Kae Horii (Erika Sawajiri) moves into her new flat in an undisclosed area of Kyoto. While unpacking her belongings, she discovers a hidden compartment behind a inconspicuous mirror. In that compartment, Kae finds a notebook, that turns out to be a diary belonging to the previous tenant. Later that evening Kae starts to read the diary.
The writer of the diary is Ibuki Mano (Yuko Takeuchi), a young lady about to embark on her first year as an elementary school teacher. Ibuki is also in love with a man named Takashi, who may or may not hold similar feelings for Ibuki.
The diary immediately resonates with Kae, as she plans to become an elementary school teacher herself. Ibuki's experiences also works as an inspirational instructional guide for Kae's own personal life. Kae is also in love with an aloof illustrator/artist (Yusuke Iseya), who may or may not hold similar feelings for Kae.
Cast & Credits
I've never written in my diary for quite some time now but after watching this movie I felt compelled to write in it again. This movie reminds me how beautiful letters are, how feelings and thoughts became tangible once put into paper, never lost. The story tells you of lost love, interweaving fates, and UFO (Yes, you didn't read that wrong ;)). It's a unique, peaceful, well-designed "slice of life" story.
And an amazing storytelling style - an aspect I scrutinize the most when I'm rating a drama. Watching this movie feels like reading a book in the first-persona view. It feels like I'm actually Kae Horii - I see what she sees, hear what she hears, and feel what she feels. And because the story was told in a view solely hers, I'm clueless just as she is about what the other characters actually feel. And for that same reason, I am able to know Mano Ibuki's feeling firsthand through the diary. In a word, I'm seeing Mano through Kae's eyes, if that makes any sense. And both are being played by outstanding actresses - believability, it appears, are both their strong point. Not to forget the quirky but intelligent use of Kae's fave blockbuster actor as... sigh...I have to stop right now or else I'll pay no heed to that bold red no-spoiler warning sign.
Beautifully told, I tell you. However, it's not perfect. The first half is slow-paced (but these I don't mind, it help builds up the character), there are few scenes that I think unnecessary, side characters I kept wondering why they're introduced in the first place, having no chemistry between the protagonists, and moments that should be accompanied by mellow music rather than nothing (though I suspect it's due to the fact that the director wants the movie to be as close to real life as possible which generally is a success).
Nevertheless, amidst its imperfections, it is still a meaningful movie; and that's all it takes for a movie to be worth a watch.
A melancholy movie with beautiful, atmospheric backdrops and a slow paced rhythm to it that really soothes the viewer’s soul