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Crying Out Love in the Center of the World (2004)

Sekai no chûshin de, ai o sakebu (original title)
While searching for his fiancee Ritsuko, Sakutarou rediscovers through flashbacks the void deep within him caused by the events from his high school days.


Isao Yukisada


Kyouichi Katayama (novel), Yûji Sakamoto (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Takao Osawa ... Sakutaro Matsumoto
Ko Shibasaki ... Ritsuko Fujimura (as Kô Shibasaki)
Masami Nagasawa ... Aki Hirose
Mirai Moriyama Mirai Moriyama ... Sakutaro Matsumoto (High School)
Tsutomu Yamazaki ... Shigezou Matsumoto
Kankurô Kudô ... Ryunosuke Ooki
Kanji Tsuda Kanji Tsuda ... Johnny
Issey Takahashi ... Ryunosuke (high school student) (as Issei Takahashi)
Rio Kanno Rio Kanno ... Ritsuko (girl)
Tetta Sugimoto Tetta Sugimoto ... Aki's Father
Katsutaka Furuhata Katsutaka Furuhata ... Johnny (high school)
Kenta Uchino Kenta Uchino ... Classmate
Aki Nishihara Aki Nishihara ... Classmate
Masaru Miyazaki Masaru Miyazaki ... Classmate
Marie Kawaguchi Marie Kawaguchi ... Classmate


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 Carrie-ko

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Did You Know?


Sekai no Chushin de, Ai wo Sakebu, a Japanese romance novel by Katayama Kyoichi, sold over 3 million copies in Japan alone. See more »


References Roman Holiday (1953) See more »


Ave Maria
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
Arranged by Charles Gounod
See more »

User Reviews

Bring a Kleenex or ten
8 April 2005 | by bherring24See all my reviews

There's no doubt about it, this one is a tear-jerker, solely designed to push the buttons as hard as it can to affect the audiences emotion. Teenage love, making past wrongs right, the death of a lover, typhoons, it's all here. And what's most amazing is that, for the most part, the movie does it. Always hovering on the edge of cliché, but never tipping over, "Crying Out Love" essentially works.

The story is told in two parts, flashing back and forwards often. One involves young Sakutaro who begins a relationship with the cute as a button Aki Hirose at a time in both of their lives when puppy love is turning into something real. The second is Sakutaro about fifteen years later, trying to come to terms with the loss of that relationship which he never quite recovered from. And his new girlfriend, Ritusko has a secret.

Without giving away too much, that first story works. And, boy, does it. It is inter-cut beautifully with older Sakutaro remembering and searching for meaning. You know exactly where it's going, but the thrill is in the journey here, and it captures the explosiveness and pain of first love and the same of young loss.

The second story, however, falls apart. After the first one ends, some loose ends are left to be connected, and they are, perfunctorily and ham-fistedly. And the actual finale, while far from ruining the film, adds nothing to the emotional power of the majority of the film.

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Japanese | English

Release Date:

8 May 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Crying Out Love in the Center of the World See more »

Filming Locations:

Kagoshima, Japan See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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