Lovely final day. I'm at Narita now waiting for my flight to start boarding. :) Crashed at the netkissa, wrote my con report until like four in the morning, crashed a little, woke up, showered, and dashed to the movie theater to go see Hanamizuki.
I thought, "I'm sure I'm going to regret this like crazy. It's going to suck and I'm going to kick myself for not going to see Beck instead. But Toma >>> Hiro, so…"
IT WAS GOOD.
WHAT A SURPRISE.
I TRULY THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO SUCK TO THE POINT OF HILARITY.
BUT TOTES BUYING THIS ON DVD WHEN IT'S OUT. I could watch this over and over.
I don't think I've ever seen a straightforward sweet Japanese romance movie that wasn't a comedy, but also where someone wasn't wasting away from a terrible disease (I kept waiting for a surprise brain disease to show up!). It was romantic, but also incredibly realistic without any trace of over-the-top cheese. I really, really, really liked it.
It was also two hours long and, again, I thought going in, "Oh man, this is going to be one of those movies with crap editing that go on FOREVER, and half the movie is just the couple staring longingly at each other." Wrong again! Plus, they shot in three different countries and there wasn't a single instance of two characters meeting up in another country totally implausibly!! WHAT IS THIS?
The movie takes place over thirteen years, following Toma and Gakki from high school into adulthood (hair/makeup did an incredible job aging Gakki back and forth! …Toma looks pretty much the same throughout XD). There's not really much of a time jump, the movie really takes its time showing them grow up, and that's why it's so long. They're both from Hokkaido; Toma wants to be a fisherman and carry on the family business, while Gakki wants to study English at college in Tokyo. They both know right off the bat exactly what their life plans are and how they're being led in different directions.
You see them meet, fall in love, and carry on a long-distance relationship when she goes to Tokyo. Both have their own separate troubles in their own separate lives, and their situations and problems were so refreshingly normal: Toma's dad has buried their family in debt and left pressure on Toma for when he takes over the family business, and Gakki is at Waseda but can't find a job to save her life. All the long-distance relationship portrayal is really well-done and realistic. <3 I feel like my big recommendation for this movie is, "It doesn't suck in all the places it should!" I never got mad at either character or thought they were being stupid, they both remained totally relatable from start to finish! SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS THIS MOVIE. :D
Toma and Gakki had really lovely chemistry. <33333333 (Also Gakki's English is really pretty good!)
In conclusion: TOMA BE MY BOYFRIEND AND HOLD MY HAND INSIDE YOUR JACKET POCKET WHEN IT SNOWS. ;____________; I've always felt like of all the JE boys Toma seems like he would make the best boyfriend, this movie only increased his appeal. He looks like he gives really good hugs. XD
...and on that note, I now have a plane to catch. XD