After reviewing the anime Say “I Love You” in the past I came across the movie, which is titled Say ‘I Love You’. The movie is based on the eponymous manga by Kanae Hazuki and was directed by Asako Hyuga, who is also known for Forgotten Dreams, among others. Say ‘I love you’ follows Mei Tachibana, she lets her youth pass her by without showing any interest in making friends or enjoying her high school years. She believes, thanks to an unfortunate experience in the past, that people can’t be trusted and that everyone eventually betrays you. One day she meets the popular Yamata Kurosawa and their relationship slowly starts to grow. He helps her see that friendship and love are worth her effort and that it’s important to open yourself up for them.
The story starts off differently from the anime and manga. It begins with the Tomei High School Cultural Festival and a part of that is the Idol campus contest, in which Yamato is a contestant. It is clear from the beginning that Yamato is a very popular guy and Mei is someone most other people choose to avoid.
Their first meeting is slightly different too, Yamato’s friend doesn’t accidentally knock her over, which is the case in the manga and anime, but he does it on purpose. Even announcing to Yamato that he should pay attention. Instead of glaring at him in anger, Mei does not respond and walks away. Later the famous scene where Mei kicks Yamato in the face does occur, but instead of trying to lift Mei’s skirt Yamato’s friend is just pulling at it a little.
There are some more slight differences in the storyline, such as Mei calling Yamato in a book store rather than a convenience store, but overall most of the story is the same.
Mei is pretty gloomy and distant as opposed to Yamato who is friendly and very happy go lucky. He tends to be cheerful, whereas Mei tends to be standoffish and has a tendency to think the worst of people. The two seem to be opposites, but there is more to Yamato than what’s showing on the surface. Most of the characters some across the same way they did in the anime, although Mei does seem a little bit more socially awkward in the live action movie than in the anime.
Character development goes pretty fast in this movie, since they’ve put a lot of the manga’s content into the movie. In fact, and I’m not entirely certain of this, it seemed to have all of the anime’s content in it. Mei changes from a gloomy girl to a more trusting and happier girl and Yamato learns to take her into consideration a little bit more as their relationship grows.
Since this is my second Japanese non-animation movie review I can’t speak of a pattern yet, but I’ve noticed in this movie that they tended to go for slow motion when something dramatic happens. Honestly this doesn’t quite seem to work for me, it tends to make the scenes last a bit too long and often almost makes these scenes come across in a funny way. This movie had some very slow running in it, which was not very interesting to watch. Aside from that the filming was done well.
While the acting was done well, I did notice I found this movie less dramatic than the anime. The actors conveyed emotion, but not as drastically as the voice actors in the anime, which was a plus for me. The anime had a lot of focus on drama.
Personally I didn’t find this movie very interesting, mainly because the story felt a bit rushed to me. The reason for this is probably that I watched the anime series not too long ago. If you’ve still got that entire story in your head it’s a bit boring to see it happen again, almost exactly the same way. I did like the different beginning that the movie had and it was fun to notice some subtle differences along the way. As I mentioned: I think the acting was done well and the movie seemed less dramatic than the anime.
If you’ve recently finished watching the anime I’d advise you to wait a while with watching the movie, but if you haven’t watched the anime or read the manga it shouldn’t be a familiar story.
Director: Asako Hyuga
Released on: 12th of July 2014