Film Review: Koizora / Sky of Love (2007)

Blue Skies and Cherry Blossoms: Miura’s Spring Awakenings

by Ender’s Girl

“Nothing really matters / I don’t really care
What nobody tells me / I’m gonna be here
It’s a matter of extreme importance
My first teenage love affair…”

Alicia Keys, “Teenage Love Affair”

Ah, Spring! Never experienced it, lol. (Here in the tropics, we have only two seasons: El Niño and La Niña, hahaha) …And [noona alert!!! run away run away!!!] ah, Miura Haruma! — the ultimate poster boy for Spring: bright-eyed, fresh-faced and with a smile so sweetly accessible, a young man on the cusp of bloom standing tall and pure amid the orgiastic freakscape of dancing plassstic Johnny-botsss (my precioussss…).

It would only be fitting for an actor of Miura’s looks and appeal to move past the mandatory silliness of his earlier work and anchor his promising career on heartthrob roles of the young-adult persuasion. After all, the boy turned 21 this year, so forget the shounen-manga adventurism of the Bloody Mondays or the high school hijinks of Gokusen 3 and Samurai High School; because the real rite of passage, the definitive landmark of any aspiring leading man’s career, is the Romantic Drama Screen Test (RDST): 1) Can you convincingly play someone who’s young and in love? 2) Can you make female audiences fall in love with your character, and with you? and 3) Can you do it again and again until you make the transition to Hot Single Dad/Elder Statesman roles? (I hope you’re taking notes, KimuTaku. ha,ha,ha)

We all know how a 24-year-old Kimura aced his RDST in Long Vacation back in ‘96 (and no, Asunaro Hakusho doesn’t count, hahaha. eeewww geeks hahaha); ditto Tsumabuki Satoshi in the contemporary classic, Orange Days in 2004 (although fans may argue that Lunch Queen in 2002 was the real turning point). To follow this matinee-idol trajectory would be a wise career move as any for someone of Miura’s type. I mean, if weird little Kame, who skews more towards “horny hobgoblin” than “hetero heartthrob,” pulled it off beautifully in Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, then it ought to be a cinch for wholesome, normal-looking Haruma-kun, right?

Prior to 2011, Miura the TV Actor seemed happier spending his teen years out-hacking cyber-terrorists or goofing off with his deadbeat high school homies (*loves on Shirota Yu*) than really getting serious about romahhhnce (unless you count his turn as Shida Mirai’s 15-year-old babydaddy in 14 Sai no Haha, hahaha). (And I’ll ignore – for now – his eyebrow-raising performance as an affianced high school instructor who tangles with a student in that Winter 2011 ren’ai with a riddikulooosly long name. Hold your thoughts on the matter; all I’m going to say is that soon, very soon, Miura and I are going to have a very, very long chat. Behind closed doors. Come to noona! Lulz)

Whereas Miura the Movie Actor already has a number of romantic films under his belt, the most popular being Koizora (Sky of Love), the 2007 celluloid version of the cell phone novel turned pop-culture phenom, and 2010’s Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You), based on the hit shoujo manga and anime of the same name. In both movies, Miura romances the female protag (played by Aragaki Yui and Tabe Mikako, respectively), first as a bleached-haired badass biker boy in Koizora, then as a high school Prince Charming in Kimi ni Todoke.

Although Koizora and Kimi ni Todoke are hugely different movies in terms of material and themes explored, the one thing they do have in common is the pretty. Pretty, pretty actors against pretty, pretty backdrops. So pretty!!! And I daresay you’ll find both movies quite entertaining, albeit for very, very different reasons. *remembers Koizora with fondness* Read on!

Koizora: Because Life’s a Bitch and Then You Die… of Laughter

The Cast:
Miura Haruma, Aragaki Yui, Nakamura Aoi

Directed by Imai Natsuki / TBS Pictures, 2007

In a Nutshell:
Shy high school girl falls for resident bad boy. Then sh*t happens. (And how!!!)

(SpoilLert: Just like the movie, expect everything but the kitchen sink in this review. Come to think of it, might as well throw in that damn sink. *ker-SPLAT!!!*)

A word to the unsuspecting: do NOT let this movie fool you!!! The title and promotional posters would want you to expect a regular teen coming-of-age romance – replete with clear blue skies and pretty rainbows and carefree bike rides and picnics and snowmen and la-la-la-la and maybe a little weepy on the side – but don’t be fooled!!! This is a sick and irredeemably warped movie!!! Run away!!! Run away!!!

But if you’re the type of feller who doesn’t mind a little self-inflicted torment here and there, then – to quote Seth Rogen from The Green Hornet – will you take my hand, and come with me on this adventure? Hahahahahha

First thing we do is punch a hole right through Koizora’s highly fraudulent advertising. Koizora, your average teen love story, is it??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Deconstruct this movie and what you’ll get is a really retarded version of Spring Awakening crossed with The Jerry Springer Show, coming rigged with every bluddy makjang trope from every bluddy makjang ever made since the first makjangs sprouted along the banks of the Han River in 1582 BC. (For non-Kdrama viewers, makjang dramas <=> U.S./Mexican/etc. daytime soaps.) Koizora is a 2-hour FML festival (yes, as in, “F*** My Life”) about an ingenuous (ingenuous <=> retarded) high school girl named Mika who goes through what may best be described as… not a bad-hair day, or even a bad-hair week or month, but a bad-hair life. Murphy’s Law is a person, and her name is Mika!

But wait, you ask. Really, what’s the worst that can happen to her, she’s just in high school for goodness’ sake. So she goes through a little adolescent angst, gets her heart broken for the first time, experiences the requisite coming-of-age pangs of Puppy Love? No biggie, right? WRONG. Oh it’s Puppy Love all right – Puppy Love at its rabid, homicidal worst. Our naïve little heroine finds love, all right – plus a whole sh*tload of complications, some even of the criminal variety (tsk tsk). This ain’t a nice teen romance, but a day visit to the JUVIE PSYCH WARD. Falling in love has never been so monumentally f***ed-up as it’s shown to be in Koizora, that by the movie’s end you’ll have sworn off love, libraries, and Miura Haruma for the rest of your life (…okay maybe not… Miura Haruma lol. come to noona!!! hahaha).

The movie starts out innocently enough: A twenty-something Mika (Aragaki Yui) looks out the window of a train reminiscing her First Love, who may or may not still be alive, but whom we can safely infer is no longer in her life. Mika’s voiceover: “If I had not met you that day, then I would not have experienced that pain and sadness… but then had I not met you, I would not have experienced that joy, excitement, preciousness, and the feeling of absolute happiness. How are you now? I continue to love the vast blue… <wait for it> SKY.” Okay, so that opening spiel was a tad treacly, but certainly not reason enough to hit the eject button, you argue. But wait – there’s MOAR!!!

One Missed Call

Flashback to high school, with Mika as your typical dreamy-eyed freshman who is just discovering the untold joys of pink lip gloss and the opposite sex. One fine spring day, a boy from another section corners her in the hallway and attempts to wheedle out her phone number. Repulsed by his presumptuousness and multiple skin piercings (btw the boy here is a very young and unrecognizable Nakamura Aoi, pre-Q.E.D.), Mika tries to evade the boy’s unwanted attention – and bumps smack into his friend Hiro (Miura Haruma), who with the baggy pants, spiky blond pouf, and ear piercing, must be another baaad boyyy OHNOES!!! (Btw, Miura throughout this movie = fashion YUCK.)

But Mika thinks nothing of their first encounter, preoccupied as she is with the more quotidian things in her student life. One day she loses her mobile phone at school, and although it turns up later on a shelf in the library, Mika discovers that some creepy student has gotten to her gizmo first, and has apparently deleted ALL of her contacts but left his number in the phone’s address book. (I know I know, all together now: WTF right? But wait – there’s MOAR!!!) Mika’s phone suddenly rings – it’s the creep calling to regale her with his tampering exploits, and the stupendousness of his reasoning is equaled only by the arrogance in which it is delivered: “If they want to talk to you, they’ll call you,” says Mystery Boy, Despoiler of Mobile Phones.

