Directed by Takeshi Yokoi. This is the third installment of the Takumi-kun series. A new school year begins and Takumi is now in his third year in Shidou Gakuin. Although changes are typically expected, Takumi was not counting on his boyfriend Gii to drastically change causing Takumi to retreat to his old self that he had fought so hard to overcome.
The movie begins with Takumi (Hamao Kyosuke) is engaged in a delightful phone conversation with his boyfriend Gii (Daisuke Watanabe) who is currently overseas. The loving couple looks forward to spending their third year in high school with much promise. Yet things don’t turn out the way they had hoped when a clueless Takumi receives disturbing impressions from Gii’s best friend, Akaike (Yukihiro Takiguchi) and new friend and second-year student, Shingyouji Kanemitsu (Bishin Kawasumi). His new roommate, Misu Arata (Baba Ryoma) only adds to his worries as the man holds a longstanding cold war with Gii since they were freshmen. This prompts Takumi to confront his boyfriend only find out that the once affectionate Gii has turned aloof towards him even in private. Worse, Gii asks him that it would be best if they keep their distance from each other. This painful realization spirals Takumi into the old fear that has socially paralyzed him for years.
The set location for Shidou High School still takes place in British Hills as it did in part two. However, there are noticeable inconsistencies particularly with regards to the rooms they now occupy as compared to the previous films. These inconsistencies can be found during the flashback scenes where Gii confesses to Takumi in the music room. In part one, this takes place beside a piano where Gii hesitates to kiss him. In this movie, it takes place by the steps only this time Gii goes ahead and kisses him. Gii’s questionable bruises on his face from part one is nowhere to be found here in part three.
Another flashback scene is when Takumi recalls the time he and Gii became roommates. The room in this scene is not the same room they used in part two rather it is the room they are now using in part three. This is not limited even to the manner how he and Gii are introduced to each other for the first time. There is also that issue with editing where certain scenes are suddenly inserted into another scene where they have no connection.
As much as I respect and admire how Director Takeshi Yokoi has taken the series into a whole new different dimension which has been very much well-received by the audience and fans alike, his constant jerking of the camera causing the scenes to shake does not sit very well with me. I understand that some of the scenes show deep emotions the character is going through but instead of making the audience feel it through a steady camera, Director Yokoi decides to shake and sway the camera instead giving you the impression either that of a mini earthquake or that you’re riding a boat on a river as you try to watch the film.
Although the producers have decided to permanently cast Hamao, Watanabe, and Takiguchi to their specific characters, this is clearly not the case with casting Takumi’s best friend Toshihisa Katakura who is now played by Mio Akaba. The original Toshihisa was played by Ryo Sakaguchi. Yasuka Saito who played the original Izumi Takabayashi is now cast in a very minor role as a dorm head, Masataka Nozawa.
Bibou no Detail may have suffered some setbacks on the technical aspect but what impressed me so much about this movie is that the audience is not distracted by having to deal with multiple plots as it did in the previous films. The entire plot is focused primarily on the canon couple alone. The scenes are not fragmented but rather find their way to connect to the story or create a specific mood. The dialogues are more straightforward and manage to convey the right emotions intended. Also, the movie soundtrack is moving and inspiring. it syncs in very well to the mood and atmosphere of each scene presented. It does not in any way distract the viewer’s attention from experiencing the movie but rather enhances it further.
Hamao Kyosuke as Takumi has shown a great deal of improvement compared to his performance in Niji-iro no Garasu. There is a strong sense of confidence and sensitivity in his acting and he delivers his lines effectively accompanied by the right amount of emotion needed to react towards a situation. There was nothing awkward about him. He has also fully embraced the character of Takumi as his own. One of the highlights of his acting takes place in a scene with Gii. I remember feeling so affected the first time I watched it that it literally drove me to tears. One cannot help but sympathize with his character strongly. You could really feel how much in love he is with Gii.
Watanabe’s performance as Gii maintains a median level of intensity. There isn’t much of a noticeable jump with his acting compared to Hamao’s. Personally, I much prefer him in part two. I find this a bit of a letdown because I was hoping so much that Watanabe would equally match Hamao during the intense scenes but somehow he falls short on that as some of it were natural and some of them looked forced. However, their chemistry as a couple is much more heavily felt in Bibou no Detail than they ever did in the previous movie. They are so mesmerizing to watch. They give off that sensation that nothing else matters around them but their love for each other. They have one of the most beautiful love scenes I have ever watched in a BL film.
Takiguchi’s take as the wise Akaike remains consistent and stable. Whenever he appears on the screen, one cannot help but feel the authority in his performance. Not only does he get a lot more screen time in Bibou no Detail, but he also makes the most of his appearances firmly establishing the reason what makes him irreplaceable from the beginning of the series.
Mio Akaba as Takumi’s ex-roommate, Toshihisa Kawakumi made me miss the original actor who played the role. Although Mio’s acting wasn’t that bad it wasn’t that great either. As Toshihisa, he seemed to have fallen short as being Takumi’s old friend and instead was more like a friendly acquaintance.
Bibou no Detail introduces two new characters into the main cast which are played by newcomers, Bishin Kawasumi as Shingyouji Kanemitsu and Baba Ryoma as Misu Arata. Although the movie hints that Shingyouji and Misu are a couple, unfortunately, there is not much chemistry between the two actors that could be readily felt. Yet judging them separately is a totally different matter. Bishin pretty much acts like the new guy in the group. He is much too friendly and the way he delivers his lines do not always come off as natural but he tries his best. My favorite scene of him was when he tried to fend off the bullies away from Takumi. From an audience’s point of view, it did not quite translate as intimidating as expected for this particular scene yet he managed to look quirky and cute.
On the other hand, the new roommate Misu Arata played by Baba Ryoma is a scene-stealer from the moment he walked into the room. His presence is heavily regarded throughout the entire movie. Bibou no Detail is Baba’s first movie role yet his portrayal as Misu Arata as a dominant and calculating character is not only convincing but consistent and effective. Not only has he nailed the character so well, but he also made it his own. He gives off this aura of mystery that makes you wonder if he is friend or foe.
Yasuka Saito who is from the original cast of the first Takumi-kun movie has been reduced to a very minor speaking role as the dorm head, Masataka Nozawa. Not only was his role a very minor one, he is almost physically unrecognizable which is a far cry from his overacting performance in the first movie. If it were up to me, there really was no need for his character in the movie as it did not contribute anything to the scope of the story.
Yet, all in all, the movie was a vast improvement from the previous one. It is more well rounded and the overall mood had all the ingredients of what makes a successful romantic drama. It draws its audience closer and makes one crave for more. One does not have to be familiar with the manga to be able to appreciate the beauty of this film. It has high replay value and after watching it, you will most likely want to find out more about it.
Overall, I am giving this film a rating of 4 over 5.
REVIEWER: Yojichan (Originally published June 2012)
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