The original novel drew attention on publisher Kadokawa’s e-novel website, “Kakuyomu”, earning widespread support for its depiction of the difficult inner lives of teens, particularly that of a high school boy trying to hide his homosexuality and a female classmate who has a passion for so-called “Boys Love” gay fantasy comics. The story was dramatized on the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) network in 2019, and now debuts as a feature film.
The director is Shogo Kusano who painstakingly depicted both the fresh honesty as well as delicate psyche of youth in Bittersweet (’16) and The Longest Photo in The World (’18). The film stars Fūju Kamio who stars in a number of buzz-generating 2021 films including horror fare, Suicide Forest Village (’21) and award-winning erotic thriller, Ura Aka: L’Aventure (’20). The heroine who falls in love with Kamio’s character is performed by Anna Yamada, whose successive film credits also include Suicide Forest Village along with the Japanese suspense flick, The Master Plan (’21), headlining a cast rich in talent and youthfulness.
We couldn’t connect in so many ways, but we wanted happiness like everybody else.
Jun Ando is a high school boy concealing his homosexuality when he meets Sae Miura, a female classmate and closet Boys’ Love (gay) comic book fan. When Jun witnesses her buying a comic book, Sae makes him promise to keep it their little secret. The two become close until Sae one day confesses her love for Jun. What she doesn’t know is that Jun is gay and has a lover, Makoto, a married man with children. Seeing Makoto’s example of a gay man living a “normal” hetero life, Jun accepts Sae’s feelings and agrees to go out with her. But as adorable and charming as Jun finds her, he can’t love Sae romantically. With Jun unable to tell Sae the truth, the couple’s strictly platonic relationship starts to show cracks. Can they find a concrete shape to the ideals they cherish?
■ 26th Busan International Film Festival (2021)
- Open Cinema
■ 34th Tokyo International Film Festival (2021)
- Nippon Cinema Now
■ 22th Nippon Connection (2022)
- Nippon Cinema
■ 3rd Queer East Film Festival (2022)
■ Queer Film Festival Munich (2022)
- Fūju Kamio (神尾楓珠), Anna Yamada (山田杏奈)
- Written and Directed
- Shogo Kusano (草野翔吾)
- Japan release
- December 3, 2021
- 121 min.
- Technical Specs
- Color / 1:1.85 / Digital / 5.1ch