“I hate you but like you at the same time. What should I do?”
Kinkyori Renai also named as Close-Range Love is a manga based romance live action. The movie stars of two of my favourite actors, Nana Komatsu and Tomohisa Yamashita. The story is about a high school student named, Yuni Kururugi (Nana Komatsu) who is smart and excels at every subject except English which becomes a drawback for her to go to her favorite University in California. However, she keeps a blank face, doesn’t show her emotions and no one perceives what she is thinking or feeling. Seeing her low marks in English, an English teacher named, Haruka Sakurai (Tomohisa Yamashita) which all the girls go head over heels for begins to tutor her one-on-one.
At first, Yuni hates Haruka for his irresponsible and self-conscious attitude but as they spend more and more time together, Yuni’s heart wavers and eventually, she falls in love with her Sensei. Yuni tries hard to tell her Sensei how she feels about him but she doesn’t find the right moment to which is heart clenching because she even tries to confess in front of everyone but realizes that she couldn’t.
Finally, she decides to confess to him and right when Sensei enters the room, she hides under his desk. Haruka noticing Yuni is absent asks the class where she is and they tell her that she was here a minute ago and must have gone to the washroom. Sensei was about to begin his class when Yuni tugs his suit from underneath. Surprised, Haruka reads the words that were written on a book by Yuni. He then tells a girl to start reading a page and purposely drops his pen. Kneeling, he grabs the pen but looks at Yuni. They share a moment of eye contact and then Haruka makes the first move of kissing her.
But, one of the new teachers, Mirei Takizawa (Asami Mizukawa) which also turns out to be Haruka’s childhood friend and high school girlfriend sees him getting up and touching his lips which he always does after a kiss and also notices a student underneath his desk.
One time, Yuni stops a group of friends from reading her classmates diary. Since then, the owner of the diary, Ryu Matoba (Nozomu Kotaki) falls in love with Yuni but gives up because Yuni tells him that she likes somebody else. Matoba knew that it was none other than Sakurai-Sensei that she had fallen for. His strong cologne had gave him away.
Mirei tries to stop Haruka from liking a student because it’s forbidden for a teacher to fall in love with his student and he could be expelled from school for it. At first, Haruka tells Yuni to forget about the kiss but aforetime his love for her turned so strong that he promised to marry her after graduation. Both Haruka and Yuni make a deal to not tell anyone and to keep away from each other at school but that turned out to be more painful for Yuni.
Yuni doesn’t have any friends except one; her middle school friend named, Kikuko Nanami. She is supportive and tries her best to understand Yuni. They also promise to each other that if Yuni finds a boyfriend, she would have to tell it to her (Which is why they an argument and stop talking to each other for a while)
Although Mirei is not the villain, because of her love and concern for Haruka, she clicks a photo of Haruka hugging Yuni in a classroom. Mirei then shows this picture to Yuni’s cousin, Kazuma Akechi (Hirofumi Arai) who is a teacher as well in Yuni’s school. Worried about such a love, Akechi tells Haruka to leave Yuni alone.
Meanwhile, Yuni gives up on going to the University of California to study under her favorite professor Mendel because Yuni and Haruka were going to marry after her graduation. Akechi didn’t like her idea of dropping her dream that she had since middle school and so tells Haruka to convince Yuni.
Because of this, Haruka breaks up with Yuni and Yuni, who couldn’t bear the pain and finally cries with her best friend, decided to go to the University. But, she won’t give up her love. Yuni will study hard and come back as a perfect person for Haruka.
Few months after, Yuni comes back realizing that Haruka had lied to her about his feelings. She shows him a photo of a blue sunset that Haruka’s father had said had seen once. Touched by her actions, Haruka asks her to marry her right away. And like every love story, they end their story with a kiss on the beach. Ah, I like happy endings.
I am in love with this movie and I would watch it again if I had to. I could feel Sensei’s and Yuni’s emotions so vividly. The story went steadily with the right number of heart-fluttering scenes and tension. There wasn’t much conflict but I guess in a movie that’s enough (Though the movie would have turned intense with a little bit of disputation and antagonism) They were scenes that made me fret because it’s a prohibited love between a teacher and a student and if anyone catches them, it will be a big problem…There weren’t any comical scenes; (which is fine by me sometimes) just sad, frustrating, pulsating and tensed ones.
Yuni and Haruka both didn’t have much support in the movie to fight for their love yet they succeeded because they both were a fitting match for each other. Forbidden or not, love doesn’t have any rules and you can love whoever you want no matter the age and no matter if he is a teacher.
The kiss wasn’t deep which was suitable for the movie. The actors got into their character well which is most important for the viewers to be compelled to the movie. I’m not sure many people are like Yuni but if you are then I’m sure one day you will be able to open to others as well.
My rating: 4/5