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Builds to a disappointing cliché after a great start
Quite a disappointing film because it starts out brilliantly, for the first 45-60 minutes, you are led into the most intriguing beautiful world of Osaka which left me spellbound and expecting a huge pay off. All the lead characters are intriguing in their own way, particularly Torii who's innocence, cuteness and zest for Osakan food makes her a Japanese Amelie Poulain of sorts. A stunningly beautiful city, sympathetic protagonists and loads of delicious Japanese food - can this movie go wrong? Yes, it does.
The plot doesn't pay off in the end, it all builds to a rather unconvincing, downright cliché climax which felt terribly dated. Maybe some 1980s Japanese TV movie might have gotten away with something like that, but I had hoped for something a lot more intriguing than this. Perhaps it's because I am not Japanese, that I don't really get the whole concept of having regional identities within Japan - but surely that's the job of the film to draw me in and make that clear to me. There is also a gay/transgender subplot that seemed important in the first half of the film but is strangely abandoned in the second half of the film.
This film will make you wanna visit Osaka and have some okonomnyaki andtaoyaki, but would I recommend you watch it? Not really, I was left very disappointed.
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