Wataru, a freelance cameraman who works for a travel magazine in Tokyo. In actual fact, he had aimed to be a teacher when he was in his hometown but failed to achieve his goal and left home to go to Tokyo. However, he does not do well in Tokyo and has to return to his hometown at the orders of his superior for a travel feature of his hometown. Wataru reunites with his former girlfriend who is a primary school teacher now and through his interaction with his family, friends and a group of primary school students who want to take part in a choir contest, he begins to take steps to resurrect his dream of being a teacher. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
So as soon as the subs were out, I watched it. Also, I was happy to see Eikura Nana and Jun acting together again.
The movie had a story that was easy to follow and was quite forseeable. However, it was still enjoyable and cute.
You shouldn't expect super dramatic twists or sudden changes, but if you are okay with a cute, heartwarming plot, that's something for you.
The cast was enjoyable. Everybody portrayed their roles nicely and believable. The relationship between Jun and Nana was great and felt absolutely natural. Also, the children's acting was sweet.
The basic theme of the movie is "furusato" (means homeland). The movie shows what it is and how people are connected to their hometown. Of course it's all a bit emotional, maybe a bit too much for some of you, but still nice.
The famous song "Furusato" is also included in the movie and if you're interested into Japanese culture you should at least listened to it once as it is a very important piece of music for all Japanese people.
There isn't much comedy included in the movie, but I think it wouldn't have been suited for it, so it's completely fine like that.
I recommend this movie to everybody who wants to watch something cute and heartwarming after a long, exhausting day and does not feel like watching action or something with a twisted plot. It's something to enjoy with a sweet story, a nice cast and wonderful music.
Story | Wataru is originally from Hagi, a small town with nothing much to offer. He moved to Tokyo to work as a photographer at a travel agency and is unwillingly sent back to Hagi on an assignment. While there he meets up with family and old friends he hasn't seen in a couple years. Being back he soon realizes that his hometown offers a lot more than just old buildings and natsu mikan. Through encounters and interactions with many, Wataru finds his true self and the true beauty of his hometown. Honestly, the story itself isn't very interesting but it being so simple and down to earth is what makes it worth a watch.
Cast | Would be lying if I said I didn't start watching this because of Matsumoto Jun. I haven't seen many of his works post-Hana Yori Dango but I very much enjoyed this laid back role. His character was immature and had tunnel vision, but as the movie went on his character development had a nice pace and flowed perfectly for this short movie. Nothing too quick or too slow and I loved it. It has also been a while since I've seen Eikura Nana in anything and though I didn't exactly love her as Natsu, her and Jun were nice to watch together. Supporting characters all had their small important parts and the actors portrayed their roles perfectly in such a short time. The choir children were adorably great too!
Music | Furusato is a nice simple song that is used throughout the entire movie and it was the perfect song for this type of movie. Not sure what it is when children sing a song with meaningful lyrics, but it puts you in the right mood. Also Arashi sang this song at the ending of the film and I do love me some Arashi.
Rewatch | Probably not. It's just a feel good movie that's nice to watch once and be done. That's also my opinion but I don't see myself coming back to this movie.
Overall | Like I said, it's a feel good movie. One that makes you think a lot about your own life when you finish. I love those types of movies. Plus, I live in a city, and these types of feelings of a hometown aren't as deep and meaningful like in the movie. So I enjoy finding gems like this. Also, the scenery director did an amazing job at showing what a beautiful town Hagi is! I believe a lot of the scenes were more powerful because of the backdrop. I fully enjoyed this movie. It's an easy movie to watch when bored or over the weekend ~