And yet another great surprise! I don’t think I will ever get over the feeling of accidentally stumbling upon content! I watched this without any expectations…it had a very nice surprise for me!
If anyone read my Hiraite post, you know there are a few movies that changed my perspective on Japan recently and I mentioned that I would be talking about them too. This here is of those movies!
I am probably alone on this but I totally support these post High School gay stories and while I am not saying that teen stories aren’t juicy enough, there is just something more about that stage of life within and after college that deserves a whole lot of attention because of the weight it carries!
And thankfully, with the exception of a certain web series that shan’t be named, oh fuck it, I am talking about you YURI DANO KAN DANO! With the exception of that embarrassment, these college stories really hit you in the feels and take things as seriously as real life!
It is, frankly, a breath of fresh air given that from what I have I heard, and don’t quote me on this, in Japan gayness is seen as a phase that people outgrow from and while I can’t vouch for that, it does support all the evidence we see where almost 99% of gay content from there is based on teen characters!
To these some directors get out of that bubble, and hopefully the aspiring artists who were young then can bring change to the current environment, having the need to be represented as adults and not be left behind with the times.
Too bad Yuri-dan fumbled the ball! They really had the chance to make a difference for streaming with that series but they just had to fall all over their feet at the finish line, fuckin sad!
And as such, it is with such respect that I regard movies like the one I am talking about today – ETERNALLY YOUNGER THAN THOSE IDIOTS!
Not only does it touch on all corners of life at that stage, like the preparation for the working class, the doubt about one’s future and the difficulty of making decisions and balancing college life with social life and working life, but it also has time to go deep into other characters. It has time to not only make us feel for them and love them but to also touch on their traumas and short-comings and even go an extra step to actually show us how they handle these huddles; how the either overcome them or succumb to them!
As with real life, not everything is sunshine and roses. Not all will overcome their problems but also not all with succumb to their problems! What makes me love this movie even more is the fact that even the least of important characters get you to feel for them as if they were the main characters! There’s literally a Guy who shows up like, once! And yet his life impacted the whole story and our main character’s life in addition to the lives of two other characters!
What all our characters have in common is the fact that each and everyone of them is broken in some way! Because, like, who is perfect in this world? No one! The difference between this movie and the rest is the fact that it takes time to touch upon these characters and make them real and show us that even while we are not with them all the time, they still have a life that can be felt, they still are live, outside the main story of our main character!
Now, I can already hear some of you dearest Readers thinking that this means that we have yet another BAD END on our hands but while I have outgrown crying over spilled milk, I would have mentioned it already had there been something that needed to be said! Now, while our girls didn’t end the movie running off into the sunset dressed in while gowns and waking lilies, something that we can all agree on will take time to happen in any movie from there, it was still what I consider a HOPEFUL ending!
There’s that word again…HOPE! The movies I was talking about all have a HOPEFUL ending! We have gone from SHIT-TIER ENDINGS, to WTF-ENDINGS, to HUH-ENDINGs to now HOPEFUL ENDINGS!
I call that progress!
And of course, by HOPE and I don’t mean in general but rather where the relationships of our girls are concerned!
Speaking of our girls, this time one of them and our main character, someone a friend recognised already from my last post, is none other than Sakuma Yui, who played the step sister in the people’s beloved TRANSIT GIRLS series!
Speaking of that series, I have something to confess – There is a reason why I have not written about it or made a video about it yet! That reason being that I have actually not watched the series yet >.<! I don’t remember the reason why really, but I do know that I started it and something just put me off!
And no, it wasn’t because they were ‘sisters’ ha! If you know me you wouldn’t even think that!
But since I claim to have grown out of pettiness, I am going to give it another go and this time I will sit through it. Yes, I have the whole series with me, I just forgot about it, until Yui-chan came back into my life!
Yui plays a character named Horigai, who is in her fourth (final) year of college, is a girl that I surprisingly connect with on so many levels! She is too nice to a fault but is her niceness genuine? She seems to care a lot about other people and her dream job is to be a child healthcare worker but how can she truly care for people when she is too afraid to look past their surface! How can she be able to help people wit their pain when she can’t see it?!
This is the huddle that Horigai has to overcome in her story and the people she meets, mostly our other girl, help her overcome this huddle and learns to be brave and eventually manages to land her dream job of being a child healthcare worker, a job she had almost given up on!
Meanwhile opposite her, is our other girl Inogi, played by actress NAO (simply Nao). She is familiar to me but I just can’t place her. I am pretty sure I have seen her other works!
Anyway Inogi is in her second third year I believe but unlike Horigai who is very outgoing, Inogi is the opposite! Despite being super cute, she is always dressed depressingly and seems to be hiding under her cothing. She does not seem to have friends when Horigai goes into her class one day to take notes for her friend who took the same class, in exchange for said friend handing out some questionnaires for Horigai’s thesis research!
