In a departure from his traditional thrillers and supernatural films, Kiyoshi Kurosawa moves into the everyday with a drama that, although simple, is punctuated by moments of beauty and compelling performances from leads Jo Odagiri and Tadanobu Asano.
Friends Mamoru Arita (Tadanobu Asano) and Yuji Nimura (Jo Odagiri) are aimless young men working dead-end jobs in a dreary laundry factory in Tokyo. Yuji seems to be on a downward spiral, trapped in adolescence and gradually losing his bright dreams. Mamoru is antisocial with no hobbies except acclimatising a poisonous jellyfish to fresh water. “Could be a storm’s coming,” Mamoru says to Yuji and it seems that way as Yuji teeters on the brink of an act of violence against their boss, Fujiwara (Takashi Sasano). Mamoru beats him to it, committing an act of inexplicable violence. With Mamoru facing the death penalty Yuji is left to look after the jellyfish. Mamoru’s estranged father Shin-ichiro (Tatsuya Fuji) is devastated by the news and while looking for an explanation forms a bond with Yuji but Yuji’s confusion over his direction and his obsession with the jellyfish threatens his future and that of Tokyo.