Third Window Films follow up last month’s release of the ultra-brilliant “Shady” with a more heart-warming human drama about the power of friendship called “The Story of Yonosuke“. As I made clear in my review, I liked it a lot. Here are the release details:
The Story of Yonosuke
A film by Shuichi Okita (The Woodsman & the Rain)
Based on a novel by Shuichi Yoshida (Villain, Parade)
Japan / 2013 / 160 Mins / In Japanese with English subtitles / Colour
Out on Blu-Ray & DVD April 14th
DVD Specifications: 5.1 Surround Sound, Anamorphic Widescreen with removable English subtitles
Based on a novel by multi-award-winning author Shuichi Yoshida (Villain, Parade), this bittersweet film is the latest offering from the director of The Woodsman & the Rain and stars Kengo Kora (Norwegian Wood, Fish Story) & Yuriko Yoshitaka (Gantz, Robo-G).
Yonosuke is a typical Japanese on-screen hero: socially awkward, childish and naive, but always cheerful and charming. We meet him when he moves from Nagasaki to Tokyo in the late eighties at the height of the city’s economic boom. Despite his odd character he manages to make new friends at university, joins a samba class and falls in love with an older woman. Sixteen years later his friends are all reminiscing over their college days, thinking back on how Yonosuke changed their lives. A heart-warming, crowd-pleasing comedy that takes a sudden dramatic turn.
I saw “The Story of Yonosuke” at last year’s Terracotta Far East Film Festival and found that it was the best title out of the four films I picked. What I liked about it was the direction from Shuichi Okita who can make profound and complex stories of emotional connections feel fun and breezy. Thanks to this style and the wonderful characters, the running time didn’t feel nearly as long as it looks and I could have happily spent more time in the world that was created. I liked his work on “The Woodsman & the Rain” and this one comes close to topping it. Actually, both are in my Top Ten Films of the Year for 2013.