Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on August 2009
Though it’s unlikely that even the most nama of gaijin are unaware of Hachiko, a little background: this little Akita went to Shibuya station every day in the ’20s and ’30s to wait for his master to return, and kept doing so for ten years after his master’s death. Was he a paragon of loyalty and devotion, as the Japanese prefer to believe, or merely a dull-witted canine obsessive that couldn’t think of anything else to do? We’ll never know. Nor will we ever know what possessed Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat) to do this plodding, weepy American remake of Hachiko Monogatari. Starring Richard Gere, no less. Just shoot me.