J-doramajapanese dramajdramaLove That Makes You Cry

Love That Makes You Cry MidWay Review

Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite Kitto Naite Shimau, follows Sugihara Oto (Arimura Kasumi) and Soda Ren (Kora Kengo), who come from the countryside  but end up moving and living in Tokyo for different reasons; they happen to come across each other through a series of coincidences.

Oto lost her mother in an early age and never had a chance to meet her father. She grew up with foster parents in a village in Hokkaido; she is content with her life there, until her “uncle” forces her to get married to an older man for financial reasons- after a series of events, and with the encouragement of her “aunt”, she manages to run away from the village and move to Tokyo.

The accomplice to her “escape” is Ren, a kind-hearted young man who has been working as a mover in Tokyo for 5 years, in hopes of saving enough money to buy his Grandfather’s land back, and return to living there with him. He first meets Oto in Hokkaido, as he travels there to return to her a lost-letter from her mother; having lost both his parents in an early age too, he finds himself sympathizing with her, but after they arrive to Tokyo, they get separated immediately and don’t see each other for a year.

Other characters include Hinata Kihoko (Takahata Mitsuki), a lonely woman that Ren has formed a casual relationship with, Asahi Ibuki (Nishijima Takahiro) the illegitimate son of a rich businessman who helps in the Nursing Home Oto works, Ichimura Konatsu (Morikawa Aoi) Ren’s childhood friend who wants to become a fashion designer, and Chujo Haruta (Sakaguchi Kentaro) a playboy who’s also friends with Ren.

It’s the slice-of-life drama you would expect from Sakamoto Yuji’s pen; and he’s quite the master at that department, so Itsuka Kono Koi is no exception.

The calm narration, the simple yet beautiful dialogues, the cinematography and photography that make you feel like you you’re a part of the scene, are all top-notch; the only reservation I had, was whether Arimura could have carried the weight of a demanding main role such as this, but she’s actually doing a brilliant work, she really does. (sorry for doubting you Arimura, if you continue like this, you will definitely get into my favs-list with flying colors! <–speaking of, still need to watch that, eeer) Kora is exceptional at his “Mr.Mover!” role (and the mover of every female chara’s heart apparently, loool) with a borderline-goofy attitude at times,  managing to capture perfectly Ren’s honest and vulnerable bone.

The rest of the cast can hold their own too, and I was especially impressed by Takahata Mitsuki, who portrays in a delicate way the character of Kahiko. (let me tell you, that you’re gonna ship EVERY.SINGLE.GODDAMN.SHIP. in this darn show and the acting is a part of that!)

I said I was gonna watch this after it had ended, because it is Yuji Sakamoto and I prefer/am used to watch his works in one go (having bought dozen box of tissues prior) but now I’m in it for the weekly-long haul!

Onwards to episode 5 then!

disclaimer – this post was written by kipzizz for dramajjang.co only + huge thanks to Sanashi @ D-Addicts 

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"There's nothing greater in life than loving another; it leads to love for your fellow people, your country..and the whole world."

I'm pretty outgoing from what I've been told; unless, you bad-mouth Ayase. Or Gakky. Or Ueto. Or Tori. Or Masaki. Or Kame. Hmmm, the or-thing is actually endless! You get the gist of it, right? ; p


  1. February 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm — Reply

    Am loving it!! I didn’t expect to get impressed, but I was. It reminds me of those old jdramas I loved way back. Sigh..good memories.
    Can you tell me other jdramas penned by this writer? Am not familiar with his name.

    • February 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm — Reply

      He’s an amazing writer- I’ve only watched 3 of his dramas (Itsukoi is the 4th) but they were stellar; Mother (arguably one of the best dramas ever), Woman and Soredemo Ikite Yuku. I can’t rec them enough!

      • February 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm — Reply

        Could watch only the first ep of Woman last year. I dropped it after feeling depressed. Hehe.
        Rest I haven’t watched. I guess I’ll marathon it later 😉 Am liking the storytelling style so far.

        • February 15, 2016 at 10:07 pm — Reply

          Well his dramas lie more on the sad-side but they are highly emotional-rewarding!

  2. aiko
    February 15, 2016 at 6:24 pm — Reply

    ” …(let me tell you, that you’re gonna ship EVERY.SINGLE.SHIP. in this darn show and the acting is a part of that!)”

    Ditto! definitely my case too.
    but i’m afraid that i might have to choose ship after seeing a glimpse of episode 5 just now!

    Speaking of Sakamoto Yuji’s drama, they never disappoint me so far. my favs would be Mother, Itoshi Kimi e, Last Christmas, Soredemo Ikite Yuku, Mondai no aru restaurant and Saikou no Rikon (not the SP).

    • February 15, 2016 at 6:30 pm — Reply

      I’m so looking forward to episode 5, apparently there’s a 5yrs-jump too, so yeah!
      He is a wonderful writer, yes. Simple, elegant (and OH SO TEAR JERKING) writing that touches your heart.

