Adrift in Tokyo (2007) Poster

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I wanted to walk with them for a while longer
ethSin28 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Tenten" (roughly translates to "rapidly changing" or "moving from here to there") is a road movie about a law student with over $8000 in debt being dragged into a long walk around Tokyo with a loan shark for a chance to clear his debt. Destination: Police station in Kasumigaseki. The film provides comedy and drama, as well as various scenes of Tokyo, which has the characteristic of rapidly changing scenery (thus the title).

Official website for this film is named "" ("stroll around Tokyo"), and that's exactly what they do for majority of this movie. On the way, they encounter many strange people and events (most occur in real life Tokyo, though severely exaggerated for comedy).

This is my 7th film starring Odagiri Joe, and he's just such a versatile and talented actor who you can always count on. He doesn't have strikingly good looks, but his acting is just so good that I can really connect with his character almost every single time. Miura Tomokazu, who plays the loan shark also acted very well in his usual scary/powerful role.

It was a really funny comedy film, but what I really loved was how well the characters developed. I can literally feel those two main characters bonding. Although Odagiri's character really hated this idea of going out on a walk with his enemy at first, he slowly became interested in this loan shark, and didn't want this walk to ever end. This was such a well-made film that it made me feel the same way. I especially loved that roller-coaster scene near the end, where Odagiri's character began to see the loan shark as a father figure and others in the make-believe family as the family he never had. It was just so touching, and I was so connected with the main character at this point that tears started to well up in my eyes too. I just can't stress enough how good an actor Odagiri is, and this was a perfect film for him. No one can act the average joe roles better than Odagiri Joe.

Unlikely (and disturbingly simple) plot for movie, family bonding, journey, discovering self-identity, countless cameo... it has almost everything I love seeing in movies. Even if you're not into all these things, I can guarantee watching this film is a time well spent.
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Charming, at times surreal, and often very touching
howard.schumann24 May 2009
After a burly debt collector, Aiichiro Fukuhara (Tomokazu Miura) rams a sock down the throat of a college student while telling him that he has to pay his debt of 840,000 yen in three days or else, the last thing you expect from Satoshi Miki's Adrift in Tokyo is an offbeat and very funny comedy. Yet, in this 2007 film now getting its first release, Miki manages to pull it off and does so with considerable aplomb. A charming, at times surreal, and often very touching film, Adrift in Tokyo provides the viewer with a rare glimpse of some of the lovely back streets, shops, and shrines of Tokyo that tourists never see while creating characters that are believable and have the capacity for growth.

Abandoned by his natural parents when he was three years old, Fumiya Takemura (Jo Odagiri) is now in his eighth year of school and presumably is studying law, yet he seems to lack ambition and has no plans for the future. Miki does not tell us how he managed to amass a debt of almost $9,000 in U.S. funds but gambling is suspected since student loans are not usually collected with sock in mouth. Surprisingly, a restrained Fukuhara, who is holding Fumiya's ID and Driver's License as collateral, returns a few days later with a proposition. He will give the young man one million yen if he will walk with him across Tokyo to the Kasumigaseki district of Tokyo.

Telling him that the walk could take a few days or even a month, Fumiya does not know what to think about the offer, but not having a great many other options, he shows up the next day at the appointed place to begin their walk. Later Fumiya learns that the debt collector is planning to turn himself in to the police for the murder of his wife (which he claims was accidental) and is choosing Kasumigaseki because their police station is the best. As they begin their walk, they also begin talking and sharing their past and each character is revealed to be surprisingly sensitive and vulnerable. Meeting some bizarre characters along the way, Fukuhara revisits some of the places he visited with his wife in better days, a Shinto shrine, a favorite desert café, and a bus ride on Sunday night which he calls "the loneliest bus ride in the world." Fumiya also begins to share his thoughts and feelings, especially his loneliness in not sharing typical family outings such as going to the zoo or riding on a roller coaster. The two visit the site of his family home which is now a vacant lot and Fumiya recalls incidents from his school days like his first kiss, trying to pass off an ordinary polo shirt as a designer gift, and being paid a "fee" by a married woman for an affair that never quite came off. One of the funniest subplots involves three fellow workers of Fukuhara's wife and their half hearted attempt to find out why she has been absent from work. When they go to her house to see what has happened to her, they are caught in the middle of a film shoot and are recruited to join the cast as extras.

