「君に届け」 (Kimi ni Todoke)
“Reaching You”

If you’ve never watched a Japanese live-action drama before (or any Asian drama for that matter), the first hurdle you’ll have to overcome is how cheesy they can be at times. There will also a bit of an East meets West culture clash going on if you’re unfamiliar with Asian mannerisms, which anime can ease you into but can’t truly prepare you for the “real” thing. For a live-action adaptation of a manga, it’s basically the next best thing though. In the case of the Kimi ni Todoke movie released last year, being able to look beyond those kind of reservations about J-dramas may just open you up to a new-found love for them. It worked for me a several years ago anyway, back when I got into shows like Densha Otoko, Great Teacher Onizuka, Hana Yori Dango, Hanazakari no Kimitachi e, Honey and Clover, and Nodame Cantabile, Yamato Nadeshiko. For me, the transition wasn’t all that jarring, so what started with one drama led to a growing interest in live-action versions of romantic manga or anime.

First off, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, so much that I watched the full two-hours twice in preparation for this post. I loved how it touched upon a lot of the key scenes from the manga and portrayed them in a way that I found much more moving than its anime counterpart. It took a little while to get accustomed to the actors and actresses playing the cast of characters, but the brief introduction to Kuronuma Sawako (Tabe Mikako) followed by her fated first encounter with Kazehaya Shouta (Miura Haruma) had me eagerly looking forward to a lot of the developments that I already knew were coming. It sounds counter-intuitive getting excited about something that I know is going happen, but watching the same scenes brought to life by real people has an almost inexplicable appeal to me. Part of it is seeing how the various character nuances are portrayed and if I get a true sense of the character I know from the anime. Another is the amount of emotion that’s continually conveyed through facial expressions and eye movements, something that anime doesn’t quite capture the same way.

A great example of this was after Yano Ayane (Watanabe Natsuna) and Yoshida Chizuru (Renbutsu Misako) were introduced, the latter of whom I absolutely loved due to Misako’s ability to bring out her energetic and emotional personality. As the movie progressed, I was stricken with Chizuru, surprising even me since I’ve been all about Ayane and her ability to sense the situation and act accordingly in the anime. Kazehaya on the other hand came off popular and pleasant just like he’s known for, whereas Sanada Ryuu (Aoyama Haru) was a man of few words yet much more perceptive than he appears. Support characters such as Arai Kazuichi, a.k.a. Pin (Arata), and Kurumizawa Ume (Kiritani Mirei) were pretty spot on as well, with Kurumi sounding a lot like Hirano Aya when she called out for Kazehaya in one scene. I even found myself feeling sorry for her, with the only noticeable omission being that she didn’t tell Kazehaya that’s it’s obvious he likes someone. In Pin’s case, he didn’t quite look the part outside the towel, but he sure was obnoxious enough to remind me of the image I have of him. Of all the characters, Sawako was who I had the hardest time getting accustomed to, simply because it didn’t feel natural for a girl to give off such a creepy aura. However, once she cracked that first smile of hers, I found myself turning away from its radiance just like Kazehaya and was pretty sold on Mikako as the sweet yet misunderstood girl that Sawako is.

Watching the conclusion to the second season of the anime made me realize how I prefer Haruma’s portrayal of Kazehaya to a certain degree, mainly because Namikawa Daisuke makes him come off a bit too feminine at times. The same goes for Mikako’s portrayal of Sawako, which doesn’t delve into the overly goofy side of her character that Noto Mamiko uses a deeper voice for. Incidentally, it’s the lack of those more comedic scenes that helped this movie feel more natural as a live-action drama, making it easier to really get absorbed in some of the emotions being conveyed. I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for the “sappy stuff” if I get wrapped up in a story, but even I was a bit surprised when the that exact same scenes got me teary-eyed on my second time through the movie. In fact, the emotional impact increased after I was more accustomed to the actors and actresses in their respective roles. For the waterworks, there was Kazehaya defending Sawako after she was used in the class’ punishment game, Sawako speaking out to try and clear up the misunderstanding, Kazehaya and the others forgoing the ballot box and sitting beside Sawako, Chizuru heartbroken after learning that Tooru’s getting married, and of course the washroom scene with Sawako defending Ayane and Chizuru against the rumors. At times, I even felt an urge to cry out that my poor heart can’t take it anymore. In case there’s any doubt, yes, I enjoyed this movie that much.