  3. February 16, 2016 at 6:50 am — Reply

    im currently watching some J-dorama. Yamaneko, Love that makes you cry, Please love the useless me and Criminologist and writer something… and some other doramas i havent watched but already downloaded…

    honestly, i had low expectation over this drama… the young actors and the ‘mellow’ vibe since the very beginning… but i kept watching… ep 3 to 4, the story hasn’t moved much.. wonder.. perhaps the writer wants to give us a big surprised after jumping to the current time.. i don’t know. i hope the ep 5 will be more nice.

    not all my friends watch this drama, so im glad to find your blog. so i can come here and read different thoughts 😀 sangkyu…

    • February 16, 2016 at 10:47 am — Reply

      Episode 5 will feature a 5yrs jump so the story will take a(nother) different turn- and thank you!

  4. Pong
    February 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    As a college student struggling alone in a big city I can somehow relate to the characters of this drama… Loneliness, shattered dreams, losing self identity, anxiety, even the reluctance to contact family due to fear of disappointing them, most of all the hardest thing is acknowledging the hopelessness of it all… I literally cry bitter tears lol

    Anyway, that playboy friend of Ren sure reminds me of Ayano Go’s character from Saiko no Rikon. I can see how the lack of direction can make some people feel impatient. Honestly most of Sakamoto Yuji’s drama has been straightforward

    • February 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm — Reply

      I think the feeling of isolation hits us all at some point- it’s funny because as I was writing the review, I was listening to one of my favorite songs, “America” by Simon and Garfunkel that describes the story of two lovers set out to find their fortune in America, the land of dreams; only to realize that desolation and emptiness is as high as ever through their journey. (it could apply to our heroes except replace America with Tokyo lol)
      All the things you described is something we all struggle with, and we can only hope that we can overcome it at some level- because it never really goes away. (which city do you study in btw, if you don’t mind me asking?)

      I /still/ haven’t watched SnR yet, eeer, but I suppose it’s similar to his other works, that I agree are pretty straightforward.

      • Pong
        February 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm — Reply

        Ah, I’m from Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia. Studying Industrial Engineering here. I see that you’re studying philosophy? I attended a philosophy class (minor) once and I thought the professor was trying to drive me crazy by keep asking me who I am lol. Anyway, yeah I can see similar things happen to many people around me as well, yet they just brush it aside and make a joke out of it. It’s like getting cynical is the best way to survive. Aish, sorry for the never ending whines, I hope it doesn’t bring down anyone’s mood~

        Saiko no Rikon is great! Of all the writer’s works It’s my second favorite after Soredemo 😀

        • February 16, 2016 at 6:59 pm — Reply

          ” I attended a philosophy class (minor) once and I thought the professor was trying to drive me crazy by keep asking me who I am”

          lmao, what a persistent professor!
          Yes, I am a Philosophy Major, graduated just in time before they kicked me out of the department lol.

          Industrial engineering sounds tough, hang in there! (actually, any kind of engineering sounds tough! The other co-admin, Kwon just graduated from Computer Engineering and he’s glad to be alive after all the difficulties haha)

          Oh no prob, “whine away”, don’t we all just want to get out those feelings sometimes? ; p

          Soredemo was great, yeah- I plan to watch (I always say that, but then I get caught up on the on-going series, but I SHALL) SnR because it seems to be a bit lighter than Mother, Woman or Soredemo and I’d like to see Yuji’s more brigther works.

  5. bee
    March 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm — Reply

    Hi, Kipzizz, thank you for making time reviewing this series 🙂

    I always find it amusing AND amazing how people get familiar with a work AND its creator. In this case, the drama and the writer 🙂

    I’ve watched Taiyo to Umi no Kyoshitsu, Mother, Woman, Soredemo, Saiko no Rikon and Mondai no Aru Restaurant. The “darker” side of slice of life genre (so to say) has never been my cup of tea. Despite their (as you mentioned) beautiful dialogues, commendable cinematography and superb acting by their cast; I found each of them painfully slow so I was struggling a lot to finish watching those series. I had NO idea they were of the same writer.

    The thing is even though I can get a gist that a drama series is sad from the synopsis (heck, everyone can tell this one is by its title), I cant help checking it out and torturing myself again. I just wonder if it’s REALLY not my cup of tea (I’m the happiest watching romcom). If it is, then why do I keep looking for one every season and get myself immersed in a world full of suffering for our leads?? (I don’t even know myself it that question is rhetorical or not, ha :D).

    Anyway, I just finished watching Ep.4 now and I’d like to know what you think of Ren.

