3 user 46 critic

Asako I & II (2018)

Netemo sametemo (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 1 September 2018 (Japan)
Asako lives in Osaka. She falls in love with Baku, a free-spirit. One day, Baku suddenly disappears. Two years later, Asako now lives in Tokyo and meets Ryohei. He looks just like Baku, but has a completely different personality.


Ryûsuke Hamaguchi


Tomoka Shibasaki (based on the novel by), Sachiko Tanaka (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Happy Hour (2015)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Four women. All in their 30s. Three married, one divorcee. They are able to tell each other anything. Or at least they thought. One day, after losing in divorce court, one of them gives up ... See full summary »

Director: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Stars: Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A story of violent love within a time frame spanning from 2001 to 2017.

Director: Zhangke Jia
Stars: Tao Zhao, Fan Liao, Yi'nan Diao
Passion I (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.6/10 X  

A young couple announces their wedding at a party with friends. The reactions of the latter reveal hitherto unexpressed sentimental flaws within the group. The following days, the tension rises to the surface.

Director: Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Stars: Aoba Kawai, Nao Okabe, Ryuta Okamoto
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Shô Miyake
Stars: Tasuku Emoto, Shizuka Ishibashi, Shôta Sometani
Grass (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In a small Café, Min-hee Kim plays a guest who prefers to observe but not interact with the other guests herself.

Director: Sang-soo Hong
Stars: Min-hee Kim, Joobong Kee, Jae-hong Ahn
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man went back to Guizhou, found the tracks of a mysterious woman. He recalls the summer he spent with her twenty years ago.

Director: Gan Bi
Stars: Wei Tang, Jue Huang, Sylvia Chang
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Nothing but silence. Nothing but a revolutionary song. A story in five chapters like the five fingers of a hand.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Luc Godard, Dimitri Basil, Anne-Marie Miéville
Leto (2018)
Biography | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A love triangle emerges around a rock and roll musician, his protege and his wife in 1980s Russia.

Director: Kirill Serebrennikov
Stars: Teo Yoo, Irina Starshenbaum, Roman Bilyk
Shoplifters (2018)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A family of small-time crooks take in a child they find outside in the cold.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Stars: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Kirin Kiki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

It is the dead of winter and a poet invites his sons to join him at a hotel for a reunion. The hotel also hosts a newly single woman who has a friend keep her company and with whom she ... See full summary »

Director: Sang-soo Hong
Stars: Ju-bong Gi, Min-hee Kim, Hae-hyo Kwon
3 Faces (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three actresses at different stages of their career. One from before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, one popular star of today known throughout the country and a young girl longing to attend a drama conservatory.

Director: Jafar Panahi
Stars: Behnaz Jafari, Jafar Panahi, Marziyeh Rezaei
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A lonely construction worker from China goes missing at a Singapore land reclamation site, and a sleepless police investigator must put himself in the mind of the migrant to uncover the truth beneath all that sand.

Director: Siew Hua Yeo
Stars: Peter Yu, Xiaoyi Liu, Yue Guo


Credited cast:
Masahiro Higashide ... Baku / Ryôhei
Erika Karata Erika Karata ... Asako
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sairi Itô Sairi Itô ... Haruyo
Kôji Nakamoto Kôji Nakamoto ... Hirakawa
Kôji Seto Kôji Seto ... Kushihashi
Misako Tanaka Misako Tanaka ... Eiko
Daichi Watanabe Daichi Watanabe ... Okazaki
Rio Yamashita Rio Yamashita ... Maya


Asako is a 21-year-old woman, living in Osaka. She falls in love with Baku who has a free spirit. One day, Baku suddenly disappears. Two years later, Asako now lives in Tokyo and she meets Ryohei. He looks just like her ex-boyfriend Baku, but he has a completely different personality. Ryohei is a salaryman, with a sincere personality. Asako falls in love with Ryohei. Written by https://mydramalist.com/24712-sleeping-or-waking

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »



Japan | France



Release Date:

1 September 2018 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Sleeping or Waking See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$12,013, 13 June 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The chirography of the film title for Taiwan poster is written by popular Taiwanese singer / song writerCheer Chen See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

an auspicious discovery of a new Japanese auteur in the vein of Hirokazu Koreeda and Naomi Kawase
5 April 2019 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Emergent Japanese filmmaker Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, after his international breakthrough HAPPY HOUR (2015), is welcomed to Cannes' main competition for its follow up ASAKO I & II, an adaptation of Tomoka Shibasaki's 2010 novel.

The story traces a threadbare template of a young woman Asako's (newcomer Karata in her first film) internal struggle between two men Bako and Ryohei (both played by Higashide), who look just like each other but equipped with polarized personalities. After a prologue setting in Osaka, delineates the evanescent passion between Asako and Bako, the meat of the story relocates Asako to Tokyo, two years after Bako vanishes from her life apropos of nothing, she works in a coffee shop and bumps into Ryohei, a sake company salaryman with an uncanny resemblance of Bako, only, Ryohei turns out to be a gregarious, straight-arrow type that is nothing similar to Bako's enigmatic, ethereal insouciance.

Initially shocked to her core, Asako is gradually won over by many virtues Ryohei exhibits and after a tentative consent of his courtship, their wavering commitment is significantly cemented by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, 6 years later, the present day, they are still together and Asako truly grows into a deeper affection to Ryohei, but a reunion with Hayuro (Itô), her best friend in Osaka, augurs the ineluctable re-entry of Bako, now a celebrated heartthrob, into her life, just after she comes clean her relationship with Bako to Ryohei (who confesses that he has divined a thing or two in the past years) and gallantly waves adieu to that seemingly closed chapter in the life, when the crunch comes, her impulsive reaction betrays the complexity of her id, after a dreamlike nocturnal driving on the highway with her knight in shining armor, she comes to a sudden awakening, and has a daunting job to win over Ryohei's heart again, or maybe not, Hamaguchi imbues a realistic spin in their final shot, both looking right into the camera to their indeterminate future.

Conceptually and thematically evoking Ozon's DOUBLE LOVER (2017), plus as its English title reveals, ASAKO I & II, Hamaguchi's conceit actually zooms in on Asako's dual oscillation (the idealized versus the realistic version of her affection) rather than on his literally doubled male protagonists, but through Karata's passive gaze, quiet performance and greenness, that oscillation is all to well buried underneath whereas Higashide lights up the screen with his compassionate incarnation of an ultimate good guy unfairly taking the short end of the stick in their lopsided relationship, thus the twofold revelations come off as a shade over-dramatic albeit Hamaguchi proves to be a superlative raconteur, it is not an easy job to weave a banal love triangle into an organic entity of compelling watching, and somehow, he manages that with great distinction, especially by conducting a tooth-comb of the narrative arc through supporting characters.

Apart from his gazing-at-the-lens MO (Asako, first meets Bako, then with Royhei in two Shigeo Gocho's SELF AND OTHERS exhibitions, tacitly carries off the parallels), Hamaguchi also struts his stuff with an aptitude with lights and scenic composition, betokened by the gradation of sunlight shadowing the rain-dappled field in the aerial shot near the end. All in all, ASAKO I & II is an auspicious discovery of a new Japanese auteur in the vein of Hirokazu Koreeda and Naomi Kawase, that is something every cineaste should extol!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed