Last month when I went on holiday to Japan, I had the opportunity to choose from a whole selection of Japanese movies in the in-flight entertainment system on the way there and back. To my surprise, I found Heroine Shikkaku there! I’ve been wanting to watch it ever since I discovered its existence during AFA 2015 so here was one great opportunity since it’s really hard to obtain Japanese movies in English subtitles.
I’m not going to delve too much into the story because I’ve already reviewed Heroine Shikkaku back in 2014. You can click here to read my original thoughts and reflections of the story when I first read it but here’s a brief summary anyway!
Heroine Shikkaku follows protagonist Matsuzaki Hatori as she chases her childhood love in high school. Hatori has an interesting view of the people around her, seeing herself as the “Heroine” of the story and her childhood friend and crush Terasaka Rita as the “Hero” while everyone else as “Calefare” or “Supporting Characters”. As she is Rita’s childhood friend, she believes that she will get him one day and that it is destined to be.
However, things do not go as planned out in her head and when Rita saves a nerdy-looking girl in their class from being picked on by some bullies, the girl becomes infatuated with him and confesses to him shortly after. Finding no reason why he shouldn’t date her, Rita agrees to go out with the girl, named Adachi.
Shocked at the sudden turn of events that she had never taken into account before, Hatori begins to experience heartbreak and with encouragement from her stoic but wise best friend Nakajima, she begins to work on winning back Rita’s heart.
But things aren’t so easy when Adachi begins to become prettier from being with Rita. And to top it off, the school’s pretty boy has taken a keen interest in Hatori and has his eyes set on her. Things have only just gotten a lot messier and complicated than it should have.
I have absolutely no complaints about the story itself because no matter how ridiculous it did seem later on, I really liked how the premise of the story was. I even remember writing a short post on it after reading its first few chapters, thinking to myself, “Wow, this is amazing, it is so relatable” because who hasn’t had a longtime-crush who was taken away from us right under our noses because we were too shy to confess? Everyone okay, EVERYONE.
Whether the live-action adaptation stuck closely and faithfully to the storyline of the manga, according to my current memory, I’ll say it did 70% of the time. Which is not too bad, really. Plus, Heroine Shikkaku was highly enjoyable to watch.
First, I want to give high praise to Kiritani Mirei, who was spot on on Hatori’s reactions, expressions – everything. When she was miserable and crying over Rita, I felt my heart break as well. When she was mean and snobbish to Adachi, I even felt like siding with her. To imitate Hatori in the manga, Kiritani Mirei had some exaggerated expressions to do and I didn’t think the movie would actually include this little detail in but her exaggerated expressions were HILARIOUS. She was absolutely a darling to watch, so funny and dear. I am pleased and satisfied to say that she was the right choice to play Hatori, without a doubt.
As for Yamazaki Kento. Haha. I’m a teensy bit annoyed with the producers for this: I know that he has a pretty face and I really do like him BUT WHY IS HE BEING CAST IN ALL THE RECENT WELL-KNOWN SHOUJO LIVE-ACTION ADAPTATIONS? Is there like, nobody else to play those other well-loved male protagonists? As of now, Yamazaki Kento has these shoujo live-action adaptations on his slate: L-DK, Orange, Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, Heroine Shikkaku, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and in all of these, he’s the male protagonist. Guh. I don’t hate Yamazaki Kento, in fact, I like him but this is just too much overload. Producers, please don’t do this in the future. I don’t want to look at Yamazaki Kento and see him as Kageyama Shuusei, Naruse Kakeru, Sata Kyouya, Terasaka Rita and Arima Kousei respectively ALL AT ONCE.
Okay rant over, sorry about that. Back to Yamazaki Kento’s performance as Terasaka Rita.
Honestly, as Rita, he didn’t really have much to do. Except look cool, calm and nonchalant about almost everything. It’s a personality similar to a previous role he played – L-DK‘s Kageyama Shuusei minus the perverted teasing. So I can’t really fault him there for not showing much emotion. Because that’s what’s he’s supposed to be. Emotionless haha. Okay I shan’t be so mean.
Oh yes, as an afterthought, I think it’d be really interesting to keep an eye on Sakaguchi Kentaro, the one who plays Hiromitsu Kosuke because we’ll be seeing him real soon in another supporting role to look out for – Sunakawa Makoto in the live-action adaptation of Ore Monogatari!!
Anyway if you’ve never heard of Heroine Shikkaku, you should totally check it out. It’s highly entertaining and relatable – you’ll just love it. Girls, anyway haha. You can either start by reading the manga or try to get your hands on the movie but you’ll have a better chance at starting with the manga first because last time I checked, I couldn’t find a download of the movie – and with English subtitles, those are a pain.
Finally, here’s the trailer of Heroine Shikkaku to give you a taste of what the movie’s like. Who wouldn’t love Kiritani Mirei after hearing her wail “NAKAJIMAAA” into Fukuda Ayano HAHAHA
Overall rating: 8/10