"No Longer Human" tells the story of a young man who has felt since childhood utterly alien from others around him. Since that time he has learned to put on a face to hide his alienation. He feels incapable of belonging to the human society, especially so by society's refusal to take him seriously. He then follows a descent into alcohol, drugs, & suicide ...
Yozo Oba (Toma Ikuta) was born into a wealthy family in Tsugaru. As a child he practiced smiling to hide his true feelings and to get along with others. His classmate Dakeichi found out about Yozo's eccentric behavior and told others about him. But Dakeichi also told Yozo a strange prediction about his life ... that he will become popular with the ladies and draw beautiful pictures.
During Yozo's high school years he moved to Tokyo. In Tokyo he meets Horiki (Yusuke Iseya), a guy six years older than him. Horiki is known for being a player and one day drags Yozo to the Blue Flower Bar run by Madame Ritsuko (Michiyo Ookusu). At the bar there is poet Chuya Nakahara (Go Morita) who proclaims "war is brown like the color of shit". Yozo doesn't say anything as he takes in the environment.
Yozo starts to drink more often and starts to live the fast life like Horiki. Like Dakeichi's prediction, Yozo also becomes popular with the ladies and always has a woman next to him. But, Yozo starts to become sick of this lifestyle.
At a cafe, Yozo meets Hisako (Shinobu Terajima) a women who lets him drink without paying. Yozo senses that Hisako feels a heavy sense of loneliness like himself. One day Yozo and Hisako attempts to kill themselves out in the Sea of Kamakura. Hisako dies, but Yozo survives. His family then takes Yozo to a sanitarium ...
Cast & Credits
Upon watching, I feel like the main character Yozo Oba has lived such a bleak existence. He had no sense of purpose and I felt bad for him as he trudged on with his life not knowing where to go, what exactly he wants to achieve or simply not knowing how to live in happiness. Near the end of the film though, there was a glimpse of a little fulfillment and joy in his desolate life, but it didn't actually last long. Things simply happen and life was being a bitch to him.
Music wise, it was melancholic and enough to make the film into what its tone should be but it's not something that has wowed me enough to remember it. I'm having second thoughts on re-watching it, probably I will in the far future if I wanted to re-analyze my own life if it has indeed become as depressing as Yozo Oba.
Overall, I would suggest that if someone would decide to check this movie out simply because Ikuta Toma is their bias, think again. It's not romantic, it's also devoid of anything funny because this film can sap the happiness out of you like it did for me and lastly it has a heavy atmosphere all throughout its run time. That said, I’m still recommending it because it happened in real life, it is a beautiful memoir and it has fantastic actors to back it up.
Honestly, I'm really torn on this movie. On one hand, I felt like the entire movie was stretching out for way too long and the absent of any real music accompanying the slow parts made it really boring to watch at times, but on the other hand, I think this is also exactly what makes this whole movie so unique. I mean, the main gist of this story is about how one young guy faces a troublesome amount of existential problems throughout his life, to the point where he is no longer able to find any real reason in mind as everything is just straight up bland and unexciting to him in the end. He feels off, alienated, as if he doesn't know how to act like a normal human being, where without any aim he gets himself from one problem into another. He just wants to feel any purpose in his life. He only wants to be like everybody else, but unfortunately, he seems to fail to do so... That's just one of the best portrayal of depression I've ever seen in fiction.
To come straight to the point though, if you asked me whether I'd recommend this movie to anybody else, then heck, I don't think I would as it really is a rather bland... or well, rather a quite unexciting story to put it like that. Nevertheless, it still does offers you an amazing insight about how people that feel off in life feel like and just for the very fact that somebody finally managed to portray this aspect of humanity in an intriguing movie, which is reason enough already for me to still give it a decent rating in the end. Honestly, it's just one of these stories that can't, or maybe even shouldn't be popular, but I don't exactly think a gloomy movie about the outsider's of society, ever really aimed to be in the spot light. If reading this review made you any curious about all, then please, make sure to watch that movie. Thanks!