Movie Feature: Haruta to Chika
I dunno if you guys remember, but I reviewed an anime last year called, HaruChika. It was a slice-of-life music mystery anime starring 2 high school childhood friends. I had fun watching it, even though it had some setbacks. In that review, I mentioned that I will be watching its live action movie adaptation and see if is it anywhere near to the anime or its source material.
Well, here we are.
It took me awhile to watch this movie because I focused more on other stuff. In other words, I forgot about it. LOL.
Let’s not dwell anymore about the past and start this review, shall we?
Director: Masahide Ichii
Writer: Sei Hatsuno (novel), Masahide Ichii, Masahiro Yamaura
Release Date: March 4, 2017
Runtime: 118 min.
Genre: Teen, Music
Starring: Sato Shori (Sexy Zone), Hashimoto Kanna, Koide Keisuke, Shiga Kotaro, Tsunematsu Yuri, Maeda Koki, Nikaido Himeru, Shimizu Hiroya, Takuma Haraoka, Kamishiraishi Moka, etc.
Synopsis: Haruta (Shori Sato) is handsome and smart, Chika (Kanna Hashimoto) is bright and naive. When they were children, they were friends until Haruta’s family moved away while he was in the 3rd grade. They meet again during a high school entrance ceremony. After all of these years, Chika is eager to join the wind instrument club. Due to an incident, the wind instrument club is about to be disbanded. Chika can’t give up the flute so she attracts Haruta to her side and tries to recruit members from the wind instrument club. The group attempts to solve various cases taking place at their school while they plan to take part in a contest.
I am bit disappointed by this movie. Yes, I expected that there would be some changes in the plot, but I didn’t think it would be that much.
Haruta to Chika, or in short, HaruChika, is a story about 2 childhood friends that got reunited in high school and how they revived their wind instrument club by solving some mysteries surrounding the club. One of the key factors of this series is the fact that both Haruta and Chika are “in love” with their teacher. Yep, both of them. This key feature made this series uniquely different from other animes and stories. But…sigh… the movie only implemented the base plot of the anime and throw away the key feature. WTF!
Don’t get me wrong, the whole time I watched HaruChika, I totally shipped Haru and Chika because of their close relationship. But removing the key feature that made this series unique made this movie just like any other “teen high school romance” movie out there. And that disappointed me.
What’s done is done. I’ll just review the movie directly.
Because it is a movie, it can’t be helped that they stride through the arcs, only featuring the important and highlighted moments of the story. I have no problem with it, as I also only remember the highlighted moments. Though, I do have a problem with how the arcs were handled. It made the pacing very irratic and all over the place. But I guess, a normal watcher won’t notice this because it is quite similar to other teen movies out there.
The characters are well performed by the actors. I didn’t expect they would literally cast “high school” aged stars for this. I had seen Kanna’s acting before through Gintama and unfairness, she delivered Chika’s liveliness really well. While Sato Shori was bit lacking. I had seen him do well in his first ever drama before, but I guess, with a tone down version of Haruta, it made Shori’s performance underwhelming and not standing out as I want to. Still, I am happy with everything. Especially, the fact that it seemed the actors literally played the instruments assigned to them. That’s incredible. It added alot of depth and it made us, viewers immerse more to the movie.
The ending was quite different from what I expected. I actually liked it. With a lot of changes already in the story, I literally had no idea how they would end the movie. Good thing, they ended the movie on a positive note with a positive message. I would throw a fit if they ended the movie with Haru and Chika officially together. Lol.
Overall, the movie was nice. Disappointing but nice. If i had not seen the anime version of it, I might enjoy this movie alot more, but what can I do? Heh.
I would recommend this to everyone, its an easy to digest movie so it can be watched by anyone. You guys don’t have to watch the anime, they are a separate entity. I guess let’s just enjoy them separately. Heh.
That’s it for now.
Thanks for reading!!