It appears that Mystery Boy wants Mika (and her phone) AAAALL to himself. But only a numpty like Mika would meekly swallow this new arrangement instead of doing the only sensible thing a girl can do when she realizes her privacy has just been violated, which would be to yell into the receiver, “Imma break yer balls, creeeeeeep!!!” and run home as fast as she could. Alas, as our heroine has neither the cojones nor the IQ points to tell her stalker off, this strange exchange thus becomes the anchoring point for Mika and Mystery Boy’s summer-long… <wait for it> phone fling!!!

Summer Lovin’, Happened So Fast… (Tell Me MOAR, Tell Me MOAR!)

Despite that library scene foreshadowing Mystery Boy’s sociopathic obsession with Mika, the movie is still relatively pleasant up to this point, as the two youngsters spend every day of their vacation talking about everything under the sun, as teenagers are wont to do: e.g. Mystery Boy’s facial features!… things Mika likes (flowers! an empty school! <dun-dun-duuunnn> the library!) and dislikes!… urban legends circulating their school!… Mika’s insecurities! (she thinks she’s plain) and skin texture! (he: “Is your body soft?” she: (still not getting the yucky phone-sex vibes) “My body is very stiff” hahahaha the silly bint)… Mika’s family problems!… Mika’s birthday! (and on her otanjoubi, he sings to her in this high-pitched voice that manages to be both creepy and LOLtastique at the same time, hahaha. ohhh Miura. you may be 9324934x better looking than them Johnnies, but you sing just as bad hahaha)…

Although the secret-admirer shtick verges on the pervy at times, I kind of liked that this all happens while Mika does random everyday things like brushing her teeth or lazing about the house, her cell phone plastered to her ear the whole time. Didn’t we use to do that in high school, spend long hours on the phone with our crush du jour, zoning everything out as if the voice on the other end of the line were the only sound that mattered in the world? So points for nostalgia and believability here.

The new school year rolls around and Mystery Boy decides it’s time for <dun-dun-duuun> The Big Reveal! Mika agrees to meet him on the rooftop after class, and – surprise, surprise, it’s Bad Boy Hiro, he of the bleached hair and skin piercings!!! And he brought her flowers!!! But pure, sweet, freaked-out Mika rejects the offering and bolts, calling him a “silver haired scary person.” (LMAO)

But later that afternoon, Mika sees Hiro PLANTING THE SPURNED FLOWERS in the school’s flower bed, and this melts her trusting little kokoro!!! Feeling a little guilty about her earlier rebuff, she stops for a chat, and in joyful response he takes the garden hose and points it at the sun!!! Where a brilliant rainbow materializes above them!!! As if to auspiciously say, “Let young love blossom as the flowers bloom!!! Grow my pretties, grow, grow!!!”

Let’s Get This Party Started!!!

And then – ZOMG HAHAHAHAHA THE FUN IS JUST BEGINNING!!!!! Cut to Mika sitting in class, listless and bored. Her phone beeps: it’s Hiro, commanding her to “Come to the library now.” Thinking he’s in some kind of trouble, the ninny fakes a stomach ache for a hall pass and makes a beeline for the library. (I mean it’s the frakking school library. What life-threatening accident could Hiro have possibly gotten into? Tripped on a globe? Inadvertently swallowed a date stamp? Hahahaha) But it turns out that ALL THE HORNY LITTLE CREEP wants to do is play hooky… and then make whoopee. Gawwwd.

So they sneak off campus and go on a bike ride! He takes her home, to his room! They make out on the floor, but he wants MOAR! And he promises to be gentle! (Hahahahahaha) In fact he’s SO gentle that they do it with their clothes on! (Ahahahahahaha how did they DO that? I don’t know I don’t know!!! Let’s just driiink!!! DRIIIINK!!!)

Just before sunset she wakes up but he’s still asleep – and then the creep mumbles some floozy’s name!!! (Ahahahahahha) Feeling like a dirty used rag, Mika flees The Room of Deflowering, but a few minutes later Hiro rouses and calls her up for a really awkward post-coital phone chat, i.e. He: “The hoochie whose name I uttered repeatedly in my sexually sated stupor? Oh that was my ex-girlfriend. Who’s a psychotic ho, by the way.” She: “C-can I trust you?” (LMFAO driiink!!! DRIIINK!!!)

Oh but it gets better!!! It gets better! So for their first real date, Mika and Hiro agree to meet at a bus stop in the middle of nowhere. She gets there early, then suddenly a minivan pulls over – and there are TEENAGE HOODS INSIDE!!! They grab her and zoom off, and next thing Mika knows the van stops beside a poppy field (or whatever)! The door slides open and Mika gets out and they chase her into the meadow, where they line up and have their way with her amid the flattened red flowers!!! Then the lowlifes leave Mika in the Field of Rape, and then it’s nighttime, and Mika’s huddled in a ditch by the wayside!!! A lone biker careens down the road – and it’s Hiro!!! Who’s at least several hours late for their date! (tsk tsk)

Mika can’t believe Hiro managed to find her in the dark, squatting amid the weeds. “How did you find me?” she squeaks as he pulls her into a frantic embrace. Hiro the Useless pulls back, gazes into Mika’s eyes and solemnly replies, “This is the power of my love.”

<takes a moment>

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!! The power of my love??? The power of my love??? LMFAOOOOO!!! BEST SCENE EVAR!!! Apparently love not only “makes you strong” (to quote from YamaPi the Philosopher-Pecs, lol), but it also endows you with a built-in homing device that honks whenever your ladylove is in danger!!! DRIIIINK!!!

Indeed, hell hath no fury like a useless turd of a boyfriend who arrived too late to save his girlfriend from a sex crime. (Too late the… Hiro, eh? Lulz) So our Mr. Furious tracks the thugs to a darkened warehouse (of course!), hops off his dinky little bike (but since he’s wearing a BLACK LEATHER JACKET he’s obviously invincible!!) and singlehandedly thrashes them into confessing! Turns out the mastermind is Hiro’s ex-GF Saki, who ordered the dirty job to get back at Hiro for dumping her… which would make Hiro indirectly to blame for Mika’s woes, oh wow! Hiro finds Saki and drags her BY THE HAIR to fling before Mika’s feet, growling murderously, “Mika, how should we punish her? One word from you and I’ll kill her!” (HAHAHAHAHHA Hiro you comedian. DRIIINK!!!) But moved to pity, Mika stays his wrathful hand! She forgives Saki!!! (tsk tsk) (Well dammit, Hiro shoulda just stiffed the skank, gotten himself arrested, and spent the rest of his life in the slammer, end of story let’s all go home. Alas, whoever wrote this stinker of a tale just didn’t know when to stop.)

So Mika goes home and bravely tries to put the trauma behind her. But her classmates are less than sympathetic, leaving malicious graffiti scrawled on the blackboard for the whole school to see. This calls for a job for – Hiro!!! Who barges into the classroom, takes one look at the blackboard, whirls around angrily and spits out, “Who did this? Who dared to bully my girl? If you ever do this again, even if you’re a girl, I won’t let you get away with it! I’ll protect Mika no matter what!!!”  (You gotta hand it to the writer, Hiro does have the best lines in this movie. The best!!! Hahahaha DRIIINK!!!)

Babies Making Babies, and Other Oddities

Hiro grabs Mika and they run off to the library (of course), where she tells him, “Hiro… I’m not afraid anymore.” Meaning she’s no longer scared of future rapists and psycho ex-GFs, bring ‘em ON. Hiro may not be able to PREVENT future acts of violence, but at least he’ll get mad, get VERY MAD at the perps!!! (Hahahaha) They celebrate their Promise of Love (at the Dolphin Bay, lol) by makin’ s’MOAR whoopee ON THE LIBRARY FLOOR, between the first bookshelf and the freakin’ display table. The two kiddos are so consumed by lust they don’t even bother to find a dark nook somewhere (although this is a high school library, so I doubt there’d be dark nook for.. er, nookie, anywhere, ne?), AND they do it FULLY CLOTHED. AGAIN. Hahahahahaha DRIIINK!!!!

