The image above should give you an idea of how I feel about the last four episodes. *spoilers ahead*
I stand by everything I said about Oscar & Co in my earlier posts but if I had liked them a bit less, I would have dropped this drama at episode 8. Really, I could have done without the arc concerning the school’s closure (not to mention all the idealistic monologues.) In the end, closing the school was little more than a convoluted means of having Mizuki leave, which is a situation that could have been achieved in a much cleaner manner.
The last four episodes took place in a Twilight Zone-like universe and made Ohsaka Gakuen seem like a school for lost boys. Where were the teachers and the rest of the parents? You’d think that the latter would be demanding an explanation from the directors at the very least for leaving their children high and dry (or do they not care whether their boys get an education or not?)
Perhaps of more interest: how did the school get to its current state and why were the directors so hellbent on closing it? I get that they wanted to demolish the building and build something else in its place but why shut the school down completely, especially one with a history like Ohsaka’s? Why not just relocate the students to another building elsewhere?
I wasn’t expecting stellar writing from Hana Kimi 2011 but I was hoping they’d at least gloss over some of these issues or develop the directors’ characters a little more. Narratively speaking, it would have been more interesting than watching the students embark on their half-baked attempts to save their school. Signing petitions? Hello, have you guys never heard of social media or YouTube?
What made this final leg even more of a drag was Sano’s protracted emo encounter with his father, which weighed this drama down even further. All I can say is thank god for the FF button.
Another thing I wish this remake had handled better was the revelation of Mizuki’s gender, or rather, I wish it didn’t have the boys turn on her and spout all that nonsense about how she betrayed them. Urrgh. So much needless manufactured conflict. Didn’t you guys already do this in episode 1?
But enough ranting. Despite my feelings about the last arc, I did enjoy this remake and as unbelievable as it might sound, it also re-acquainted me with J-dramas. If I hadn’t watched Hana Kimi 2011, I wouldn’t have known about Miura Shohei’s existence or checked out Tumbling. And if I hadn’t checked out Tumbling, I would have remained blissfully unaware of Daito Shunsuke and Ouran, and I wouldn’t be saddled with 18 volumes of the manga right now.
So without further ado, it’s time to say goodbye to the woobies who brought me such crack-filled joy for, er, 7+ episodes. Let’s begin with the one who started it all:
Oh, Hidenori Tokuyama. Had I not seen this screencap, I never would have bothered to check out Hana Kimi 2011. Nor would I have considered the possibility that Oscar suffers from multiple personality disorder. You were fey and fabulous, darling, even when it was clear that your character was missing a few marbles.
I don’t care what the haters say, Shohei. You were adorable as Nakatsu, even though you had the thankless role of pining after the Love That Cannot Be long after it became obvious to everyone that you’d have far better luck with your roommate.
I mean, just look at them! I haven’t seen two guys this touchy-feely since Yong-ha and Jae-shin in Sungkyunkwan Scandal. And depending on how you interpret the Hana Kimi After Story special, you might be inclined to give Nakatsu a good shake and tell him there’s a reason his relationships keep failing XD
If you need more convincing, this MV does a really good job of it:
*sigh* Saito Takumi, if only they had given you more to do as Umeda. I would rather have watched Akiha terrorise you. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have minded watching you terrorise Nakatsu again XD
Oh Nishii, I was never a fan of Nakao in the manga but you were so much fun to watch. That moment when you shrieked ‘Bakaaaaaaaaaa!’ during the sports meet in episode 3? So much LOL. Which reminds me. I really need to watch Confessions.
Sato Tomohito probably spent more time in the stylist’s chair than in front of the camera, which is such a shame because he makes the most amusing faces ever. You have to watch Voice to see them in all their glory, but here, have a facepalm XD
And despite all my complaints about the last arc, at least it got one thing right. *sigh* These two.