Ive read both the manga and seen the live action drama series so I just cant help but compare the two as I write this review. Still mainly reviewing the TV Series with some bits and pieces of opinion on the manga.^_^
I loved the manga and I fell in love with the characters thatâ€™s why I was so adamant in finding a copy of its drama series. Im curious how they interpreted the manga into live-action and I did wanna see the actors who gave life to the beautiful artwork by Yuu Watase.
There were a lot of changes which slightly disappointed me at the start. For starters, Namikiri was gorgeous in the manga, but in the series, he was not (no offense to Sasaki Kuranosuke admirers)(^_^). It does work well for the actor because the character has the personality of a trickster/comedian and the actor pulls it off perfectly. Another change is the setting, in the manga itâ€™s a school life romance, whereas in the series itâ€™s a workplace setting with more mature characters. There were also more characters in the series than in the manga.
I have to say that I was slightly enraged with how the series developed the love between Riiko and Night. It was always interrupted by Riikoâ€™s â€œlikeâ€ for Soshi(her boss). I thought that was good and nice but the title is â€œZettai Kareshi(Absolute Boyfriend): The Flawless Robot Loverâ€ and not â€œFlawless Boss Loverâ€. They put the Riiko-Night connection to the side that I really felt that Night is just an â€œelectronic applianceâ€ as Namikiri described him. It was also obvious that Riiko did seemingly love Night and chose him in the end, I did not believe that It was true. I just felt that it was underdeveloped. Sadly, this was at Soshiâ€™s expense.
On a lighter note, the TV Series did have very memorable funny characters. Night is one of them. The actor did a very good job that one could believe he really is a robot. His blunders, sexy poses, funny cheers, and â€œspring actionsâ€ (watch it and youâ€™ll know what I mean.LOL) seem like an authentic robot movement. He was good in expressing his human emotions as well.
But the funniest character in the whole series is â€œThe Landladyâ€. She never shies from expressing her admiration to Riikoâ€™s handsome visitors. She would even bring cakes, spicy fish, among other delicious meals to bring to Riikoâ€™s apartment as a gift.
Getting to the middle of the series, I admit that I was hooked on the Riiko-Soshi love team. As the series progressed, you just know that they are the ones who are supposed to be together. This made me slightly bitter to the fact that Night was supposed to be the star of the show. Well anyway, it was also implied in the manga that Riiko and Soshi will be the long term couple and that Night did have a shelf-life. Thatâ€™s what I loved about the manga. It celebrated Riikoâ€™s first love with Nightâ€™s real human love. It also gave respect to the implication that Soshi is Riikoâ€™s true love, thatâ€™s why you would still root for him in the end. The series just was on the Soshi-Riiko team from the start.
Oh, I almost forgot Mika. Sheâ€™s Riikoâ€™s back stabbing best friend and co-worker. She is the character that you just love to hate both in the series and the manga.
The DVD included the special episode which became the epilogue of the series. Happening â€œThree years laterâ€, Riiko and Soshi are engaged, the conflict of a new character bringing Night back to life because of a personal vendetta, Riikoâ€™s confusion between Soshi and Night, Soshiâ€™s father having a heart attack making Night realize the value of life and death, an almost US military robot take over, and Namikiri saving the day. Eventually, Night asked Namikiri to scrap him completely and delete him from the world knowing that Riiko will be truly happy with having a life and family with Soshi. It ends with Riiko going back to Soshi. Soshi says â€œWelcome Homeâ€ and Riiko says â€œIm back.â€ which cues the sweet ending song of â€œOkaeriâ€(fittingly means â€œWelcome Homeâ€) by Ayaka.
Overall, I am pleased with the TV series despite the changes from the manga. It could stand alone and still be a good and entertaining lovable show. The thing for me is that when I finished the manga I cried for days. The manga ending was just too sad and heartbreaking. Im not one who cares in movies or books. I almost always donâ€™t cry at stories that other people bawl about but there are just those rare gems of movies, books and stories that gets through to me. I was hoping that the TV series would make me have that kind of reaction. I did not cry for days but I did shed some tears.
What sets the manga and the series distinctly apart is the feeling that the audience gets after reading the story. In the manga, you would feel great heartbreak as if you were the one who was still in the phase of grieving over a lost love. The series, even though, you have some tears in your eyes, you also have a smile on your face knowing that the characters are going to be alright.
So if you guys are looking for a great TV series to watch and love watching, I would recommend Zettai Kareshi.
PS. I would also recommend reading the manga, if you have time.^_^