Everyone has a first love in their heart. There are various first love stories, such as a heartbreaking unrequited love and a faint love that remains as a good memory. Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you were reunited with your first love? The drama ‘First Love Hatsukoi’ shows a first love and a reunion after a farewell. It explores topics that we easily contemplate, such as what it would be like to meet our innocent first love from those days as mature adults and whether we could fall in love once again. There is 20-year gap between the date with the first love and the reunion. As current university students, we are in the middle point of the two time periods depicted in the drama. I hope to watch and get empathy and comfort from witnessing the characters through the process of becoming adults while experiencing pain, not only through the memories of their first love.
The main characters, Yae and Harumichi, met in 1998 during high school and had a youthful love. They met consistently after graduating high school. But broke up after a sad accident. However, 20 years later, they reunite in a different way than they dreamed of. Harumichi, who served in the Air Force to become a pilot, became a security guard, and Yae, who dreamed of being a flight attendant, became a taxi driver. Through the drama, let's find out what kind of pain Yae and Harumichi experienced after their farewell and whether they are able to love each other again despite the passage of time.
This drama is a Netflix original series and features the songs of the popular Japanese singer ‘Utada Hikaru’ as its theme. The drama gained popularity on Japanese Netflix, and both the OST 'First Love' and 'Hatsukoi,' are running in reverse. Combining these two songs, the drama is titled 'First Love Hatsukoi.' 'Hatsukoi' is the Japanese word for 'first love,' so the meanings of 'First Love' and 'Hatsukoi' are the same. The drama shows the years 1999 and 2018, crossing over the storyline with the release timing of the songs. When Yae and Harumichi reunite as each other's first love in 2018, the narrative shifts to 1999, and the story unfolds in earnest. As it effectively captures the sentiment of that era in Japan, people who experienced in 1999, when the song ‘First Love’ rang all over Japan, commented that they were able to reminisce about the past in the drama.
Lastly, I would like to introduce the essential OST and related scenes in this drama.
“Our last kiss was the flavor of cigarettes” _First Love
Yae and Harumichi sit on the school rooftop, sharing earphones and listening to music while sharing their first kiss. After the kiss, because Harumichi is smoker, Yae says, “Tastes like cigarettes.” In response, Harumichi jokingly says, “Call it flavor," dismissing Yae's comment. The song playing through the earphones becomes the background music, so us to feel the sentiment of Japanese romance in those days. It is a scene that comes to mind every time you listen to this song.
By incorporating with famous music in the drama, it not only gives the impression of being a well-produced drama with great background music but also showcases the excellent cinematography and emotional interpretation of the music into the storyline. It touches on the struggles of adulthood and the nostalgic emotions of innocent first love. It has created a poignant viewing experience that lingers long after watching the drama. The synopsis is similar to other Japanese dramas as it follows common clichés, but the excellent directing and harmony of the OST overcome all of these and allow you to fall in love with the work. If you listen to the OST again after watching the drama, you will be able to feel the emotions you felt while watching this drama.
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