    He fell for Sugihara so he was cold to her (out of the “desire” (or “duty”) not to hurt Kiho), then confessed to her only to say he would back be cold again the next day. Did I miss something?? I’m so confused. I mean, knowing how kind-hearted the two are, I suppose they would be able to “accept” their situation and still be nice to each other even after the confession. So, I wonder why he had to say so. To begin with, I don’t understand when Ren began to fall “helplessly” in love with Sugihara.

    In the beginning, I was made to believe (or I happened to believe) that Kiho was in love with Ren and Ren was okay with their casual relationship (but didn’t seem to be in love with her).

    Then, Ren asked Kiho out, Kiho left without giving him an answer and Ren got soooo anxious the whole week as she didn’t contact him afterwards (I was made to think that he was the one in love after all and she wasn’t),

    Later we found, Kiho didn’t coldly leave him hanging. She was struggling with herself to finally admit that she’d loved him all along. She was just too vulnerable to face it and too scared to expect anything in life. Yet she decided to accept his feelings after gathering her entire courage (– I fist pumped at the thought of having the first couple who are in relationship AND in love with each other –). Of course I understood this relationship would end eventually (because our first female lead is Sugihara, not Kiho) but I just want them to be happy in whatever time they had together. But now I have this “indescribable feeling” (borrowing Ren’s expression in Ep.3) about Ren.

    So, what do you think of Ren’s decision of treating Sugihara coldly so suddenly and not being honest with Kiho?

    – I know Ren is a good guy and he’s trying his hardest to protect his relationship and keep his promise with Kiho, I just don’t know if his method is the best for any of them three.
    – Kiho is an amazing girl and I sure would like her to have happy ending (please, don’t be a bitter second lead, I beg of you).
    – Sugihara … is sweet but I’d like it if she grows more backbone (like in the bus when she falls, I hope she would just gather her things and get up quickly). But then again, with the way she’s brought up being bold must be an extremely difficult thing to do (I can’t imagine how much courage it took her to flee from her “uncle”).
    – I haven’t thought much of Konatsu but I sure hope she ends up happily with Haruta (though that guy is pretty weird now). I hope to see they both (they ALL, for that matter) change positively now that there will be a 5years jump)
    – Ibuki is life, ’nuff said … ahahaa, ihihii, ohohoo,, uhuhuu, tralalaaa 😉 😉 😀

    Thank you once again for the review (I’ll be reading the next ones after watching the eps). I’m sorry for being incoherent and for taking so much space here, I hope you don’t mind 🙂

    Stay awesome, Kipzizz!! <3 <3 <3

    • March 12, 2016 at 5:44 pm — Reply

      Haha, no worries you’re not taking any “space” and you weren’t incoherent at all!

      To your question, Ren treated Oto coldly only after she kissed him- that moment basically confirmed for him his feelings for her, (and hers for him) that were growing since the first time they met (they do have a very meaningful connection, being able to talk about stuff and share things they haven’t shared with any other). So, since he felt like he had an “obligation” (stupid, I know) for Kiho, he couldn’t break up with her in fear of hurting her. He does care about Kiho, obviously, but that’s very different from being in love. (as he is, with Oto)
      So, to make the best of both words, he is being cold to Oto (in a way to prevent her from falling for him further) and dishonest to Kiko- good intentions pave the way for (romantic) hell afterall haha

      I think you will find those questions you just posed, being asked by a certain character in episode 5, so let me know what you think after you’re done watching that ep!

      & thank you for your kind words, too! ; )

  6. bee
    March 13, 2016 at 6:39 am — Reply

    I haven’t got the chance to rewatch the eps but now that I think again about their interactions, you’re right Ren-Oto just get each other like no one else can (my heart will bleed for Ibuki 🙁 )

    As to my question, the answer that he’s being cold to Oto to prevent her from falling for him further is the best I can accept. I mean, it makes me see Ren’s action in a new light that he wasn’t doing it for himself (being so selfish after getting a confession then confessing) but he did it more so for Oto’s sake. Thank you for this 🙂

    Ep.5 was THE bomb, btw 😉

  7. nomad
    March 25, 2016 at 12:09 am — Reply

    Ok, I’ve been dying to see this drama and I waited until it’s finished, because there are quite a bit of wonderful jdramas that never fully got subbed all the way and left me wondering what the hell happened in the end. It seems like this drama never got its 10th episode subbed, so I wonder whether I should even watch? On the other note, if you’ve watched the ending, can you please tell me whether it has a happy ending? I know Jdrama strives in that bitter sweet ending department, and there are many times when I absolutely love them. However, not this time. I just need a happy ending, that’s all. Does this drama have that? Thank you for answering.

    • March 25, 2016 at 1:29 am — Reply

      1. It is a wonderful drama, you will not regret watching it AT ALL.
      2. The finale aired just a couple days ago in Japan, the subs should be out within the next days, so it’s definitely fully subbed loool.
      3. Are you SURE you want me to tell you about the ending? I’d suggest you watch out to see for yourself, but if you want me to reply to you, then I can do that. Are you sure-sure though?

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