However, that’s not to say I loved every aspect of this movie. The biggest problem I had was with the ending, which felt a bit too rushed given how key events such as the Christmas party were glossed over. The emphasis was clearly on Kazehaya’s inability to get his feelings across to Sawako and the many obstacles that he encountered along the way (e.g. Chizu), which translated to a surge in viewer angst near the end. It pretty much started when Sawako’s father wanted her to start taking the bus home. Before long, it was a combination of misunderstandings and Sawako being torn between missing her father’s amateur orchestra performance and leaving Kazehaya out on a limb that served as the climax to the movie. In execution it wasn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination, as it provided a conclusive ending to the first season of the anime if it were to end at that point — a welcomed change considering how the alternative left very much to be desired.

What I would’ve liked to see is a longer segment on Christmas before skipping right to New Year’s Eve, as the lack of one really gave off the sense that the movie was pressed for time. The eventual confession was far too brief as well, as it didn’t leave ample time to invoke much of an emotional response from me when Sawako and Kazehaya told one another how they truly feel. While I was still content with the ending as a whole, that was something the anime depicted better. In any case, I wholeheartedly recommend this movie for fans of the manga and anime, as J-dramas should be right up your alley if you enjoy series like Kimi ni Todoke. If someone were to ask me to watch this movie again, I’d do so in a heartbeat. Just be sure to keep the tissues close-by. You know, for my sake.


ED Sequence

ED: 「君に届け」 (Kimi ni Todoke) by flumpoo
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼


    1. lol…perhaps they didn’t hit that Creepy factor in terms of looks (I’m not sure how else they could, anime is different from real life, you know?) but she definitely isn’t pretty. She is just average-looking, which is a good thing. If they chose a actress who was pretty, then that wouldn’t really flow well either. Just imagine a Sawako that is prettier than Kurumi….uh, then maybe Kazehaya is really out to get her based on her looks….

      So I think Tabe Mikako was a good choice.

  1. As much as I watch live-action dramas, I’m not watching this cus I’d like to keep my Noto-Mamiko voiced, blushing and cute, animated Sawako in my mind rather than this. Also I wouldn’t want the manga material to be twisted like this movie did towards the end it seems and which the animated version took the liberty not to do and stick to the manga up to the last episode.

    1. Yes! My thoughts exactly.

      And as bad as this sounds – though I’m sure many people are (at least subconsciously) making this one of their reasons not to see this – the actors are way too inappropriate for the characters. They’re not ugly as human beings, they’re ugly as Sawako, Kurumi, Kazehaya, etc.

      Petit Orenji
    2. oh you’ll be surprised if you watched! 🙂 the movie is very comparable to the manga. i thought they’d butcher the manga and just try to use the actors’ popularity especially miura’s to sell the movie. but they did an excellent adaptation. the cast was perfect in both looks and mannerisms. i had my doubts about miura and tabe as i previously wrote them off as pretty but talentless teen actors but i was surprised at how well they could pull off their characters! the plot differed a bit because of the limitations in a movie but the spirit of the manga was captured throughout every aspect of the movie.

  2. I’m Filipino hence Asian, compare to live drama series from Korea, the Japanese which have a lot of live adaptations are far more cheesy. I watch live series from both countries from time to time since my younger sister kinda likes them so I download a few highly rated TV series but most of the time I only watched them halfway then gets too bored to finish the rest. But I think its far better than the live dramas in my country which has so heavy drama and nothing but heavy drama that its so unbearable for my taste I stop watching them, its kinda like the Mexican ones.

    Thanks for blogging this movie.

    1. I think Filipino dramas are more cheesier. And yes, I’m also a filipino. I’d write more but yeah, I don’t want to get offtopic.

      Anyways, I don’t know whether to watch this movie, but yeah, Dramas kinda turn me off. If I do watch it, expect it to be sometime in the far-off future.

  3. I liked the movie when I saw it last week. I disagree with you on one point… the anime Kazeheya is the handsomest most popular guy in the school. He has amazing charm and a likeable smile that is infectious to everyone around him. Like Sawako says he is freshness.

    The guy playing him in the live action movie did an OK job but he did not have the looks or charm to have every girl in the school wanting to confess to him. He did not stand out in any way from any of the other guys in the cast and was not believeable as Kazeheya.

