Miura Haruma and Miyako Tabe, two rising stars of the J-drama scene, are set to star in the live action adaptation of popular manga and anime series "Kimi ni Todoke". Will it be enough to rocket them to super stardom?
According to Tokyograph:
The "Kimi ni Todoke" live-action film now has a cast: actress Mikako Tabe (21) and actor Haruma Miura (19) will take on the starring roles. The movie was first revealed in January, though no details were known at the time.
The original manga by Karuho Shiina has sold more than 10 million copies over 10 volumes so far, and an animated version just finished airing on NTV. The story revolves around a shy and misunderstood high school girl named Sawako Kuronuma (Tabe), whose appearance resembles the character Sadako from the horror movie "Ringu." When Shota Kazehaya (Miura), one of the most popular boys in school, begins talking to her, her life completely changes.
Although the manga is still ongoing, the movie version is said to have an original ending. Shooting starts in late April, and the film is set to open in theaters on September 25. Naoto Kumazawa ("Rainbow Song," "DIVE!!") is directing.
A little (Miura-biased) background info:
Miura Haruma first caught my attention in the drama 14 Sai no Haha (14-year-old Mother), where he took on the role of a proper boy of a single-parent family whose path in life is completely derailed when he (as the title suggests) impregnates his fourteen-year-old lover. Perhaps what he is most known for however, is his role in the cell-phone novel based love story Koizora (Sky of Love), a hit movie in Japan. A further boost to his popularity kicked in when he later played a junior high student in Gokusen 3, the third installment of a drama series based on the manga Gokusen. Since then, he has gone on to star in a two season drama, Bloody Monday (which is BLOODY GENIUS, I might add. I simply can't understand why the ratings are so god awfully low). And look at him now, about to hit the big screen once again with this movie.
Mikako Tabe, I don't know as much about- but a quick scan of her Wiki page shows that she's quite the drama veteran as well, having acted in a laundry list of recent series as well, including Yamada Taro no Monogatari and Yasuko to Kenji. Her career as a movie actress isn't too shabby either, having recently landed a role in 2009's Fish Story among a dozen other films in the latter half of the 2000's. Judging by the popularity of its other incarnations, bringing Kimi no Todoke to the big screen will probably rake in some huge bucks, given that the producers stay true to the story (sweet but predictable "typical awkward girl meets popular guy" Shoujo fair). Now, the question is, are the two starring actors going to cripple each other or give each other a leg up on the long road to fame? Let's take a look at this from a couple of different angles:
You simply can't deny it. Miura Haruma is one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen. Honestly, I don't see how anyone could call him unattractive. The boy is simply utterly gorgeous, from his finely sculpted face to his bulgy eyes to his picture-perfect hair. It sounds creepy, I know, but I could go on and on about how wonderful face he has.
On the other hand, Tabe Mikako strikes me as a totally different kind of look. She's very striking, indeed- but not beautiful (at least, not by conventional standards.) There's just something about her face that makes it seem very "aggressive"... is it the eyebrows? Something about her face just seems a tad off-putting.
The two of them don't seem to mesh together right now, but then again, referring to the Manga, the couple also seems quite an oddball combination at first glance as well, so their chemistry all comes down to their acting abilities in the end.
Both seem equally capable in their acting abilities, although they've both been acting in rather the polar opposite of the characters they will portray in the movie. Haruma, who is usually seen as a character that can be described in all or a combination of the following adjectives "stoic, serious passive aggressive, bad boy", will be acting as a very cheerful and open Kazehaya (the Mr. Popularity of the story). Meanwhile, Tabe, who is best known for her roles as cheerful school girls, will have to play the glum and under-appreciated Sadako. It's honestly going to be a very unpredictable ride in the acting department for the main leads of the film... I sure hope their getting plenty of guidance from the director!
Haruma has acted with older actresses before- most notably with Aragaki Yui in Koizora- so I don't see this a problem, but I wonder how Tabe will deal with this. Luckily, there isn't a huge age gap- only of around three years, with Haruma being 19 and Tabe 21- but this is the sort of information that I wish I hadn't found out ahead of time just so it doesn't ruin my image of the two "high school students" falling in love for the first time. Now, their performances in the film had better be top notch in order to erase the reality of their age differences.
All in all, I have high hopes for this movie. If all works out well, this could become Miura's second Koizora, and Tabe's big break. Plus, given that it is faithfully executed, this will be a fine movie to tide any anime and manga fans over to the live-action realm of J-Fandom. Positives all around, as far as I can see.
Now the wait begins.