(Sky of Love)
Genre: school, drama, romance
Air Dates: Every Saturdays @ 8:00 pm, 08.02.2008 – 09.13.2008
Starring: Elena Misuzawa, Koji Seto
More Info: D-Addicts Wiki
Based on a popular cellphone novel (which was also claimed to be a non-fictionalized autobiography) by an anonymous writer who only goes by “Mika,” this is a story of young love and first times of a girl named Mika and a boy named Hiro. Both go through the usual issues many teenagers go through, such as first crushes, first kiss, first fights, peer pressure, love triangles, sex, teenage pregnancy, first breakup, and a very deep understanding on what true love really is about.
The story itself was so moving that it was also known as the movie that “brought Japan in tears,” which not only produced a movie, a TV series, a printed book version and eventually a manga (Japanese comics) version. Since there is no English translation of the cellphone novel by itself that it’s difficult for me to give an accurate review of the TV drama version in comparison to the original text, however it’s comparable to the movie. Because of that it’s also difficult for me to determine which one of the two (movie and TV drama) was the most accurate towards the original cellphone novel’s text as the writer intended to illustrate in the first place.
I’m not usually a major fan of major tearjerkers, but sometimes once in awhile I would sit down and watch something friends would recommend me. Never mind the tears, as long as it’s a good story, I’m fine with it. As mentioned in my very short plot (I don’t want to go through much in to detail), this is one of those stories of young love and everything else associated with it, so there’s not very much that I find captivating that makes this story more special than any other “first loves” stories I’ve read, watched, or even experienced (by observation, that is).
I am aware that there are three versions of this story aside from the original cellphone novel: the novel, the movie (starring Yui Aragaki and Haruma Miura), and the drama series, which is what I’m reviewing. Reason being why I’m not going to review the movie version because, first of all, both of them portray the story differently. Second, I also don’t like comparing/contrasting my favorite actors to one another in terms of portraying the same roles (that of the lovers, Mika and Hiro). Third, I’ve never read the actual cellphone novel or even the published novel itself, so I can’t really write a very solid, accurate review of the story and how the characters are portrayed. However, I was told that the drama version follows the novel a lot more closely than the movie (then again, the movie is only 2+ hours while the drama is split in 6 episodes, so of course the drama would have more detail) .
The beginning was a little slow and dragging and it wasn’t easy to keep the viewers from watching the series further, but if you’re patient enough, you’ll finally get your grasp of the story. Though I admit that it did made me shed a few tears near the end, I really don’t have anything concrete to say about the storyline. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t really something new, since I’ve seen a lot of shows with similar plots such as this one. On the other hand, Asians in general really do make things in to a big deal with stories such as these, especially with those under-aged. For some odd reason, Koizora reminds me of some Filipino telenovela series I saw once several years ago when I used to live there. I can’t get the name of that movie and I can’t even remember who the actors were. Ah well.
I gave this a 4 star rating, simply because I thought it was a pretty realistic presentation of two youngsters in love and all the obstacles they’ve faced together that may threaten their relationship. All I can say is, as long as they have respect, trust, and belief with each other, especially in the most turbulent of times, love will still prevail regardless of how the story may end. I won’t say that there’s no other similar-type of story that can overcome than that of Koizora, but if that cellphone novel truly attracted the producers and screenwriters in bringing a mere cellphone story to life, then it must be that good.
I can’t describe the chemistry that the actors provided in a more concrete way. Elena Misuzawa is as pretty as ever (in my opinion though, way too pretty to be considered an “average” girl. I can say the same with Yui Aragaki in the movie version), so I don’t know if the casting is a little biased… two sweet lovers, would that mean both of them are really that good-looking? I can understand Hiro (Koji Seto and Haruma Miura are darn cute guys— no complaint there), but Mika the “average girl”? I think it would have had a lot more impact in terms of the audience connecting to the main character if the actress playing her was as much of a plain jane as the rest of us. Then that true love illustrated in the story would be a lot more believable.
There are a lot of sweet moments that would truly melt a person’s heart (at least, a young girl’s heart… or even the young at heart even…). So sweet that as a person who is a total elite at storytelling in general you would wonder if something so sweet can actually happen in real life, not to mention if guys like Hiro do actually exist in real life (never mind his bleached hair and piercings, we’re talking about natural personality here…). In addition, you may probably start to ponder if bittersweet love stories such as this one would last longer than you would imagine.
Granted, I saw the movie first before I saw the drama, but because Koizora is based on a cellphone novel that was published in to an actual novel, there’s no way I can determine the goods and the bads of the drama (let alone the movie) because the only thing I can compare this drama (and the movie) is with the cellphone novel itself. I’m an elite nerd when it comes to books and reading and in all honesty, I get cringy with movies or TV dramas based on books. Because I haven’t read a single word of the novel itself (they should have an English translation of the novel as my Japanese reading skills is way far from intermediate or advanced level), I can’t really give a more thorough, accurate review.
But overall verdict, despite of the super-sappy story of young love, I did have a good cry. I was touched.