Then oh wow – Mika learns that she’s PREGNANT with Hiro’s child!!! He’s thrilled and can’t wait to be a father! He even wants to marry her! But before Hiro the Honorable formally asks Mika’s parents for her hand, he dyes his hair back to his natural dark color – because he wants to prove to them that this reformed, er, Brash Brat (ehehe) is oh-so-serious about their precious daughter!!! (Hahahaha) At least Mika’s parents approach the teen wedlock issue more realistically (i.e. are supportive but with reservations, in contrast to Hiro’s folks’ blithe acceptance), but capitulate anyway under the earnestness of their daughter’s bright-eyed impregnator with the normal-colored hair.

Just when the future is looking rosy for Mika and Hiro, Saki re-enters the picture to exact her revenge on Mika!!! Mika delivers this contender for best line of the film (“Hiro isn’t a possession!” — she’s wrong though, ‘coz Hiro is a tool, and tools are possessions too, bwahahaha) before Psycho-Skank Saki pushes her down the stairs, ohnoes!!!

It doesn’t take a genius to figger it out: preggers teener dogged by misfortune + murderous psychotic biyatch + a tumble down a flight of stairs = miscarriage! On Christmas Eve!!! (Okay I’ll admit this part was a little sad, especially when Hiro rushes off to the shrine to pray for their child while Mika wakes up in a haze of sedatives only to be told that she just lost her baby. And the scene where they leave a little snowman in their flowerbox and say a pray for their dead daughter… that was very sad.)

(Sidebar: I just need to take a short breather from Koizora and say: Seriously??? THIS is what high-schoolers go through these days??? Back in my time all me and my chums ever did after school was hang out at the benches under the trees discussing books or our favorite alt-rock bands, or we’d hie off to the nearby mall to play Whac-a-Mole at the gaming arcade before blowing our allowance on Dairy Queen Blizzards and The Mighty Ducks collectibles. The world was so young and innocent back then, tsk tsk. Lol)

Sophomore year, spring term. Mika doesn’t see much of Hiro, he won’t return her calls etc etc, then her friend throws a party which turns out to be nothing more than a teen orgy of sexdrugsrocknroll in some garret, and oh oh oh – Hiro’s also at the pahr-TAY! And he’s back to sporting his bleached hair!!! And strumming a mean-looking electric guitar, and flirting with the girls!!! Alas, it can only mean one thing: Bad Boy Hiro is BACK!!! (Hahahahhaha DRIIINK!!!)

So later that night while everyone’s passed out on the floor, some stoned creep starts to grope Mika, making her flee to the bathroom. But when she comes out, she sees Hiro sucking face with a hoochie!!! Hurt! Pain! Heartbreak!

Back at school, Mika sees Hiro in the library aka the Room of Unprotected Nookie. Let’s break up, he tells her cruelly! Because he’s tired of monogamy! She later spams him with text messages about how she won’t give up on their love and all that sad, desperate sh*t, and even tries to lure him back into the library hoping to trigger memories of their lusty little interludes in the General Reference section, but he never comes!!! Pain! Agony! Heartbreak!!!

After a relatively uneventful school year of being ignored by Hiro, Mika finds herself at a goukon with some college boys (ooooh!). (College boys <=> Koide Keisuke and that geekboy from Code Blue, who makes a sad geeky pass at Mika with the pickup line, “W-would you like to r-ride the D-doctor Heli with me?” Lawlll)

But it’s Koide Keisuke whom Mika feels drawn to because he has gentle eyes and is studious and responsible and likes long walks and flowery speech, i.e. Exhibit A:

Koide Keisuke: “Tell me about your First Love.”
Mika: “He’s like a river. His waves take everything away.”
Koide Keisuke: “If he’s the river, then I am the… <wait for it!> SEA.”

(Ahahahahahahaha WTF, right? Is this guy fo’ realz??? From one nutjob to another, ehhh Mika? No wonder your life is so screwed. Hahahahaha DRIIINK!!!)

Apparently the most efftardedly insipid of metaphors are Mika’s kind of thang, and she happily jumps into a relationship with Koide “Shakespeare” Keisuke. Fast forward to Christmas Eve, and Mika’s on her way to her dead baby’s shrine at the Flowerbox of Regret, when she sees Hiro there (!!!) and — he’s wearing a beanie (!!!) and his face is unnaturally chalky (!!!) – SO HE MUST HAVE CANCER, RIGHT??? *rolleyes* But these visual clues sail past Mika’s pretty head and she trundles unsuspectingly back to Boyfriend Numbah Two, thus prolonging everyone’s misery (not least of all the viewer’s).

Come high school graduation (finally!), Mika notices Hiro’s conspicuous absence from the ceremony. Not the brightest bulb in the room, she goes off to college still clueless about Hiro’s worsening condition. When Koide Keisuke proposes to her the following Christmas Eve, who does she bump into at the flowerbed/shrine but Nakamura Aoi, who reveals (finally!) that Hiro’s been sick since their second year in high school!!! *rolleyes* Which was around the time he suddenly and inexplicably turned cold towards Mika!!! *rolleyes* (Well at least the end’s in sight now, yay. Nothing like terminal sickness to neatly tie up a convoluted narrative.)

Mika breaks up with Koide Keisuke despite his last-ditch efforts to cling on (“Don’t go to see him!”  lmao), and then she runs off to be with Hiro at the hospital, where she sees him still wearing their engagement ring! Hugs of forgiveness and tenderness and sweet, sweet regret all around! Mika vows to take good care of Hiro until his very last breath – which, judging from his wan, long-suffering smile, can’t be too long off. But the young lovers make one last truant bicycle ride to the library (no nookie though, hahaha), then to their favorite grassy spot by the river (well at least it ain’t in the Field of Rape, hahaha), where Hiro makes Mika A CROWN OF FLOWERS before collapsing against a tree, sobbing. (Hahahahahaha) Then he finally says the three magic words (“I rabu you”) which could’ve saved them both a buttload of heartache had he told her this SOONER. *rolleyes* And Hiro’s dying wish? “I want to become the… <wait for it> SKY…” (Hahahahahahahhaa DRIIIINK!!!!)

So the sick little creep finally breathes his last.*moment of silence… NOT. hahahaha* In the throes of grief, Mika attempts to jump off a bridge but gets thwarted by a flock of white birds presumably sent by Hiro’s spirit to protect her (not unlike Jeon Ji-hyun and her giant life-saving hand-shaped balloon in Windstruck – but in a more “hahaha man that’s stoopid” kind of way). And then there’s something about Mika discovering Hiro’s blue diary (!!!) filled with pictures upon pictures of her, and Mika looking at the sky smiling, and origami birds on a train. Then roll credits — and IT’S THE END!!!! THE END!!!! DRIIIINK!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Portrait of the Makjang as a J-Movie

There’s really nothing to analyze in this sodden, self-indulgent mess of melo-porn, so don’t even bother. But laugh at it, yes, and laugh heartily, for it shall bring you many a merry (albeit brain-destroying) moment. Few productions can out-makjang the makjang, but Koizora manages to do just that!

The problem with this type of narrative – and melos/makjangs in general – is that it desensitizes the viewer to the multiple whammies (gang-rape! teen pregnancy! spontaneous abortion! psychotic people! cancer!) that bludgeon the main characters from every conceivable direction, start to finish. Instead of being given one or two major plot conflicts to focus on and build one’s sympathies around, the viewer easily gets alienated from the characters because they’ve become mere objects of tragedy and misfortune rather than flesh-and-blood human beings grappling with the challenges of their world.

This doesn’t mean that the societal evils and hot-button issues tackled in Koizora do not exist; my beef is with the overweening treatment these topics are given in the film: there’s no real gut-wrenching gravitas to the story, only a glib artificiality to the plot contrivances – as if the writer were pulling randomly from a grab bag of Horrible Things, hoping to meet some sick boo-hoo quota.

