Presented by Japan Foundation
Directed by Natsuki Seta
Hawaii International Film Festival 2020
Bucheon International Fantastic Short Film Festival 2020
Anna Yamada, Jin Suzuki, Erika Takizawa
Haruko Shibuya, a playful and dreamy 16-year-old, anticipates a fairy-tale first love, as do her two best friends. As she heads homeone night, a bloodied young man collapses near her. He is 17-year-old Kenichi Kanagawa, who’s been beaten up by the friend of a young woman, Mayumi, with whom he was flirting shortly after he stormed out of school in the middle of an exam. During this brief encounter, Kenichi drops his student card, and touches Haruko's heart. She visits Kenichi’s house while he’s meeting the mysterious Mayumi, with whom he has fallen in love. This fragile love triangle at the fateful moment when emotions run high explodes in Haruko's face when she sees Kenichi kissing Mayumi at a party where she had hoped to tell him her feelings. But things don't go much better for poor Kenichi when Mayumi tells him she's a sex worker.
Ah, teenage romance! It's all wrong and full of embarrassing misunderstandings and cruel twists and turns that make you feel like your life is over. Director and screenwriter Natsuki Seta (A LIAR AND A BROKEN GIRL) exposes this delicate period of coming-of-age with exemplary sobriety and sensitivity. Set against the backdrop of Tokyo in the midst of a pre-Olympic transformation, she opts for a poetic mise-en-scène brimming with subtle metaphors in this adaptation of the manga Georama Boy, Panorama Girl created by the prolific Kyoko Okazaki (Helter Skelter). The character development is impeccable and the young actors Anna Yamada (SUICIDE FOREST VILLAGE) and Jin Suzuki (BRAVE: GUNJYO SENKI) express the maelstrom of emotions their characters experience with remarkable accuracy. GEORAMA BOY, PANORAMA GIRL is a beautiful and touching coming-of-age story that will have you reliving so many first times. – translation: Rupert Bottenberg
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