Tokyo Love Story 2022, A Classic Remake

Tokyo Love Story in the world of Japanese fans, it is still a benchmark even though 20 years have passed since its first screening in Indosiar in 1995. Together sailor Moon and Winspector, they were the most talked about Japanese TV shows at the time. Now, nearly 30 years since the legendary TV series premiered in Japan, Tokyo Love Story 2022 has been produced by Fuji TV who will stream the series through their own streaming channel, FOD (Fuji TV on Demand).

The Manga

Tokyo Love Story was originally a manga by Fumi Saimon (Asunaru Hakusho) and serialized through magazines Big Comic Spirits, courtesy of the publisher Shogakukan. Beginning in 1988, when the series finished in 1990, there were 4 volumes collected for this romance and slice of life manga. The story itself focuses on the lives of three friends, Nagao Kanji, Mikami Kenichi, and Sekiguchi Satomi, which came from Ehime. Starting with Kanji’s move to Tokyo, the story in this manga focuses on the love relationship of the three characters.

Tokyo Love Story Manga-01

Adding a factor in the equation of the three’s relationship, Kanji’s life in Tokyo is also colored by existence Akana Rika, his senior at the company where he worked. Rika, who is free spirited and a little weird, becomes interested in Kanji since their first meeting. As the 4th person in the middle of a love triangle, Rika’s presence makes the love story in this manga very addictive to follow.

Tokyo Love Story Manga-02

Tokyo Love Story 1991

In 1991, the popularity of the manga Tokyo Love Story managed to attract attention Fuji TV, who eventually produced the production of the drama adaptation. Consisting of 11 episodes that aired from May 7 to May 18, 1991, as well as a special episode in 1993, this dorama starred Oda Yuji (SUITS) as Nagao Kanji, Suzuki Honami (News no Onna) as Akana Rika, Eguchi Yosuke (Rurouni Kenshin) as Mikami Kenichi, and Arimori Narimi (Minami-kun no Koibito) as Sekiguchi Satomi.

Tokyo Love Story 1991-01

Adapting the main story core from the manga, by reducing some elements, this 1991 drama is still considered as one of the examples of the genre. Trendy Dorama the perfect one. With the iconic theme song “Totsuzen Love Story” sung by Oda Kazumasa, this adaptation shows a difference in terms of story by putting forward Rika’s role as the main heroine, different from the manga where her role starts to stand out starting from the second book. At the same time, many parts of this adaptation are original scenes that don’t exist in the manga, however, it gives its own uniqueness to the manga. Tokyo Love Story 1991 and make it a memorable drama.

Tokyo Love Story 2022, A Classic Remake - Otaku Mobileague

Tokyo Love Story 2022

Then, for Spring Dorama 2022, Tokyo Love Story is re-adapted with a setting that adapts to the present. Played by Ito Kentaro (Kyou Kara Ore Wa) as Nagao Kanji, Ishibashi Shizuka (Ichigo no Uta) as Akana Rika, Ishii Anna (2012 GTO) as Sekiguchi Satomi, and Kiyohara Sho (Shiyakusho) as Mikami Kenichi, this time’s adaptation can be seen through FOD (Fuji TV on Demand), can also be accessed via Amazon Prime Videos, where the first two episodes started airing on May 29, 2022.

From the two episodes that have been aired, it can be seen that Tokyo Love Story 2022 is not a carbon copy of the 1991 adaptation. From the comparison seen after watching the drama adaptation again, it is clear that the most prominent difference from the 2022 adaptation is the tone of the story. The adult story elements in the manga, such as marriage affairs and sex partners, which were previously untouched by the 1991 adaptation, in this version will display them clearly, making the 2022 adaptation story almost 100% similar to what was in the manga.


Nod to the Original

However, nodes against Tokyo Love Story 1991 is also still in this latest series with depictions of some of the characters. The most obvious one is the character Nagao Kanji In this adaptation, it is closer to the character in the 1991 drama that he played Oda Yuji, making Kanji a clumsy shy type, compared to the manga version which still has aggressiveness. In addition, the depiction of Mikami this time it feels like it’s still referencing the nature of the 1991 adaptation played by Eguchi Yosuke, but there are some characters that are taken directly from the manga.

Tokyo Love Story 2022-02

For the second depiction of heroine in Tokyo Love Story 2022 In this case, it is felt that the direction taken is to reference their characteristics in the manga. It really feels like a character Sekiguchi who is a very reserved person, like Yamato Nadeshiko in the 1991 adaptation, now feels like someone who has a strong view of what he believes in, closer to his characteristics in the manga. And to Rika itself, the direction taken this time is to keep it away from the funny and strange impression like the 1991 adaptation, although also not fully adapting the manga version. With the image of a 21st century independent woman who is a little strange, the appeal that is brought into this version will feel fresh compared to her previous works.

Tokyo Love Story 2022, A Classic Remake - Otaku Mobileague

Last Impression

With the merging of the best elements from the original manga and its first adaptation, there’s a lot to be expected for Tokyo Love Story 2022. I myself am quite impressed how this drama feels very modern and doesn’t really feel like most Japanese dramas. Starting from the description of the compelling characteristics as described above, then to the music that gives a feeling like a movie and the theme song. “Tomoshibi” by Vaundy the hip, to the visual tone combined with a unique camera angle, Tokyo Love Story 2022 has proven that he has separated from the shadows Tokyo Love Story 1991 since the first scene.

Final words. remake a story that has become a favorite of many people may be the biggest challenge in producing a work that can stand alone. Sometimes many try and fail in execution. For Tokyo Love Story 2022 itself, with a story that is closer to the manga than the 1991 adaptation, I personally think it will be a unique work and have it’s own lasting impression. One thing that is expected is, hopefully the ending this time will not be all the manga version or the 1991 adaptation.

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