If It's With You is a sweet Japanese BL series about two high school students in a coastal town. After moving into his new home, the main character befriends a kind teenager who works at a family restaurant. They develop a cozy bond while hanging out at school and around the neighbourhood. The protagonist realizes he has developed romantic feelings for his friend. However, he doesn't believe his one-sided love is reciprocated.
I adore the cozy, down-to-earth romance in If It's With You. This heartwarming BL series captures the intimate journey of falling in love. The beautifully written story features gentle interactions, thoughtful introspection, and profound emotional sensitivity. You'll want to root for the teen protagonists, who both have kind and sincere personalities. The dreamy visuals, elegant soundtrack, and genuine performances add to this drama's appeal.
If It's With You Summary
Around 2 hours
High school romance
Nice and heartwarming
Around 24 minutes
Amane is a high school student who recently relocated to the island of Enoshima due to family circumstances. He moves in to live with his grandmother. Upon arrival, Amane encounters a stray cat who eats his food. Ryuji, who has been chasing after the animal, introduces himself. Although Ryuji doesn't own the cat, it often loiters around the restaurant. He feels responsible for the animal's recent misconduct.
As an apology, Ryuji invites Amane for a free meal at his restaurant. Miharashitei is a local diner specializing in seafood cuisine. Ryuji's family runs the business, and he often helps out with food prep. Amane is surprised at the restaurant's location, which overlooks the sea. However, he must ascend numerous flights of stairs. Amane is exhausted when he finally reaches his destination.
Despite his fatigue, Amane enjoys the meal that Ryuji prepared for him. Amane, who has a bubbly personality, praises the cooking effusively. As they chat, Ryuji reveals he has been helping his parents at the restaurant since childhood. While he has two siblings, they are too young to work. Amane thinks his achievements are impressive. Ryuji claims this is just his ordinary life, but Amane insists he should take pride in his routine.
Amane begins his first day of school, introducing himself as a new transfer student. He's surprised to discover Ryuji is his classmate. After school, Ryuji brings Amane to tour the neighbourhood. They visit an ice cream stall and later take pictures at the lighthouse. Their day together is fun and memorable. Subsequently, the two begin hanging out more often. The more time they spend together, the closer their friendship becomes.
Unbeknownst to Ryuji, Amane is gay. Before arriving on the island, Amane used to have casual flings and hook up with older guys. When they first meet, he describes Ryuji as just his type. Despite his attraction, Amane suspects his friend is probably straight and doesn't reciprocate his feelings. Amane tries to maintain a platonic relationship. Yet, Ryuji's kindness and earnest personality increase his appeal. Over time, Amane finds his secret crush growing more potent.
If It's With You Cast
Takato Okura (大倉空人)
Amane is a high school student who recently relocated to live with his grandmother. He befriends his classmate Ryuji and develops a secret crush on him. However, Amane doesn't believe his feelings are reciprocated. Amane has an outgoing personality and a bubbly disposition. He gets easily excited, likes to joke around, and reacts to mundane activities with boundless enthusiasm.
Wataru Hyuga (日向亘)
Ryuji is a high school student and Amane's classmate. They become friends and hang out with each other frequently. Ryuji works at his family restaurant, helping with meal prep. He is the oldest of three siblings. Ryuji's kind personality makes him a popular figure around school. However, he likes to take naps during classes.
Mika Hijii (肘井ミカ)
Shinsuke Kato (カトウシンスケ)
Yura Kimura (木村優来)
Ryota Aoyama (青山凌大)
If It's With You Review
Drama Review Score: 8.9
If It's With You is a beautifully written BL drama about a sweet, heartwarming teenage romance. The early episodes highlight the friendly interactions between the protagonists, which are realistic, relatable, and remarkably down-to-earth. These charming scenes will make viewers invested in the budding relationship. The couple's attraction sprouts like a tiny seed, growing stronger as the series nurtures the close connection. If It's With You blossoms into a sophisticated tale of secret desires and unrequited love.
One of this drama's greatest strengths is its profound introspection. This emotionally sensitive series explores the protagonists' delicate feelings and meticulous thoughts. It examines their complex personalities intimately, from life philosophies to hidden insecurities. Each episode reveals new information, adding layered dimensions to the backstories or characterizations. Viewers will know Amane and Ryuji comprehensively by the end of If It's With You. The story helps you understand their detailed perspectives and empathize with their personal experiences.
Both leads display many endearing traits. Amane's vivacious personality fills each scene with boundless enthusiasm. Despite his cheerful façade, the series unmasks his vulnerable side at suitable moments. His performer (Takato Okura) is radiant, lighting up the screen with an infectious smile and a gleeful twinkle in his eyes. Likewise, his costar (Wataru Hyuga) handles the role with an earnest boy-next-door charm. Ryuji is an attractive character due to his emotional intelligence. He treats his love interest with kindness and responds to sensitive situations graciously.
Early on, Amane's secret crush on his friend stems from a physical attraction. After spending time together, his feelings deepen because he cherishes Ryuji's gentle nature. Amane, who used to only care about superficial hookups, shifts his mindset and seeks meaningful bonds. I adore how the series ties his character growth with his romantic journey as both storylines prop up each other. If It's With You also acknowledges that showing an interest in the same sex brings complications. The relationship arc becomes more fascinating by including these real-life nuances.
