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This is the drama (or should I say do-rama) version of Honey & Clover, the best version in my opinion, after having watched the movie version and got bored, and attempted to watch the anime version but only making it as far as episode 3.
The story follows a group of art university students in Tokyo. Morita-san is a sculptor, already successful and very confident. Mayama is an architecture student, hardworking and in unrequited love with an older woman, who also happens to be his employer. Ayumi-chan is a potter, hopelessly in love with Mayama. Takemoto-kun, the real hero of the show, is part of the group, but we don't get to know what he does until later in the series. He is struggling to find who he is and what he wants to do in his life, while surrounded by friends who are very focused and clear about what they want. He is in a way "lost". This character feels more real and is relate-able, and, coupled with Ikuta Tôma's performance (cute and moving as always), is what makes this series appealing, or even watchable. A new student is introduced to the group, Hagu-chan, a very shy girl who happens to be a brilliant painter. Takemoto falls for her immediately, while at the same time Morita is deeply moved by her art. And so the story begins...
It is a quite slow-paced J-drama, with lots of flashbacks of what we've already seen in previous episodes, and dialogues where people gaze at nothing (instead of the other person), while also actually saying nothing, and disappointing, completely flat, directing and photography. Takemoto wears the same pair of shorts throughout the entire series, even when it's snowing. The students never attend classes and they never study. The whole thing is basically held together by the performances of Ikuta Tôma (as Takemoto) and Narimiya Hiroki (as Morita).
This show is about growing up, about not knowing what you want to do in your life, when everyone around you seems so purposeful, and finally about being afraid to reach out to what you want, even when it is right in front of you. If you know what any of those feel like, you will enjoy Honey & Clover, flaws and all, like I did.
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