This kind of melodrama-pastiche treatment also cheapens the true-to-life experiences of people in the real world who have been victimized by gang-rape, or battled an incurable disease, or lost a stillborn child. It diminishes their tragedy and loss while insulting the intelligence of the movie viewers, who are actually expected to believe that — yes, Virginia, all these hardships CAN happen to just ONE person. You CAN get sexually assaulted, AND get preggers, AND miscarry your baby, AND watch your boyfriend die of cancer – all before your 20th birthday. *rolleyes* But do not worry, because you will invariably come out A STRONGER PERSON!!!

I would’ve invested more in Mika and Hiro’s relationship had I actually gotten to know them before the story started dumping green slimy buckets of misery on them both, like they do to celebrities at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. (Every time something awful happened to Mika I felt like screaming (rather gleefully), “You got SLIMED!!!” Hahahaha) I also would’ve invested more in the whole story if the dialogue weren’t so farking CHEESY. *throws up in mouth* And also if Aragaki Yui and Miura Haruma had infused a little pathos and street cred into their work, instead of approaching their roles with sweet-faced vacuity and constipated, hammy zeal, respectively. (Miura easily chalks this up as his worst perf EVAR. My best friend remarked that as cringe-worthy as Miura’s portrayal was, the fact that he could deliver such drippy dialogue with a straight face – hahahhaha – made it even worse.)

The biggest whammy of all is that the anonymous author of the film’s source book – a mobile phone novel (keitai shousetsu) entitled “Koizora: Setsunai Koi Monogatari” –  claimed that the plot was culled from her life experiences…… Um, seriously, this sh*t was autobiographical??? HAHAHAHAHAHA. If Koizora was based on a true story, then I’m a yodeling Swiss goatherd named Juergen, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

What’s even more disturbing is that Japan effing BOUGHT the tripe and let it snowball into a “cultural phenomenon,” according to Wiki. The novel went viral in 2005 with a whopping 20 million subscriptions, then sold two million copies in hard print, and even spawned its own manga, dorama and film adaptations. (Srsly Jpn srslyyyy???????) Apparently, the whole country got a collective kick from reading about the never-ending woes of their favorite teenage love martyr, never mind if these were probably nothing more than the hyperactive fantasies of a lonely, affection-starved bint who happened to have too much time on her hands. Poor critter, I hope she finally grew a life.

All together now: DRIIIIIINK!!!!!

What's that, Hiro? Sorry seems to be the hardest word, eh Hiro? Hahahaha

Grade
Artistic & technical merit: D-
Entertainment value: D
Overall: D

(Click to read my Kimi ni Todoke review)

***
Photo credits: aigoo-iichan.blogspot.com, angryanimebitches.wordpress.com, asian-eiga.blogspot.com, asianmediawiki.com, ciachiaa.blogspot.com, club.ados.fr, darling79.blogspot.com, fadedshadow.xanga.com, flickr.com, fymh.tumblr.com, fyifamilies.com, gatopardos.com, hyorina.tumblr.com, jfilm.tumblr.com, jktcraze.blogspot.com, maypang-amin.com, micacola.glogster.com, mylot.com, m-y-m1nd.blogspot.com, nikpi-0409.blogspot.com, nipponcinema,com, pom16.multiply.com, randomc.net, secretbear @ polyvore.com, singlelittlethingofmine-evelynwann.blogspot.com, ssangcheo.tumblr.com, whattamessgurl.wordpress.com, yousaytoo.com

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65 Comments on “Film Review: Koizora / Sky of Love (2007)”

  1. gieasakura Says:

    wahahahahaa! i had a great laugh reading this! wahaahhaa. still cracking up…. DRRRRIIIINNNNKKKKK!!!!

  2. wolforion20 Says:

    When I first watched this, it was typical manga-fashion to me where whatever evils could befall and try to part the main couple, they did. Melodrama that can be too much, over the top and really downright annoying at times. But Miura love keeps me from saying that I don’t like this movie all that much. Hell is story friendly and keeps people reading/watching, but too much is still too much and not a good thing.

    I wouldn’t define it as a “normal” teenage romance, but I think in my high school days there was less innocence (particularly in my own class where we had several girls knocked up before graduation), while such extremes aren’t the norms, if you water it down quite a bit you might get something you see at every high school across the US. Sad to say, but true (you know, minus the gang rape, psychotic murderous ex, and terminal illness)

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Had I read the manga version of this, I think I would have been more tolerant of the plot (no matter how convoluted) because manga is such a different medium from film. At least with a serialized format (whether manga or TV drama) the story lines are developed at a more leisurely pace, which also means that the sentimental effects of the melo tropes (thankfully) get diluted per episode. But like you said, “too much is still too much” — and if you pack all the sentimentalism and weepy cliches into a 2-hour movie, you get a drippy sleazefest like Koizora.

      “Miura love keeps me from saying that I don’t like this movie all that much” << Heh heh no worries, besides, I'm not one to judge.😛 And Miura love is always all good, baby!😀

  3. Cristelle Says:

    I totally agree with the fact that it totally underplays the GRAVITY of everything Mika goes through. Like, she got gang-raped and then A WEEK LATER she’s totally willing to sex again? LOLWUT? Does she have such short term memory that traumatic experiences like rape don’t have any effect on her? And yes, definitely too many issues in one movie. I was just sitting there like, okay, is she going to find out that Hiro is actually gay and grow up to be a gay rights activist now? Does she fall into a downward spiral of drugs and addiction as well?

    Also, Wolfrion: I also agree that this is what the U.S high school scene looks like (plus drugs, minus terminal illness). Also, I’m not sure if this is a Japanese drama thing, but school girls always tend to go to such fucking extremes to exact revenge on people who ‘stole’ their boyfriends or other such petty offenses. God help Japan if such things actually happen in their schools, because I’ve NEVER seen anyone in my US high school come close to organizing a group to gang rape someone.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      “I was just sitting there like, okay, is she going to find out that Hiro is actually gay and grow up to be a gay rights activist now? Does she fall into a downward spiral of drugs and addiction as well?” << LMAO!!! I burst out laughing when I read the gay rights activist part. Gold!!!😀 That way they'd just have to change the cause of death from cancer to AIDS. Or something less common, like… a shrinking cranium disease. Then Miura would get to run a marathon with a bandaged head and inspire millions — before kicking the bucket. (Sorry for the Yuuki reference. ^^;; Hahaha ohhh Yuuki, still good for a laugh :-P)

  4. Dawn Says:

    I read the synopsis for this about two years ago and had decided two not go anywhere near it with a 10 foot pole, and I’m glad I decided to stick with that plan after reading your review. It has however boggled my mind that despite all the crazy, people on the asian drama/movie blogospere seem to love the movie…just going by the number of MV’s that are available for this…….I did however get to watch Kimi No Todoke earlier this year and liked it a lot

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hahaha I know… even the reviewer at Twitchfilm loved this movie, lol. Anyway, I just wish the same level of blogosphere love and attention had been lavished on a production that actually deserved it, like… Tatta Hitotsu no Koi (hee hee).🙂

  5. danni Says:

    LMAO!!! I feel exactly the same way about Koizora. I think I wanted to watch this for Aragaki Yui to see if I could watch her in a movie that didn’t annoy me. Unfortunately, this was not it. All I could think while watching it was that “It CAN’T get any worse.” Oh, I was wrong, so very, very wrong. I’m pretty sure some brain cells died after watching this movie. I have yet to figure out why Japan loved this novel so much because I just felt like bashing my head against the wall.

    “I would’ve invested more in Mika and Hiro’s relationship had I actually gotten to know them before the story started dumping green slimy buckets of misery on them both, like they do to celebrities at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.”

    -Lol, so true. I think this was Koizora’s biggest fault.I’m not a fan of makjang, but it works best when there are characters you can feel sorry for. However, we don’t know anything about Mika and Hiro and so they come off as stiff cardboard cutouts so all that angst just has no emotional connection.

