His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall In Love is a Japanese BL series focusing on adolescent love. This short, leisurely drama features four teenagers in a beachside community, as they navigate their romantic feelings for each other. The two male leads are starting to come to terms with their sexuality, albeit in a clumsy and uncertain manner.
Up until the last episode, the narrative in His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love doesn't go deep enough to resonate emotionally, playing it too safe with the storylines. Even though it takes too long to reach the climax, there's still an innocent and wholesome love story depicted in this series.
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love Summary
Around 2 hours
Calm and gentle
Around 22 minutes
Shun is a teenager who travelled to the island of Enoshima during his school break. His father is stationed on this island due to work, and Shun visits him from time to time. Upon Shun's arrival, his dad got called away for a work expedition over the next two weeks. Shun is left on the island all by himself.
Shun decides to do some sightseeing by himself. During his stroll on the beach, he meets Nagisa, a cool and laidback teenage surfer. He also meets Chika, an outgoing teenager whose parents run a surfboard rental shop on the island. Chika initially accuses Shun of stealing Nagisa's surfboard. She feels terrible once they clear up the misunderstanding.
In an earlier accident, Shun lost his dad's apartment keys. He can't return home yet and has no place to stay for the night. Chika invites him to live with her family for the time being until he can have the keys replaced. Shun spends the next two weeks on the island, where Chika takes him under her wing. She introduces Shun to her friend Ako, who quickly develops a crush on him.
Shun and Nagisa start to hang out at the beach, surfing together. Chika confides in Shun that she has a crush on Nagisa. She won't make a move because he's already dating another girl. When Nagisa breaks up with his girlfriend recently, Chika gets her hopes up again. What she doesn't know is that Nagisa actually has feelings for Shun. The two surfing buddies have grown closer day by day.
The relationship drama slowly builds up among the four teenagers. As Chika and Ako pine after their crushes, they remain unaware Nagisa has developed feelings for Shun. However, neither of the teenage boys is ready to confront their sexuality. It leads to lots of confusion and inevitable heartbreak among the four teens.
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love Cast
Naoya Kusakawa (草川直弥)
Shun is a teenager whose father works on the island of Enoshima. During his visit, he meets Nagisa, Chika, and Ako, becoming friends with them. Shun is polite and courteous with an easygoing attitude. Ako likes him because he's always giving her friendly encouragement.
Yuki Kura (倉悠貴)
Nagisa is an exchange student who loves to surf. He transferred his studies to Enoshima to be closer to the beach. Since he surfs a lot, he has gotten close with Chika and her family, occasionally eating dinner with them. With his good looks and cool personality, Nagisa is quite popular with the ladies.
Sara Shida (志田彩良)
Aino Kuribayashi (栗林藍希)
Aoba Kawai (河井青葉)
Yusaku Kumakiri (田中要次)
Noa Kawazoe (川添野愛)
Ku Ijima (伊島空)
- Nagisa's actor (Yuki Kura) stars in the 2022 Japanese BL series I Just Want to See You. In this series, he portrays a high school student with a crush on his childhood best friend.
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall In Love Review
Drama Review Score: 6.4
I'll start with the positives. His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love did a great job with the two female characters, especially Chika. Although female love interests usually get the shaft in BL dramas, this isn't the case here. Chika is given an equal role in the story, and the actress is wonderful at lighting up every scene with her natural charisma. Ako has a less visible role, but her character is given a decent storyline grappling with her self-confidence. Both Chika and Ako are handled well, adding a wonderful emotional complexity to the plot.
Unfortunately, the weak link in this series is Nagisa. The fault doesn't necessarily fall on the actor, although he is young and his inexperience shows on-screen. It has more to do with his poor characterization, and I never got a good sense of who he was as a person. I don't get the fuss with him. Why are all these girls throwing themselves over a guy with the personality of a limp noodle? Nagisa is cold, miserable, and completely devoid of charisma. Ladies, what exactly is his appeal?
In Nagisa's defense, his character has a very touching scene during the final episode, which gives you a much better understanding of his standoffish behaviour. My problem is that his breakthrough moment came way too late in the series. Nagisa only started to feel like a sympathetic character after sulking through five episodes. For the rest of the time, he was a walking misery, stuck between the perpetual states of confusion and apathy.
The BL romance is lacking. I'm okay with watching a wholesome relationship that involves no kissing or physical affection, but there's just so little romantic spark between the two characters. Shun and Nagisa didn't have enough development as a couple, and the few scenes they had weren't effective at conveying their feelings for each other. Near the end, I felt disconnected from the drama because I remained unconvinced that Shun and Nagisa were actually in love. Maybe there's a small crush that you'd find cute on a couple of fourth-graders, but I don't see anything resembling a passionate teenage romance.
