Director: Ogigami Naoko

Released in 2012

Sayoko (Ichikawa Mikako) is a bit of a manic pixie dream girl, but thankfully, there is no tight-arsed male whose world she has to upend or soul she has to save in her adorably quirky way. She does hope for a man though. She wishes to marry and honeymoon in Hawaii, but her loneliness doesn’t take the film down the rom-com route that I expected it to. Instead, what we get is an exploration of the various ways people can feel alone and isolated. Is the cure a cat? Sayoko’s many cats help to plug the hole of loneliness in her life and the lives of those who rent them. But, as the film shows, a cat isn’t a miracle cure, but then again, neither is a man or a dream vacation.


Miss You Already_BD_boxDirector: Ogigami Naoko

Released in 2017.

Tomo (Kakihara Rinka) is neglected by her mother, Hiromi (Mimura), and is often abandoned when Hiromi hooks up with a new lover. When this happens, Tomo goes to live with her uncle, Makio (Kiritani Kenta). The next time this happens, Makio tells Tomo that he has a live-in partner, a transwoman called Rinko (Ikuta Toma). As it turns out, Rinko is just what Tomo needs, offering her the love and tenderness Tomo has never experienced with her own mother.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Although it’s idealistic in parts, it’s also realistic in others. I guess the idealistic situations show what could be and that appealed to me because what a bore to only show doom and gloom. Also, happily for a very few, the idealism is real. There are kind, loving and generous people in this world, and it gives me hope to think of them sometimes.

The ending of this film is perfect in balancing what is true with what is desired. At least there is the promise of hope and comfort even if pain is bound to happen.