I actually enjoyed the storyline. I also enjoyed where they ended the first part of the film series. It was a really fitting ending, and made you want to see the next film. I thought For me the storyline never dragged. I do wish that they would expand a little on the happy times that they went through instead of relying on the drama. I thought the build up to the romance was very well executed.
I have not read the Manga nor have I watched the anime. I found this storyline with no context to either, still very enjoyable and definitely a recommendation to future viewers.
I have to be honest, at first, I didn’t like the male lead. To me, he wasn’t as handsome as the second male lead, and he did not look he should be in high school. It bothered me slightly that they didn’t recast for the second film, because both leads didn’t quite look like they belonged, given their style. But he grew on me throughout the film, mostly just because he did a fantastic job. Dealing with these type of moody characters is typical in Japanese drama’s, but I liked the complexity of emotions he had throughout. One particular scene for him stood out, when they were looking at his ex-girlfriend’s photo.
The female lead was okay as well. I thought they could have gone with a slightly better lead, in terms of choices, but I find her characterization simple. Which a complex storyline, that was kind of what the role called for.
For casting choices, I thought they should have chosen younger actors for the first film, then used the leads only in the second part. It would have made the impact, For me a little bit better.
The music never bothered me. I didn’t particularly take any interest in this film, listening to music wise. I do feel like silence would have been more impactful at some turns, but it worked okay with in this film.
Rewatch Value: 7.0
The reason why this isn’t a highly rewatch value, is mostly just because it has a lot of drama and deals with the significance of death and how it affects those still living. Though it may not be a tough situation for some, others may find it hard to rewatch. Especially ones who have lost loves. Though overall it is a extremely great film, and I recommend it to first time watchers of Japanese romance-school films.