7.3/10
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13 user 34 critic

Blue Spring (2001)

Aoi haru (original title)
A group of a run-down Tokyo high school students face the struggles of growing up, growing apart from their friends and worrying about their future, while living in a highly violent environment.

Director:

Toshiaki Toyoda

Writers:

Toshiaki Toyoda, Taiyô Matsumoto (comic strip)
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ryûhei Matsuda ... Kujo
Hirofumi Arai ... Aoki
Sôsuke Takaoka ... Yukio
Yûsuke Ohshiba Yûsuke Ohshiba ... Kimura
Yuta Yamazaki Yuta Yamazaki ... Ota
Shûgo Oshinari Shûgo Oshinari ... Yoshimura
Takashi Tsukamoto ... Freshman in Baseball Club
Eita ... Obake (Ghost)
Onimaru Onimaru ... Suzuki
Kiyohiko Shibukawa Kiyohiko Shibukawa ... Leader of Rival School Gang (as Kee)
Kyôko Koizumi ... Kiosk Woman
Mame Yamada Mame Yamada ... Hanada-sensei
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Genta Dairaku Genta Dairaku ... Guidance Counselor
Erena Erena ... High-school girl
Hiroyuki Kobayashi Hiroyuki Kobayashi
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Storyline

A group of a run-down Tokyo high school students face the struggles of growing up, growing apart from their friends and worrying about their future, while living in a highly violent environment.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No regrets for my youth See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

29 June 2002 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Blue Spring See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Leo: Just imagine there's a pool behind us, and it's not so scary.
Kujo: Too cold for swimming.
See more »

Connections

Version of Revolver - Aoi haru (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

September Punk Children
Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful
17 March 2002 | by simon_boothSee all my reviews

The closing night movie for the SF Indie Fest is a vaguely coming of age type drama, set entirely within the grounds of a Japanese boy's school. Here, the kids all run around in gangs, sleep in lectures and fight at break times. Every wall in the place is covered in graffiti. Ryuhei Matsuda (the effeminate guy from GOHATTO) stars as Kuja, a senior who becomes the school's official gang leader by winning at "The Clapping Game". This game involves the kids hanging from a railing on the edge of the school roof, letting go and seeing how many times they can clap their hands before their nerve fails and they grab back on.

From here we follow the progress of his friends and enemies throughout a part of the school year, the challenges to his leadership and the pressure of the school system felt by everyone. There's a hell of a lot of violence goes on in the school, and we get the impression that life as a Japanese school boy is a difficult dangerous business.

It's a pretty bleak and cheerless vision - between this and BATTLE ROYALE you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Japanese school system was on the point of explosion or collapse, with the youth as disaffected as they come. How close this is to reality I don't know, but the friend I saw it with tells me that the classroom scenes are pretty close to how it actually is.

The cast all perform well - Ryuhei Matsuda has such a striking appearance that he doesn't really need to do anything to create an impression, and indeed he spends most of the movie being aloof and impenetrable. This contrasts with the energies and frustrations evident in the other characters, particulary his best friend Aoki.

I enjoyed the movie a lot... good characters, and well filmed/scored, with interesting developments. It's based on a collection of autobiographical short stories from a manga artist, which shows a little bit in the episodic nature of the plot, but it's all weaved together well for the movie. Worth looking out for if you don't mind your high school movies nihilistic, violent and bleak.


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