Remade from the 2011 Taiwanese box-office hit of the same name, the Japanese drama You Are the Apple of My Eye perfectly portrays the fantasy-like feel of romance and friendship as a teen, whilst also adding a subtler, more realistic take on the challenges of young love.
Secondary school student Kosuke is having the time of his life with his close childhood friend, Utako (Honoka Matsumoto), and four other guy friends. He is seen as a troublemaker in the classroom, though, and his teacher asks him to sit at the front of the class to learn from top student Mana Hayase (Asuka Saito).
Kosuke initially finds Mana boring but, as the two spend more time studying together, they gradually grow closer and start to develop feelings for each other.
The Japanese adaptation is far less melodramatic than the original film. In this interpretation, the love and tension between the playful, naive Kosuke and the intelligent, mature Utako is not intense and explosive – it’s far more grounded.
The original Taiwanese hit was known for using music to stir the emotions of its audience. This version often chooses to go without, which helps make it feel more realistic.
Delightful, delicate, and bittersweet, this film is a perfect blend of all the highs and lows that teens feel when they experience love for the first time.