This post contains some comparison of the film and the manga. Mainly a reaction on the movie.
Hirunaka no Ryuusei, also known as Daytime Shooting Star, is a manga series written and illustrated by Yamamori Mika and published in Margaret from 2011 to 2014. March this year, the film adaptation directed by Shinjo Takehiko (Paradise Kiss, Your Lie in April) was released.
Fifteen-year-old country girl Suzume Yosano has to move to Tokyo to live with her uncle due to her father’s transfer. She bumps into a mysterious man who ends up taking her to her uncle’s place after she gets lost. Turns out, Suzume will be seeing him a lot more often once she starts school because… he’s her homeroom teacher?! (source: MU)
I’m a big fan of Hirunaka no Ryuusei. I got to read the manga while it was starting and I was always updated with its latest chapter. It’s all thanks to it that I got to know Sakaguchi Kentaro, too, because he’s Yamamori Mika-sensei’s model for Mamura, one of the male protagonists. It’s dear to my heart. So, this adaptation is one I looked forward to seeing, hoping that it’d bring justice to the original material.
Since it’s just an almost 2-hour film, there’s no way that all that I loved from the 78-chapter manga series could be shown. There are noticeable changes especially with how things lead to certain scenes, where such and such events happened, and who and what conversation is included in what scene. There is an original scene which act as replacement for some that couldn’t be adapted. Nevertheless, it stayed true to how things worked out for them, so the ending, even if there are some minor changes, is still the same. I think that it can feel fast-paced for viewers who haven’t read the manga yet, though.
The film focused mainly on Shishio, Suzume, and Mamura’s love triangle, though Yuyuka’s character is there to support Suzume. What happened to the trio are condensed, and I’m sad that the complicated emotions that Shishio had to struggle with weren’t expressed enough. Yuyuka also seemed like just another rival character-slash-friend because her problem isn’t explored in the film. Yuyuka as Suzume’s friend is still great, however.
Nagano Mei acted as Yosano Suzume. I think the role fits her. She is able to show Suzume’s charm and straightforward, strong character. Anyway, I actually like Nagano Mei in general because I think she’s one of those young actresses with potential. She’s not irritating to watch for me.
Miura Shohei acted as Shishio Satsuki. When I first saw the trailer, I thought that I don’t mind him getting the role. Watching the film made me feel odd as I realized how he got older. Seems like it was just yesterday when I was watching him play student roles! Anyhow, he is able to show that cheeky and reliable Shishio. Though he’s a bit more mature as, again, his character isn’t as explored as in the manga, so his immaturity got toned down, too.
Shirahama Alan acted as Mamura Daiki. I found his performance fine — I find some of his expressions cute — albeit still lacking. To me, he doesn’t look natural whenever he tries to act indifferent. Not comparing his performance with the manga, I think he’s really just… okay for some, though personally, I think he’s dull most of the time. Anyhow, I think he is less cool and less awkward than manga!Mamura is. On another point, I think that this feeling of unsatisfaction also stems from my crushed hopes for Sakaguchi Kentaro to be Mamura.
Segue: He hasn’t starred in any series/movies then, but many of the fans, including me, hoped that if there would be a live action adaptation, Sakaguchi Kentaro would be the one to play the role of Mamura. That hope of mine intensified especially after he started his career in acting and after he proved that he is actually quite a good actor. When I read the news that he isn’t the one to play Mamura, I honestly got bummed out, but of course, I still didn’t want to judge Alan just because of that.
Back to the movie, as for the chemistry, I think Nagano Mei and Miura Shohei have it more as compared to Nagano Mei and Shirahama Alan. Mei and Alan just looks awkward together for me even when the characters already warmed up with each other. And I really wanted her to have that adorable chemistry as Suzume had with the two in the manga. This is coming from a fan of both Shizume and Mazume.
(This is why I opted to stay away from the awful shipping war the fandom had while the manga was still ongoing.)
Anyway, Yamamoto Maika acted as Yuyuka, one of my favorite characters in the manga. I loved her portrayal of the snarky princess. She fits the role of a sharp-tongued, fashionable high school girl. I would have loved to see more of her! Too bad her story isn’t fully covered.
If we’re talking about more of the technical aspects of the show, I really like the OST because of the calming and fun instrumentals. Dream Ami’s 「はやく逢いたい」is lovely, too. The cinematography, on the other hand, is good. I liked the long shots because the sets they chose for the film are pretty. The angles of shots are well-chosen, too. By the way, I also liked how the credits have both shots from the actual film and backstage photos of the casts.
For a live action movie, I think this is one of those on the better done side. I enjoyed re-living the series through it despite missing some other elements of the story. Surely recommended for those shoujo lovers out there.