When Love Strikes Four Times Over
By Marybel Gervais
(Translated by Adam Abouaccar)
Romantic comedies are traditionally seen as appealing to female audiences because of their wondrously impossible love stories that allow for a brief moment during which to fantasize. Men tend to be less receptive to this genre, since they are often cited as being unable to identify with a protagonist of the opposite sex. Love Strikes! (Moteki) subverts established norms, instead depicting a very typical male fantasy: that of being every woman’s object of desire. Or rather, that of going from an ordinary man to one whom all the ladies adore. We already have pornography designed for women, now we have romantic comedies that cater to men. We are living in an era of change. Why not?
This is a defining moment in the life of Yukiyo Fujimoto (Mirai Moriyama). Having suddenly changed his line of work, Yukiyo’s wildest dreams have come true. In his new work place, each of his colleagues is more beautiful than the last. What could make this thirty-year-old happier than being the center of all this attention! He is spoiled for choice. But love has a very bad reputation: that of being complicated. If one relationship is immeasurably complex, imagine what four must be like. Yukiyo will have to learn this at his own expense.
Though the story of Love Strikes! appears to have been conceived for a male audience, its candy coated aesthetic is sure to please women fond of coquetry. Yukiyo is very clean cut and keeps up to date on all the latest trends. His friends aren’t bad either. Everyone is dressed to the nines. The set design has also received special attention, and the importance placed on details is clear throughout; everything fits together perfectly. It’s a visual delight sure to have everyone’s mouths watering, and the overall effect feels like a multilayered cake decorated to perfection. Yum!
At the head of the production, we find Hitoshi Ohne, a familiar name in Japanese television (among others, Trick and Vanpaia Hosuto). Though this is his first foray outside the world of TV, there’s no need to question his big screen capabilities. He knows Love Strikes! like the back of his hand: he is the screenwriter behind the adaptation, but also the writer and director responsible for the Moteki TV series (2010)
For its 2012 edition, Fantasia offers its audience a vast selection of Japanese manga adaptations (like Gyo de Junji Ito by Takayuki Hirao). In the land of the rising sun, these adaptations are common practice. This same phenomenon is gaining momentum elsewhere and has since been seen in America with Marvel (Sam Rami’s multiple adaptations of Spiderman) and in Europe with Astérix (by Frederic Forestier and Thomas Langmann or that of Alain Chabat). We can see that the works selected for big screen adaptations are often action-based (from horror to science fiction). Here, in the case of Love Strikes!, we get to enjoy a romantic comedy, a genre less commonly adapted, but present all the same. In respecting the original work and being as faithful to the look of the film as it is to the story, Love Strikes! succeeds on all levels. Get your taste buds ready.
LOVE STRIKES! will have its Canadian premiere July 30th at 19:25 in Concordia’s Hall Theater. More information on the film HERE.