MOVIE| Today’s Kira-kun (Closest Love to Heaven) – Pretty Disappointed

MOVIE| Today’s Kira-kun (Closest Love to Heaven) – Pretty Disappointed

Hello, hello loves!~ I’m back with a live action review post! Today’s post is on the Japanese movie きょうのキラ君/Kyou no Kira-kun, or “Today’s Kira-kun”. It’s also known as Closest Love to Heaven. The movie is a live adaptation of the shoujo series of the same name. It was released in Japanese cinemas in February 2017.

Okamura Ninon, or Nino, is an introverted high school girl. She’s a loner who is picked on and thought of as strange. Ninon can’t talk to anyone aside from her parents and her pet cockatiel named Sensei (teacher). Her classmate, Kira Yuiji, is outgoing and popular. He’s basically the opposite of Ninon. He seems to live an incredibly happy life. However, Yuiji is hiding a secret. He suffers from heart disease and it seems he probably only has a year left to live. Ninon finds out and decides that she’s going to stay by his side until he dies. From here on, Ninon and Yuiji start to change.

I actually really adored the manga series, so I was curious how they would handle the live adaptation. The manga was one of my favorite more recent shoujo series. The manga ran between 2012-2014. The series is centered around a bit of a heavy topic. However, I liked the quirky characters and how there was still laughs. I liked that it still had some bright, fluffy, positiveness to it. I liked a few things about the movie…but for the most part, I was pretty disappointed. I’ve another confession to make. Part of why I delayed this is that while I was indeed sick and busy, I was also struggling to finish the movie. I’m actually forcing myself to simultaneously watch this while writing about it. Despite playing at twice the speed (because I’m trash and struggling to finish this), I still have a hard time focusing on the movie…

First off, I found the beginning to be a bit sloppy. It had been a while since I read the manga so the details are a bit fuzzy. However, I would’ve been completely lost had it not been for whatever information I did retain. I had no idea what the hell was going on in the first 5 minutes. I basically sat there and was like, “Uh…what? What’s this? Who’s that? What’s going on…??” I can’t imagine how someone unfamiliar with the original source would feel. At that point I had to go back and reread some of the manga just in case. I noticed a difference in tone.

The manga has a bit more of a comedic feel to it, but it still shows the character developments and struggles. So in a way, it didn’t feel too childish for me. Which is probably why I liked it. It was positive and light-hearted at times, but dealt with several things in a serious kind of matter. The movie’s tone was more of a typical teen comedy romance/drama. It just felt a bit too cheesy for my taste, which is probably why I struggled finishing it. I like romance, but it was a bit extra and too cliche for me.

The positive though is I did like the look of how everything was filmed. I also did like the main actress, Iitoyo Marie, who played Ninon. I found her to be cute and a she did capture Ninon’s cute, sweet, and quirky naivete. She’s also really pretty. Like…girl, I am so jealous of how pretty you look with minimal to no make up…

Nakagawa Taiki who played Yuiji was alright. He wasn’t a bad actor, but I just didn’t feel anything in particular. Again, he wasn’t bad…however, I just didn’t feel anything. I will say he did do a good job portraying Yuiji being upset with dying. Still…I felt like the movie version of Yuiji was lacking something.

However, my biggest disappointments were basically the drastic changes with the characters. I understand some changes are necessary for live action adaptations, however, this is where I found it to just really hurt the story. As I said, one of the great things for the manga was the various quirky characters. They’re what made the story fun and interesting. Sadly, the changes were pretty big and left many characters to being incredibly dull. The changes took out almost all the things that made the series so fun.

One of the things why Ninon was an outcast was because of her pet bird, Sensei. The kids at school thought she was weird because she always had a stuffed bird on her shoulder. So they called the “bird woman”. However, the stuffed bird was actually Sensei. He was her only friend and would look after her. Like, the bird is literally her only friend in the whole world. Sensei is incredibly smart has the ability to have entire conversations. He’s basically a person in the body of a bird. He’s a pretty vital character, and plays such a big part in regards to Ninon and Kira. In the movie he’s just a seemingly typical pet bird and he doesn’t accompany Ninon everywhere. I get it, it’s unrealistic to have a pet bird that can have an intelligent conversation. However, the movie kind of seems like Sensei can kind of communicate with Ninon. I mean they have a bit where Ninon’s talking to Sensei and what he says is obviously said by some voice actor in post production. So it’s just like, “Are you going to make him like the original source, or not? Make up your mind.”

