular model and actor, and he was actually the mangaka’s model for Mamura. Funnily enough though, I found Alan to have a bit of a resemblance to Kentaro at some angles. I legit they were the same people at first when I first glanced at the poster in Japan. Another funny coincidence though, is that Kentaro actually starred in My Love Story!! with Mei.
Nagano Mei and Sakaguchi Kentaro in My Love Story!!
On a random note: I don’t know why, but the actress who played Nekota Yuyuka reminded me a bit of Choi Soo Young (from Kpop group Girls’ Generation) at some angles. I couldn’t find a pic that shows what I mean, but I guess they have some similarity with their cheek structure? I’m sleep deprived and lazy…