      1. That hurts man 😀

        Being Asian I can easily distinguish people in my country that is Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian, Arab. I have hard time distinguishing Americans from Australians (probably because they have the same ancestry, the British?)or those people in Europe since then tend to have similar characteristics. There is a lot of them in my community which is near a University, it also helps that I work in a Hospital so I have a lot of people form different nationalities that I have provided health care 🙂

      2. unfortunately, I have to agree with Divine on that, since I have trouble telling Asian people apart sometimes (even though I’m Asian myself).

        That said, this movie version’s choice of actors seems more tame than the anime version…

      3. Well I think the reason for that is who you see all the time. If you live in an American neighborhood/household then you can easily distinguish yourself while Asians vice versa. I’m asian by the way and I can completely distingiush myself from other asian countries while I don’t know how to distinguish an American from an Australian without hearing their accents.

      4. I don’t think you need anymore comments but I think ahelo is right; I’m Asian but I can’t tell between Korean, Japanese and Chinese people. (By the way, Indian is also asian but they’re sort of obvious). There are some pretty subtle differences, like noses, jaw shape and overall complexion though.

      5. Yare yare, I happen to be Asian (Japanese American actually so not culturally the same but I do live in Hawaii if that counts for anything) so I can tell them apart and he is a tad bit better looking but idk… That smile just creeps me out rather than anything else. It doesn’t seem like he’s smiling with his eyes…

      6. I actually didn’t mean being able to tell Asian races apart, because that can be a lot harder than it sounds even for Asians. I just meant discerning between say two Japanese guys with similar hairstyles. The facial features of Asians don’t seem to be that distinct to non-Asians who don’t see Asians very often.

      7. No I knew what you were saying Divine. Hence the “I can tell them apart” bit was referring to him and other Japanese people and how he’s a bit better looking by their social standards of beauty.

      8. @ Divine — hi. I’m Black (Cameroonian, to be specific) and I think Kazehaya was reeeaaaally cute, especially when compared to the other actors in the movie. I watch a lot of Japanese and Korean drama, and I think I’ve finally come to understand more about the oriental asian standard of “beauty”… I think… anyway, I loved this movie and watched it twice too ! (I might even watch it a third time this weekend !!!)

      1. I didn’t say he was not a good person or a fine actor. I just didn’t get the feeling that he was Kazeheya or that the guy playing him could charm a whole school full of girls to fall in love with him.

      2. Yeah I agree with Karmafan. I’m one of the girls who has seen Koizora so yeah I know how popular he is…he’s just not refreshing in terms of looks/voice. Someone like Aragaki Yui is what I call refreshing, but yeah I realize she’s not a boy but its almost the same kind of the aura I get from Kazehaya’s character. She’d be a cute Sawako, though I don’t find her scary.

    1. So by goodlooking … were you hoping for someone like Eita, Satoshi Tsumabuki, and Oguri Shun? Cuz Haruma was in a cf with all of them and that pretty much means they’re all the dandiest men ever. Or were you hoping for pretty actors like Yamapi, Kame? Or the in-between actors like Toma Ikuta, Matsumoto Jun?

    2. I’m not asian (I’m caucasian) and yet can tell the difference between many chinese, japanese, korean, cambodian and other asian races. They DON’T all look alike to me.

  4. I really, really enjoyed the first half of this movie. I didn’t like anything at all after the whole ‘taking the bus to school’ thing. But Kimi ni Todoke is my favorite series ever so of course I’m going to be judgmental. I personally thought Haruma ended up sounding nearly exactly like Daisuke Namikawa at some points. It was awesome. I approved of the entire cast except for Pin (he’s supposed to be hotter than that) but wished they’d given Chizu’s actress shoe lifts or something because she was too short.

    Other than that, HNNNNGH this movie was great.

  5. As a guy who dropped the anime after a few episodes of season one(couldn’t stay awake),
    would you recommend this movie to someone who never got the appeal of the series and wants to give it a second chance?

    Is this like a condensed version of the series?

      1. Divine, what do you think (impartially) about the quality of actor play and general production quality of such dramas (when compared to most “normal” European movies for example (i didn’t mean traditional-oriented Japanese actor art, just modern one in movies) – when compared to European actors, for example. (Probably you already guessed what i was going to tell).

