Koizora: The Drama
Well, it is now being made into a drama in Japan, only 9 months after the release of the movie. It stars a new cast, including new actors for the main parts of Mika and Hiro. I watched the first episode today - and I am now going to review it.
Koizora was originally written as a cell phone novel, and the movie was based off of the novel. From what I've read of the novel so far, the movie did a good job at following pretty closely to the storyline. However, the drama takes a different approach. It is still loosely based off of the novel, but with quite a few major changes (such as how Mika and Hiro meet, how their relationship starts, etc). My guess is that this was to make sure that it wasn't an exact copy of the movie - because then no one would watch it.
My review? I must admit that I was biased before I even began the first episode, as I just couldn't see anyone but Harumacchi (Miura Haruma) and Gakki (Aragaki Yui) playing Hiro and Mika. The actors picked for the drama are Mizusawa Elena and Seto Kouji.
The casting was the biggest adjustment for me. The fact that the drama doesn't follow the original novel as closely also bothers me. (I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to books being turned into movies.) However, the drama was good for what it was: a drama. The acting was good (although they seemed to be more like middle schoolers than high schoolers from their personality... and their looks), the storyline was actually quite sweet (although different), and I think I will watch the rest of the series just to see what it's like. I still like Miura and Gakki better though. ^^
The first episode only got 5.6% viewership rating in Japan, which is really low. This is probably because the movie was so good - they figure it's pretty pointless to watch a drama remake of it. We'll just have to see how it goes from here.