This film was something I had to watch after missing the first UK screening with The Japan Foundation East Side Stories film festival. It follows the life of Yonosuke starting college in 1987.
After ticking yourself off the guest list, you are welcome to choose the free sake or beer of your choice which included Saporro and Mio. You then walk into a cosy room with seats at the back then blow up mattresses for people to sit on at the front.
You follow his life and the friends he meets and the impact he has on their lives. He meets Yui, who gives him a lot of attention and follows him around. This chance meeting leads him into taking her to check out the different clubs. The clubs system is very popular in Japan and the clubs campaign hard to get freshman to join.
Here they bump into an awkward guy who met Yonosuke at the opening ceremony. Whereas Yonosuke complimented Yui’s eyeliner, this guy criticised the glue on her eyelid. Someone they end up dating all thanks to Yonosuke!
Through out the film you are taken between the past in 1987 and the future where the couple reminisce hanging out with the carefree and funny Yonosuke, but where is he now?
You later see that the couple drop out of college due to Yui falling pregnant. Yonosuke carries on samba the club that the three joined. He makes a new friend Kata. Kata is a quiet guy who tries to avoid Yonosuke at all times but ends up getting caught up in his questions and ideas and seeing benefits hanging with Yonosuke.
Through Kata, Yonosuke accompanies him on a double date and meets Shoko, she is rich and takes an instant fancy to Yonosuke. Finding all his jokes hilarious and his poverty refreshing.
She turns up at his apartment and tells people they are dating. This is strange for him. At the same time Kata reveals a deep secret on why he doesn’t date women. Yonosuke shows unconditional to Kata and he in the future recalls him as the most interesting part of college.
Not only a true friend too, but even a great son, coming to visit and calling regularly it’s a shame his mother chose washing dishes over speaking to him. It flicks to the future where his mother writes to Shoku sending her a requested item Yonosuke promised her a long time ago.
Even though the film is 160 minutes long, you were engrossed for every second laughing along with Yonosuke’s naivete with him falling in love with the out of his league IT girl, third wheel behaviour with Yui and her boyfriend, dancing his samba proudly on stage or sharing watermelon with his newly outed friend.
I recommend watching this film to give people motivation with life. It would prompt you to get in touch with that long lost close friend you had from University. Give them a call. Life is too short.