You a cute bird, but you’re still a boring and normal bird…

I had also enjoyed the quirky parents in the manga. Ninon and Yuiji’s characters may be side characters, but they helped make the series interesting. Ninon’s mom is half Japanese. I believe her other half is French. Her mom is pretty and loves cosplay culture. She’s a bit eccentric, but she was interesting. Ninon’s dad is a seemingly hella plain dude, but he’s supposedly hella handsome without his glasses. Still the movie version made them both hella plain parents. Her mom is just a nice, but hella normal Japanese housewife. The movie version of her dad is even more plain…

Another side character I liked was Yuiji’s dad. In the manga, both families are neighbors. Yuiji’s dad is pretty close to Ninon’s mom. The dude also cross-dresses for work and goes by the name Tiara. He was the one who asked Ninon to befriend Yuiji. He was again another eccentric, but interesting and fun character. Yet again, he’s changed to an uninteresting character in the movie. You only get a few glimpses of him. Still, he’s a plain and regular dude. No cross-dressing… The closeness between the two families are also basically not there.

I don’t know why his face makes me want to laugh during such a serious moment…

More important supporting characters like Kazuhiro Yabe also go through changes. The typical bullshit that these live actions have done. The typical watering down of the characters and their impact is just greatly reduced. Yabe considers himself to be Yuiji’s closest friend. He basically has a big man crush on Yuiji. He initially hates Ninon and is one who bullies her most. He’s a pretty big jerk at first, but he changes. He gets closer to Ninon and even develops feelings for her. However, he’s not really the dick that picks on Ninon in the movie. Nor does he hold any feelings for her.

Yahagi Rei (Uchida Rei in the manga), is another important character who gets pretty watered down. She’s kind of a sociopath and likes to bully Ninon because she dislikes people who do not speak up enough. Still, she ends up being Nino’s best friend. She also ends up developing a relationship with Yabe. This is somewhat depicted in the movie, but it’s again very watered down. It’s just the surface and doesn’t feel like much. It doesn’t show the same level of impact Rei had in pushing Nino.

There were other things that were cut out too. The only obstacle the movie version had was “Kira-kun may have only a year to live”. However, there were other trials and obstacles in the manga. Obstacles like Shitara Mio, the school nurse and Yuiji’s ex, are cut out. I don’t know. I just wish there has been more obstacles in the movie.  I suppose it would’ve helped the movie feel like it had more substance had it shown more obstacles for Nino and Yuiji to overcome and grow from.

Overall, the movie was just a messy fluffy version of the series. Yes, it was a bit cute at times. Still, I felt like it just lacked substance and depth. In the manga, Yuiji and Ninon didn’t exactly have good impressions of each other at first. Typical, I know. However, it’s in the sense that Ninon is the type of person that feels that it’s better if she was there. While Yuiji hates people who feel sorry for themselves, and he wants so desperately to live. They came to see bits of each other and that’s how they end up developing such a good relationship and romance. In the movie that part isn’t really there. It’s only vaguely put in there that Yuiji is annoyed by people who say “die” easily. Yuiji and Ninon doesn’t really have much of anything going on before Ninon’s all, “Are you going to die? I like you.” Like wuht…? I just wasn’t really sold on Ninon x Yuiji in the movie. There just wasn’t that much development before they reached the conclusion of liking the other. I just couldn’t really feel a connection with the movie version of the characters.

The movie was just pretty disappointing to me. If you like those cutesy teen kind of romance movies, then go for it. However, this one just wasn’t for me. For me, all the fun things were stripped away. It ended up just being hella basic and cliche for me. I ended up playing the movie at x4-6 speed at this point… I’ll stick to the manga. Sorry if I’m a bit all over the place and half-assed with this post. I’m still a bit sick, and I just really didn’t care for this one. Also I’m just kind of done with weak adaptations right now. Production wise, it looked okay. The actors were okay. However, the movie just felt like a basic teen romance with no depth for me. For me the issue wasn’t the actors and their portrayals, but more of the story itself. It just felt like it lacked substance. Have you watched the movie or read the manga? What are your thoughts and opinions? Someone please recommend something fun for me. Please…I’m getting sad from back to back unfulfilling movies…

7 Replies to “MOVIE| Today’s Kira-kun (Closest Love to Heaven) – Pretty Disappointed”

    1. I really liked the manga. I was actually just re-reading it haha~ The manga is pretty good, but I felt like the movie adaptation really fell short this time around.

      1. I definitely agree with you! The series would’ve made such a great shoujo anime! ^^

  1. I watched the movie first and i think its ok movie. But after i read the manga, i think thw movie really not do any justice. Now, i really hope someone will remake another movie..

    1. It’s really a shame. Like you said, the movie was just ok. However, it really could’ve been so much more had they kept some of the charming aspects of the manga.

  2. Currently watching the movie, a bit slow, reading the above hasn’t spoiled the movie ending. I am not a cartoon, or anime or manga person and could not sit and watch them. The storyline is good. The girl Ninon irritates me.

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