My philosophy on TV shows, books, and movies is that, if you are willing to lend me a copy, I’m willing to give anything a try. Chances are you know how I watch shows and what I look for in a story and characters. So, when my friend Shannon told me that I needed to watch this Japanese TV show and handed me the DVD, I watched For You in Full Blossom (Hanazakari no Kimitachi e Ikemen Paradise).
Now, the show’s premise is really nothing original and would really not interest me on its own. This girl Ashiya Mizuki disguises herself as a boy in order to attend Ohsaka High School, an all boys’ school. She does this so that she can convince former high jump superstar Sano Izumi to return to his sport. Awkward moments and hilarity ensues. If you’re a fan of manga or anime, you know that this basic premise is the stock of more shoujo series than I can count.
I loved it.
There are a few things that contribute to this, but the biggest factor for my own enjoyment is the fantastic acting. This 12 episode series is live-action which, I think, makes all the difference. No matter how much you like anime or manga, you have to admit that there are great limits in terms of facial expressions. All of the actors and actresses in this series are incredibly expressive and fun. Nakatsu, in particular, is vibrant and hilarious. I was constantly laughing at the expressions on their faces.
Another major contributor was the soundtrack. For You in Full Blossom is full of seemingly random encounters and weird situations. The background music can make or break those scenes, and the choices for this show definitely make those scenes.
This show is great. The plots barely make sense, but it’s a big mess of fun, which is exactly what I was looking for.
Warning: If you are watching the official DVDs and not fansubs, the English subtitles are very “Engrish.” Grammar and spelling are sometimes a bit arbitrary.