The final act introduces more odd characters such as Fukuhara's friend Makiko (Kyoko Koizumi) and her very strange niece Fufumi (Yuriko Yoshitaka) who is addicted to mayonnaise. Fukuhara pretends that Fumiya is his son and the warmth of the family provides a sharp contrast to Fumiya's life of isolation. Adrift in Tokyo is about small things – sharing, making connections with the world around us, simply walking and talking. Reinforced by the music of Maurice Ravel, especially Ravel's haunting Pavane pour une Infant défunte, both characters grow in ways that did not seem possible at the beginning of the film. Fumiya begins to express more emotion, and Fukuhara, in an understated way, provides emotional strength for the younger man, reminding us that happiness can often lie in moments of simple pleasure.
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Bonding between two men in japan, in a father and son like relationship
KineticSeoul18 April 2011
This is basically a bonding film with two guys, where they build a relationship by going from point A to point B. And for the most part it's a fascinating and intriguing journey that has a lot of reference to Japanese culture and entertainment. The plot revolves around a guy that is in debt and gets in trouble with the debt collector. Later the debt collector gives him a solution to the problem, by going on a walk with him to a specific destination he would give him a lot of money. The main reason that interested me on the journey was the question why the debt collector would choose that man to go on a walk with him. I really liked the style and direction of this movie, especially with it's awkward scenarios and awkward humor in this. It pretty much was a engaging movie all the way through, mainly because of the direction of it all. To anyone who enjoys watching Japanese style and humor while going from point A to point B without it being dull, should check this movie out.

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Satoshi Miki hits one out of the park
sitenoise13 March 2009
"In my 8th college year, buying 3-color toothpaste I thought could spare me from my rock bottom situation." Those are the first words of the film as spoken by Fumiya (Jô Odagiri) just before debt collector Fukuhara (Tomokazu Miura) bursts into his apartment, removing his shoes at the front door as is Japanese custom, and roughs him up. The next day the debt collector offers Fumiya an opportunity to erase his debt: walk with him around Tokyo. What we get is a road movie, a very funny road movie, where the unlikely duo walk instead of drive. There's eventual male bonding, marvelous footage of Tokyo, and a smörgåsbord of odd characters and situations along the way.

Writer/Director Satoshi Miki has a stable of comedic actors who work with him often and who fill out this film playing the side characters. They remind me of the North American group that came out of Second City Television we now associate with Christopher Guest movies. They share that sense of humor too, where each of the characters seem to exist in their own orbit but since they all do, they get along fine. Dialog is somewhere between non sequiturs and honest answers when you don't anticipate them. And it's all about timing and delivery. Funny people.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the hairstyles of the two main characters. Jô Odagiri, famous Average Joe Japanese actor, sports a Dylanesque-fro, while famous Big Bad Guy actor Tomokazu Miura's cut seems to suffer from some sort of mullet imbalance. They're an odd pair perfectly suited to this low-key oddball comedy.

A thrill for me is the appearance of Yuriko Yoshitaka as Fufumi, the niece of the debt collector's fake wife. She co-starred, at age seventeen, in one of my favorite films of all time, Noriko's Dinner Table, as the younger sister, Yuka. While that Sion Sono film was no where near a comedy, Yuriko Yoshitaka's character possessed a bit of the same surreal comportment that works for her in this film. She's tasked here with playing a loud, extremely happy, self-orientor who likes to put mayonnaise on everything, and pulls it off without being overly obnoxious. Your mileage may vary but I think she's got a bright future. She seems comfortable acting.
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somewhat obvious, but effective and moving nonetheless. luck can change.
Survive_Kino24 October 2008
Adrift in Tokyo is a heart warming comic drama about luck, a common theme in Japanese cinema, but interesting nonetheless. The film's protagonist Takemura is a law student with a debt to pay off, a debt collector named Fukuhara who visits his house and threatens him, offers him a way out, all he has to do is walk the streets with him. The untrusting relationship changes as the two learn more about each other, it has the feel of a road movie, with the friendship developing between the two men, with the underlying theme of luck shaping their futures, Fukuhara lost his child and Takemura was abandoned by his parents as a child, they end up posing as Father and son and gradually Takemura realises his luck is changing. This sentimental and somewhat obvious male-bonding plot is held aloft by hilarious secondary characters, unlikely comic scenarios and the beautiful cinematography that captures the full range of Tokyo's landscape and atmosphere. Uplifting, thought provoking and at times very amusing.
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Awesome little film
regnarghost8 April 2009
For someone who as seen his fair share off quirky\artistic comedies i engaged into this story somewhat reluctantly, and i did role my eyes at some of the intentionally oddball jokes, before i decided that i actually liked where it was going. Its not a film i laughed much at, but during the last third or so, but it left me grinning, and in a elevated state of mind. Really. Awesome little film this.

