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My #1 Summer J-Drama!^o^   Didn't expect I would love it this much! Lol, at this age, I never thought I'd still be addicted to a shojo manga highschool students drama XD  I mean, if you ask, I'm more of a fan of OJISAN-s deshouuu! I didn't think I can be a fan of these newly fresh young actors, haha... But, yokatta, yokatta, apparently I still have this youth soul in me =P   Being addicted to Ouran, makes me feel like I'm back being a highschool girl again, heehee...

Anime: I watched it back in 2007. I'm not really into anime, but my friend kept pressing me, "Just watch it! It's good!". So I watched it, and yes, apparently it's very funny and I liked it! But I wasn't addicted that time. My friend recommended the manga too, but I didn't get to read it, in the end. Lack of motivation, perhaps.

News of Live-Action: I was just missing to watch a GOOD "shojo manga" drama like Hana Yori Dango or Nodame Cantabile, recently. But my first impression when I saw the cast. Mmh, not sure what to think of Yamamoto Yusuke as Tamaki (as I was hoping Wentz Eiji for the role), though I know his acting skill isn't bad.. but can he pull off Tamaki?? And then Kawaguchi Haruna, I didn't like her at all in Nagareboshi, she was so annoying there. The Takagi twin didn't look handsome at all. Daito didn't look handsome/cool enough to be Kyoya (becoz I was approving the previous rumor, Mizushima Hiro as Kyoya, already XD). But I was still looking forward to it. Even with the so-so looking cast, somehow I had a bit of a feeling that I can count on Ouran to be an enjoyable drama, due to the funny anime. I just didn't think it'll be that bad, even if the adaptation fails. Not to mention, after I was disappointed with HanaKimi 2011 and Ikemen desu ne, I was counting on Ouran more. Ouran was like my last hope of being able to enjoy, at least, one shojo-manga drama.

So, I watched Episode1, and I LOVE IT immediately!!! This is a very nice surprise! Perhaps, because I kept my expectation low. It follows the manga plot to a tee, with interesting comical/animated special effects (like Nodame Cantabile).

Characterization, plot, scenes, the actors' portrayal... everything's follow the manga in details. The drama's each episode is 23 mins, just like the anime duration, so the plot fits in perfectly, no additional plot whatsoever.

The actors' portrayal as the characters amazingly similar to the manga characters. The way Yamamoto Yusuke/Kawaguchi Haruna/Daito Shunsuke speaks / their intonation when they're acting Tamaki/Haruhi/Kyoya, are really similar with how the voice actors voiced the 3 respective characters in the anime. I suspect the producer told them to watch the anime too XD   And seem like all the cast have read the manga as well. (based on the interviews)

The 3rd music room set looks really glamorous and detailed. The filming locations are awesome, so far.

Characters' Portrayal

Kawaguchi Haruna as Haruhi
She has this "alto" voice that makes her suit the role so much. Her acting skill is pretty good too, so far! I esp. love her natural acting during the thunder scene^^  I also love how she portrays Haruhi's ignorant and boyish sides. She's definitely Haruhi! It's a good thing that she wear short-hair wig and didn't really cut her hair. Because her long hair in Tamaki's Inner Mind Theatre, really looks cute! I think it won't look that cute and gorgeous if she wears a long-hair wig^^  But I have to say the make-up staff is doing a really good job in making Haruhi's wig looks like her real hair ^v^

Yamamoto Yusuke as Tamaki
Omg! He's probably the main reason why I become addicted to this drama, and even triggered me to read the manga (which I finished in 3 weeks and I become an Ouran freak, since then!).
From the moment Tamaki sobbed (comically) hearing Haruhi's sad family condition, I fell in love with "Yamamoto Tamaki"! He's just soooo Tamaki! Such an amazing portrayal and performance.

I always feel indifferent about Yamamoto Yusuke, so far. I know he's pretty good but he has not really impressed me much yet. But this Tamaki role really did it!! He made me laugh most of the time with his funny expressions and intense movements.

I think Tamaki is one difficult role. Besides the fact that he has so many sides, charming princely side, idiotic side, gets carried away easily, but also sometimes kakkoii, etc, etc. Since this is a live action, the actor has to be able to balance in portraying the character comically just like the anime but not too much as this is a live-action, and the character needs to be real. Yamamoto Yusuke nailed it perfectly! He's really fated to be Tamaki! *v*

Please don't be surprise if I'm going "Kyaaa~ Yusuke-kuuun!" from now on, bcoz he'll be Kimura Takuya's partner-in-action in Nankyoku Tairiku! Kyaaaa~~~!!!

