Iwase Ken and Yoshida Rei have been by each other's sides since elementary school, and it always seemed to be a given that they would end up together. Why then, Ken wonders to himself on Rei's wedding day, is he not the one sitting beside her? Looking back at his life with Rei and their friends, Mikio, Eri, and Tsuru through a wedding slideshow, Ken is filled with regret as he realizes how many mistakes he made -- and how many chances he missed to tell Rei his feelings. Wishing for nothing more than to go back and change it all, Ken is unprepared when a rather unconventional fairy appears and offers him the chance to do exactly that. Now given the opportunity to change his and Rei's fate, Ken must not only increase his presence in her heart, but deter her from falling for her future groom.
I love this series. First of all, it's ridiculous. The first time I watched it (I watched it many times) I'd burst out laughing every time Hallelujah would start playing in the background, or when Ken did the stupid little Hallelujah Chance! routine. To this day I still think episode 2 is one of the funniest drama episodes I've ever seen, the whole coffee milk thing gets me every time.
Besides being funny, it's cheesy. But good cheesy. The ridiculous shenanigans Ken comes up with every time he goes back in time to try and please Rei are the epitome of cheese, but they're still touching. The graduation episode comes to mind. It was just so adorable.
Besides being funny and adorably cheesy, it gets you emotionally involved. Up to episode 5 everything's well, Ken goes back, finds out where he screwed up, fixes it, done. But starting from episode 6 everything starts to go awfully wrong, and it's just so frustrating it gets you shouting at the screen. Episode 6 had me so upset I had trouble sleeping afterwards, haha.
Something that can be annoying is Rei's behaviour - you eventually begin to notice that Ken's stupidity isn't all to blame for the whole situation. Rei is weak and decided to take the easy way out and then blames it on Ken. But I don't count this as a flaw, because it is addressed in the series and Rei eventually takes responsability, so to me the whole ordeal actually just adds to her character development.
While there might not be anything "legendary" or "ground-breaking" about this drama, I enjoy it every single time I watch it and always recommend it when I have a chance. It'll always be a favorite to me.
At first, the main characters are best friends. A great part of the main story is the development of the relationship of the main characters, but there are also very important and good friends around them who add a lot to the story. In both, there is a certain event in the present to which the story switches back at every start or end of the episodes. If you didn't like Proposal Daisakusen for the time jumps and the fantasy elements, then you'll probably like Reply 1997, because that's the only thing that's missing there. Instead of time-jumping, they just show the story of the main characters. But in all other aspects, both stories give off the same feeling, show how precious friendship is, and what it's like to fall in love for the first time.