Today’s Live Action Sunday post is on the movie 俺物語!! (Ore Monogatari!!, or My Love Story!!) Based on the manga of the same name, this movie was originally released in October 2015. The manga itself was published from October 2011-June 2016, and got it’s anime adaptation in 2015. The series was written by Kawahara Kazune, and illustrated by Aruko.
I was pretty impressed with how the movie poster and manga cover here.
Let me say that I was an incredibly huge fan of the manga series and the anime. It’s a delightful series that is just so pure, funny, and adorable. It’s definitely in my top 10, maybe even top 5, shoujo and romance series.
Goda Takeo doesn’t look like your average high school student. He’s has an incredibly large and muscular stature. and doesn’t look his age either. At first glance, Takeo may seem intimidating due to his stature and appearance. However, he’s incredibly strong, honorable, sincere, and has a very kind heart. However, he doesn’t have much luck with girls. Every girl he had a crush on ended up liking his best friend, Sunakawa Makoto. Sunakawa is typical type that girls adore: smart, charming, and good-looking. He’s basically the exact opposite of Takeo. But everything changes when he meets Yamato Rinko. She’s a cute, petite, and shy girl. She surprises everyone because she’s fallen in love with Takeo.
Again, I was a huge fan of the series. I really adored both the manga and the anime. It’s an incredibly sweet and pure love story with alot of comedy. What made this series unique is the unexpected pairing of the main characters. It was also interesting because the main character that the story focuses on was Takeo. He’s this big dude that definitely doesn’t scream shoujo hero (or shoujo in general) material. I was excited to hear about the live action movie and waited forever for it to be released with English subtitles. I’m sad to say that it fell short of my expectations. Now don’t get me wrong, it had some positives. However, it just wasn’t what I expected. I may have set my expectations too high.
[Some Spoilers Ahead]
Goda Takeo is portrayed by Suzuki Ryohei. I only just learned that Ryohei was the Hentai Kamen guy (lololol). I haven’t watched the movie, but I’ve seen some funny clip from a friend. It’s crazy to see it’s the same dude. Other than the Hentai Kamen movies, I recognize him from a small role in the 2007 drama Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise (aka my favorite Japanese drama of all time). Anyway, Takeo is a high schooler who looks intimidating due to his large and muscular stature, as well as looking much older. After all, there are limitations when bringing something from fantasy to life. That’s just reality. Despite his intimidating looks, Takeo is very strong, kind, sincere, and has a strong sense of honor. He’s popular with the guys who look up to him as a role model and the ideal “manly man”. However, Takeo isn’t so lucky when it comes to girls. Every girl he’s liked has liked his best friend Sunakawa Makoto. His luck for love starts to take a turn after he saves Yamato Rinko. He immediately falls for her, but worries that she likes Sunakawa. Still, he doesn’t carry any hard feelings. He’s loyal to his friends, and really cherishes Sunakawa. Takeo has nothing but praises for him. Takeo really is a good guy and doesn’t carry any ill feelings towards others. Even if they badmouth him. He’ll often save people, and people will give the credit to Sunakawa somehow. But Takeo doesn’t even notice or care. Though he doesn’t seem to fit the typical shoujo or romance male lead type, he truly is hero material. I admit that I envisioned Takeo to be larger, but it’s obviously not easy to find someone that literally has that stature and physique. Ryohei nonetheless did a good job. He looked comical and did a wonderful portrayal of Takeo. He really captured Takeo’s character, and I loved seeing him pull off the signature “Suki da!!”, or what Takeo would scream every time he realized how much he liked/loved Rinko. So I give him a pass and even applaud him on his performance. Yes, he’s a 30+ year old actor who looks too old to be a high school freshman, but that’s kind of the point. Again, Takeo looks much older than his age.
