I'm not sure if many are aware that the popular anime Ouran High School Host Club began releasing episodes of a live action cover in July. I've been keeping up with it for a while since it's started and I've took it upon myself to start critiquing the acting from the cast. While some of the actors seems to know where to go with their characters, others haven't a clue. This is my (Almost) Harsh Critique on this cast.
Yamamoto Yusuke as Tamaki Suoh
Now I have to admit. At first glance, I was disappointed. Though Yamamoto Yusuke is a very handsome man on his own, he didn't compare quite well to the appearance associated with Tamaki Suoh. Tamaki is supposed to be a French/Japanese mix, making his appearance more exotic than the standard Japanese looks, but I wasn't surprised when they didn't find an exact mix. Now for the critique part, he played Tamaki beautifully. What he lacks in looks, he makes up in character. He played Tamaki almost to the bone, capturing his sensitive as well as his capricious side, respectively. He isn't over the top with it and it seems very natural to him. He did an excellent job. I can hardly wait until the final episodes are released and I can see the more sentimental scenes involving this character.
Kawaguchi Haruna as Haruhi Fujioka
While Haruhi is a very easy character to portray, it must have been difficult to find someone who not only acts the part but looks the part as well. Haruna Kawaguchi delivers as she has this boyish appearance that's also present in Haruhi while still maintaining this girlie charm that you love. Her character is pretty on-point at times but also a little off to keep the flow of the show, which wasn't done in a bad way. I really appreciate how the live action film came about because you get more of an idea of Haruhi's feelings towards Tamaki a little later on rather than at the last few episodes.
Daito Shunsuke as Kyoya Ootori
I don't want to sound too with Shunsuke, because while he does an amazing job acting in this live action, he completely failed to capture the essence of Kyoya. He just lacks the spark of what Kyoya is known for while still seemingly to portray his sharp tongue and wit very blah-like. However, as the show progressed, I was beginning to appreciate this new portrayal of Kyoya. Though he lacks in presence, I started to think that this works for him. You start to see Kyoya in a new light. Do I like it? A little, but I have to wait until the rest of the episodes are released before I give an official answer.
Chiba Yudai as Honey
I love Chiba Yudai. He is absolutely adorable and sweet, a perfect type of actor to play Honey, right? Wrong. His portrayal of Honey is too over the top for me and never seemed natural in the least bit. He reminded me of an Ouran fan-girl cosplaying and being over the top just to make it known that "Yes, I'm Honey! I'm Honey!" I love Honey as an anime character but in the live action, I grew to become annoyed with him as well as even gone to almost hating the character. Any input this actor makes in attempt to portray Honey just doesn't deliver. Then, I thought about it. Honey is a 3rd year high school student who looks as though he could be an elementary student, he loves to eat cakes, and he acts like a little girl cute and innocent. With that being said...is Honey even a "natural" character to play? They may have had better luck finding an 8 year old and calling him a 3rd year high school student for the show. But then it would be weird that he would be entertaining ladies, wouldn't it? Hmmmm, I don't think this is Chiba Yudai's fault as far as this goes.
Nakamura Masaya as Mori
I have to say, this actor portrays Mori perfectly. Not only that, but his looks strangely fits what I would have thought Mori looks like. Though Mori seems like an easy character to portray, when you think about it you'll realize it's not entirely the case. Mori only says maybe 1-2 lines an episode, yet you always get this feeling that he has something deeper within his heart. While you never entirely know what that secret is, you definitely sense the same thing with this actor, making him the best actor in this entire show!
Takagi Manpei and Shinpei as The Hitachiin Twins
Yes, they are twins in actual reality. The Takagi twins were the perfect choice to play the Hitachiin brothers. I was so excited to actually see twins portray my favorite characters in the anime series. And then my heart stopped...they're ACTUALLY twins, ACTUAL brothers. Suddenly, seeing them act so well as the Hitachiin twins makes me feel a little strange. It's cute when it's an anime, because, well, it's NOT REAL, but when seeing it as a live action using actual brothers...it's bothersome. And just the fact that they can't (or won't) make it so obviously identical to the relationship in the anime is what makes their portrayal fall short of awesome. Twincest is cute in the anime, but creepy in the live action. Regardless, they played them well.
The Show As A Whole
Any die-hard fan of Ouran would appreciate the live action show because of how it remains true to the anime. Honestly, the show captures almost every memorable moment that touched us in the anime.
I can only be excited to watch the final episode and see how this live action will come together. Will they show more romance of Haruhi and Tamaki than the anime did? Hmmmm, we can only hope.