Hanazakari no Kimitachi e (Hana Kimi)

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Starring: Horikita Maki, Oguri Shun, Ikuta Toma, Mizushima Hiro, + a million other pretty faces

So. Can you tell what attracted me to this series? No? LOOK HARDER. It almost makes me want to start a school solely for pretty boys.

Anyway, I’ve always had a weakness for “the other man”, or the one that doesn’t get picked. This high school romantic comedy is probably the worst case to date of this, since I was never convinced that the man that was chosen was the man better suited for our female lead. But let us backtrack and summarize.

Ashiya Mizuki (Hokikita Maki) follows her idol, Sano Izumi (Oguri Shun), after seeing him high-jump on TV. She lives in America, and flies to Japan and disguises herself in order to enroll in the same all-boys school: Osaka High. Apparently, this high school only allows pretty boys to become students, though I would seriously contest that on a few of these guys. However, 90% of them fit the bill.

Anyway, her goal is to make Sano jump again. Kink in plans! – she falls in love with him. Go figure. Not only is the guy moody, antisocial, and a grade A bastard, but he has some serious issues facing his problems and ran away from home. Actually, he runs away from practically everything. But, wait! did I mention he was beautiful? Oh, yes.

Mizuki’s classmate Nakatsu Shuichi (Ikuta Toma) falls in love with her, thinking that she’s a boy. 90% of the drama’s hilarity stems from Nakatsu’s questioning of his own sexuality. I do so love things that borderline on shonen-ai! ♥ Sano luckily overhears a conversation and catches on that she’s a girl early on. Whatever.

I’m thankful to this drama for introducing me to Ikuta Toma, but I am angry at the outcome. Nakatsu clearly had to overcome much more (his own misgivings about what it would mean to be gay, society’s view, how his peers would treat him, etc) in order to accept that he had fallen in love with Mizuki. In the end, he is mature enough to realize that love can overcome gender. I LOVE HIM FOR SAYING THAT. ♥♥♥

But the person I perhaps loved more for just a moment is the gay guy interested in Mizushima Hiro’s character, head of Dorm 2: when everyone starts treating Mizuki differently when they discover she’s a girl, he tells them, “SHUT THE HELL UP. You still call yourselves men? If you’ve got something to say, say it face-to-face!” MAJOR WIN. ♥ There are a few guys that are awesome and recognize that she’s still the same person they befriended, even if she’s not a boy.

Anyway, it’s pretty funny even if I hate the end pairing. Nakatsu’s roommate, Kayashima (Yamamoto Yusuke) can see auras and ghosts, and he’s one hell of a funny kid. He always walks around with his hands in the air, “testing” it. LOL. Plus, his smile is too cute. And despite how…odd he is, he still gets a girl in the end. I don’t even know her name ~ just that she always tells people to shut up.

Other guys that I am going to try to keep tabs on: the other track-and-field guy, Sekime (Okada Masaki), Sano’s rival (who also seems to have a slight crush on him) from Toukyou High, Kagurazaka (Shirota Yuu) ~ who apparently is in the live-action Prince of Tennis movie! I’m excited screen-stalk him.

Boys in drag! Overuse of the word “baby!”, more high-jumping shots than you’ll probably see in a lifetime, shirtless boys! A panty-thieving dog! Even if you’re not into boys, Osaka High has a neighboring all-girl’s school called St. Blossoms, pretty much run by the “Hibari Four”. SO. Cute boys AND cute girls! Everyone’s happy! …Except for those of us that really feel that Nakatsu/Mizuki is a more appropriate pairing than Sano/Mizuki.

All in all, two thumbs up!

Rating: 4.5/5


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