Yamato Rinko is portrayed by Nagano Mei. I’ve previously talked about her a bit in my Daytime Shooting Star movie review post. But a refresher: She’s known for her roles in the live action adaptations of Daytime Shooting Star, Peach Girl, and Koe Koi. Rinko is a petite, sweet, and shy girl. She was being harassed by a molester when Takeo came in and saved her. She’s amazing at baking. Rinko would meet up with Takeo and Sunakawa to give them homemade sweets as a thank you. She then asks to continue meeting them. Takeo initially belives that Rinko likes Sunakawa. However, it’s Takeo that she’s interested in. Yamato is a sweet girl who sees and cherishes Takeo for who he is. She believes he’s the most handsome, sweetest, and perfect guy. Now, I like Mei. She is cute and she’s not a bad actress. However, much like the case with Daytime Shooting Star, she just didn’t fit my image of Rinko. Image-wise, I was expecting someone much more petite or much shorter at the very least. The uniqueness between the Ore Monogatari!! couple, is the somewhat stark contrast they have in size and appearance that made everyone go “Wait…? WUHT…???!!” It’s what made them seem like such an unexpected couple. I also expected someone to portray Rinko with a small and sweet voice. I mean not exactly like anime voice, but it is a distinct characteristic of Rinko that adds to the whole “She’s tiny and cute” thing. She is in fact petite and has a small, sweet, and girly voice. I pictured her to have that extra kind of adorableness. Don’t get me wrong, Mei is cute. However, her portrayal of Rinko made me feel like Rinko was more like an average high school girl. It just didn’t quite fit for me. As much as I felt “meh” for Daytime Shooting Star, I felt like her performance of that character was better than Ore Monogatari!! Mei’s acting wasn’t bad, but it just felt like it was missing Rinko’s essence. What’s the Japanese equivalent of aegyo? Is it moe? Because I felt like the movie version of Rinko was missing that overflowing aegyo/moe/cuteness that made you feel like “She so sweet and smol…she must be protected!~”
Sunakawa Makoto, or Suna, is portrayed by Sakaguchi Kentaro. He’s a model and actor who apparently bears a striking resemblance to Korean actor Seo Kang Jun. Titles that I recognize him from include The Kodai Family and No Longer Heroine. Fun Fact: He was also the model for the character Mamura in Daytime Shooting Star. Suna is Takeo’s neighbor and best friend since they were kids. He’s an intelligent, cool, and nice guy. He’s the kind of guy that every girl immediately falls for. He’s nice, but is a bit cold to girls sometimes. He’s always rejecting every girl that confesses to him. He claims it’s because he has yet to find a kind girl to like. Takeo’s crushes have always liked Suna, and Suna has always rejected them. Turns out it’s because they always talked trash about Takeo. Suna treasures his friend and of course isn’t attracted to someone who would talk smack about a nice guy like Takeo. Suna is always helping Takeo and Rinko by being the middle man and confidant. He often drops hints to Takeo to help him. Suna is basically the typical hero that’s expected in a shoujo or romance series. But here, he’s just an awesome friend and wingman. I like Kentaro. Is he 100% what I pictured Suna to be? Not quite. But his portrayal works. Although, I feel like some parts of his acting felt slightly awkward? But nothing for me to really get worked up over. So I give him a pass.
I will say I’m kind of disappointed in the live action versions of Takeo’s parents. The dad could pass…but I was expecting a bigger and more burly lady as Takeo’s mom. The parents didn’t play as much of a role in the movie like the anime or manga. Which is a shame, because they were pretty good sources of comedy in the series. They were fun and unique characters for sure. Though I will say that the live action dad reminds me alot of Danjo from the Yuusha Yoshihiko series haha~
As for the movie itself…the movie wasn’t terrible. But it wasn’t the best either. Honestly speaking, the movie itself looked kind of low budget. Rather than feel like I was being pulled and believing the world of this movie, it felt like I was just watching some sort of cosplay production. The story itself was short and simple and doesn’t really cover much of the manga or the anime. There wasn’t much like conflict or anything super exciting. It’s just basically more of the beginning of Takeo and Rinko’s relationship. It was basically skimming the original to the bare minimum. Which is okay, but I feel like it’s not much of a memorable movie based on the story alone. It just didn’t have much substance to it.
So bubbly and colorful.
One of the few scenes that looked bright and colorful
Still, my biggest issue with this movie was how it looked more like a low budget production. It’s a shame because Ryohei did a pretty fantastic job acting as Takeo, but the production just looked so meh. The feeling you get from the Ore Monogatari!! series, be it the manga or anime, is a very bright and happy kind of world. I envisioned a world full of bright colors that popped. But the tone of the colors for the movie was bleh. The tone of the colors seemed too dull. And I’m not even gonna bring up the whole thing about friends and secondary characters being just barely there. It’d just be the same shit I’ve been saying in every post…ha…ha… (￢_￢;)
I feel like they should’ve done this film similar to the 2007 Hanazakari no Kimitachi e: Ikemen Paradise drama series. The case being that both were bright, upbeat, and very silly kind of stories. This would’ve been the case where it’s okay to be hella extra in acting, colors, and little effects. Where you really should make the movie look like a straight up comic come to life. The Hana Kimi drama may be old, but it did a wonderful job with that. The drama series had bright colors that really POPPED and set up that bright, happy, and colorful atmosphere and setting. It also had alot of these CGI blushes, CGI hearts in the eyes, and flowery backgrounds that screamed typical shoujo manga scenes. It was cheesy, but it worked and fit that type of story and atmosphere. I would’ve liked to see more of that in Ore Monogatari!!
Examples from Hana Kimi:
Nakatsu’s (second male lead) vision of Mizuki (the female lead)
I will admit that the Ore Monogatari!! movie was still sweet and had plenty of funny moments. It’s still quite enjoyable. However, I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped. I just felt like it didn’t quite have the essence of the manga or the anime. For me, it just felt like an almost low budget cosplay. Have you read the manga or watched the anime? Have you watched the movie? Let me know what you all think! I swear I’m not usually bitter or picky with movies, but I just wish these live action movies felt like they had the essence of the original. So again, I’ll say that I prefer the manga and anime over this live action adaptation.
Also, I apologize but there won’t be a live action review next Sunday. I’ll be on vacation~ However, I promise to have a fun post for you all~