      2. They’re different and somewhat hard to compare.

        If you’re talking Hollywood movies, they tend to have bigger budgets and must appeal to the widest audience. Rather than risk going in a direction that may be unpopular, they’ll cater towards what sells.

        For Japanese dramas/movies, there’s an immediate culture difference and a lot more “innocence” in their stories, which may not always be that popular. However, it’s that very aspect that I really like about them.

      3. When talking about “innocence”, you are right here. The promotion of “consumption culture” (due to their mostly “not so intellectual” popcorn-eating target audience) in most modern Hollywood movies leaves them in that aspect far behind the vast majority of Asian dramas. But what about comparison with continental Europe movies ?

  6. Live actions have always been horrid experiences for me, and asian romances always make me want to take a shovel and chuck myself with it. But this is one of the very few exceptions.

    Overall, I really liked the simplicity of the movie. There wasn’t any big dramatic hoopla or overacting or over exaggeration, as viewers of mainstream asian dramas/movies have come to know. It was very subtle and surprisingly realistic. I was totally not expecting a realistic portrayal in environment and characters, but it did allow for viewers to be able to relate between the film world and real world. Which was nice.

    I was kinda iffy about the cast since I wasn’t familiar with any of them. I only worship Won Bin. But as the movie progressed, they all melted into a perfect fit. Yano totally looks like Yano. The actress that played Chizu was super cute imo. By the end of the movie, I liked Ryu’s actor more than Haruma Miura. All because of that one scene where he tells Sawako he likes Chizu. Yea I’m cheap, but his sudden smile was win. lol.

    So all in all, fans should definitely check the movie out. Unless you’re an extremely thickheaded, picky, biased, demanding, Hollywood-brain-washed, blockbuster-mentality, mother-in-law-like fan, everyone else should find this film quietly enjoyable and faithful to the original source.

  7. hey hey, is there a website for free watching? oh, and uhmm… has english subtitles? neheehee warui, i just happen to be all lovey-dovey with my fantasies which is why my grammar is at its worst.. 🙂

  8. wow if you would compare this to GTO and densha otoko, then surely this is worthy of watching. while you at it do you mind if you could introduce anymore live adaption that is good? so far i would recommend nodame (much better than anime itself,IMHO), liar game (was ok,but decline at the ending),

    1. Check out Yankee-kun to Megane-chan, its the best jap live action I’ve seen and I tend to be extremely hard on them because of their acting quality, for example: Nodame cantabile live action was garbage for me.

    2. if you like romantic comedies like hana yori dango, i’d definitely recommend this movie. i originally downloaded it on a whim; loved the manga but was indifferent about the cast of the movie and their ability to match up to the manga. i thought it was gonna be one of those sucky movies that capitalizes only on the popularity of the manga and the actors especially miura. and boy, i was pleasantly surprised! the cast actually did an excellent job of pulling off all the characters, both looks and personality wise. the directing and their acting genuinely captured the spirit of the manga.

      other doramas and jmovies i can recommend are hana yori dango, seigi no mikata, kokuhaku, kamikaze girls, gokusen(similar to gto), jyuryoku pierrot, kurosagi, proposal daisakusen, busu no hitomi ni koishiteru, akai ito, lovely complex, 1 litre of tears, mother, mr. brain and zettai kareshi. personally, i don’t recommend you watch yankee-kun and megane-chan if you loved the manga

  9. I tried watching it and the live-action version just doesn’t draw me in the like the anime did. Got in about 2 minutes before I just had to stop, I’m sticking to anime =c

  10. I loved everything about the movie up until where they started deviating from the manga. (Uh, yea, I’m one of those people who like faithful adaptations.) I found that a real pity. D: The characters were almost spot-on. I don’t think we can find a more sawayaka boy with a great smile to boot than Miura anyway, and Chizu-chan and Ayane really surprised me – they look and behave exactly like how I thought they will in RL. And I do think Tabe portrayed both sides of Sawako pretty well! If I am to nitpick, Ryu looks a bit small-sized in the movie, but he’s stoic and caring enough so I won’t complain. And I think they did a great job covering all those scenes they did in the first 3/4 of the movie.

