My Little Lover～Minami kun no koibito, a popular work by multi-talented manga artist Shungicu Uchida, is a love story that centers on Chiyomi Horikiri, a female high school student reduced to a height of 16 cm . The object of her affections is a similar-aged boy with the surname Minami (whose first name generally changes with every new version of the story). Originally serialized in the now-defunct monthly manga magazine GARO during 1986-7, the story has since been adapted for television on three occasions: in 1990, 1994, and 2004. Its appeal unfading, especially among young female audiences, My Little Lover now returns to the small screen for a fourth time after an 11-year hiatus, courtesy of the same talented team responsible for the success of Mischievous Kiss 2: Love in TOKYO.
The current adaptation sees the handsome yet moody character of Shunichi Minami played by Taishi Nakagawa, a talented teenager currently making waves in dramas and commercials. Chiyomi, meanwhile, is portrayed by Maika Yamamoto, who has recently starred in a string of blockbuster movies. The combined presence of these two in-demand 17-year-olds has created high expectations for the show. With a new take on Minami, the appearance of a rival for Chiyomi’s affections who was never featured in the manga, and a new ending that departs from the original work, the current adaptation is guaranteed to entertain seasoned fans and first-time viewers alike.
Chiyomi Horikiri is a vibrant third year high school student whose hobbies include dance and fiction writing. The only sour note in her life is her childhood sweetheart and classmate Shunichi Minami, who has stopped talking to her since being abandoned by his father. Although she has come to accept Shunichi’s reticence, when she catches sight of him enjoying an intimate walk with another girl, she realizes that she still has strong feelings for him. Her misery is compounded later that night when, following an argument with her parents, Chiyomi races out of her house and bumps into Shunichi, only to be told that he no longer likes her.
Shocked and hurt, Chiyomi attempts to run away from everything, indifferent to the huge storm that is approaching. Chiyomi remembers how carefree and happy she used to be when she was a child, and begins to wish that she could be transported “back to when she was little.” A subsequent lightning strike grants Chiyomi’s wish, but with an unexpected twist—she is reduced to a paltry 15 cm in height! Luckily, Minami is the first to find her. Upon learning of Chiyomi’s wish that no one learn of her shrunken state, Shunichi reluctantly offers his own home as a safe haven, thus paving the way for their secret life together. But despite the welcome thaw in their fractious relationship, one pressing question remains: Will Chiyomi ever return to normal size?