Unless you're addicted to prettily-shot romantic fluff with cute but skin-deep ideas (like bookshops in Heaven), the only reason to see this slow-moving, emotionally unfocused movie is the performances of Takeuchi Yuko and Kagawa Teruyuki. Takeuchi manages to give some appeal and depth to the two underwritten characters she plays. And Kagawa gives such a raw and discomfiting performance as a former fire-works maker in need of redemption that he seems out of place in a movie which otherwise prettifies pain.
As a whole, the movie fails to strike a balance between the cuteness of its set-up, and the seriousness of its themes of love and guilt, which it lingers over mournfully. It's neither light enough nor serious enough. And as we're expected to invest emotionally in so many characters, all of whom are underdeveloped, we end up investing in none of them.
The last scene is a beauty though.
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