Live-Action Honey and Clover TV Series

I knew there was a Honey and Clover live-action movie, although I haven’t yet seen the DVD, but I was surprised to find that there was also a live-action TV show (link to Japanese show site). It ran 11 episodes earlier this year, and so far (two in), I like it better than the manga.

Honey and Clover TV drama

Pictured, by character name, clockwise from top: Morita, Mayama, Takemoto, Hagumi, Yamada

Mainly that’s because with actors, things aren’t so exaggerated. Hagumi isn’t so young-looking or ethereal as to be creepy; she’s a real person, although a small, quiet one. Takemoto has presence, instead of being a blank reactor to the others. (Judging by pictures, Takemoto looks a lot more realistic in the show. In the movie, he’s much too pretty, with those chiseled cheekbones.)

I liked everyone much better, especially Morita. Instead of seeming obnoxious, he portrays a love of life and enjoyment, and that’s where his over-the-top schemes come from. The actor’s grin makes lots forgivable, and he seems more like a crazy genius, less like a sadist. And Yamada isn’t some high-kicking harpy but an uncertain young woman acting tough to hide her gooey center. I’ve gotten the best sense of her from the drama. It looks like they cast age-appropriately, too, which helps a lot with the realism. And seeing the artworks, the huge paintings and sculptures, is very impressive.

I don’t watch a lot of JDrama — the only thing I’ve seen before was Kimmi Wa Petto. So I don’t know how this compares in general, but so far, it’s been quite enjoyable. Download the episodes (fansubbed) here. There’s also an anime, which doesn’t seem my kind of thing — I fear the cartoon medium would also for more exaggeration, not less.

14 Comments

  1. Honey and Clover has been adapted into an anime (spanding 2 series), a live action movie, and two TV drama series (one Japanese, the other Taiwanese). Out of all these adaptations, the anime is heads and shoulders above the rest.

    Watch the anime series after your done with the live-action…you’ll love this series even more after.

  2. Thanks for the DL link, Johanna, this looks right up my daughter’s alley and I’m downloading now.

  3. What makes the anime the best, Henry? And glad I could help, Alan.

  4. My daughter just started watching it now (I burned it to DVD) and is loving it already.

    Henry, I, too, would like to hear more about the anime. I have a feeling I have committed myself to a good deal of work here. :-)

  5. The anime really does bring the manga to life, but also offers so much more. The beautiful, fluid, water colored style animation coupled with the amazing soundtrack really breathes life into the series. Character development is fantastic as is in the manga; the anime stays very faithful so you don’t need to worry about changed story lines and whatnot.

    In a nutshell, it’s just very well directed; on the production value side, it definitely doesn’t fall short.

    I know I’ve just glossed over everything but give it a go if you have the time, it takes a few episodes to warm up to but once your hooked, you’ll love every moment.There are plenty of anime reviews online if you want to investigate further.

    ps- I was first introduced to Honey and Clover via the anime, hence I’m biased towards it. However, from reading around, the general consensus is that fans who were exposed to the anime first prefer it over the manga and live-action/film/series. It’ll be interesting to hear your opinion of series having read the manga first.

  6. i really love this series even though shoujo is not my fav. i find this anime much better than those like Vampire Night, which has lots of good-looking guys while its plot is blanky and cliche’. I haven’t watch the live-action yet but Morita is not what i had expected. The guy in Morita also casted in NaNa series and i can’t stand his acting. hope he’s getting better in H&C

  7. Jeff Morris

    If you’re getting these episodes where I think you’re getting them, give “Galileo” a try while you’re at it. It’s basically a rookie cop who reluctantly teams up with a brilliant/eccentric scientist to solve impossible cases through science.

    The chemistry between Fukuyama Masaharu (who my wife and daughter assure me is incredibly easy on the eyes) and Shibasaki Kou is incredible, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. The ratings in Japan skyrocketed as the season progressed.

  8. Oh, I think someone told me about that, because it sounded like my beloved Probe. Cool, I’ll look for it!

  9. [...] been putting off watching the Honey and Clover DVD because I enjoyed the live-action TV series so much. I feared I risked becoming a little tired of the story, too, seeing it a third time. [...]

  10. [...] I had, which weren’t possible to live up to. Then, at this point, I’ve seen the TV show and the movie, as well as reading the previous book, and as a result, these characters are too [...]

  11. ..i really love the honey & cl0ver,.but teh epis0de i watch is taiwanese version…not a japanese,.,version i live here in the philippines ,.im a fan of japanese manga.,.,sso much till here hope here in the philippines will watch that honey & cl0ver japanese version,.,it will be soon,.,.tnx,.,.arigatou.,.,

    ,.,.i love u toma ikuta,.,.,.

    ,.,.forever.,.,.

  12. i like the Japanese version of this anime!!!

  13. Hey, do you know by any chance how I can download the Japanese version episodes of the live action drama? With Eng subtitles? Been searching for days. Perhaps, if you could help me, that would be great :)

  14. Sorry, the only link I knew about was the one I included above. Since it’s been three years, the sharers might have moved on to other projects.

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