As much as I love manga, I’m more of a dorama fan. I like everything from Chinese Wuxia, to Korean Melodramas. In this case, I read Takane and Hana when Shojo Beat started putting out the English editions of the manga. It’s been one of my faves to keep up with, so when I heard that there was a live adaptation in the making I made sure to mark my calendar!
Synopsis via Viki.com:
At sixteen years old, Hana Nonomura (Aisa Takeuchi) was the last person you’d ever expect to be going on a blind date, especially one meant for finding a suitable marriage partner. But when her older sister, Yukari (Arisa Deguchi), refuses to go, Hana finds herself forced to be her stand-in, or risk bringing shame to the entire family. With no other options, Hana agrees to go, hoping to get the entire thing over with as quickly and peacefully as possible; but when she meets Takane (Mahiro Takasugi), everything changes.
The heir of the Takaba Group, 26-year-old Saibara Takane is the epitome of perfection. With killer looks and a fabulous career, he’s the man every woman dreams of having. There’s just one problem, he’s a haughty, arrogant snob who thinks of no one but himself. With such a nasty attitude, his plans to ruin his impending blind date would be easy enough, he just had to be the right amount of awful to chase her away. His plan should have been perfect, but he never expected to meet someone as fiery as Hana Nonomura.
Intrigued by Hana’s complete lack of concern over his looks, position, and money, Takane finds himself drawn to this most unusual girl. When fate brings this spunky girl back into his life, Takane finds himself falling for her but can such polar opposites really attract?
Based on the manga series, “Takane to Hana” by Yuki Shiwasu, “Takane and Hana” is a 2019 romantic comedy drama directed by Yusuke Ishii.
I found Hana charming, played by Aisa Takeuchi, as she and her friends navigated the ups and downs of high school. Because her older sister has a boyfriend, she ends up going to a marriage meeting in her sisters place. I think Hana is pretty mature, and handles herself well no matter what situation she ends up in. I admire that about her, she just rolls with whatever life gives her. Usually I don’t like live-adaptations as much as the source material, but I think the actors did justice to the characters. So this was a pretty pleasant surprise. 👍
Takane is a spoiled rich kid, and is emotionally immature. Which is why I think they work well together. To the audience Takane’s character is humorous, as makes it his mission to annoy Hana. He is awkward though, as he navigates the world of the middle class, a culture different from his own. I think Mahiro Takasuki did a good job of emulting the essence of manga Takane, so I think fans of the manga will also enjoy the drama (plus Mahiro is super cute, so that’s a plus!).
Obviously, I enjoyed the drama a lot. It’s only 8 episodes, and they cut a lot of the story out, keeping just the skeleton of the plot. However, it was simple, and I think it encapsulated the essence of the manga nicely! I liked both of the main actors performance, and I even found the side characters amusing. Aisa played her role especially well, because I really felt her emotions when she was happy, sad, or angry with Takane lol.
Overall, I don’t think I can say more without giving much away, so I’ll end my mini-review here.
Though I will say, full disclosure, this story does have a major age gap with Hana being 16, and Takane being 26 (yikes). Age gap relations like this are pretty common in manga, so I don’t usually blink twice when I encounter them out in the wild. I mean, nothing inappropriate happens between them, but they are in a relationship so this might make some people uncomfortable. I personally have mixed feelings about it myself, so I just wanted to acknowledge it here on my blog, and let folks know. I did look up the actors ages, and the gap between them isn’t that bad with Aisa being born in 2001 and Mahiro being born in 1996. In the end, it’s up to you if you want to check it out!
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