Daito Shunsuke as Kyoya
Kyoya is my least fav in the manga/anime to begin with, and in Ep1 I felt that Daito Shunsuke wasn't cool enough to be Kyoya. Something felt off about him. But as I watch the next episodes, he slowly grew on me and NOW, Kyoya is #2 my fav list (live-action)! LOL! Kyaaaa... Kyoya-samaa~! Daito-kuuun!! ^o^
He really plays the part well, and I think due to the directings, Kyoya is more lovable in the live action.

Takagi Shinpei as Hikaru & Takagi Manpei as Kaoru
In the beginning, I don't know what to think of them. Obviously they're not as handsome as the Hitachiin brothers XD   They were just okay. Many becomes their avid fans due to their very natural acts of the "lovey-dovey twincest" scenes, and think their acting is excellent for that part. But I'm not a yaoi fan (not to mention incest^^;;; uhhh...), so I can't judge their acting from those scenes. I'm still doubting their acting skill, to be honest. But as for the twin themselves in real life, I come to like them more and more!! They're such sweet guys and I do can feel that they love each other very much. (though I hope it's not more than love between brothers, haha) I guess that's why they were saying, that no other twin can play the Hitachiins besides them.
As the story progresses, I come to love them as the Hitachiins more and more, esp. because they have so many snychronized lines in Episode5 which reminds me so much of the anime's twin!
What I love so much from the twin in the manga/anime is their michevious acts and expressions. I haven't seen this much yet in the drama. I guess that's why I feel they're still lacking something.
I'll confirm their acting skill next week in the twin's fight episode. They will finally act as individuals, and shines in their own spotlights^^

Chiba Yudai as Honey-sempai
Chiba-chan is sooooo cute and have a baby face just like Honey-sempai! I think there's really no other actor who would have the right appearance like him! I quite like his portrayal as Honey so far. But he needs an episode where the story focuses on him more. And I was not really satisfied with his Black Honey in Ep4, maybe it was too fast. They need to do the toothache episode XD   He plays the mature-Honey parts well too^^
Though if I may suggest, he better not skips too much^^;;;  Too bad he's not short like Honey XD

Nakamura Masaya as Mori-sempai
I like his portrayal as Mori so far!!^o^   All the actor has to do is to put on the right faces in every scenes bcoz he almost has no lines XD   I think he's doing a good job as Mori^^  I also like the actor, since he's so funny and talkative in real life^^  He's Yaguchi Mari's husband, btw.

So far, the funny elements that made me laugh:
1. Tamaki's line and movement here, "My face looks beautiful 38.5 degrees from the left, but it also look good 42 degrees from the right. And if I do these two poses alternately like this..." OMG! It cracked me up so bad!
2. The Japanese characters attacking Tamaki all the time!! Hahaha! And the attacking technique is escalating each time! I miss that characters attack in Ep5 XD

(Source: nobeardsa)

(Source: jetkitty)

3. Tamaki's inner mind theatre... mwahahahaha! And especially, this pose in Ep2, LOL!

4. Tamaki's "Hiiiiiee~~"... that's one of my fav original thing of this live-action ^v^
5. The guys' expressions when they were choking listening to Jounouchi Ayame's morse-code-like way of speaking, and the oxygen tank scene following it, LOL!

Ahh... there are just too many of them! XD

Regarding the recent Episode5! OMG!!! One fabulous episode!! Love it alot, alot! The drama's original Kyoya scenes *v*   The TamaHaru thunder scene!! Just sooo sweeettt!!

The directing is really good as well, and I think it's obvious that the production team is trying their best to be loyal to the original manga. I feel like the whole production team are big fans of the manga.

What I love from "Ouran"'s story is that, it is focusing on the 7 main characters' family-like friendship bond in the beginning. It didn't immediately start with romance. Even Tamaki always claims that his love for Haruhi, is like a father's love to his daughter. As their friendship grows, some of them started to have feelings for Haruhi, although they're denying it. And then in the last half of the manga story, it finally started with the romance.

The 7 main characters' relationship is unique and I love the case-by-case stories in the first half of the manga. It makes Ouran different than other shojo mangas.

What makes me addicted the most is probably the characters. Well-built, unique, interesting characters is always a success, even if the story is just so-so. As long as the characters are well-built and support interesting interactions between characters, good stories will flow naturally. And usually what makes people keep watching is because they care about the characters.

That's one of Ouran's winning point, imo.

To those who love "Ouran" live-action drama as well, don't forget to join this forum!^o^

I posted my translations of the Ouran cast interviews, off-shots, backstage, etc, etc in that forum^^

Don't forget to check out this awesome site too!

It has so many excellent and hillarious animated GIFs of the show!^o^

(but of course, we might have different tastes^^)



Aug. 24th, 2011 09:29 am (UTC)
kyoya is my no.1 in the anime. tamaki is my no.1 for the live action. lalala, i'm enjoying this drama too^^
Aug. 27th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
Hahaa~! Glad Yamamoto Yusuke did that to you!