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In 1980s Kyushu, two teenagers fell in love, and exchanged their secrets and thoughts by way of sending tape recordings to each other. More than a decade later, the boy (now grown-up and bittered) rediscovers the last recording of his long-dead lover's voice. Her words trigger a series of flashbacks illustrating the joyful beginning and tragic end of their relationship. Written by
As a rule, I avoid romance tales and this one was nearly no exception. I didn't see it in the theaters when it was out last year, even though friends recommended it. Just by chance, I rented the DVD. It is available in Japan with English subtitles. Now, after several days, I can't stop thinking about it.
Sakutaro is a man in his mid-thirties about to marry Ritsuko, a woman in her late twenties. While getting ready to move, Ritsuko encounters an old audio cassette tape she forgot she had. Though she knew what the tape was, she had never heard it. After locating a store that still sells audio cassette players, she listens to it for the first time. It takes her on a pilgrimage to her (and Sakutaro's) childhood home town. She leaves a message telling him that she's going away for a while.
By chance, Sakutaro learns where Ritsuko went and he goes there. He finds himself on a pilgrimage of his own.
I can't proceed much further, but it can be said that this is not a frivolous love story. I deals with the permanence of love in a most touching and original way. I really hope this film finds its way out of Japan. I gave this movie an eight out of ten.
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