As I start writing my My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi review, the one thing I can think about is that it’s a treat for every Johnny’s fangirl. For the first time ever, members from top Johnny’s and Associates groups are together for a Boys Love (BL) drama. The My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi drama was announced in August 2021, and two of the most looked-after boy group members starred in it. It was then released in Japan in October of last year, and to my utter delight, it suddenly showed up on the first page of my Netflix page.
My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi Plot
I’ve seen a lot of previews about it because fangirls were being excited and posted a lot of pictures about My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi on Twitter. It was pretty apparent that it was supposed to be a BL drama, but since I haven’t read the manga series (I couldn’t fit it in my schedule to do so), I had a lot of reservations about how BL it’s going to be. I mean, two of the up-and-coming actors and idols from Johnny’s star in it. It’s like I still couldn’t put my finger on it, especially since it’s about a love mix-up, so there might just be a misunderstanding.
Well, I kept my reservations up until I’ve finally started watching the series. And yes, to my delight, it was indeed a BL series. After a huge misunderstanding, Aoki, played by Shunsuke Michieda (of newly-debuted Johnny’s boy group, Naniwa Danshi), unexpectedly fell for Ida, played by Ren Meguro. (of Snow Man). The whole mix-up was the main reason for both leads falling for each other because, at first, Aoki’s love was his classmate Hashimoto.
After borrowing Hashimoto’s eraser, Aoki found out that she likes Ida. In order to protect her secret, Aoki sacrificed the real score by just owning up to the crush after Ida found out about his name in the eraser. Ida is always the type who is open about things, even if he’s unsure about it. For example, after being urged by the volleyball team, he joined it and eventually loved what he was doing.
However, love was a different thing. After finding out that Aoki likes him, he became curious and couldn’t stop thinking of Aoki, to the point of wanting to protect him. It was was his first time acknowledging romantic love in his life, and he was taking the plunge.
Eventually, because of all the mix-up, the two lovebirds fell for each other, but it is not without its mishaps and more misunderstandings. However, with the help of their friends, they were able to overcome their struggles.
My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi Review
My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi is a very simple j-dorama. It’s mostly dwelled on a flimsy high school love. While the issues of falling in love with the same sex and being conscious about it were brought up, as well as acceptance from people around them, the issues were rather taken lightly. If we compare it to other BL series, My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi is not very heavy and racy. It lacked in-depth character study and build-up. Again, it’s just another sweet and light BL series.
The 19-24-minute 10-episode series couldn’t tackle all the crucial aspects of coming out, even after falling in love with the opposite sex at first (for Aoki) or after not falling in love yet (for Ida). Hence, overall, the series is just for BL fans who want to relax and be giddy about two handsome Johnny’s idols falling in love with each other in a j-dorama.
Even though My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi is a very light romantic comedy series with a very limited time frame, having a secondary love affair was necessary to pump up the series. I looked out on what will happen between the other love team-up in the series–between Hashimoto and Aida, Aoki’s two close friends. The second love story was part of the mix-up, so it’s a great thing that the j-dorama also focused on the two.
My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi Review: Characters and Actors
Since there was very little character depth in the drama, and almost every scene was situational, I cannot comment on the characters. These types of characters were already introduced in a lot of BL series and other rom-com series not just in Japan but in Korean, Taiwanese, Thai, and Filipino rom-com films and series as well. Hence, I’m going to focus on the actors for the review.
Shunsuke Michieda as Sota Aoki
As the youngest in the j-drama, Shunsuke’s charms really shined through the series. The adorable, imperfect, friendly, light-hearted, frank, childlike, awkward, easily-embarrassed character fits Shunsuke and his looks. I noticed Shunsuke first in Naniwa Danshi (Johnny’s boy group) because it seems like he’s Johnny’s favorite as the center, and his towering height is also a plus factor. However, in Naniwa Danshi, I was gearing towards their more struggled group members, Joichiro or Daigo, but after this My Love Mix-up drama, it seems like I can’t deny how much I’m biased towards Shunsuke. I mean, the guy is very adorable! He pulled off his character really well.
Ren Meguro as Kousuke Ida
I’m not a huge Snow Man (Ren’s boy group) fan, but this isn’t the first drama I’ve seen which starred Ren Meguro. I loved him in the quirky J-drama, We Apply for an Easy Job. Ren’s character Ida is under a typical trope–the popular, intelligent, quiet, kind, and inexperienced guy. Ida is the type of character without flaws, and if there is, it’s just something shallow that you could still be lucky if you were in a relationship with a guy like that. Ren was able to pull the character well, especially when tropes like this need to be acted softly-spoken and poker-faced.
Riko Fukumoto as Mio Hashimoto
It’s the first time I saw Riko Fukumoto more in a drama (I barely noticed her in Secret Unrequited Love). Her character is the typical beautiful feminine girl, but as the drama progresses, we can see her minor cute flaws, which makes her character very endearing. I loved her chemistry with Shunsuke’s character, Aoki. They support each other with each of their love endeavors.
Jin Suzuki as Hayato Aida
Jin Suzuki’s character in the drama is mischievous. Aida strikes me as someone who doesn’t take things very seriously. It’s almost the same as Suzuki’s character in Hana Nochi Hare. Suzuki has had a lot of projects in the few years he’s been in the industry, and this drama is one of the easier ones for him, I think. He’s super adorable in here too.
My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi Review: OST
As any Johnny’s-led J-dorama, My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi has a superb OST, of course, both from Naniwa Danshi and Snow Man. I mean, not all of Johnny’s songs are great, but when it comes to writing and producing for j-doramas that their idols star in, they have the best line-up of tracks. My favorite is Snow Man’s Secret Touch, the drama’s main theme.
I’m assuming that there were a lot of scenes in the drama that were not allowed for the two Johnny’s idols. I mean, Naniwa Danshi just debuted in November of last year, and this drama was the first drama where the boy group’s center, Shunsuke Michieda, leads. It is not very ideal, to say the least. However, fangirls are better off knowing that their idols marry each other and are queer than going after other girls, so this drama is such a delight for Naniwa Danshi and Snow Man fans.
I’m very happy and thankful to Johhny’s that they were open enough to let some of their idols be a part of a BL series. My Love Mix-Up / Kieta Hatsukoi might just be a light BL series with typical character tropes, but it’s a step-up of Johnny’s idols and more mainstream celebrities to be more open and accepting of the LGBTQ+A community. The BL series is very entertaining and heartwarming as well.