If It's With You has a dreamy aesthetic with gorgeous visuals and enchanting backdrops. The warm colours often pair with a shallow depth of field, producing a mesmerizing ambiance. Similarly, the series features filming locations you seldom see in other dramas, from lighthouses to temples. I'm particularly fond of Ryuji's family restaurant. This rustic diner by the sealine is like a cozy little nook detached from modernity. In addition, If It's With You dazzles with an elegant soundtrack. The soothing music gracefully complements the soft, gentle emotions from the narrative.
If It's With You has a happy ending where the leads confront their feelings in a candid exchange. Like the rest of the series, the finale is astute and sincere. However, I have a few minor complaints. The timid kissing scenes look awkward, diminishing the intimacy of the moment. The story also focuses extensively on a one-sided love instead of a mutual attraction. Ryuji's feelings for Amane don't seem as strong as the other way around. Nonetheless, If It's With You is an exquisite BL drama. This romance captivates me with its thoughtful introspection & heartfelt sentimentality.
If It's With You portrays a gentle teen romance with immense emotional depth. With many insightful dimensions, the story explores the characters' thoughts, feelings & perspectives profoundly.
Amane develops a meaningful connection with Ryuji. Their friendship blossoms into a tender love. However, Amane's feelings are stronger than Ryuji's. Also, their kissing scenes look awkward.
Both young performers bring sincerity to their roles. Amane's actor (Takato Okura) lights up the screen with his bubbly enthusiasm. His costar (Wataru Hyuga) conveys a raw, earnest charm.
If It's With You has a happy ending where the leads settle their feelings in a pivotal exchange. Like the rest of the series, the finale impresses me with its astute writing and sensitive emotions.
The series has a dreamy aesthetic, enriching the love story with gorgeous visuals. The distinct filming locations also contain a rustic charm. Additionally, the soundtrack is elegant and soothing.
If It's With You tells a sweet, sentimental teen love story with delicate emotions & nuanced introspection. The dreamy visuals, elegant music, and sincere acting enrich this mesmerizing BL drama.
If It's With You Episodes
If It's With You has a total of 5 episodes. Each episode is around 24 minutes long. It is a short BL drama, and you can finish the entire series in around 2 hours. If It's With You started on October 5, 2023 and ended on November 2, 2023.
If It's With You is adapted from a Japanese manga. The original story is Kimi to nara Koi wo Shitemitemo (君となら恋をしてみても) by Maru Kubota.
Episode 1 Review
I adore Amane & Ryuji's charming relationship moments. Even though the interactions seem mundane, their lighthearted dialogue is endearing. For example, Ryuji teases his friend for falling down the stairs, while Amane gives a witty retort. These exchanges showcase their playful rapport. I also like when Ryuji buys two ice cream cones and lets Amane choose between the flavours. This simple gesture reveals his considerate personality. The scene where Ryuji photographs Amane by the pier is another cute moment, making me smile warmly!
Amane has an unexpected character introduction. Based on his appearance, this bubbly teen has an innocent image. Yet, we discover he sleeps with older men in sleazy love motels. Beneath his façade, Amane isn't as wholesome as he looks. The storyteller presents a subtle visual cue while the couple lies in bed. Amane holds a cup of ice cream, symbolizing sweetness and purity. Next to him, his lover smokes a cigarette, representing maturity and grubbiness. These two items are intentionally the opposite of each other. The series suggests Amane and his bedmate are incompatible.
I chuckle at the scene where Amane checks out the hot guys in his gym class. He's so relatable lol. My favourite part is how he gives a nod of approval after objectifying each classmate. 😅 Although this scene is meant to be cheeky, it also reveals Amane's superficial mindset. Initially, he's interested in the men's appearances and views them as hookup prospects. He describes Ryuji as "his type" and comments on his "sturdy body". Later in the series, Amane becomes less shallow as part of his character growth. He focuses on Ryuji's personality rather than his exterior.
Episode 2 Review
I like whenever BL dramas acknowledge sexuality because it adds complexity to the narrative. Gay people must consider how others respond to their same-sex attraction, especially in conservative societies. This real-life nuance gives love stories an extra dimension of emotional depth. It's always a telling sign whenever characters react graciously or clumsily toward somebody coming out to them. In the last episode, Ryuji seemed standoffish after Amane's revelation. Fortunately, this episode clarifies his perspective.
Amane uses humour to deflect from his insecurities about being gay. He makes flirty jokes as a coping mechanism to protect himself in case others make fun of his sexuality. If I'm joking, it won't seem like the bullies are mocking me. However, Ryuji has a different approach. Ryuji, who has an earnest personality, doesn't think Amane should reduce his attraction to a joke. I respect you enough to treat your sexual identity with the dignity it deserves. After their bathhouse chat, the camera shows a mirror view of Amane sitting in silence. It's symbolic of his self-reflection.
