I Give My First Love To You is a story of a boy named Takuma (Okasa Masaki) who meets his one true love when he's just a kid, the same time that he learns he has a heart condition. Takuma's first love, Mayu (Inoue Mao), is determined to marry him and sticks to him at all times. But just like what Takuma says, their love has a time limit.
I enjoyed the movie from start to finish. I know where the story is heading but I watch it all the same. For some reason, this movie gives me the same feel as the other Japanese movies of the same genre that I've watched. It starts cute, but somehow leads to its tragic ending. I'm saying it from here on because I'm pretty sure that based on the synopsis alone, it's not much of a spoiler.
Takuma knows early on that he doesn't have much longer to live but with every year that passes, he just keeps on wanting to live more. Mayu has been on his side since they're kids and he understands how much pain she suffers because of him. Wanting to stop her from living her life around him, he decides to break up with her. He decides to go to a high school for highly intelligent students, and Mayu knows that it's almost impossible for her to get in that school. But it's not the end of the line for the two because Mayu makes sure that she gets in that school, even hiring ten tutors!
I usually don't like love stories where it's evident that the lives of the leads revolve around each other. But I'm willing to make an exception for this two. They know that their time is short, so what are they supposed to do? Sure, they can live their lives without the other, but they'd rather not. And I see why they do it and I'd probably do the same. Mayu is such a strong-willed character that she just wouldn't accept Takuma's noble idiocy. They are smart people and they may be emotional at times but I like how they both move the story forward. I believe their character arcs have been developed quite well, too.
What I love the best about this movie is Takuma and Mayu's obvious chemistry! Argh. They're just incredibly cute together! Their bickering and every other interaction seem to flow naturally. Inoue Mao is amazing as Mayu. She's clingy but she makes that clinginess adorable. I may be biased in saying this. I'm not sure how I'd react if it's some other actress.
I'm only bothered with how the story ends. I know that they didn't really show much after Takuma dies but Mayu seems to handle it quite well. Too well? Everything she does, she does it with Takuma in mind. It's just quite amazing that she doesn't fall apart when he died. I don't know. Maybe the denial and anger and pretty much everything else that comes with handling someone's death happened off-screen. I hope she manages well. It's not like she wasn't prepared. But they have this few minutes of hope, that Takuma might actually survive! And to have that taken away is probably much harder to accept than not having the littlest of hope.
It's worth a try, especially when you love movies like Koizora. This one, at least, isn't annoying and has an incredibly strong heroine.