Later when they do meet and Horigai goes to her place, we find out that also lives mostly in the virtual world of games but that did not mean that she was detached from reality. She had had boyfriend before and actually recently just broke up with one.
Interestingly, this is where she and Horigai differ in that while Horigai is outgoing, she is still a virgin by her final year in college (mutual!) whereas Inogi, who tried her best to be alone actually had relationships!
Now, there is something about Inogi that might imply that were it not for a certain incident when she was 14, she too might still be a virgin despite having boyfriends but as we find out about her other secret, maybe she never slept with these boyfriends or even as she tried, something happened during the deed!
But I am getting ahead of myself here!
Let me just organise my thoughts and think of how to approach this!
The story is simple, Horigai is in her final year of college so we follow her journey to the end, see what decisions she makes based on the outside variables that come impacting her life and hold our breaths as we await what path she would choose for her herself!
It is that simple really!
But an interesting story that does not make!
The drama is in watching these little happenings and meetings make sure and true impact on Horigai’s life and we see her grow from the person we meet at the beginning to the person we leave by the end! And she does grow, so do all the other characters even the minor ones!
Like, there is this Dude she works with who is the definition of a side character but he too grew within the story and seemed to overcome his huddle, which might be funny at first glance it is actually sad. You see he was the embodiment of big dick energy, like, literally! So literal that despite having many girlfriends, he had never managed to have sex because, he’s too big!
Poor guy tried to even get himself to like foreign girls by buying foreign adult magazines but unfortunately only small girls did it for him! He confessed his issues with Horigai when they went out for a drink but sadly, she was still in her shell and made light of the guy’s problem. That was one of the lessons she had to learn and begun to open her eyes!
But there is another character who had even less screentime than this guy, he is the one I mentioned earlier! Unfortunately, he was one of the people that can’t find their way out of the darkness as he took his own life despite seemingly to be happy, the last time (and the first) that Horigai had seen him!
If he had lived he probably would have been her first boyfriend, he was that good but yet again, Horigai at the time was still in her shell so despite making flirtation, she was joking about it and while she did not mean it in a bad way, it had to have affected the Guy because in his will, he mentions how he is not important to anyone and maybe, just maybe, it there had been a hint of seriousness in her words, just maybe he would have felt wanted by someone!
But we can’t hold Horigai at fault for this. That being said, the death did affect and we see her change when she thinks back on the time at the party that the Guy first showed up and we see that for just an instant, he seemed sad as he looked down in his drink. We see that Horigai is learning to pay attention to the little signs and while it was too late for this Guy, she would learn from that experience!
But even in the very beginning her shortcomings were already brought forth at said party by one of her fellow students, who was lecturing her about getting involved in other people’s lives (as she would have to mess up families when she is in her job as a child healthcare worker) and asking her what right she had to do that, which obviously placed doubt into Horigai’s mind about her dream job and this weight stays with her throughout the movie!
And along the way people keep testing her resolve and pointing out her flaws which really take a toll on her!
Here is where Inogi comes in! She is the only one who seems to push her in the opposite direction! She is supportive of Horigai’s dream and even gets a bit angry at her for wanting to give up without trying and not only that but she cures a lot of other flaws that Horigai seems to have had!
The biggest is of course, well, as far as we on here are concerned, her virginity! While Horigai did tell Inogi that she wasn’t ashamed of being one, she did take it very hard as a flaw on her character! She was thinking that there was something wrong with her as a human because she could not get what everyone seemed to so easily get!
This in addition to all the soul beating she had been receiving was really eating away at her! But by sleeping with her, Inogi gave her the confidence that she wasn’t that different from everyone else!
Another way that Inogi healed Horigai was in listening to her. Sometimes I think people really do not appreciate the power that is in a simple gesture as listening to someone. People get paid just to listen to others. Horigai had a huge burden on her soul and she needed someone to listen and the person who would have listened to her, the person who was interested enough to ask her why was wanted to be a child healthcare worker, that person died without having listened to her story!
And yet another stain to Horigai’s soul!
Another stain that Inogi removed when she was the only other person to ask her why she wanted to do that kind of job! Like, you can just imagine how many points Inogi received just by asking that question!
But that was not she listened to. She also listened to Horigai’s other burdens and fears and not only did she listen but she was supportive. Just as she helped Horigai get over her virginity, here when Horigai mentioned her past and the reason why she had chosen to ne a child healthcare worker, Inogi gave her a reason to do that job, by also sharing a story from her past.
