[Jdrama] Hachimitsu to Kuroba

April 13, 2008 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

Narumi Riko as Hanamoto Hagumi
Ikuta Toma as Takemoto Yuta
Harada Natsuki as Yamada Ayumi
Mukai Osamu as Mayama Takumi
Narimiya Hiroki as Morita Shinobu
Murakami Jun as Hanamoto Shuji
Seto Asaka as Harada Rika
Takizawa Saori as Teshigawara Miwako
Kimura Yuichi as Lohmeyer-senpai
Matsushige Yutaka as Professor Shoda
Maekawa Yasuyuki as Teranobori Yasuhiko
Kashiwabara Takashi as Nomiya Takumi
Izumiya Shigeru as Yamada Daigoro

Hachimitsu to Kuroba is a Japanese drama that aired on the winter of 2008. Even though it was based off of a super popular manga and anime of the same name, the drama failed to live up to that popularity, averaging ratings of only 8.9%.

The drama follows the lives of five art school students. Hanamoto Hagumi is a young naive girl form the countryside, but she is an amazing artists. Takemoto Yuta is an architecture student who is a bit lost in life, not knowing what he wants to do. Yamada Ayumi is a talented ceramics student. She’s in love with Mayama Takumi, an experienced architecture student. The last member of their group is Morita Shinobu, an eclectic young man, who despite being an amazing artist in all sorts of forms, doesn’t want to graduate. Right off the bat, many love triangles are introduced. Takemoto likes Hagu and Yamada likes Mayama, but he’s too busy falling over his boss, Harada Rika. She and Hagu’s cousin, Hanamoto Shuji, a professor at their school, were friends back when they were in art school together. One nice change that HachiKuro has is that although there is romance in the story, it’s not a strict romance story. It tells the tale of five students as they find their way in life and as always, life brings elements of romance into it.

I have read part of the manga and have watched all of the anime, so I was expecting something a bit more from the drama. And I’m sad to say that the drama really doesn’t live up to the manga and anime. With the transition from animanga to live-action, a lot of things are lost, especially the way artists can over-exaggerate anything without looking too outrageous. Unfortunately, that is not the case for the drama and much of HachiKuro’s slapstick humor is cut from the series and replaced with other attempts at humor (which doesn’t work as well). Like Lohmeyer-senpai….whose role here was 1000 times greater than in the original storyline. I think it was supposed to be funny, but it was just stupid. And not even the type of stupid that you can laugh at.

The fact that many plot elements were changed made the drama’s storyline less touching than the manga. Not to mention how some of the character’s traits were altered, making you wonder, “is this person really the same character?” (just think Morita…). And not to mention they took out the entire character of Kaoru…which makes Morita lose a ton of depth to his character.

Despite that, I enjoyed Ikuta Toma’s portrayal of Takemoto and his monologues are well done. And I have always really liked the Yamada-Mayama storyline; I find it so touching and real and pure. I love the character of Yamada Ayumi, actually. And Hirai Ken’s Canvas as the theme song was really great as well.

HachiKuro is probably a good drama for those who aren’t too familiar with the original storyline. But for the rest of us who had some expectations, they definitely weren’t met. It wasn’t even like Hana Kimi, where the drama was still good, even though there were changes made to the storyline. Okay, so HachiKuro’s not bad, but it’s not good and that’s bad enough, right?

Buy the boxset: Japan Version

Entry filed under: dramas. Tags: , , , , , .

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