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Be with You (2004)
"Ima, ai ni yukimasu" (original title)

8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,009 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 7 critic

Mio's death leaves husband Takumi and 6 year old son Yuji fending for themselves. Taku occasionally suffers fainting spells, is disorganized, and fears that his health hindered Mio's ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mio
...
Takumi
Akashi Takei ...
Yuji
Karen Miyama ...
Aya (Yuji's classmate)
Yôsuke Asari ...
Takumi (high school days)
Yûta Hiraoka ...
Yuji (18 years old)
Chihiro Ohtsuka ...
Mio (high school days)
Mikako Ichikawa ...
Midori Nagase (Takumi's co-worker)
Katsuo Nakamura ...
Takumi's Boss
You ...
Yuji's Teacher
Suzuki Matsuo ...
Owner of Cake Shop
Fumiyo Kohinata ...
Dr. Noguchi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kôki Okada
Tokimasa Tanabe
Kei Tanaka
Edit

Storyline

Mio's death leaves husband Takumi and 6 year old son Yuji fending for themselves. Taku occasionally suffers fainting spells, is disorganized, and fears that his health hindered Mio's happiness. Yuji overheard relatives speculate that his delivery compromised her health, and he blames himself for her death. Mio left him a picture book in which she departs for "The Archive Star" but re-appears during the rainy season the following year, and he eagerly awaits her return. Taking a walk in the forest outside their house, Taku and Yuji find a woman sheltering from the rain and immediately accept her as Mio. She has no memory or sense of identity, but comes home to live with them anyway. She asks Taku how they met and fell in love, and he recounts a tale of years of missed chances starting in high school until she encouraged their marriage years later. As the rainy season nears its end, Yuji finds the "time capsule" he hid with his mother before her death. Mio's diary is inside, and its ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

30 October 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Be with You  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Copies of the book that Mio creates for her son Yuji, promising to return from the Archive Star during the next rainy season, are on sale in Japan. See more »

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User Reviews

Best of the lot

A few years ago, Korean romances took over the market for the romance genre which had been held uncontested by Japan. While at least half a dozen made it big in the Pacific region, the most successful worldwide has to be My Sassy Girl (2001). The onslaught however soon ran out of steam, even for works by MSG's director Kwak Jae-young. His still widely acclaimed Classic (2003) had in fact faded somewhat, and not even bringing back Jun Ji-hyun from MSG could save Windstruck (2004). In the meantime, Japanese romances are making a come back. "Poetic" director Shunji Iwai brought a breath of fresh air with Hana and Alice (2004). It is Ima, ai ni yukimasu, however, that is the best romance coming out of Japan and Korea in the last ten years.

The movie starts with a quaint little house nestled in the most idyllically beautiful, lush green countryside, where a shopkeeper of a cake shop delivers a birthday cake to a young man Yuji, who is making breakfast. We are then taken back to the time when Yuji is six, a year after he has lost his mother Mio through illness and is living a life of mutual support and love with his father Taku. Before her death, however, Mio promised her husband and son that she would come back after a year and stay with them during the rainy season.

When the rain starts, Taku and Yuji find in the woods a woman looking exactly like Mio, who has apparently lost her memory completely. The father and son naturally have no problem believing that it is Mio coming back from heaven, and bring her home. Although in a way she is still a stranger, she seems to accept that she is Mio, and asks Taku to tell her the story of how they first met and fell in love. Through that process, they fall in love a second time (I am assuming at this point that she is indeed Mio). As we share the joy of the family reunited as well as the love story of young Taku and Mio through the flash back, the six-week rainy season is mercilessly coming closer and closer to the end.

All the time while watching the movie, alongside with emotionally becoming more and more identified with these three people whom I came to care for, I found a rational part of me that kept assessing how the story would go. Is it really Mio coming back from heaven to fulfil a promise? Is it a woman who happens to look like Mio but has a story of her own? Or is everything just the imagination of the father and son? The revelation came, not in the form of a super twist dropped like a like a bomb, but through the last twenty minutes' gentle unfolding of past events that provide answers not only to the mystery of Mio's appearance, but also to many things we have noticed throughout the movie that register subconsciously (only subconsciously) as questions. Even more important, we saw another layer about the entire story that deepens our understanding of and care for this family.

But all this would not mean a thing without the wonderful, wonderful performance of Yuko Takeuchi as Mio. Shido Nakamura and Akashi Takei as father and son complement her performance perfectly and, together with the beautiful photography and heart-warming music, make this film the best in it genre in the decade.

The English title of "Be with you" is not devised haphazardly, but has a meaning.


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