7.2/10
2,397
17 user 9 critic

April Story (1998)

Shigatsu monogatari (original title)
In spring, a young girl leaves the island of Hokkaido to attend university in Tokyo.

Director:

Shunji Iwai

Writer:

Shunji Iwai
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Love Letter (1995)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When exchanging letters two women discover new things about a man they knew.

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Miho Nakayama, Etsushi Toyokawa, Bunjaku Han
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When two best friends develop a crush on the same boy, they develop a plan to trick him into dating them.

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Anne Suzuki, Yû Aoi, Tomohiro Kaku
Picnic (1996)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Believing that the world will end that very day, three mental patients Coco, Tsumuji, and Satoru set out upon a journey. Walking upon the tops of the walls of the city, they seek to find a ... See full summary »

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Chara, Tadanobu Asano, Koichi Hashizume
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The struggles of a group of immigrant outcasts living in an alternative-future, xenophobic Japanese metropolis.

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Hiroshi Mikami, Chara, Ayumi Itô
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The problematic lives of teenager students for whom the singer Lily Chou-Chou's dreamy music is the only way to escape an alienating, violent and insensitive society.

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Hayato Ichihara, Shûgo Oshinari, Ayumi Itô
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Nanami is an apathetic, part-time junior high school teacher, whose only solace comes from connecting with others on "Planet", a new social network service. One day, a young man named ... See full summary »

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Haru Kuroki, Cocco, Gô Ayano
Rainbow Song (2006)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two film students meet and fall in love while working on a school project.

Director: Naoto Kumazawa
Stars: Hayato Ichihara, Juri Ueno, Yû Aoi
Undo (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Moemi is not overly pleased when Yukio brings home a couple of turtles to keep her company. Although Yukio works at home as a writer, Moemi feels neglected and desired a dog or a cat, but ... See full summary »

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Etsushi Toyokawa, Tomoko Yamaguchi, Tomorô Taguchi
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlour. Lately the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she... See full summary »

Director: Isshin Inudô
Stars: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Chizuru Ikewaki, Juri Ueno
Animation | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After her parents separate, 14 year-old Tetsuko (who will soon be nick-named Alice) moves with her mother to a new town in what she calls "The Boonies" and must enroll as a transfer student... See full summary »

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Yû Aoi, Anne Suzuki, Shôko Aida
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While searching for his fiancee Ritsuko, Sakutarou rediscovers through flashbacks the void deep within him caused by the events from his high school days.

Director: Isao Yukisada
Stars: Takao Ohsawa, Ko Shibasaki, Masami Nagasawa
Last Letter (2018)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Attending the reunion in lieu of her late elder sister, Zhihua accidentally runs into Yin Chuan, on whom she had a crush in her youth. As old memories are evoked Zhihua slowly uncovers the intricate story of the trio.

Director: Shunji Iwai
Stars: Xun Zhou, Hao Qin, Jiang Du
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Takako Matsu ... Uzuki Nireno
Seiichi Tanabe ... Yamazaki
Kaori Fujii Kaori Fujii ... Teruko Kitao
Rumi Rumi ... Saeko Sono
Kazuhiko Kato Kazuhiko Kato ... Kato
Ken Mitsuishi Ken Mitsuishi ... Salaryman Fu no Otoko
Yôsuke Eguchi ... Oda Nobunaga
Tatsuya Ishii Tatsuya Ishii ... Akechi Mitsuhide
Masatô Ibu Masatô Ibu ... Saito Toshizo
Yoshiro Matsumoto Yoshiro Matsumoto ... Father
Noriko Fujima Noriko Fujima ... Mother
Somegorô Ichikawa Somegorô Ichikawa ... Son
Kio Matsumoto Kio Matsumoto ... Daughter
Sansei Shiomi Sansei Shiomi ... Shoji
Tsunekazu Umeda Tsunekazu Umeda ... Removalist
Edit

Storyline

In spring, a girl leaves the island of Hokkaido to attend university in Tokyo. Once there, she's very lonely and finds out people aren't anywhere near as friendly like she'd hoped. Written by davidrf

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official-site

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

14 March 1998 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

April Story See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rockwell Eyes See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS-Stereo | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening scene, the family who are seeing off Takako Matsu's character are the actress' real family. They include her father Koshiro Matsumoto, a film and kabuki actor; mother Noriko Matsumoto, a former actress; brother Ichikawa Zengoro VII, a kabuki actor and her elder sister Kiyo Matsumoto. See more »

Connections

References A River Runs Through It (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

HUNGARIAN DANCE NO. 5 F-SHARP MINOR
Music by Johannes Brahms
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

One Hundred Everyday Views of Tokyo
14 February 2012 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

I was very recently exposed to this filmmaker and utterly captivated by another one of his films, so that alone ensures I'll want to see everything by him at some stage. He seems like one to follow and devote serious time to: a vibrant new voice that embraces damaged worlds with the gentle ardor of Zen. He makes the films Mizoguchi ought to have made but for drowning still reflections in overbearing dramatics.

This is even more sparsely arranged than that other film. Once more the point is that it's seemingly about nothing, purely episodic life from a teenage girl's journey into young adulthood and love. Once more the point is that there is no solid core to explain from, only glimpses from a floating world. Nothingness permeates, but a sweet, Buddhist nothingness that is pregnant with life.

The world is still new that she enters, the mind is clear, fresh. There is a lot of idle perambulation but no vexation. Solitude that is sweet enjoyment of the present moment. Being that is still magnificent in its simplicity.

Against this backdrop the smallest gesture rings far and wide with meaning, say a smile beneath a red umbrella for the joy of being able to freely smile or the feeling of being wet but safe. It is the best cinematic Zen I know of.

Spontaneous joy without pleasure. A world that makes sense because the senses are open, receptive. Astute viewers will pick up a connection to old landscape compendiums from the Shogunate era, the title of this post is a reference to one; those were intended for tourists passing through Edo, but were the training ground for cinematic perspective, more deeply intended for the travelling eye.

On a technical level, I believe this was solely conceived as an exercise where the filmmaker got to work out a few shots and atmospheres he had in mind: spring rains, clear evenings, bird's eye views, calligraphic sweeps, many worlds fleeting from the windows of a speeding train. A lot of that paid off in Lily Chou-Chou, there in a longer form.

This is small but full and ripe, a rare thing. I'm even more eager to follow his work.


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed