Movies,  reviews

[Movie Review] Takumi Kun Series 1: And The Spring Breeze Whispers

Set at Shidō Academy, a boys’ boarding school, the story focuses on Takumi Hayama, a lonely and shy boy who suffers from an extreme phobia of human contact and can not bear being touched by other people due to a past trauma. In his second year at school, Takumi is paired in a room with Giichi “Gii” Saki. Gii was brought up abroad and is the school idol with his exceptional academic performance, as well as his good looks. One day, Gii confesses to Takumi that he has been in love with him for some time. This unexpected truth of events unsettles Takumi. However, he begins to learn more about Gii’s personality while also learning to overcome his past.

This is a first in a series of 5 movies and I actually really enjoyed this first movie. I went into it thinking it was going to be some intense love story due to all the clips I’ve seen online but it wasn’t at all (I’ll explain this later). So seeing that it was lighthearted and more comedic, I actually felt relieved. I absolutely love fun, light-hearted movies.

Characters:

I liked Gii. He was super confident but never cocky. I loved how he had absolutely no shame in pursuing Takumi yet he never forced himself on him and was always aware of Takumi’s feelings and his “phobia” (which stemmed from ptsd).
I also liked Takumi. He was cute and I found myself wanting to be his friend.
The other characters were kind of forgettable though as they were not central to the plot. Some were over the top and hilarious (like the one who was willing to fight Takumi over Gii’s affections) while others were just a random face in a crowd.

Takumi and Gii

Actors:

I think the actors did a great job at portraying their characters. The guy playing Gii fit the character perfectly to me and he seemed comfortable in the role. The boy playing Takumi also did a great job at portraying an awkard kid with high levels of social anxiety. I see some people complain that he wasn’t a good actor but I think he was. He is playing someone still mentally suffering from a childhood trauma and he hasn’t had friends (except for his friend Akaike) for a very long time. So interacting with people after that is going to be…well…awkward! Lol. So in my opinion, he did a good job too.

Story:

The overall story was a pretty good one. Mildly basic with meaningful under tones, yet not so heavy that it makes you feel sad. It was about two boys, one has a crush on the other, and they become roommates. Over time we get to see Takumi lower the invisible brick wall he has built around himself to keep other people out as he comes to terms with his feelings and how his past trauma is affecting his relationships with people.

Even though the writing and script could feel a bit corny at times, I also feel that this is what added to the charm of the film. Super fluffy and at times, comedic. Some silly dialogue mixed with the silly music in certain scenes had me cracking up laughing at some moments. Corny dialogue isn’t always a bad thing in my opinion.
I think in the end, things wrapped up nicely with Takumi realizing certain things about himself and about life in general, while also finding some form of closure for what happened to him.

Locations/Scenery:

Where on earth in Japan was this film shot?? The scenery and landscaping was absolutely beautiful! Such lush, green forests and mountains; sunlight for days; beautiful buildings and interior design. It really was a treat for the eyes and added to the bright, light-hearted feel of the movie.

Music:

Silly at times. Unnoticible at other times.

Overall:

I would recommend this movie. Especially to those of you, like me, who love fluffy movies. I will choose a fluffy movie over a steamy movie any day and this movie gave me all the happy fluffy feels ^_^
I can see myself rewatching this simply for it’s simplicity and visual beauty. If ever I need a break from an intense series or something, or maybe I’m just bored, I can see myself rewatching this. I liked it! Lol. But I seem to be a minority in liking it. I have seen that many people prefer the actors and storyline from movies 2 through 5.
Honestly though, as long as you are not taking this film too seriously and aren’t expecting something deep and riveting, you’ll most likely have a good time and get a few laughs out of it.

Movies 2 – 5:

The following four movies not only have new actors taking on the roles, they also have a new director. They most likely had a new screenwriter too as the story between Gii and Takumi was slightly different than in the first movie. I have never read any books from the manga of this series so I also have no idea if the additions and changes to the storyline were done in order to make it more true to the manga. But this could be possible.

In my opinion the new actors also looked much older (especially the new guy playing Gii) and with the new filming locations and overall feeling of the films, I forgot that these kids were supposed to be in high school. It felt much older. This was both good and bad to me.

The next four movies overall had a darker feel to them. Not “darker” as in dangerous or ominous. But moreso from the tone and feeling the movies give as well as the overall imagery. The location has completely changed from the first movie. The first movie was very bright with lots of sun and light. The buildings were modern, bright, and clean and the scenery/landscaping reminded me of something out of an anime. It was absolutely beautiful. In general, the movie had a very fresh feeling to it.

Movies 2 – 5 had the opposite feeling to me as the scenery and landscaping looked like it wasn’t filmed in Asia at all and was generally very gray and dim looking. The buildings were very old and everything inside was made from a deep, dark colored wood that made every single indoor location extremely dark. In all honesty, it reminded me of the rural countryside of the UK that I’ve seen on tv. Even the school went from being a bright, modern building to an old castle that looked like it belonged somewhere in Europe. This might not bother some people, but I preferred the scenery and buildings from the first movie.

It also seemed to rain sooo freakin much in these movies! The rain, the dim outdoor scenery, the dark interior locations, mixed with the emotionally heavier storylines of the movies gave me an overall feeling of gloom and grayness; even with the happy endings of every movie (except one).

Where the first movie gave me a light-hearted, airy feel. The following movies gave me a much heavier feeling. I am not saying the movies were bad though! I enjoyed them all enough to finish them. And the plots from the rest of the films were interesting even if they moved a bit slow.

As the entire series focuses on the love story of Takumi and Gii, movie 1 focuses on how Takumi and Gii first began. Movies 2 through 5 focus on issues that pop up in their relationship and how they overcome them together. As I mentioned before, some things about the storyline were changed and other things were added to make things more interesting. I recommend the series as a whole but I will say this, if you plan on watching all five, either skip the first one or just watch it as a standalone movie. It feels too different to be a part of the same series.

Again, I still recommend this movie and I enjoyed watching it. It’s comedic, it’s fluffy, and it’s fun. Give it a shot!

The order in which I liked them:
  1. Movie 1 – ‘And The Spring Breeze Whispers’ (fun and fluffy. Will definitely rewatch)
  2. Movie 3 – ‘The Beauty Of Detail’ (more intense but really lovely, and really showed the love Takumi and Gii had for each other. I can see myself rewatching this one too)
  3. Movie 5 – ‘Sunny Blue Sky’ (kind of drawn out and confusing at times with all the flashbacks. I wouldn’t rewatch it but I liked it better than the 2nd and 4th movies. It rained and was gray for the majority of the movie so it’s ironic that this film is called Sunny Blue Sky.)
  4. Movie 2 – ‘Rainbow Colored Glass’ (focuses on other characters through Takumi and Gii, if that makes any sense. Overall very sad and not that enjoyable for me. The only movie with a sad ending)
  5. Movie 4 – ‘Pure’ (random and not needed. Did not focus on Takumi and Gii and didn’t add anything to the series as a whole. You can skip this one and not miss anything)
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