I have already reviewed Cherry Magic aka the most wholesome (boys’ love) romance series there is, but I also need to talk about Kieta Hatsukoi which is a worthy contender for the spot. Unlike the work romance story, Kieta Hatsukoi is a highschool romcom offering a lot of laughs and an adorable pairing.
The set up is simple: Aoki likes his classmate, adorable Hashimoto-san, the girl who sits next to him in class. Aoki is content with just friendly conversations until he borrows an eraser from her. He finds that Hashimoto wrote another boy’s name on the eraser and despairs.
You see, writing your crushes name on your eraser serves as a love charm in Japan. With his dreams and hopes shattered, Aoki is devastated to find out that Hashimoto likes someone else. That certain someone else is Ida, who is sitting right in front of Aoki. While Aoki is too busy tending to his broken heart, Ida accidentally sees the eraser with his name on it, and assumes that it belongs to Aoki.
This is where the misunderstandings starts to pile up with Ida thinking that Aoki has a crush on him. While Aoki tries to get Ida to forget about the eraser and protect Hashimoto’s secret, the two start to spend more time together and they realize that they surprisingly get along well. And Aoki’s crush might start to become more than just a white lie to protect a secret.
As if the set up wasn’t ridiculous enough, Aoki’s dramatic inner monologues and antics will surely make you laugh out loud. Like the time he tried to take himself out with the recycled trash or vowed to run away to the mountains and live as a recluse instead of solving his problems. Or the time he volunteered to step in at the school play as Cinderella’s understudy.
I loved the side characters and how they showed support and companionship to Ida and Adachi during the story. Hashimoto really is the nicest person there is but she also has her own story to tell about who she really likes. Aoki’s friend, Akkun is a chaotic but very well intentioned friend who is always there to cheer him up. And honorary mention goes out to the drama club couple, Hiromu and Rumi, who tend to have tea parties on the school rooftop. They are ridiculous and I love them.
Ida is one of the nicest romantic interests out there, he is super considerate and kind if a bit clueless when it comes to romance. It was lovely to see that the reason Aoki started to like him was because of his considerate nature. His more serious, thoughtful personality is the perfect foil to Aoki’s dramatic, over the top antics. The two have great chemistry and more importantly very good communication throughout the story.
I loved seeing that every time they were running into an issue they resolved it by talking it out. The misunderstandings get cleared up in due time with satisfying resolutions and while the characters take some time to think over their feelings and what they want from each other romantically and emotionally, the story is not burdened with unnecessary miscommunication.
The writing does an amazing job at portraying emotions, while most of the series is seen through Aoki’s eyes we also get a glimpse into Ida’s side. The romance is slowburn at it’s best and have adorable longing gazes and shows really well what it is like to have a crush on someone.
It also doesn’t shy away from showing how other people can react to same sex relationships and tackles these scenes with seriousness while never straying too far away from the overall light hearted mood of the show.
It adds a special feel to the show that the two main Kieta Hatsukoi theme songs, are each sung by one of the leading actors, as both Aoki’s and Ida’s actors are idols.
I immensely enjoyed watching this show and I had to stop the episodes several times because I was laughing so hard. The ending was super satisfying to watch and this definitely made it onto my list of feelgood shows, It has a lot of funny moments and a wholesome, heartfelt romance. I really hope we get to see more gems like Kieta Hatsukoi and Cherry Magic among romance series. The series is available to watch on Rakuten VIKI.
The tv show is the adaptation of a manga series, still running under the same name. The first few volumes are translated to English.