On the first day of Shima's new job he met a man with a hangover in the elevator. That was his first meeting with his new boss, Togawa. Though Togawa seemed rude and cross, Shima was drawn to the kindness beneath his rough facade. Both men harbor a painful past but unlike Togawa, who was open with his feelings, Shima seems unable to move on. ~~ Based on the manga with the same name by Yoneda Kou.
Cast & Credits
BL movies aren't a thing these days; poor cast, poor setting, it takes so little to drown everything into a sea of painful awkwardness for the viewer. But there are few to be remembered; well, not exactly for the visual efforts, but for the pleasant acting and the understanding of the plot. Simplicity is always better. Doushitemo Furetakunai // No touching at all is one of them; and hopefully, more to come.
I'm a faithful fan of Yoneda Kou's work, her plots start from seemingly plain points and develop beautifully with characters mingled so well, it has to break a heart or two half-way through the story. The simplicity is the key here as well - motionless, quiet atmosphere. Beneath the mundane way of living, people are far more complicated than they seem. They always struggle with themselves and their wounds left from past experiences every time their encounter new ones. So wouldn't it be worse to fall in love in such wearing circumstances?
Sincerely, I didn't expect much, mainly because the two characters have an unique feel about them. I was afraid of dullness, yet I've been waiting to watch this movie ever since it came out. They did it, they found the actors who, in my opinion, fit fairly well. Not only separately, but together. Acting was pretty good, felt almost! natural, my awkward sensors didn't react - rather, I was kinda overwhelmed by the ball of cuteness named Yonehara Kousuke (who are you again and why don't you act more?), and his bold words to cover it up. Togawa-san is /so/ Togawa too. Wait what. It's tough pointing out what lacks when they have such a chemistry going on.
Also, I appreciate how they kept the important parts of the story, without altering it. True, there some scenes left out (/certain/ scenes), but for a (Japanese) movie it's a decent deal, it feels smooth, feels nice.
So far so good, yet my one complaint is that you can spot the characters from afar and wish to see them closer, especially when they interact with each other. The characters' expressions are so important. That was kinda disappointing at times, even though there were plenty scenes to make up for that, but still. Isn't this an eternal pain when it comes to BL movies anyway? They always leave us begging for more.
While the movie is lacking, as most BL movies do out there, it's a worthy live-action. Maybe even better in some aspects than the previous BL productions, just maybe. I should reconsider my faith with this one and wait for upcoming projects.
If any of you haven't read the manga, you should do it before watching the movie. This way you can value the acting much better and enjoy it. With this in mind, take a good breath, don't hesitate to watch. Chances are you're gonna melt inside anyway.
So if you are a fan of the manga, but unsure whether to watch, this review is mainly for you. (And even if you're just looking for a good BL movie to pass the time, I hope I can write a worthy review as well)
The plot isn't exactly anything new, especially for such a short movie. It's about two people meeting, hooking up, falling in love, and the hardships they must overcome.
What makes this movie stand out from others is the rawness of the emotions, the harsh yet beautiful reality. There is nothing romanticized about their meeting or their relationship. It could be me or you, falling in and out of love.
Shima and Togawa in the manga have prickly personalities. They are very different, yet there is an attraction and spark that even transcends their sexualities. I was worried whether there could be actors who would portray their characters well. Thankfully, Yonehara Kousuke and Taniguchi Kenji both did a great job. Shima lost a bit of his cheekiness and seems more timid, but it has to do with the generally darker tone of the movie, right from the beginning, due to time-constraints.
The music was matching but not really memorable. I was surprised at how sensual they even portrayed the erotic scenes. They could have granted a closer view on the kissing scenes, but in BL it's probably something we can only wish for.
What really drives this film is the atmosphere, that is very similar to the manga Doushitemo Furetakunai. This simplicity and 'realness' is visible in every part of the movie. Some people find the long still shots and the calmness boring. I find it beautiful. Not everything in life is restless and fast-paced. Some moments are agonizingly slow. The cinematography, while somewhat simple, plays a big role in this, and it does a superb job. The writing and directing are both also spot-on.
After finishing the movie, I went and re-read the manga, and I was surprised to see how much of the original dialogue was kept. While I was reading, the scenes from the movie kept appearing in my mind, and I found myself unable to separate the two. Usually when it comes to book or manga adaptations, once I return to the original, I cannot help but think: "Oh, but this is so much better after all. They should have done this differently"; However, I didn't have that feeling with Doushitemo Furetakunai. While there were parts that were left out or could have been fleshed out more, there were even moments where I thought the dialogue in the movie was more natural and poignant than in the manga.
I dislike dramas that take the easy way out by having too much narration or monologues to make sure the viewer gets exactly what the characters are feeling at that moment. There is no room for speculation, no room for the viewer to get a grasp on the emotion, just by observing. Eventually, this trait of the movie, the actors' ability to convey their pain and longing without using too many words, is what made me applaud to this successful adaption of Yoneda Kou's manga.
In summary: It's a bit slow-paced, but if you learn to appreciate the beauty within this calm atmosphere, you will be presented with a fairly satisfying movie that you won't easily forget. I recommend it whole-heartedly.