Live-Action Honey and Clover TV Series

Honey and Clover TV drama

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. 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.


  • henry

    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.

  • What makes the anime the best, Henry?

  • henry

    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.

  • 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.

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