Oh dear, now summer is going to over soon, I finally remember that I still have some reviews to be done. And one of them is this jdrama review part 2! Here’s another verdict of my jdrama fix this summer.
*will not bore you guys with long rants*
Ouran is definitely one of the weirdest animes I’ve ever watched in its genre. Story-wise, I didn’t think a host club with a female student acting like a male host is a new plot, but Ouran has characters which are out of ordinary. As a fan of its anime version, honestly I didn’t know how to react when I first heard about the live version. Happy? Maybe. But I was more curious with how this live action will be able to adapt its anime/manga.
My expectation was high for the cast, especially for Tamaki because for me he is the most complex character in Ouran (Kyoya can be a tough contender, but I am leaning more towards Tamaki because of his crazy antics). My knowledge in jdrama actors field is limited tough so I didn’t have strong candidate for an actor to play Tamaki.
But when I heard that Yamamoto Yusuke was going to play Tamaki, I was a bit wary. I never heard him playing a comedic role before nor I ever watched his dramas closely. I watched him first in Atashinchi no Danshi which I solely watched for Horikita Maki and Osamu Mukai. His role in Atadan didn’t attract me at all, let alone the storyline that his role had. Then I discovered that he had lead role in Tumbling, which was really not my cup of tea.
Never heard about Kawaguchi Haruna before so I tried to google her, and apparently she was the girl from Tokyo Dogs acted as Oguri Shun’s little sister. She also had a role in Yankee-kun to Megane-chan last year. She never had lead role before. So again, I was skeptical about her being Haruhi.
One thing that I was curious about is how she was going to pull off Haruhi’s charm. She is cute, yes. But cute doesn’t define Haruhi. Haruhi is not a typical main female character. She is insensitive to her surroundings, and tough with a touch of ignorant side. How is Haruna going to play that kind of role?
The rest of the casts didn’t ring a bell for me. Daito Shunsuke who played Kyoya looked familiar because I saw him when I watched Futatsu no Spica. The twin actors who played Hikaru and Kaoru looked convincing enough, and I didn’t know what to expect from actors who played Hani-senpai and Mori-senpai. So again, I was keeping my expectation low.
So, what do I think about Ouran?
After 8 episodes, I can say that Ouran live action doesn’t awe me, but it doesn’t disappoint me either. The comedy aspect is definitely the one which keeps Ouran entertaining enough. For first few episodes, Ouran felt like a sitcom which has different story each week. But it started to pick up after episode 5, and I like this kind of pace that Ouran started to develop.
About the cast, Yusuke delivers Tamaki and his crazy antics quite well, but it is not spectacular either. Haruna plays Haruhi nicely but I still don’t think she IS Haruhi. Still has some flaws here and there, but it’s still okay. The twin actors did well too. Hani-senpai and Mori-senpai didn’t really convince me, but I enjoy watching them.
If there’s one thing that surprised me is Kyoya. I think, Daito Shunsuke is perfect in playing Kyoya. When I watched the anime version, I knew that Kyoya has some feelings for Haruhi in certain level. And while it’s not really clear, but we got the hints. In this live adaptation, I feel that Kyoya displayed his affection towards Haruhi with more certainty. I am not sure whether this is the script doing or I am just getting the wrong impression. But all in all, I think Kyoya shines more than others for me.
Now, my main complaint about Ouran,
Where’s the chemistry between Tamaki and Haruhi?
Seriously, I can’t feel any chemistry between Haruna and Yusuke. This is weird because I feel Haruna has more chemistry with the twins and Shunsuke. I am a bit disappointed in that aspect because Tamaki and Haruhi are supposed to be lovers (eventually). But in every scene where Haruna and Yusuke are together, I couldn’t feel the sparks at all. Something is missing in their interactions. And it’s not getting any better while we are approaching the end of this drama.
So what’s the conclusion?
Like I said before, don’t keep your hopes up if you’re expecting a great live adaptation. Watch this version of Ouran if you want to have good laugh. Cause even though the story and the casts are not that great, the comedy side is still hilarious. That’s the reason I am still following this drama closely.