Written by Muto Shogo & Yamaura Masahiro/Directed by Matsuda Hidetomo, Tsuzuki Junichi, & Sato Genta/Starring Maki Horikita, Shun Oguri, & Toma Ikuta/Based on the Manga by Nakajo Hisaya
Ohsaka Gakuen is a prestigious (infamous?) all-boys high school, known for only accepting attractive (not necessarily smart) students. So why on earth would an American-Japanese girl like Ashiya Mizuki travel across the world to sneak into such a school–disguised as a boy, no less?! The answer is . . . complicated, but basically she came to inspire the guy who has in times past been her own inspiration. Mizuki wants to see Sano Izumi start high jumping again, and she is willing to do whatever she has to to make that happen. Along the way, she’ll have a tough but interesting time, becoming friends with Sano, Nakatsu, and the rest of the zany guys in the dorms–and struggling to keep her gender a secret. It’s hard to say what kind of success Mizuki will have . . . or where love will bloom.
I think I’m in love–both with this series and with the main characters! I started watching this drama after reading Hana-Kimi, the manga it’s (loosely) based on. Actually though, they’re two different stories that happen to share some basic ideas and characters. I love them both! Hanazakari no Kimitachi e is a lot of fun, although it does have its serious moments. There’s a lot of just plain silliness, especially with the numerous dorm competitions and such. The story also includes drama, athletics, and romance (a love triangle!), so it balances out pretty well. The cast is well selected, and they suit their characters excellently. I especially love the characters for Sano (Shun Oguri), Mizuki (Maki Horikita), Nakatsu (Toma Ikuta), and Nanba-senpai (Hiro Mizushima) to the extent that I’m searching out more of their work to watch. I’m still getting used to the J-drama genre, but I think Hanazakari no Kimitachi e will be one of my longstanding favorites.
Note: This is a Japanese live-action television series consisting of 12 episodes + 1 TV special.