The Gist: Shinagawa Daichi (Narimiya Hiroki) is a high school delinquent, who is constantly getting into fights and ditching class. This gets the attention of Adachi Hana (Naka Riisa), the class rep, who is determined to get Daichi more involved in school activities. He gets accustomed to her clingy ways, finding himself more grateful for her kindness, if not annoyed by her stupidity. Daichi soon realizes that the reason that Hana is so interested in him is that they are similar. Hana is a reformed Yankee and still a feared fighter, who desires to help Daichi clean up his life just like she did.
I have somewhat conflicted feelings about Hana during most of the show. Her character bugs me a bit and her voice is kind of grating. The saving grace about Hana is the flashbacks to her Yankee days when we get to see a new kind of Hana. It almost makes me wish she was still that badass throughout the show. I know we’re rooting for her to be better, but it’s amazing to see her let loose, both in style and action.
For a show about delinquent kids, YTM stays surprisingly light and fluffy. While that’s not always a good thing, it’s probably one of the shows strongest points. The sincere moments of relationship building between Hana and Daichi are the highlights. Hana’s unrelenting pursuit of friendship with Daichi just makes you feel good as you’re watching it. As the two of them get used to each other and help each other out, there’s just no bad feeling behind it. I’d classify this as a feel good show.
While I credit this somewhat to bad writing, the characters kind of drove me crazy. I have no idea why they keep casting Hiroki in these roles that require him to be somewhat threatening. To me, he just doesn’t really pull it off. Luckily, he is supposed to be pretty mild throughout the show, but I thought there might have been a better actor out there for this role. I said already that Riisa bothered me, but I think a lot of that was largely her choices for class rep character. She kind of reminded me of a beaver behind those glasses. I think that’s a lot of the reason I like hardcore Hana so much better.
Man, I feel like this show had such a great opportunity to show off some flashy fighting. Instead, it opts for some seriously cartoony action sequences that really don’t take any skill on the part of the actor. I guess this is another reason I have beef with the casting of this show – none of the actors have any fighting talent to show off. If you’re going to do a show about delinquents get some fighting! Heck, even some scenes like Shut Up Flower Boy Band! felt more realistic and interesting than the fighting in YTM.
I really thought this show was driving towards a romance. I really did. I think the manga might go this route but it never is fully realized in the drama. I don’t have a problem with a solid friendship story, but I felt that the writing was pushing Hana and Daichi towards each other so strongly, that I felt a little disappointed with where things ended. I believe this might be because the show aired before the manga ended, but shows that decide to run before their source material is done need to make some strong creative choices to give the show some conclusion.
So… Overall, my impression of this show was disappointing. The actors did and OK job, but I think the performances weren’t that strong and the chemistry only so/so. If you’re holding out for a good romance, the show never takes that strong step, which really leaves you hanging. It’s fine for one watch, but really didn’t meet my expectations.
Final Grade: C-