It concerns a student and debt collector of the mafia, roaming the streets of Tokeyo for three days, and their pretty much random encounters and(small)adventures. Its directed with lightly and competent hands.

Parts i really liked:

1. The electric guitar weirdo roaming the streets of Tokeyo. Awesome! Not sure why the student lost respect for him because he was polite to the cops. I though he handled that very nice.

2. The student choking at the curry (that wasn't even spicy). This is a touching feel good moment handled precisely right!

3. The two main characters.

This really reminded me why watched films to begin with.
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Two weirdos on a Tokyo walkabout.
Kvamsable15 May 2014
Does it make sense to say that a movie is predictably unpredictable? And is that a bad thing?

This is one of those movies where for some reason two guys who don't know each other go on a journey, usually against the will of one or both. In this movie, a middle aged torpedo bribes a college kid to follow him around Tokyo. Fukuhara has decided to turn himself into the police, and wants to wander the streets of his town one last time before he goes to prison. He meets hapless college kid Fumiya when he's sent to collect some debt of his. Fukuhara offers to give Fumiya the money he sorely needs in exchange for company. This all happens early, and the majority of the movie is following their walkabout.

They walk through several parts of Tokyo while embarking on random quests born out of their conversations and random curiousness. They meet a bunch of characters on their way, and their journey is filled with weird and silly situations. They go on detours, try new food, get in a fight, and for a stretch they have to pretend to be father and son. There is a lot of humor to be found, but also a good heart, and by the end Fukuhara and Fumiya are much closer to each other than they even realize. The city itself supplies a lot of charm as they move through a few of its many wards, and you really get a sense of the diversity of such a huge metropolis.

The movie progresses like you'd expect an unlikely-buddy/journey movie to. You've probably seen the "first they don't know/like each other much and 'the other guy' has weird habits but hey they've found common ground and now they're friends" thing a dozen times, but as always with movies, it's all in the delivery. The laughs are frequent and come from the weirdest places, and the way the guys bond in this is deeper and more complex than your average (american) movie, which makes it more poignant.

Perhaps my love of silliness and randomness, and my limited knowledge of Japanese culture and filmmaking makes Tenten a funnier, more unpredictable experience to me, but I'd wager anyone who sees this will find something to enjoy.
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A Unique Traveling Arrangement!
net_orders25 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Viewed on Streaming. Director Satoshi Miki's depiction of the adventures of a mobile odd couple traipsing about town. One is a killer (and, perhaps, former loan shark); the other is a deadbeat (and, perhaps, former) customer now serving as a paid traveling companion of the killer. This is an open-ended scenario that Director Miki fills with a broad spectrum of denizens--from hookers to a bratty juvenile (played by an actress much too old for the role) to a virtual/pretend wife to a recently-dead real one. Acting is good (except for the over-ripe juvenile) although character-continuity appearances are sometimes lacking from scene to scene. Subtitles are fine (perhaps in part due to sparse line readings--characters are usually rather taciturn). Cinematography (semi-wide screen, color) is fine and pleasantly mobile. Interior sets (and their lighting) are very good (all interiors seem to be filmed on-location). If you love to wander around the very-safe back streets of Tokyo (or are planning to do so on your next trip), this film will likely be of at least casual interest--it's filled with way-off-the-tourist-beaten-path places to explore/revisit. If not, skip this low-budgeted trifle. WILLIAM FLANIGAN, PhD.
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Nice little movie
mister_bateman25 May 2020
It's a charming and low-key-funny little film. I quite enjoyed it.
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One of my favorite Japanese movie
guozhong198723 September 2019
It was just a simple walk in Tokyo. But somehow it was funny, quirky and touching. You never know who you will meet in your life. Some meetings, even though short, just bring magic to your life.
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Quirky comedy similar to "Amelie"; could use some refinement
keith_n_fawn16 November 2018
Watched this movie, a comedy, with my wife on AsianCrush last night. We both really enjoyed it! The film's premise is quite odd -- a loanshark named Fukuhara offers to forgive the debt of a young man (named Fumira), if Fumira simply walks across Tokyo with him. Why is Fumira in debt, in the first place? It's never explained, and it doesn't matter. A lot in this movie is never quite explained, it just sort of happens. Just when you think you have a bead on where the story might be going (for example, did Fukuhara REALLY kill his wife, as he says?) -- a bizarre character or plot twist appears. You get the sense that maybe the director was trying to make a Japanese version of "Amelie", and it almost works. There are some items in the movie that don't quite fit, or miss their mark (Fukuhara has ominous coughing fits in the first half of the movie, but they disappear completely in the second half).... but overall, the movie is never boring or slow, and the main characters seem to have genuine chemistry between them.
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