    Hopefully Kimi ni Todoke is better for Miura. *Goes off to watch*

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      “All I could think while watching it was that “It CAN’T get any worse.” Oh, I was wrong, so very, very wrong.” << ROFL yeah I know the feeling. If it's possible to actually drown in a sea of histrionics, look no further than Koizora! x__O

      Anyway, enjoy that *other* Miura romance!🙂 Kimi ni Todoke was definitely a pleasant ride… but I’m not too crazy over the film as a whole. I was hoping for more… spice, I guess *waggles brows* But totally and utterly rec-worthy — unlike *some* movies out there @__@

  6. MaAkusutipen Says:

    As always, spot on review! I was really LOL-ing when I saw this and reading this review made me rememeber how I laughed at this film.

  7. mrmz Says:

    Yea when i first watched it I was like, They were walking about serious issues in such a childish way!! About having your first time, about being raped, about getting pregnant… all of these happened and the girl’s face was the same, as if she wasn’t affected, she wasn’t maturing… well same goes for the guy. They were both very childish, and by the end of the movie, I didn’t get what we got from the whole story, and from the ending.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      “…all of these happened and the girl’s face was the same, as if she wasn’t affected, she wasn’t maturing… well same goes for the guy. “ << I know right?!?! I think the zero character development was the biggest issue for me as well (besides the gratuitous melo-porn).

  8. doozy Says:

    Duuuuuudeeeee, welcome back! I miss you.

    Haven’t seen this movie but your review is always a treat to read. Miura completist project in progress for you, eh?

    So.. after all those drinks, are you pretty hammered now? *hands E.G. honey tea to sober up* ahahhahah

    I mean, if weird little Kame, who skews more towards “horny hobgoblin” than “hetero heartthrob,” pulled it off beautifully in Tatta Hitotsu no Koi

    I did finish watching Tatta Hitotsu no Koi and yes, never thought I’d say this but the last episode, where Kame’s hair was black and him and Nao met up again, I was like, “Uh, what the heck is this? Kame is… hawt?!”

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      HEYHEYHEY DOOOOZYYYYYY!!!!!😀 (Hahaha was I really gone that long?) But I can see that you’ve been one busy blogger, woohooo!!!😉

      “Haven’t seen this movie but your review is always a treat to read. Miura completist project in progress for you, eh?” << Thank you for the lovely encouragement!🙂 And thank you for the honey tea! (I'm normally a coffeeholic, but I just fixed myself some black tea — with honey! :-)) Kanpai! *raises mug* *slurps happily*

      Hahaha to answer your question, I dunno about being a Miura completist (YES), I mean, one J-idol at a time right? (YES) I mean I'm not even done with the Kimura Project, much less Yamapi’s dramas (YES). Maybe when my plate is less crowded I’ll consider that Miura completist business (YES).😛

      I did finish watching Tatta Hitotsu no Koi and yes, never thought I’d say this but the last episode, where Kame’s hair was black and him and Nao met up again, I was like, “Uh, what the heck is this? Kame is… hawt?!” << *does cartwheel-double-backhandspring-backward-somersault-straddle-split* Actually I liked Kame’s look better as a brown-haired boatyard mechanic than as Hiroto 2.0, but… *does cartwheel-double-backhandspring-backward-somersault-straddle-split*😀😀😀

      (And since one update deserves another, lemme just say I watched the first eppy of SKKScandal, and I’m really liking the heroine! At this point I’m more partial to the unkempt dude — wasn’t he also the dude from Chilwoo? — than to Mickey Yoochun. (Ohnoes it seems you’re Team Mickey?!?!? hahaha that’s okay.) Ah, well. I also started Dream High at around the same time, and with this drama I’m more partial to the poor country bumpkin than to Taecyeon’s character. I must be in a “pro-poor” phase or something, lol. Probably all started when I watched THnK hahaha. Anyway that’s the update from my end. E.G., out!)

      • doozy Says:

        Yay, you’ve started SKKS! Yoon Hee is awesome, isn’t she?
        The messy hair dude or mane of glory (dubbed by SKKS fandom) is Yoo Ah In. You’re right, he was also in Chilwoo. During the height of SKKS craze, people were going ga-ga over his character (ack! I blanked out on the name) and were shipping him with Yoon Hee and/or Yong Ha, fanfictions sprouted all over the place about him so you are not alone in preferring him over Sun Joon (Yoochun’s character). As for me though, I dunno… he was a little too emo for my taste.

        I usually check out dramas for a particular actor and/or actresses so did not see Dream High since the cast didn’t strike my fancy.

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          Ugh, emo really? The way Jang Hyuk turned driptastically emo in the 2nd half of Chuno, thereby spoiling… well, lotsa things about that drama? *draws little hearts on Oh Ji-ho’s naked (but noble!) chest lol* Ugh. Oh I forgot, you discontinued your Chuno watch at some point. I dunno but emo…. is e-NO. *sigh* Ah well. You’ll be the first to know if and when my initial shipping ever does swing the other way😉

          “I usually check out dramas for a particular actor and/or actresses so did not see Dream High since the cast didn’t strike my fancy.” << WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT DOOZY WASN'T YONSAMA REASON ENUFF? hahahahahahha

  9. Jenny Says:

    Yes!!! Something new. Well, I have been avoiding Koizora and it seems for a good reason(I do admit I watched the jdorama version and was wt*)
    Such serious matters and they are handled in such a crazy way.
    But first, Miura Haruma is legal!!!!
    I did read that a lot of teenagers in Japan are obsessed with this cellphone novels and they are not exactly the best reading material for easily influenced teenage girls there.
    Gakki seems to play the same roles over and over I just wished she would do something different someday, I don’t know if it’s her agnecy or that’s all the material she gets.
    Haruma is turning out to be a excellent actor, hopefully he will continue with doing different type of roles in the future too.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hey Jenny!😀 Oh wow, you actually watched Koizora the dorama, huh? Judging from your reaction I doubt I’ll ever go near that one with a 84758-foot pole.

      “But first, Miura Haruma is legal!!!!” << I know right??? *kanpai* baby! *clinks glass*😀

      I find Gakki (not Gakky? Takki? Tackey? lol) to be very pretty and telegenic. I'd only seen her in Code Blue and she hardly left an impression on me. Come to think of it — yeah, her character there was virtually the same as Mika, only smarter lol. Hey… it just struck me that both Gakki and Maki (Makki? Makky? Mackey? lol) have had YamaPi for a leading man at least twice! Heh heh😉

      • Jenny Says:

        Yes, I actually watched it(don’t know what came over me to give it a try)
        I don’t reallyget the whole obsession with cell phone stories tuned live action, teenage girls completely get the wrong impression about love from them. It’s like the japanese Twilight except sparkly vampires.
        Poor Miura, imagine the shock he would have if he only knew what we all have planned for him. I doubt he would ver dare to leave his house or travel abroad xD
        Gakki/Gakky is pretty and looks nice on the screen but she is what would be a appropriate phrase-bland maybe. She leave sno impression like you said, she’s simply not memorable.
        I nver thought of that, but your right. I do wish they would make a Kurosagi 2 though, Maki and dead fish eyes had great chemistry and in the manga they even kiss chuuuuu!

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          “It’s like the japanese Twilight except sparkly vampires.” << Hahaha can you imagine Twilight as a cellphone novel? Mobile subscriptions would go up 3987497343 % lulz😀

          “I do wish they would make a Kurosagi 2 though, Maki and dead fish eyes had great chemistry and in the manga they even kiss chuuuuu!” Really? Then PiMaki shoulda kissed in the drama/movie!!!! Not that I was ever a fan of the drama/movie, but still! I would've wanted to see Akira smooch Nobuta… er… you know whut I mean😛 Instead of that silly neither-here-nor-there open-ended scene by the lighthouse with Maki saying "bang!!! bang!!! bang!!!" and a shirtless Pi in his red jumpsuit… er… you know whut I mean x__O Anyway, you're in the same boat as ockoala — if I recall, she loved the PiMaki chemistry in Kurosagi ^^;;

  10. Eliza Bennet Says:

    I could have easily be a victim to view this if not for your selfless act of watching and reviewing this. Thank you!

