Mikio is a married man and works hard for the company where he is employed. Then one day Mikio is diagnosed with depression. Mikio's wife is Haruko. They have been married for 5 years. Haruko draws comics for work, but they do not sell well. She mainly relied on Mikio for support. Meanwhile, Haruko did not notice any changes in her husband. She begins to blame herself for not noticing any signs. Mikio's depression derived from his work. His company has been pressing him to quit the company. After Mikio quits his job his condition improves, but the dynamics of their relationship changes. (Source: AsianWiki) Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
I learned a couple of things about depression, so this movie is not only heart-warming but also informative. And touching, in a couple of scenes. The filmography was great, their little home was cozy and outside, with the Sakura trees, was so nice.
Masato Sakai has such a dorky face, so this suit him perfectly. The movie does not have a beginning nor an ending, which is something that I have found mostly in J-doramas and movies. Which I like, because not everything has to have a beginning and/or an end. Also, although it is a 2-hour movie long, it is never dragging nor slow.
Japan is one of the country with the highest amount of suicides. I've read that it is mostly because of work, which is the main reason why Mikio is depressed. The routine, his work-environment, having to take the train everyday, all squeeze like sardines are enough motives. At least he has his pretty, supportive wife, who is there for him "in health and sickness".
I wonder if this was based on real life...
1. It's about a couple: The husband, Mikio, got major depression and his wife, Haruka, tries her best to help him. It's not unusual, I can see that everywhere in the world, especially in countries that family plays a big part, this might happen. However, what I find interesting is that here, we have a beautiful combination of emotional investment and scientific approach in Mikio. At least I can say that the second element is more or less lacking in my country: people would show lots of emotions in such situation, but it's not backed with some scientific knowledge. In fact, many times, bare emotions produce more harm than benefit. I think Japan is one of the best in combining heavy emotions and exact science. The conclusion is that be ready to learn one thing or two about depression while you watch a romance. It doesn't happen everyday!
2. We all know how much the Japanese emphasize hard work. In any occasion, whether it's called for or not, you can see them saying Ganbarre! Otsukaresamadeshita! ... I like this, however, this movie gave me an interesting insight. Unlike her husband, Haruko is not that hard-working, but she has a good reason for that. She thinks putting too much pressure on yourself can be problematic. This makes her husband mad, but Haruko knows better! And in fact, it's her husband's approach that causes problems: He feels so much responsibility at work that at some point he has no energy to keep going. Like many hard-working Japanese people, he got depression and the rest of the story. Working hard can be counter-productive.
So, it was interesting to me to hear for the first time in a Japanese film this: "Do not work hard"! "I don't work hard!" and things like that. This should sound weird to Japanese ears!
All in all, I'd recommend this beautiful movie with two memorable moments: When Haruko finds Mikio kind of trying to commit suicide in the bathroom and when in church and before their friends, they talk about life with depression: Mikio's speech is amazing.