Let me tell you a little about the Good Morning Call manga before getting into the the live action drama adaptation. The manga was written by Yue Takasuka, and ran from 1997-2002. It also has a sequel manga called Good Morning Kiss.
The Good Morning Call drama first started airing on February 12 of this year, and finished in June, so you can now marathon it! But first, you need to know what it's about!
In the drama, Nao Yoshikawa (Fukuhara Haruka) ends up on her own when her parents relocate to the countryside to inherit her grandfather’s farm. Things are going smoothly until she discovers she’s been the victim of Rental Fraud by a tacky agency.
To top things off, another tenant who's also been scammed into paying for the same apartment, shows up. The handsome Hisashi Uehara (Shiraishi Shunya) is a popular student from her school.
Out of money, Nao and Hisashi sit down with the landlord of the apartment to try to fix things. However, the landlord explains that they've been scammed and unfortunately, even more money is required to secure the living space.
With that realization for both Nao and the viewers, the exciting part of our journey into Good Morning Call begins.
Our leading pair reluctantly decide to split costs and enter into a shared living situation as roommates.
*Cue fangirls clapping!* A much loved cliche as seen in other drama storylines has arrived and the somewhat forced living situation starts to unfold. First, some guidelines are put in place including house rules: Such as no 'other' boys allowed over. I very much enjoyed watching Uehara-kun trying to maintain his rigid no compromise stance. However Nao is really cute and occasionally a little clueless, but seeing her passionately trying so hard in all areas of her life can be inspiring to the viewer. But to be fair and open minded in reviewing, she could also come across as a little annoying to some people.
We see Nao's kindness often put to the test, as she is sometimes pushed to the limit from the sometimes cold Uehara-kun. He is almost a love-hate character type. Love his confident, introverted coolness but you may come to hate and dislike the manners in which he keeps Nao at a distance. Of course his character has his own reasons for why he is like that, which we get to discover as the story progresses.
The school is very similar to other J-Dramas, with students having their own small cliques and groups of friends. Despite Uehara-kun's disinterest in everything around him, he does have a following of unwanted fangirls. It's only when they decide to punish Nao (because she seems to be getting too close to their prized Uehara-kun) that he comes to her rescue and steps in as her shield, posing as her fake boyfriend (while at school) to fend off his pestering fans.
His idea also works as the perfect cover for their living situation. So we get to see a little of a contract relationship stacked on top of the shared living dilemma. It seems this drama has almost everything to cater to a typical Shojo Romance Fan. I also liked seeing how these characters handle each other with each curve ball that comes their way. And Nao's friends were really funny and well cast. As a group, the cast really shines in these moments.
Nao starts to gain feelings for her roommate which was, of course, easy to predict given the situation. How long will take Uehara-kun to lose his calm, cool collectedness and fall for her sweet charms?
The characters in Good Morning Call are very likeable. The genre is a slice of life, school, and *of course* shoujo manga enamoured romance, that makes viewers excited to see whether our two leads genuinely come together as a couple.
All in all, this is a young, first love drama which is fun to pass the time. It could have been a little stronger overall, but it was still a fun watch. I hope others enjoy this manga adaptation, as well as the hard work of the production team. Let me know what you think of this drama!