  11. bbmecury Says:

    It’s been such a loooooooong time… luckily, the Miura Haruma-centric post kinda makes up for all the waiting. I have been wanting to watch Koizora. After your review, I have decided that… I STILL WANT TO WATCH IT!!! If only just to watch Miura Haruma in one of his earlier works! *haha* Anyway, looking forward to your review on Kimi Ni Todoke🙂

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Has it been that long? *twiddles thumbs* lol

      I was trying to decide between writing about Koizora/KnT and more serious fare, like Kohaku or The Man from Nowhere, and I guess we know what won out in the end hahaha @__@

      Hey — I won’t stop you from watching Koizora!😉 I’d do the exact same thing even after reading something negative about it. (I mean… it’s… Miura…. hihihi) So I totally get how you feel!😀

      Re Kimi ni Todoke — ahhhh. *squirms* I’d have to say I didn’t fall head over heels in love with the movie, even if I wanted to terribly. Anyway my review’s almost ready for posting — I just need a good closer. x_O

  12. jicks Says:

    ahahaha I am so glad you wrote this review and expressed everything that I’ve locked away in my heart for so long~~!!!~~!!!!!!! lol

    I first watched this upon the (very high) recommendation of another friend (btw, had no idea who Miura Haruma was at the time… and little did I know how much of his other works I would be later be stalking, er, ogling over, er, watching^^;) but at the end of it, I was just like, HUH? Then I was checking out alot of opinions across cyberspace and was gobsmacked at how many people thought this was, like, ZE lovestory of ZE century… and while I thought the dude with the peroxide spikey hair was kinda nice, mother of crap, I just did not get it. I think I even pretended to not hate it. I mean, where was I supposed to cry?

    That said, from memory, I think I do remember somewhat liking Hiro. Not for his initial “let’s bed Gakki right here right now” antics but if you put all the twisted crap aside, I did kinda like his protective streak. And although I didn’t cry (from sadness that is, ahaha) I do remember feeling a tiny lump in my throat in the end when we saw a beanie-headed Hiro in his hospital bed (come on, I know I’m not the only one with a soft spot for a misty-eyed Miura here! I know! I know! xPP)

    Btw, lol @ “Philosopher-Pecs”: keep the loving nicknames coming^^;

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      jiiiicks!!! I knew you were a bit fond of Miura in Koizora. I think if my heart hadn’t been turned to stone after watching all those 48,965 gratuitous cancer K-weepies from 2003-2008 I might have actually felt a little sad for Dying Hiro😉

      “(come on, I know I’m not the only one with a soft spot for a misty-eyed Miura here! I know! I know! xPP)” << I know I know I know!!!! But for some reason I vastly preferred his crying scenes in the Bloody Mondays — coz I dunno, I was invested more? His character’s loss (or losses) felt more real? The hacker hoodie? lol

      Oooh speaking of Miura/Hiro in a beanie!!!! They shoulda put him in the same hospital room as Kame/Yuuki (hahahaha), like in a twin sharing semi-private ward or something. Miura/Hiro wearing that beanie, and Kame/Yuuki in that artfully tilted head bandage and eyepatch (this being after his 9458th operation where the docs chipped off the remaining 12% of his skull, hahahah) — ohh what a sight our boys would make!!! Of course we’d be by their bedside everyday, and maybe Shun would drop by withi his “ganbare Yuuki!” photo collage but invariably end up by Miura’s bed, chatting about computer games or something. lulz😀 (Wonder who’d die first? My guess is Humpty Dumpty hahaha.) And OF COURSE YamaPi could have himself wheeled into the room during visiting hourse — er, I forget what his character’s illness was in that really old tanpatsu The Boy Who Turned Into a Bird (or something), but I doubt it’d be anywhere as… interesting as Kame/Yuuki’s lol xD

      • jicks Says:

        ahahahaha at your ward scenario! Golden, and I hells yes I will definitely be there during… non-visiting hours ;))))))) *slips on nurse cosplay*

        Hang on, I thought PiPi would be patrolling the place Aizawa-style? I bet he could save both Miura and Kame!

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          ROFLLL @ the nurse cosplay idea gaahahaha😀😀😀 *flicks syringe w/ hentai grin*

          Dude if Dr. Aizawa were in da haus, he’d be too busy playing “Spin the Heli” with Gakky to make the rounds and check on Patients M and K. Besides, we’d prolly just pin Pi down in the locker room and get him to lift his scrub suit and show us his abs, lolz😛

  13. tinysunbl Says:

    Hello, dear Ender’s Girl, long time no see!

    It’s been a while since I stopped by here and the Jdrama land (has to do with a guy named Yoo Ah In, but long story…). It’s no surprise that you made me laugh so hard again with the write-up. I didn’t remember that Koizora is 1% this good until the summary LOL. Way too entertaining.

    I bid farewells to Jun’ai movies a while ago, and was surprised that this genre still thrives, like weeds. It’s too hard to find any good Jun’ai movie nowadays. Actually Koizora reminds me of a short gay Korean movie called Boy meets Boy, in which two boys meet thanks to a missing object. It’s like a snapshot of emotions, sweet and simple. If Koizora had gone on a similar emotional explorative road, it could have been less bad. And I agree, would not send my kid to high school in Japan cuz everything sounds messed up. Sex in the City vs. Sex in the Library? Now that a whole new level!

    “And I’ll ignore – for now – his eyebrow-raising performance as an affianced high school instructor who tangles with a student in that Winter 2011 ren’ai with a riddikulooosly long name. Hold your thoughts on the matter; all I’m going to say is that soon, very soon, Miura and I are going to have a very, very long chat.”

    I guess this would come up sooner and later on your blog^^ I’m very curious about what you made of this show. I was on episode 5 or 6 when I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. Does this drama even have a point? I’m confused.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      tiny!!!!!!!!!!!!!😀 Hahaha thanks, glad you enjoyed the laughs ^^;;

      (Yoo Ah-in? woohoo! I’m just starting SKKS myself! ;-))

      I’m normally leery of roms that use lost-and-found cell phones as a romantic takeoff point because they usually feel so cheesy and contrived — like in My Boyfriend Is Type B (Lee Dong-gun and Han Ji-hye), Sapuri and Buzzer Beat. But I like the way you described Boy Meets Boy (although I haven’t seen this one).🙂

      “I’m very curious about what you made of this show. I was on episode 5 or 6 when I decided I couldn’t take it anymore. Does this drama even have a point? I’m confused”. << Hahahaha is it that bad? xDDDD I never watch dramas in real time, so I'll give this one a spin when my current to-watch/review list gets whittled down to a respectable degree. Not looking forward to watching this, though x__O To say the least @_____@

  14. kay Says:

    ender’s girl, why are you so funny? your writing is seriously the best out there. it never fails to crack me up. i admit i enjoyed watching the movie because miura is simply fine to look at.

  15. myr_ah Says:

    New reader!

    Hahaha! I laughed so hard reading this blog of you Ender’s Girl. Lulz. DRIIIINK!

    This movie was introduced to me two years ago by a boy cosplayer friend. He’s one of those closet cry babies that I knew and he told me he cried watching Koizora. So I checked it out and dude until today I don’t know why he cried on this one. I feel sad for Mika and Hiro but I didn’t cry. I’m a sucker for tearjerker movies and dramas myself but I totally didn’t bought Koizora ’cause it didn’t touched a certain part of me (the high school girl).

    I doubt a real high schooler experienced those things in high school. But I admit the movie is pretty to look at.😄

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hello there! Hahaha I’m happy this review gave you a few laughs…😀

      For a realistic portrayal of the high school experience, there’s Nobuta wo Produce. Have you seen it? Your friend will probably cry more during this drama because it touches deeper things inside of you that Koizora never could.😉

    • jubilantia Says:

      Consider the Nobuta recommendation seconded! I love it soooo much. It manages to be quirky and a little fantastical while still somehow accurately recalling the high school experience. It is BRILLIANT. Also I think it’s the best drama of the three main actors. It’s much more genuine than some of the other Japanese high school dramas out there.