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love feels like a very safe BL drama. As a whole, the story doesn't take many creative risks, relying on familiar narrative tropes that we've seen many times before. In nicer terms, the plot feels like a very classic teenage love story. In less generous terms, it's also a very generic teenage love story.
Maybe I'm too old to enjoy the innocent teenage romance in His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love, but the storylines do feel a little basic. Most of the series revolved around these four teenagers running around and whispering about their secret crushes to each other. As you can imagine, the premise is not exactly the most riveting.
Nonetheless, the story flowed well enough with a calm, mellow vibe. In a way, the drama in His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love is so simple and ordinary that it feels refreshing. Since the storylines were so low-stakes, they never felt too emotionally taxing to watch. Some BL dramas are super intense and packed with nonstop adrenaline, but this is the exact opposite. It's easy, casual, and pleasant to watch.
Shun and Nagisa
The relationship between Shun and Nagisa never connected with me. The actors had no chemistry with each other, their scenes were devoid of charisma, and there was so little romance between them. His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love spent way more time portraying the angst and melodrama rather than developing the romance itself.
Shun and Nagisa don't get physically intimate with each other, so there's no kissing and almost no touching (other than a hug) involved. If you don't want to display the physical components of their relationship, then you have to find another way to convey the romantic connection, which this drama failed to do. A few longing gazes aren't going to cut it.
The two male leads have room for improvement. I don't think they were remarkably bad, but they just weren't as natural and comfortable on screen. Their expressions are too muted, their line deliveries are a little stiff, and they never do more than what the scene asks of them. I can tell these are young actors who haven't starred in dramas before, because their inexperience is evident. When they get older and accumulate more on-screen appearances, their performances will improve.
I do think everyone else was really good though. The actress playing Chika (Sara Shida) is charismatic, confident and engaging to watch. Her performance was instrumental in fleshing out Chika's character, making her a well-rounded and sympathetic protagonist.
I enjoyed the final episode of His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love, which seemed more mature and profound than the earlier episodes. I waited all series for them to go deeper with their storylines. We finally get some semblance of this in the finale.
Nagisa showed a lot of vulnerability during his heartfelt chat with Chika, and I felt like I understood his character for the first time. It moved me hearing Nagisa talk about his coming out experience at his last high school, and how the repercussions forced him to move to an entirely new town by himself. Now, it makes sense why he's so jaded and indifferent, because he doesn't want to feel emotionally attached to anyone.
I also liked the way they handled Chika's heartbreak. Her character was given some time to be sad and process her feelings, but her scenes weren't too melodramatic. She cried a little when taking a bath, ate her feelings away, bitched about Shun to her friend, and then quickly got over it. By the next day, she was already shipping Shun and Nagisa together, haha. 😄
My complaint is that I wished we got more of an aftermath. The series promptly ends after Shun accepts Nagisa's love confession, giving us no closure to speak of. At least give us another scene of what happens to them afterwards. Show us Shun and Nagisa talking over the phone or something. Let us know how they are progressing as a couple.
I wished Shun or Nagisa were written better so that I could answer them instead, but Chika is actually my favourite. I like her friendly, easygoing personality and that she wears her heart on her sleeves. The other characters in this drama tend to be quiet, so I appreciate the boost of energy that Chika adds. Without her, a lot of the scenes would just consist of Shun, Nagisa, and Ako mumbling bashfully amongst each other.
In fact, I believe Chika is the most fleshed-out character in this BL series. We understand her thought processes, see her interactions with her family, and empathize with her when she becomes smitten with Nagisa. Much of the story is told through her perspective, and I feel like I knew Chika's character more than I did with either of the two leads.
Skin & Nudity
Yes, there are some shirtless scenes from both male leads in His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love. We see both Shun and Nagisa take showers (separately). There's also a scene where the two of them take off their wetsuits. Nagisa was totally checking him out with his wandering eyes. Do you like what you see? 👀
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love is a safe, clean, and wholesome teenage drama. I can't really think of anything too triggering that happens. Maybe you might feel sensitive over Nagisa's awful behaviour, leading on these girls even though he doesn't have any interest in them. Other than that, there aren't too many red flags in this series.
Nagisa opening up
For most of the series, Nagisa was a really enigmatic character with a frustratingly obfuscated personality. He's emotionally distant, keeps his feelings bottled up, and never admits to how he feels. That all changed in the last episode when he finally comes out to Chika during a heartfelt chat.