This episode highlights Ryuji's appealing personality, including his earnestness, compassion, and emotional intelligence. This well-mannered teenager shows far more courtesy and graciousness than expected from a boy his age. From giving gentle advice to helping others with classroom duties, Ryuji always behaves considerately. I also like how he accompanies Amane during his illness. He even remains in the house until his buddy wakes up, a surprisingly thoughtful gesture. I totally understand why Amane falls in love with him. Ryuji's kindness is attractive!
Episode 3 Review
This episode captures Amane's turmoil over his unrequited love. He harbours a secret crush on his friend, yet Ryuji hasn't given any signals the feelings are reciprocal. Ryuji's interactions appear platonic. Amane tries his best not to overthink their friendship. On multiple occasions, he reminds himself to keep his distance. Nonetheless, Amane still feels self-conscious whenever they make body contact. The story depicts his inner conflict vividly, making me empathize with his struggles. I cheer for Amane when he finally confesses.
If It's With You provides a lot of introspection. We hear Amane or Ryuji's inner thoughts throughout the narrative, giving viewers a better understanding of their perspectives. I like gaining these valuable insights into their emotional responses, whether they feel happy, sad, self-conscious, or reassured. This storytelling technique produces two multifaceted protagonists with detailed personalities. After a few episodes, I know Amane and Ryuji so well. They feel like relatable characters. I can connect with their experiences and understand their feelings.
I like learning about Ryuji's family backstory. Knowing his history helps me understand his motivations better. Losing his father at a young age forces Ryuji to grow up faster. He must behave responsibly, look after his younger siblings, and support his mom. The story provides context to explain Ryuji's kindness, which comes from overcoming hardships. I also like Amane's encouragement. Ryuji sees his work at the restaurant as mundane and doubts whether he lives up to his father's promise. Fortunately, Amane reassures him and provides much-needed validation.
Episode 4 Review
"I look at you in a sexy way." lmaooo~ I crack up at how Amane articulates his love during the second confession. Despite this funny line, Amane opens up candidly and explains how he feels with sincerity. "The more I know you, the more I like you. My feelings have grown so much that I can't hide them anymore." This description astutely captures his romantic journey in the past few episodes. Amane's crush has intensified as they spend time together. He can no longer see Ryuji as just a friend.
Ryuji gives one of the kindest rejections to the love confession. He sounds apologetic, respectful, and sincere. Ryuji admits he doesn't see Amane romantically. The thought never even crossed his mind, evident through his past interactions. Yet, Ryuji doesn't shut down the idea of dating his friend. He wants time to consider this possibility. At first, I was impressed by his emotionally intelligent response. However, his ambiguity gives Amane false hope. Since Ryuji doesn't say no, Amane interprets the response as an optimistic yes. I'm worried Ryuji may break his heart.
In my opinion, the second half drags a little. The story could've used this time more productively than several similar scenes of Amane missing his companion. The leads were rarely apart since the series began. Unfortunately, their separation over the summer break slows down the momentum of the romantic journey. If the drama was longer, I'd be okay with some downtime between the couple. After all, absence makes the heart fonder. But since there are only five episodes, I'm antsy about the leads getting together as quickly as possible. Hurry up with the BL content!
If It's With You has a happy ending where Amane and Ryuji start dating. I love how the series explains how Ryuji reaches this conclusion, guiding us through his thoughts and emotions. The introspective flashback reveals how much he misses Amane during their separation. He also shows self-awareness and understands his delayed response is unfair to Amane. Finally, Ryuji becomes enlightened after talking to his mom. Her advice gives Ryuji the clarity he needs to accept his feelings.
Amane and Ryuji kiss twice during the finale, but they look awkward. The camera positioning deliberately avoids the view of their mouths touching. The actors also tilt their heads at odd angles to hide the affection. For a series with skilled cinematography, it knows better than to compose the romantic scenes so unintuitively. Amane & Ryuji's first kiss is the story's climax, celebrating their reciprocal love. Instead of conveying desire, I experience discomfort from a BL drama that is too reserved about physical intimacy. The bashfulness diminishes the impact of the moment.
My issues with the finale pertain to the kissing. Otherwise, the romantic scenes are written beautifully. I like how Ryuji insists on a private date with Amane instead of grouping up with their friends. They also chat candidly on the beach, opening up to each other. After the first kiss, Ryuji asks for another. This initiative confirms his attraction is steady and mutual. I wish there were more episodes to elaborate on his feelings. Amane seems to love Ryuji more than vice versa. Nonetheless, the series ends satisfyingly. I adore the final shot of the couple watching the sunrise.
If It's With You Information
Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS) is a Japanese television studio. Since 2022, it has started producing numerous BL dramas under the name Tunku Shower. Its portfolio includes the romantic comedies Mr. Unlucky Has No Choice but to Kiss and Senpai, This Can't Be Love. It also produced Takara-kun & Amagi-kun, Eternal Yesterday, and Candy Color Paradox.
Hana Matsumoto (松本花奈) is a Japanese director. Her first BL project is the 2023 televised drama, If It's With You.
Maru Kubota (窪田マル) is the creator of the Japanese BL manga, Kimi to nara Koi wo Shitemitemo. The story was adapted into the 2023 series, If It's With You.