This is a unique take on the familiar Japanese high school love story trope. Based on a manga by the same name that has sold over 4 millions copies in 9 volumes, this pic adds farcical comedy to the well-worn youth romance genre. It has also been serialized as a TV anime series and now makes its way to the silver screen. Takeo (Ryohei Suzuki) is a gentle giant, with rough-hewn features and a heavy brow. His lifelong best friend Suna (Kentaro Sakaguchi) is dreamily handsome and every girl, including all the ones Takeo has ever liked, fall for him. After the pair graduate from middle school and move on to high school, Takeo saves a Rinko (Mei Nagano) from harassment on the street; when she offers her warm and sincere thanks, he immediately falls in love with her. In fact, it seems the feelings are mutual, but Takeo is so programmed to believe that all girls around him are in love with Suna that he believes that to be the case with Rinko. A comedy of errors mixed with a coming-of-age drama, this quirky flick has verve and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Refreshing. English title: My Love Story. (105 min.)
About Rob Schwartz
Rob Schwartz is the Tokyo Bureau Chief of Billboard magazine.