Ossan's Love: Love or Dead is the movie sequel of the popular Japanese BL drama, Ossan's Love. This action comedy takes place a year after the original series, where the protagonist returns home after spending a year abroad. However, there's a hostile takeover of his workplace, leading to increasingly hectic events. His relationship also goes through a dramatic change, and the couple's love for each other may not endure the latest hardships.
Story-wise, Ossan's Love: Love or Dead is a total mess, with an outlandish plot that muddles its intended message. Nonetheless, there's plenty of boisterous energy and slapstick humour that you will recognize from the original drama. When the Ossan's Love movie chooses to be serious, it is capable of delivering deep and powerful emotions that I wished we saw more of.
Ossan's Love: Love or Dead Movie Summary
劇場版 おっさんずラブ 〜LOVE or DEAD〜
Around 1 hours and 55 minutes
Happy and upbeat
Yes, the movie features a gay couple.
Haruta is a real estate agent who relocated to Hong Kong in the past year for his work. Now, he's back in Japan and reunited with his old coworkers, including his boss Kurosawa. Although Kurosawa used to have a massive crush on Haruta, the two of them now have a friendly, platonic relationship. Haruta also meets Justice, a new employee who recently joined the company. Both Haruta and Justice have goofy personalities and similar interests, so they quickly befriend each other.
Upon Haruta's return, there is an immediate shake-up in the company. The head office has approved a redevelopment project, which involves building the biggest resort facilities in Japan. Haruta and his coworkers are now working under the supervision of Mamiana, an ambitious corporate professional who clashes with Kurosawa. It quickly becomes clear that the redevelopment project is unpopular with the small business owners. They resent being forced to relocate elsewhere.
Haruta's boyfriend Maki is promoted to work directly with Mamiana on this aggressive real estate project. Maki takes his new job position very seriously, always working overtime to impress his boss Mamiana. When he returns home after work, Maki is annoyed that he still has to take care of the household chores, since Haruta barely helps out. Eventually, Maki decides to move in back with his parents to focus more on his career. His relationship with Haruta suffers, especially since his boyfriend suspects that Maki and Mamiana are getting too close.
Meanwhile, Kurosawa falls down the stairs during an accident. Although he isn't seriously injured, the fall causes Kurosawa to lose all his memories of Haruta. Due to his sudden amnesia, Kurosawa begins falling in love with Haruta again, just like before. However, Maki is convinced that his former boss must be faking this memory loss, using it as an excuse to get close to Haruta. Maki and Kurosawa butt heads, leading to an explosive feud between them.
Ossan's Love: Love or Dead Trailer
Ossan's Love: Love or Dead Cast
Haruta Kei Tanaka (田中圭)
Haruta is a vivacious real estate agent with lots of enthusiasm. He recently returned to Japan after working in Hong Kong for the past year. With a goofy and childlike personality, Haruta acts like a big irresponsible kid. He lives with his boyfriend Maki, but hardly does any chores around the house.
Maki Kenta Hayashi (林遣都)
Maki is a real estate agent who used to work with Haruta at the same company division. Recently, he was promoted to work with Mamiana on a major real estate project. Maki cherishes this career opportunity, calling it the job of his dreams. However, he has started to neglect his relationship with Haruta lately, putting all his focus into work.
Kurosawa Kotaro Yoshida (吉田鋼太郎)
Kurosawa is Haruta's boss at a real estate company. He used to have a massive crush on his employee, but their relationship is now strictly platonic. However, a recent accident causes Kurosawa to lose parts of his memory, and he's back to falling in love with Haruta again. Kurosawa is divorced from his ex-wife, Choko.
Jun Shison (志尊淳)
Ikki Sawamura (沢村一樹)
Hidekazu Mashima (眞島秀和)
Daichi Kaneko (金子大地)
Shuko Ito (伊藤修子)
Nene Ohtsuka (大塚寧々)
Rio Uchida (内田理央)
Kazuya Kojima (児嶋一哉)
Yui P (ゆいP)
Katsumi Kiba (木場勝己)
Ossan's Love: Love or Dead Review
Movie Review Score: 6.9
My short review about Ossan's Love: Love or Dead is that the sequel doesn't measure up to the original series. The Ossan's Love movie feels bloated, including many excess elements that detract away from the love story between Haruta and Maki. The dumb real estate plot, the superfluous new characters, and the over-the-top action sequences are all totally unnecessary. Everything seems dumbed down in this BL film, relying on broad, absurd humour to appeal to a mainstream moviegoing audience.
My longer review about Ossan's Love: Love or Dead is that it's a deceptively silly film, hiding a meaningful message beneath all the ridiculous antics. Every once in a while, there are a few surprisingly well-written scenes about Haruta and Maki's relationship, proving the movie has more emotional nuance than what meets the eye. Mind you, these moments aren't very common, eclipsed by lots and lots of juvenile slapstick humour. Nevertheless, those one or two scenes are quite poignant, giving us a brief glimpse of what the Ossan's Love movie could have been.
I think Maki's character comes across as too unlikable in the movie. While I understand some of his frustrations with Haruta, he is so standoffish to the point of being unreasonable. He keeps secrets all the time, doesn't communicate with his boyfriend, and clearly prioritizes his career over his relationship. It doesn't help that we hardly see Maki's perspective, making his behaviour towards Haruta seem erratic. I wished the movie spent more time fleshing out his characterization, instead of wasting time on Justice, Mamiana, or all these other uninteresting distractions.
In terms of humour, Ossan's Love: Love or Dead is passable as an action-comedy movie. Some people definitely won't enjoy this type of low-brow, exaggerated humour, but the jokes can be charming in a silly and lighthearted way. At times, the comedic scenarios are way too farfetched for me, which works against the immersion of the film. It's hard to take the plot seriously when I suddenly have to worry about bomb threats, abductions, and explosions out of nowhere.
I understand there's a need to make a mainstream movie more dramatic to hold the audience's attention. But honestly, I would've preferred a simpler, smaller, and more intimate story instead. What makes the original series so beloved isn't the big cinematic sequences, the corporate espionage plot, or the star-studded stunt casting. I just want a low-key Ossan's Love sequel that focuses on Haruta, Maki, and Kurosawa instead of all these mindless additions. Although Ossan's Love: Love or Dead is packed with action and humour, the movie is sadly missing a bit of its original charm.
Ossan's Love Series
Before watching Ossan's Love: Love or Dead, you should definitely watch the original series. The Ossan's Love drama is extremely popular, winning over audiences with its exaggerated comedy and charming love story. In the series, you'll be introduced to Haruta, Maki, Kurosawa, and all the colourful characters at the real estate office.
The Ossan's Love movie takes place a year after the events of the original drama. Even if you didn't like this movie, I think you may still enjoy Ossan's Love. It's a hilarious comedy with a unique twist on the BL love story.