In the late 1980s, a job-hunting college student in Shizuoka Prefecture named Suzuki begins an awkward romance with a dental hygienist named Mayu. However, when Suzuki finds a job he moves to Tokyo and the two are forced into a long-distance relationship. Over time, their relationship starts to fall apart as Suzuki begins spending time with another woman named Miyako.
~~ Adapted from 2004 novel "Initiation Love" by Inui Kurumi.
Cast & Credits
If you're looking for a great movie, just watch Initiation Love. Don't read the plot, because, just going by that, I would probably never have watched it. I started it because one of my favourite actors, Matsuda Shota, is in it, but as the minutes passed I forgot about him and got sucked into the story.
The plot itself is nothing special: we're in the '80s, and a nerdy, overweight guy meets a cute girl and falls in love. While he thinks he can never be with her, the girl, Mayu-chan, actually seems to like him despite his looks and personality (which, I need to say, are completely normal and there's really nothing wrong with him.) Takkun - the nickname Mayu-chan has given him - then decides to "become a better [looking] man" for her sake. Change of scene, a very fit and 'kakkoii' Takkun gets transferred to Tokyo for work, and, gradually, his and Mayu-chan's relationship starts falling apart. But, and this is stated at the very beginning of the movie, there's a "secret" to this whole story, and it's up to the viewer to figure it out before the ending.
The acting is... I mean... it's Matsuda Shota. That guy could star in a dorama where he has to stand still in a silly pose and still make the whole thing shine. Man, what an actor.
I didn't know any of the other actors, but I loved Maeda Atsuko as Mayu-chan - even though I couldn't stand her character for sooo many reasons. (But there's no likeable character here, really.)
The music was perfect for the dorama, but I don't have much to say about it. I remember liking it, but I don't remember the actual songs. I think they were all era-appropriate though.
The rewatch value is very high because, even if you do know the story, you will want to watch it again because now you do know everything.
Overall, a beautiful movie with great actors that I really recommend to everyone - Matsuda Shota's fans in particular!
It does keep you invested and intrigued throughout.
It pays good attention to detail and makes the viewer focused on what's happening and more importantly what isn't happening.
The acting was well done and the production value was top-notch.
I do however ended up not liking the bittersweet taste of the apple at the end because it really just shows that love isn't defined as normally as it should but I do praise the writer and director for taking a bold approach to tackle the subject of true love with it's counterpart being sorta... imitation.
The rewatch value isn't there for me but I feel like this could very well be a cult classic. Time will tell.