Director: Kazuhiro Yokoyama
Stars: Tomo Yanagishita, Keisuke Kato, Yasuka Saito, Yukihiro Takiguchi, Tetsuya Makita
Takami-kun is an LGBT Japanese romance, adapted from a manga of the same name. Series 1 establishes the romance between the two young protagonists, Takami and Gii. Takami has a phobia of humans due to a traumatic past, whilst Gii comes from a wealthy and pressure-filled background. This hour long story is just part one of five chapters, which document their relationship through the years.
It’s romantic, but it doesn’t capture my adoration. It’s fun, but it doesn’t make me laugh or smile very often. It’s interesting, but it’s nothing special. All this really does is show us the build-up towards Takami’s confession of love towards Gii, who has always let his feelings be known for Takami. It was quite cute, but nothing special.
I would have liked to know more about why Gii fell in love with Takami before he even knew him properly. Takami is far from the most attractive boy, he isn’t a very entertaining person, and he’s an awkward recluse. You can’t help who you fall in love with, but they should have clarified exactly why Gii felt that way towards him. It was more than just a school crush… he would have laid his life down for Takami. I found this very strange, but then again, it’s based on a manga-series so one can’t look for too much depth.
I found the cinematography absolutely beautiful, and the music was soft and soothing. It's not easy to create a show out of a manga series, because the over-the-top characters on paper do not translate well onto screen, for they look unbelievable or annoying. This chapter of the series did a good job at being a little bit airy-fairy, and a little bit realistic. Even if the production value is pretty poor, Yokoyama did a great job at making this a really enjoyable romantic-drama.
Tomo Yanagishita gave a really soft, sweet performance as Takami Hayama. Am I the only one who thinks he has the most unique, spectacular eyes in Japan? ... Well anyway, I really enjoyed the way he played the character. I also liked Keisuke Kato's fantastic performance as Gii, our knight in shining armour. He suited the role of the 'perfect' young-man, for he's both physically beautiful and wonderfully caring towards Takami. Their relationship was sweet. Not always entertaining, but sweet enough to keep me watching.
I honestly don’t have much to say about this chapter of the series. If I were to make one more complaint, it would be about the frequent flashback scenes (which is common in J-Dramas). Takami-kun: Chapter 1 is a nice little show to watch, but nothing particularly memorable or powerful. The production value isn’t great, and the performances are simply 'good.' I enjoyed it, but I'm kind of hoping it's the weakest instalment of the series.