Nagisa: "I liked guys, but I couldn't find a guy who liked me. So I thought that I might come to like girls too, if I dated a few. So I tried it, but it just wasn't the same. It just made me more aware of the fact that I liked guys. I'm sorry."
Just these few sentences shed so much light on Nagisa's tormented mindset, adding a new context to how we view his character. He's a lonely teenager, abandoned by his former friends and family, who feels confused about his sexuality. Now, you start to understand his actions and behaviours from the past. Oh, that's why he always has his guard up. That's why he dates all these different girls. And that's why he seems so unhappy all the time.
This scene is a powerful moment, offering the missing piece of the puzzle to Nagisa's characterization. I'm glad to see him open up so honestly, and I love learning more about his character. Finally, this is the Nagisa that I wanted to see. If only it didn't come within the final moments of the show!
Emphasis on the romance
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love desperately needed a better foundation to develop this teenage romance. I'm sorry, but you can't do a BL drama when the romantic elements are so lacklustre. All the relationship scenes between Shun and Nagisa needed to be amplified tenfold.
If they didn't have enough time, I spotted a handful of filler subplots that they could've easily eliminated. For example, that whole storyline with Chika's coworker was unnecessary and didn't move the plot. Replace all those scenes with moments where we see Shun and Nagisa bonding instead.
I don't need them to kiss or initiate any physical affection, but I do want to see some form of emotional connection between them. That's my bare minimum for a BL romance.
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall In Love Episodes
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love has a total of 5 episodes. Each episode is around 22 minutes long. This is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in under 2 hours. The series aired its first episode on April 9, 2019 and ended on May 7, 2019.
⭐ Best episode
The last episode stands out because the stakes are higher and the emotions have been amplified. Usually, His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love is a pretty low-key drama, so Episode 5 was a refreshing change of pace. It's nice to see all these storylines make progress and reach their emotional climaxes. There were also plenty of character moments in this episode.
💕 Most romantic episode
I don't think any of the episodes were that romantic, to be honest. If I have to choose, Episode 2 featured a few one-on-one moments between Shun and Nagisa as they grew closer. We even get a rare smile out of Nagisa during one of the scenes, which almost never happens unless he's alone with Shun. His character does seem happier and more relaxed when he's around Shun.
😭 Tearjerker episode
Episode 4 featured Ako a lot, as she spends the day hanging out with Shun. During their acting class, Ako begins to realize that Shun isn't interested in her. I thought their acting exercise was a pretty clever way to convey this message symbolically. We didn't need to see an explicit scene of Shun turning down Ako. The acting class subtly spelled it out for us, letting the viewers reach the same conclusion.
Poor Ako gets her heart broken in this episode, even though Shun never rejected her outright. Just from his words and demeanour around her, she can tell that he isn't interested in her. It was a silly one-sided crush on her part, which won't be reciprocated. Watching Ako gradually come to this realization was a little sad.
💋 First kiss episode
Ironically, the only kiss in this BL drama occurs in Episode 3 between Nagisa and Chika. Yes, this is a ~BL drama~ with no kissing between the two male leads, but there is a smooch between one of the guys and his female love interest… 🙄 Granted, the kissing between them looks really awkward, so we probably didn't miss much anyway.
💪🏻 Episodes with skin
Episode 1, 2
There are a total of three shirtless scenes in His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love. In Episode 1, we see Shun take a shower. In Episode 2, we see Nagisa take a shower. During the same episode, we also see the two of them change out of their wetsuits.
👨🏻🤝👨🏻 Episodes as a couple
I assume that Shun and Nagisa become a couple after confessing their love for each other, but it's never made clear because the show just abruptly ends. We don't get to see how this long-distance relationship actually shakes out.
The good news is that His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love has a sequel, continuing Shun and Nagisa's love story into their adult years! 🙂 The bad news is…well, watch the sequel and you'll find out for yourself. 🙁
His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love Movie Sequel
His 2020 movie sequel Movie review
His is the movie sequel of His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love, released in 2020. The movie takes place years later, focusing on the adult versions of Shun and Nagisa, played by different actors. The two of them have gotten into a relationship, so you'll see a little more physical intimacy and affection between them. And yes, they do kiss in the movie!
The movie and the series are pretty different though. While His: I Didn't Think I Would Fall in Love is pretty lighthearted, the sequel is more serious and mature. Other than a few basic details, the movie and the series don't share much in common. You can even watch and understand the movie sequel without finishing the entire series.