When Horigai went over to Inogi’s place the first time, there was a story of a young boy who had gone missing 13 years before. It turns out that when it happened Horigai learned about it and that event stayed with her for the rest of her life, which paved her path to be a child healthcare worker to help out children in need!
When she tells the story, Inogi’s reaction is a very strong one! It was so strong that I even thought, for just a second, that Inogi was that boy and that she had gone through a sex change and here she was hiding out and away seeing as she was living by herself and the way she hid under her thick garments…
But it was just a thought and Inogi was 100% a girl.
No, the reason she was so affected by Horigai’s story, we find out not much later that it was because she too had her own childhood secrets!
The first we learn is that the reason she seems so unkempt and hidden in her garments is because she had some bad scars from an ‘accident’ when she was a child! One of these was by her left ear, which was what she was covering with her thick hair.
That thing I mentioned about her chances of still being a virgin was because I figured that maybe she broke up wit hall these boyfriends because once they saw her scars, they scattered! Now, while I am sure some would not mind, if she were to tell them the true story behind those scars, would they really still be there for her!?!
You see, the true story behind that scar, a scar which again dampened on Horigai’s esteem because as she was starting to learn, she knew that she should have caught that! She should have seen the effort that Inogi put into hiding those scars! She thinks she was not really seeing Inogi because she did not catch it!
The scars come from a shuddering incident when she was 14! On her way home from school, riding a bike that looks just like Ai’s BTW (HIRAITE), some car crushes into her, on purpose, and pretending to get her to the hospital, the despicable excuse of a man kidnaps young Inogi into his car and takes her somewhere where he brutally beat and raped her!
She crawled to the nearest river bank hoping to find someone who would help her but there was no one and as she looked to the sky thinking of how she was going to die all alone there, another girl finds her and sends their sister to go call for help, as she stays there and holds her hand and in not knowing, saves Inogi’s life just by staying there with here, holding her hand!
That girl who held Inogi’s hand back then looked like Horigai and they would probably look alike were she to be at her age! Interestingly, at the end of the movie when Horigai gets rid of the dye in her hair, she really does look exactly like Inogi’s saviour back then!
As you can imagine I totally cried during this scene! And it was right after their sex scene!
Speaking of the sex scene, whatever you think the morning after will be, it is not! I was once again surprised by Japan with this ending! In fact, I had so little faith in this movie that I did the thing – When the sex scene faded to black, I skipped to the end to spoil myself!
Yes, I know I am a loser but to tell the truth, I haven’t done this in years!
Anyway, having seen that the ending is a HOPEFUL one, I reversed back to the very beginning of the movie and di not skip another second of it!
The morning after was professionally handled! They actually said proper goodbye! They even had the eye sex and the hesitation of separation but Horigai was heading back to her hometown to start at her new job which was already set and Inogi still had another year in college!
But of course, losing Horigai did affect Inogi negatively, where she dropped out of college and also went back to her hometown. And I fear that if Horigai had not been a different person we see at the end, Inogi might have killed herself too! But Horigai was different and she persisted in her caring for Inogi and eventually, Inogi caved in and called her back and in that first talk in months;
Horigai all but confessed her love for Inogi and in acceptance, Inogi agrees to meet again which I see as them actually starting a real relationship because they finally found that one person that is for them!
Seriously, seeing these two give each other life, laughing at jokes that others did not laugh to, exposing each other’s wounds in order to heal them too! The way the were both sad for each other because they could not be there to save them when they were younger and needed help!
No, I am not wiping away tears just thinking about them!
No, I am not stopping here because this is getting too emotional for me!
Lastly, I will mention my favourite moments. The best being the fact that Horigai totally ditched graduation for Inogi’s home-made food! As soon as Inogi sent her a text asking her to celebrate with her, Horigai was like, how about now!? And of course, Inogi was like, hell ya!
The next are all the times Inogi looked at Horigai with these looks that can’t even be put into words! The first one was when Horigai told her about the incident with a school bully she told her about when she was young and while she tried to make light of it, the look in Inogi’s eyes stopped her in her tracks. It happened again when Inogi asked Horigai what she would tell that boy that went missing were she to be able to contact him telepathically! Her answer got that same look from Inogi’s eyes! Then finally right before the kiss, when Horigai was beating herself up about not noticing Inogi’s scars!
I totally loved those looks!
Next, while I wouldn’t take it in any other movie, seeing as it is usually played for laughs, when Horigai said she wished to have a girlfriend like Inogi by her side, seeing as here it was actually kind of a green flag, I loved that scene too, especially since Inogi did not see herself as girlfriend material!
It ended up coming true so it is one of my favourite moments too!
And finally, the ending conversation!
And that’s it for this movie. Totally recommend it. It is no the interwebs already so go get it. You might probably have to use the Japanese title for search terms!