Yosano Suzume is a naïve, country girl who transfers to a high school in Tokyo. When she gets lost on her first day in the big city, a man named Shishio comes to her rescue. He turns out to be her homeroom teacher. Suzume begins to develop feelings for Shishio that she has never felt before… “I’m in love with you.” Suzume’s straightforward confession of love places Shishio in an awkward situation as her teacher. While Shishio grapples with how to respond, Suzume’s classmate Mamura, who supposedly has an aversion to girls, tells her he’s in love with her. What will become of Suzume’s first love…?
Cast & Credits
Character wise, Mei Nagano was spot on. She was just so refreshing to look at. Miura Shohei on the hand also did great. But sometimes I just want to comb his hair lol (I know, they're just referencing the manga but still...) and Alan Shirahama... well, I may be a little biased about him since I was really pegging for Kentaro, never-the-less, he pulled it off somehow. The little smiles he makes were really cute.
All in all, it was a great live action. Plus, it was quite faithful to the manga despite some deleted scenes and characters.
Without these plot points, if I had not read the manga, I wouldn't understand how Mamura fell for Suzume, why was Shishio so indecisive, why did Suzume reach her conclusion at the end of the movie. This was not well executed and made the story in the film seem shallow.
Casting wise, Mei Nagano was a great choice for Suzume, She captured her awkwardness well and did not disregard Suzume's inner dialogue. Miura Shohei was also a well-casted choice for Shishio. The way he said "chun-chun" was cute. Mamura, however, Alan Shirahama did not do him justice. One part of Mamura's character in the manga was that he was very slow in opening up to Suzume. They rushed that in the movie. He was also forcing himself on Suzume a bit too aggressively in the movie. For example, Mamura kissing Suzume on the cheek right after she waved to Shishio was very uncalled for. That's not how it was done in the manga and made live-action Mamura unlikeable for me.
Besides all the negatives in this film, the director did a great job with the sports festival scene, the hospital scene, and the execution of Suzume's final decision at the end. I'm really glad it was faithful to the end of the manga, but this adaptation would have been much better if it had been a drama series (and if they replaced Shirahama with Sakaguchi Kentaro, but that's a personal opinion ;-)