Japanese Title : Hachimitsu to Kurooba
Release Date: July 2006 (Japan)
Runtime: 117 mins.
Directed by: Masahiro Takada
Produced by: Shinji Ogawa
Original Music by: Yôko Kanno
Art Direction by: Momoko Nakamura
Writing credits: Chika Umino (comic), Masahiko Kawahara & Masahiro Takada (screenplay)
Sho Sakurai as Takemoto Yuta
Yû Aoi as Hanamoto Hagumi
Yusuke Iseya as Morita Shinobu
Ryo Kase as Mayama Takumi
Megumi Seki as Yamada Ayumi
Naomi Nishida as Rika Harada
Masato Sakai as Shuji Hanamoto
It revolves around five art school students whose lives intersect as they endure the trials of being a college student on the verge of adulthood.
Being a Honey and Clover fan, it got me thrilled to finally get hold of a copy of the movie version that even though I was really tired I still tried to stay awake for another two hours just to watch it. The movie was based on the manga too, just like the series. The characters were amazingly brought to life, except for Takemoto and the dark-haired Hagu-chan. Quite a number of violent reactions were made by other viewers regarding the appearance of Mayama in the movie. I have noticed too, that he’s a whole lot thinner and his glasses are not square! Also, he is so unlike the adult-minded Mayama in the series.
The clothes, the set, the lines… were very similar to the series I previously watched [and loved.] My only worry is recommending the movie to people who haven’t seen Honey and Clover or has no background at all about its story. I think that non-Honey and Clover viewers who would want to see the movie just might end up asking so many questions why this and that happened. There were too many gaps, and that would be understandable since the full 1st season was technically crunched into a 2-hour movie. Well, I guess the movie was produced for Honey and Clover fans, that’s why it’s safer to read the manga or at least watch the series first, just for some background.
The movie version isn’t disappointing, just fair enough. The drama as well as the comedy is still there. It may lack a few details but the substance is still present, and for me that should be enough. Lastly, the soundtrack is nice, majority of the songs are in English, thank God…Yoko Kanno is truly a legend. Spitz did great with Mahou no Kotoba as well as Arashi with Aozora no Pedal, which was actually written by none other than Suga Shikao, who contributed a lot to the series’ music.