      Give it an episode or two- it is so quirky that it is a little hard to follow at first, but by the end of episode 2, and definitely by 3, you should be hooked.

  16. jubilantia Says:

    Yeah, I’m never ever ever watching this movie. Your review, though- HUH. FREAKIN. LARIOUS. (driiiiink! driiiiiiink!)

    I guess that’s why they call them tear-jerkers- they go for the cheap heartstring tugs rather than troubling to actually illicit emotion in the viewer. These are the absolute worst form of “entertainment”, as far as I’m concerned. I watched episode 1 of the drama, heard the “even though he’s no longer here” at the beginning, and decided HALE NO. I do not need that shit.

    Sounds like the heroine is troubled with my pet peeve for heroines in Japan- many of them are so dumbed down and perfectly groomed and flawless and ignorant to the point of stupidity that they cease to be believable- or even likeable- in the slightest.

    I generally hate anything involving cancer, so I haven’t seen Tatta Hitotsu no Koi, but maaaaybe I should possibly give it a shot. Huuge maybe. I’ve been on a k-drama kick, which is bad because I’m actually trying to learn Japanese, so there goes my Super Intellectual * wink* reason for watching Asian dramas.

    However, if you like Korean dramas at all, watch City Hunter. Like, yesterday. SO. GOOD. Aaand I saw up-thread that you were watching SKKS- also fantastic, with the same heroine as City Hunter, interestingly enough. And it’s great that you like what’s his name- long-haired kid. YOU AND THE REST OF THE FANDOM. *fans self*

    Great to read new stuff!

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      “I watched episode 1 of the drama, heard the “even though he’s no longer here” at the beginning, and decided HALE NO. I do not need that shit.” — LMAO!!!😀 Still, a perverse little part of me wishes you had seen the movie instead, and FFWD to all the *good* parts just to see how *good* they really are, lol.😛

      Oh, the cancer angle in Tatta Hitosu no Koi is barely there, and not smeared all over the story like baby poo like in so many other weepies. If you give this drama a shot, then the possible glorification of terminal illness would be the least of your concerns, really.😉

      And thanks for the City Hunter rec! The SKKS actress is fresh and interesting, so on that account alone maybe I oughtta give City Hunter a shot. Lee Min-ho being in it is a niiice bonus, too, haha.

      • jubilantia Says:

        Yes you should! I haven’t finished City Hunter yet, but it’s really great. I’ll have to try Tatta Hitotsu no Koi again. I watched the first couple and liked the vibe, but sensed there was tear-jerkyness ahead and didn’t want to finish it.

  17. Claire Says:

    Girl. You are too amazing. Periodically, whenever I feel down, I head over to read your latest withering review…and it always delivers. Laughed maniacally for ten minutes straight. You know, one of my friends actually…liked this movie. Sincerely.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hey that’s really nice of you to say, Claire!🙂 Glad this blog can provide a few laughs and pick-me-ups from time to time. (Okayyy so your friend liked the movie… but did s/he like it enough to watch the drama? LOL =P)

  18. mshaydown Says:

    DRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIINK! I can’t agree with you more about this *ahem* movie (though I watched it for gakky rather than miura, you know, me being a guy and all). Like you, I decided not to take it seriously at all and proceeded to laugh at it which actually was quite enjoyable.

    Thanks for the entertaining post!

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hey, we each have our reasons for watching what we watch, amigo.😉 Good thing that with these idol movies, there’s something for EVERYONE! lol😀

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by! ^^;;

  19. EstherM Says:

    I totally second your review. Why ,oh why did I watch this. Well my only excuses are a broken leg and plenty of time at hand. Plus, I believed the raving reviews – hadn’t I learned anything -> don’t buy reviews by fanboys/girls?
    I kind of laughed my arse off at first, and oh my god the song, Heavenly Days sung by Gakky (if you could review that, I think you would have a ball) made me almost pee in my panties.

    But then I realised in horror that a whole generation of Japanese women perceive this kind of relationship as romantic and ideal. Oh no, I ended up scared to death and scarred for life!

    Regarding SKKScandal, which I finished some weeks ago, was I the only one who had the hotties for slightly camp playboy dude? Looking forward to your review😉

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hey Esther! I hope your leg is much better now?🙂 Hehehe well technically this post is a review by a fangirl (me! =P), so….😀

      Omo I didn’t know Gakky had a singing career! I didn’t even notice the song, but if it’s as bad as you say it is then it definitely deserves a second listen!!! hahaha

      Re SKKS — oh my best friend and I are so in LIKE with the foppish playboy dude! He’s so much fun to watch. I watched the first episode with my best friend and at one point when the playboy was onscreen we looked at each other and went, “hey I like this guy!”🙂 Anyway, I’m looking forward to my review, too. Which means I oughtta write it soon! lol

  20. Raine Says:

    Perhaps I am the only one who liked Koizora. ^^; A few years ago, I was in a relationship with a guy similar to Hiro… I’ve never been in the exact situation as Mika (regarding rape and the pregnancy gone awry), but my boyfriend’s ex was very ruthless. He and I came from very different backgrounds, and he was considered a social outcast in school. There were times when I really wanted to give up, but somehow, through it all, I always came back to him. I was a little naive, yes, but despite his hard exterior when it came to dealing with everyone else, he was very kind and caring to me. He didn’t leave me because of cancer, but events from his past that were constantly haunting him (and consequently, us). Like Mika, I felt very hopeless and useless in this situation… I am almost done with college now, and much wiser, but I admit that while I was in high school, I was painfully naive and too timid to take any action.

    Maybe it is because I can really relate to Mika here, that I am rather foolishly acting so defendant. The scene that most touched me was when she was faced with two paths: one with Hiro’s footsteps in the snow, and the other leading her back to Yū. (In fact, I would’ve felt it better if the movie had ended here…) That split in the road was a tangible thing, and she was forced to make her decision right there, right then. When she came back to Yū, I felt like it was a metaphor for what I’ve been going through all this time. My boyfriend in highschool was my first love… He was the first of many things… But like he wanted me to do, I moved on. It’s been really tough, and I haven’t seen him for over two years now, but what he gave me is something I will always cherish.

    I know Koizora seems very unrealistic to many people, even in the drama or manga format. With the movie, there could only be so much material crammed in 2 hours. I think they did pretty well, especially since this is based on a cell phone novel. As for events, while I have not experienced nor met a person who experienced gang rape, a miscarriage, and cancer of a loved one [[all simultaneously]], for me… I feel like this is not unrealistic, taking into account the town I grew up in, and the people whom I knew and observed. I wish it were untrue, but the unfortunate fact is that these events can happen, and even more so to a single person.

    Sorry I wrote so much. I just really felt like writing this response, because it always saddens me when people claim that circumstances in Koizora can never happen in real life. It touched home with me because this WAS my high school life. Life doesn’t always go the way people want it…

    Still, I have to give props to you for a well-written review. There were many points I agreed with (like the hose and rainbow scene), but I mainly wanted to comment on other aspects. :p I guess we can still agree to disagree. The world wouldn’t be so interesting if we all had the same opinions.

    Thanks for reading, and wishing you the best, whenever, wherever.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Hi Raine! Thanks for taking the time and effort to comment in this thread. You were very honest and open about that part of your past and I really appreciate that you chose to share these memories here.🙂 And I don’t think you’re being foolish at all by defending Mika — you spoke from your own experience and nobody can argue with that. Still, I’m glad that you’ve moved on. I know it feels trite saying this, but maybe it was for the best, ne? I mean your ex-bf clearly had some life issues he needed to sort out on his own. For whatever it’s worth, he may actually have learned more from you than you did from him.🙂

  21. spazzy06 Says:

    Great review Ender’s Girl! You had me lol’ing and nodding my head the whole way through your review. I’m happy to see someone else that someone else thinks Koizora was overrated.

    I suffered through…errr watched Koizora twice. I watched Koizora a second time for snark value with my best friend, but she ended up loving the movie. No snark session for us, just lots of eye rolling the second time around on my end.