    I just didn’t like how they handled the confession scene at all. It just felt too rushed, not really out of the blue (since I think they hinted that Kazehaya liked Sawako quite a lot of times, and even more obviously than the manga), just… Kazehaya feels so much more straightforward in the movie, which is good in another sense, but it sort of took away the one weak point of Kazehaya (which makes him all the more adorable, uh, from a girl’s point of view). And (I don’t know if this is a spoiler but I’ll just put it under the tag) Show Spoiler ▼

    And I agree that the final confession scene feels too short.

    I personally think it would have worked much better as a 2-part movie, but I guess they either didn’t have the budget to do so, or they didn’t want to risk anything. Still, I would recommend this movie to… anyone who does not mind a little deviation from the source, and definitely to anyone who likes a good love and friendship story. And for people who don’t read manga or watch anime, it’ll be the perfect way to introduce the manga. =D (When I showed this to my friend who isn’t in anime and manga, she was like “this is my new favourite show” and I think she’ll be searching for the manga. =D)

    1. Hahaha Yui isn’t creepy enough. She is so much prettier than Tabe Mikako though so in some ways I would rather her :C

      And well I still can’t tell if Sawako’s character is meant to be pretty or average cause the mangaka always draws her like a bijin…

    2. yui is too naturally refreshing and blatantly gorgeous to be sawako. it would throw off the genuity of the character because someone is obviously beautiful but shy and good-natured wouldn’t realistically be unpopular. tabe mikako pulls off the role so perfectly because her subtle beauty can really work with that awkward and misunderstood angle.

  11. I enjoyed the movie, but not as much as I wanted to.
    I saw it, and it was less than I’ve expected. The actors play well their parts, and some situations from the manga are really well portrayed, but I didn’t feel enough chemistry between the main couple, and I wasn’t satisfied with the final; I’m guessing it was too difficult to give it another ending because of the lack of time in a movie version, but I don’t know, I felt a bit disappointed ;_;

  12. I’m going to have to skip this one. As much as I love live-action romantic dramas (esp. Korean) live-action Kazehaya does not look as handsome and charming as I thought he’d be. Everyone else looks fine though.

    1. If you have watched Kimi Ni Todoke S2 and seen 11/12 you can see how devastated so many girls are that Sawako snagged Kazeheya. The dude playing him in the live action movie just is nothing special to charm a whole school full of teen aged girls.

  13. DAMNIT CHIZURU! i want a burberry scarf toooooooooooooooo! >:( and kazekaya’s jacket… GIEEEEEEEEEEEF! living on student loan sucks big time. 🙁 really wanna watch this now 🙁 i tend to like 3d romance more than 2d… well that said, hana kimi, hana yori dango, and koi sora were the only one i remembered… and i cried like little … er…. *insert w/e u wanna put here to avoid sexism and homo reference* through out koi sora… so i dont think i should watch j drama with family ¬_¬

  14. I definitely looked the trailer up a while ago and was stoked to watch it. Gotta find it now!

    Btw “a welcomed change considering how the alternative left very much was left to be desired” doesn’t grammatically make sense. 🙂

  15. Random stream of thoughts:
    I loved it when she tried to be a ghost. “Wah!” But oh my god, she is SO CREEPY when she wants to be. Tooru was kind of a jerk! Jeez… Chizuru = biggest cockblock ever in this adaption. Where’s MARU?! Ryu’s still a bro. Do you ever think Sawako is asexual? Her school ID made me laugh out loud. Kurumi’s “baka” was awesome. I wish we had seen Kurumi’s background story, which would explain why she was such a bitch. The last shot was so cute!!!!! Omg it was SO GOODDDDDDD. 🙂

  16. I watched the movie and that prompted me to watch the anime. All I can say is that I prefer Haruma Miura’s portrayal as Kazehaya. Maybe it’s the script but I like his character. He’s very believable as the nice, popular and responsible boy. I like Mikako Tabe’s expressions, sometimes she scares me lol Yano and Yoshida are like the coolest character to watch, Pin is wayy bizarre but fun fun fun and Kurumi, erm, is pretty and I like her turning nice at the end. I agree too that it was a bit rushed at the end and I didn’t really get how they resolve the conflict. Anyway I enjoyed the movie and I’d recommend it too.

  17. I really loved all the actors! They were spot-on!!!


    The movie was waaay too slow paced for me. I’m used to Japanese dramas and movies but for some reason, this seemed a tad too slow for me. I couldn’t finish the movie. Maybe it was just my mood that day. I’ll defiantly watch the whole thing on a day when I have more patience for that sort of thing.


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