By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Set against a gorgeous sea-town, Japanese mini-series ‘Kimi No Koto Dake Itai’ (I Only Want to Keep Looking At You) captures the motions of teenage love in some of its most precious shades. The story is playful, innocent, heartwarming and lets its teen protagonists be young and silly schoolkids, unlike a lot of shows in the genre.

Directed by Kariyama Shunsuke, the series follows childhood best-friends Asakura Sakura (Kura Yuki) and Nagase Yuki (Mizusawa Rintaro), who are on the brink of finishing high-school. Asakura observes how they are neither fully adults nor children anymore, and yet, he doesn’t want to let go of the phase they are in… a sweet spot between a carefree childhood and the impending burdens of adulthood. But with their school life coming to an end, Asakura confesses his love for Yuki, who in turn is dazed and confused by the revelation. Is Asakura’s crush unrequited?

There’s a stark simplicity about the way this show is shot, the scenes have a touch of mundane reality to them and yet manage to be riveting. It’s the kind of comfort summer show one can leisurely binge-watch on the weekend. I love how Asakura and Yuki just eat ice-cream by the seashore and discuss random things; or how they have a ‘bucket list’ that includes things like ‘skipping rocks till we get home’. How do you not like such goofy characters?!

The romance is subtle, there aren’t too many sub-plots or supporting characters to scuttle the flow of show. Both lead actors Kura Yuki and Mizusawa Rintaro are endearing in their roles, making it easy to believe in their friendship and root for their success. Kura Yuki’s Asakura is ruminative, calm and a talented piano player, while Mizusawa plays the impish, energetic, class-clown kind of a boy, who doesn’t dwell on things too deeply. Both their characters are straight-forward, choosing to communicate with each other with raw honesty.

Just four episodes long, ‘Kimi No Koto Dake Mite Itai Review’ beautifully balances the hilarity of high-school students and the intensity of ‘first love’. Asakura and Yuki deserve a season two.

It’s a 8/10 from me.

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