A smart high school student falls in love with her new handsome English teacher. Kinkyori Renai a 2014 Japanese romantic comedy which is a live action adaptation of the shojo manga of the same name. Those of who don’t know, shojo is a manga (Japanese comics) genre targeted towards young teenage girls.
I saw this movie for the first time a few years ago but then I rewatched it recently as I was in need for more Yamapi. That’s what his fans call him, Tomohisa Yamashita. I have been watching his recently airing J-drama, Boku Unmei no Hito desu. I usually tend to watch whatever Yamapi stars in as he was my gateway to the world of J-dramas.
Buzzer beat (2009) was my first J-drama with Yamapi. Then I also loved, 5-ji Kara 9-ji Made (2015) in which Yamapi plays a monk falling in love with a career woman, which was also based on the manga of same name. It might help to know that most anime, J-dramas and movies are adaptations of manga. I do love reading manga, if I find the English translated version and I am addicted to the content. It’s just I am not very fond of reading online. I haven’t warmed up to the idea of reading on a screen and I don’t think I will for now.
Let’s start with my review of the movie (I am calling it a review until I find a better word for it). Close Range Love stars Tomohisa Yamashita (That’s Yamapi) and Nana Komatsu. I know Nana Komatsu through G dragon of Bigbang. Its an open secret, how much I admire G Dragon (I will be definitely writing on it later). GD and Nana Komatsu did a photoshoot together and there were a lot of articles on their alleged relationship. Even if they were dating or not, GD is allowed a life of his own and if he isn’t dating and experiencing love, how will he write those amazing songs? A celebrity is a human first and he is entitled to his own private life. But I do find Nana Komatsu pretty, she has this natural innocent aura around her and she is in a lot of movies recently. I am a little sidetracked here, I know. But I am giving you a peek inside my mind and this is just 1% of it.
Let’s get on with the movie now. Sakurai Sensei (Yamapi, Sensei means teacher in Japanese) is the new handsome teacher who everyone has a crush on. Yuni Kururugi (Nana Komatsu) is a socially awkward smart student who isn’t good at expressing her feelings. She has a poker face most of the time and no one can figure out what she is feeling. Sakurai Sensei forces Yuni to get private lessons from him after school so as she can improve her English grades (that’s the only subject she gets low grades in. Yuni says she doesn’t understand English as it doesn’t follow rules like Maths). Yuni is upfront with Sakurai Sensei of how much she hates him, his overflowing confidence and his cologne. Ha ha. But he can see right through her and can read her actions, like Yuni holds her ear when she is embarrassed, pets her cat clip when she is happy and clutches her skirt when she is wants to suppress her emotions.
Sakurai Sensei does tell Yuni a couple of times that she shouldn’t fall in love with him, as most other students are. But then it wouldn’t be a movie if there was no love. A few things happen and Yuni realises she is in love with Sensei and searches for ways to tell him. What I really like about Yuni is that despite being awkward she is really upfront about her feelings for Sensei. Now, there is a huge spoiler coming. The scene where Yuni tells Sakurai Sensei that she is in love with him and the kiss-after is my best part of the whole movie. I squealed for like a minute and frankly speaking, I have rewatched this scene a number of times. He he.
As he is a teacher and she a student, there are inferences that their budding love is not right, Sensei knows this but he can’t stop his feelings. That’s how the movie progresses. But I won’t spoil anything after. See it for yourself, how Yuni and Sensei find a way to love each other amidst all the chaos. There are a lot of heart fluttering scenes in the whole movie. If I had to pick, the way Sakurai Sensei calls Yuni, Kururugi (that’s her last name. In Japan, you address people formally by their last names). It maybe my profound love for Yamapi but my heart skipped a beat each time I heard that.
Check out Close Range Love. It will remind you of your high school days when you had a crush on your teacher. It definitely brought back those memories for me (I had a crush on my teacher back in high school, I know everyone has). If you are watching a Japanese movie for the first time, you might need to get used to the tone of the movie. You might find it cheesy at times. But it is a refreshing watch. One of those days, when you are feeling low and in need of a good romantic comedy, give it a go. I guarantee that you will like it. 😉
Picture credits to tumblr and their rightful owners.