    I don’t think Koizora is a terrible movie persay, it’s just not worthy of all the praise it gets. For a melodrama, the script is rather mediocre. Despite the fact that the movie dealt with many controversial topics (rape, teen pregnancy, miscarriage, etc) I didn’t feel the movie itself had that much depth. Even though sad things continued to occur through out the movie, I never got the urge to cry for these characters. I found it hard to connect with them, they felt more like caricatures than real people.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Thank you muchly! Lol don’t worry, not judging your best friend for liking this movie — different strokes and all that, ne? Besides I diss the movie/dramas/script/actors, not the fans.😉

      If you want a teen movie that doesn’t pretend to be anything but a teen movie (unlike *some* movies we know), do try out the 2010 Thai romcom Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It’s puppy love at its most satisfying!🙂

  22. sussannV Says:

    Hoaaahhh!!!
    The Manga Version is more awful and madful!!
    The dorama version a little bored..DRRRIIINK

    Btw, is that a true story???

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      The author of ‘Koizora’ the cellphone novel at first claimed that it was autobiographical, but I also read somewhere that she later admitted it was not so. Anyway, I seriously doubt that ANY bit of this ridiculous mess was rooted in real life, blech @__@

  23. noiha Says:

    *standing applause*

    I really have a good laugh. Thank you so much!

    I actually watched this two years ago because I wanted to see Aragaki Yui’s film. First five minutes… well, okay. So this is about a first love story and though I’m a girl, I did found Yui is cute, especially when I remembered her past role in My Boss My Hero. But suddenly, there’s this boy with Kim Jaejoong’s hair and I was flabbergasted. This… this is supposedly an anime right? And yeah, that was the first time I’m being introduced to Miura Haruma. But hey, minus the hair, he is good-looking. And he is especially look like someone who is caring, nice, and of course, not a bad boy material. The following scenes prove me right. He is definitely a good (and weak) boy in disguise. Which irks me. Because this Hiro supposed to be a baddass character, isn’t he?

    Nevertheless, I continued watching it with grumbling and giggling all over the show. I mean, who ever thought that library can be such a *hot* place to hang around? Woot. I admit I felt sad when they had to lose their baby, and at that time, I seriously hoped that they ended the show right there. Marry, make a child again, and live happily ever after. End. Or they can make this Mika died, left a deep painful memory inside of Hiro. Turns out, they came back as normal high school students. And suddenly, Hiro came back as a so-called bad boy with anime hair. At that time, I already guessed that this Hiro guy has a disease or whatever heroic reason that can justified his action. So he ditched the girl and eventually dated her again, with him being his real self: weak guy. He died. And Mika remember him forever. End… And I sighed. This is like a junior high school wild imagination writing. But nevertheless, I managed to finish this. I probably want to thanks the pretty pretty view displayed here. From spring, to winter, to spring again… the background scenes are all pretty. And whoever the camera director is, I love to give him/her applause.

    Lastly, I’d love to applaud you again for writing this review. FML movie is really a proper genre of Koizora. Kke.

    DRRRRRRIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKKK!

    P.S. Have you watch Miura Haruma’s Taisetsu na Koto wa Subete Kimi ga Oshiete Kureta (phew that one long title)? What do you think about that drama?

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed the review despite the sucky movie heh heh😀

      “And I sighed. This is like a junior high school wild imagination writing” — LOL I know right?? I also agree that the cinematography was this movie’s selling point, the one thing it actually did well.😉

      p.s. Ack you got me, I haven’t seen Taisetsu na Koto… yet. Been super busy, y’know? But I do look forward to watching and reviewing that drama, as soon as I get my backlog out of the way ^^

  24. leilana Says:

    The review was so funny, I really liked it (and keep in mind I’m a Koizora fan). I laughed a lot, especially because it points out really, really well pretty much all of the film’s flaws. However, I also read the manga (couldn’t read the novel because there’s no English translation around here) and I have to say that, even if it seems unbelievable, the movie is much softer than the manga version. In the manga, Hiro has sex with Mika before breaking up with his girlfriend (however, in the manga they’re both NAKED, which is much better), does drugs and when he finds out he has cancer, he makes a lot of nasty things to Mika (for example, he forces her to give him a blow job and makes her to push a lighted cigarette on her arm). So I guess most of the movie’s flaws are due to the original story, which is really, really fucked-up.

    • Ender's Girl Says:

      W00t thank you muchly!🙂

      Hahahaha you mean the movie is just the sanitized version of the original plot? Seriously? Drugs… BJ’s… cigarette burns?!??!?!??! And this is supposed to be a high school love story?????? Hahahahahaha that REALLY is utterly, monumentally, irredeemably F*cked Up. But why stop there? Instead of Mika miscarrying, wouldn’t it be awesome if her unborn demon-baby tried to chomp its way out of her stomach while draining all her body fluids? Oops silly me, wrong f*cked-up high school love story >P

      • leilana Says:

        Yeah, this is exactly what I meant. Let’s not mention the fact that before breaking up with her, he actually takes her on a date and makes her believe everything is just fine between them. Oh, and did I mention he pairs up with one of her friends after breaking up with her? At the end, when you find out he’s going to die, you cannot help but think “Serves him right”. Really.
        But I think I can understand why Japanese loved this story so much. I read a lot of shoujo manga, and the most popular stories are always the tragic ones. For example, in “Kare Kano” the main male character has been abused in early childhood by his mother, who used to beat him and starve him. In “Mars”, the main female character was raped by her stepfather at the age of 14, and her boyfriend had to cope with his mother’s insanity and suicide and then was forced to witness the suicide of his twin brother. I wondered for a while why they love these kind of stories so much and I think it’s because of their social and historical background, as they’ve been educated for centuries to take over whatever life might give them. No wonder that even their drama heroes think the same.
        And the BD reference really cracked me up.😀

        • Ender's Girl Says:

          I watched bits of Mars and remember getting freaked out by how dark and un-MeteorGarden-ish it was. The kisses between Zai Zai and Barbie were pretty hot, though. I didn’t know Zai Zai had it in him!😀

          I wondered for a while why they love these kind of stories so much and I think it’s because of their social and historical background, as they’ve been educated for centuries to take over whatever life might give them. No wonder that even their drama heroes think the same. — Cool insight there!😉 Yeah, it’s usually the most repressed societies where people end up doing the freakiest sh*t, lol xP

  25. Fenesta Says:

    It’s very difficult to get dorama here in my country (*almost* everybody is crazy for kpop or taiwan). I have to download one dorama for more than a week. So imagine my surprise when I found out that a movie distributor started distributing original dorama in DVD, and the one that I found was.. Koizora (dorama). I was like : ok, I should’ve supported this new distributor, so I bought the DVD and started watching. and bwahahahahahahaha…. my oh my, I think I got 10 years of wrinkles because of the laughing. I just couldn’t believe it how a girl like this exists in this world (and this is supposed to be a true story? YIKES)

    So, thank you for your hilarious review, very entertaining😀


  26. […] păreri despre povestea care pe mine m-a făcut să vărs litri de lacrimi. şi am dat peste un review foarte, foarte amuzant, care practic desfiinţează filmul în totalitate. am râs, m-am distrat, şi-apoi am simţit nevoia să zic şi eu ceva pe tema criticilor aduse de […]

  27. samzam Says:

    m speachless…if only such love can happen to me….🙂 without a end….i would be the happiest girl ever….


  28. his films makes me thrilled. sad. makes me cry. so want a boyfriend who loves me like Hiro Mika sincerely😦 ;(

  29. Rin Says:

    oh god this is too hilarious HAHAHAHA i love the comments you keep on making (hahahah driinkkk!!!) LOL best review ever!XD

  30. Ruu Says:

    I liked this movie (a bit) but hated how Aragaki Yui acted in here, but MAAAAAAAN, hahahahaha!!! I laughed so hard with your review I’m in tears! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    So cool! Instead of facepalming, let’s just…KANPAI!

    =)))))))))


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