Yutaka Takenouchi, one of my favorite actors of all time, is a ‘playboy’ in this movie. You know as a fan, I just had to watch this. I needed to see this with my own eyes.
So what is this movie about? From the synopsis, it’s rather simple. Yutaka plays Yukihiko Nishino who is popular among women. He has multiple partners, ranging from different ages, but not one of them stayed with him. He always gets dumped in the end.
Basically, this movie chronicles his romance with various women. So the mystery here is, WHY do all the women dump him? Has he got some irritating habit that turns them off? Has he got some incurable disease? Is he binbo? Another thing which I’d analyze later in the review is WHICH PAIR do I think is the best? The exciting thing about romance story like this is you get to choose from a lot of choices and that’s fun!
I do have some biases when it comes to the partners because in a glance, I already see some familiar faces which I like in the industry for example Ono Machiko, Fumino Kimura and Narumi Riko. I don’t really care about the rest to be honest. So I’m mostly looking forward to the stories between these women.
First, can we talk about how handsome Yutaka still is? I mean, he’s 44 but he doesn’t even look aged. Or rather, he ages well. There are men who just age better than others, like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. That being said, the role probably fits him well. I’d probably be flustered too by him lol.
The movie begins with Nishino eating parfait with a woman and a child. A picture perfect happy family just out for a high tea session. But you see, they’re not a family. Nishino and the woman is not married either. They’re breaking up and this is their final meeting. Feeling melancholy, Nishino then asks the woman (Megumi) why is it that he never has luck with women. All he wants is a normal marriage and have kids. Megumi then tells him it’s impossible for him. The reason being, he always gives everything the woman wants. So I guess, first reason we can get from this scene is that he’s just too kind?
Anyways, the weird part is Nishino is killed in an accident and he appears as a ghost in front of Minami (Megumi’s daughter) years later. Minami (Yurika Nakamura) has grown up to a teenage girl. She’s the only one who can see him. But Megumi’s nowhere to be found, apparently she left Minami with the husband.
Nishino and Minami went to his funeral the next day. Nishino comes from a wealthy family and Minami met one of the women who knew Nishino from a cooking class. She then begins to tell Minami about Nishino’s stories.
Ono Machiko (Manami) was first and 3 years older than him. They knew each other from work. Manami was attractive but nobody seemed to notice her. From the first conversation she had with Nishino, Manami showed passiveness and mentioned she wanted to be the frog (referring to the automated clock) instead of the princess because she didn’t want to be the center of attraction. Somehow, Nishinofound himself drawn to her, as she was to him because she probably never had anyone who interacted with her before this, the way Nishino did to her.
In the middle of it, we’re introduced to another girl, Kanoko (Honda Tsubasa). She’s obviously younger and more cheerful. She’s the typical girl who sort of clings on to you, falling in love head over heels type. She had a past with Nishino but they broke up. Kanoko however, still harbored feelings for him. Nishino on the other hand was just letting her do whatever she wants with him. When she asked him to go to the onsen with him, he just agreed without any reservation. However, when Kanoko asked whether they could patch things up and return to being together again, Nishino was adamant that it was over between them.
Kanoko however still had not given up on him and went to his house one day. At the same time, Manami came over as well so there was a brief catfight between the two when Kanoko revealed that she spent a night with Nishino at the onsen. Kanoko then left with a rage, that was the end of Kanoko’s part. Manami and Nishino began dating.
This movie really knows how to bring along characters you wouldn’t expect. For example, Nishino’s neighbours were a pair of lesbian couple, Subaru (Narumi Riko) and Tama-chan (Fumino Kimura). Totally didn’t see this coming. I was practically laughing my ass off when they were first introduced.
Things didn’t go well for Nishino with Manami. Manami decided to dump him one night even though he proposed to her. Instead Manami explained that Nishino is the type of guy who will not be loved only by one woman. The funny thing was Manami even wished Nishino would find happiness. So the breakup was not in bad terms.
Subaru would always come and goof around with Nishino. He would just fool around with her too, playfully. not intimately. Nishino obviously had no romantic intention with her (considering the fact that she was gay).
I’m probably the only one who loves this simple scene of Nishino striking a conversation with Tama-chan. Contrary to Subaru who’s the more loud and straightforward person, Tama-chan was like the polar version. She was quiet, reserved and would always look at things from afar, watching, without really approaching. So this short conversation where Nishino was trying to break the ice and got to know more of his neighbour was kinda sweet.
One night, Subaru got drunk and Tama-chan had to bring her back. Nishino was worried and waited for them downstairs. He helped Tama-chan bring Subaru up. After putting Subaru to sleep, Nishino sat around and chatted with Tama-chan. He even asked her whether she had done it with Subaru or not lol. Tama-chan brushed it off. Then, things turned slightly awkward but comfy?
Such a simple reply.
But it revealed a lot about Nishino’s characteristic and his helplessness to give women what they want. According to the housewife who was telling these stories to Minami, Nishino probably had some sort of telepathy to listen to the inner voices of women he met. Because of the nature of his kindness, he probably felt compelled to go along with whatever they wanted.
Of course, when Subaru woke up and saw them both, it didn’t end well either.Back to the present time, Minami told her mother that Nishino is around with them now, in spirit form. Nishino apparently promised to come back and see her when he died. Megumi then explained to Minami that romance and love are two different things. Even though Nishino was her first romance, she did love Minami’s father and giving birth to her was the best thing ever. With that, things come to an end and Nishino finally disappears.
Can I just take a moment to describe how much I love Yutaka’s acting in this? I think he delivered a convincing portrayal of Nishino as a person and a human being. I never once got bored of him in the movie and with different women, he acted accordingly to fit each of them. For example, with Manami, you can see that he really loved her and even asked for marriage. With slightly youthful girls like Kanoko and Subaru, he was just playing along with them like little girls. He accommodated to each of them in subtle manners. Basically, watch this if you’re a fan.
So let’s begin the pairing analysis! Which pairing do I like the most and why?
#1 Nishino + Manami
It’s a no brainer this pairing took the first spot. There was just genuine love between the two. How Nishino approached Manami was nice. The fact that Nishino even took a step further and proposed to her on the night she decided to leave, that says a lot. Age wise, I think they’re suitable as well. When they’re together, it gave a stable and adult kind of feel. Too bad they didn’t work out because they sure looked like they would.
#2 Nishino + the gay couple
This sounds so wrong on so many levels lol but I truly liked his interaction and chemistry with both Subaru and Tama-chan. He probably just looked at Subaru as a younger sister though. Subaru didn’t exactly show any romantic inclination to him either, she just liked to hang around with him. Now with Tama-chan, it was different. I’m pretty sure Nishino didn’t love Tama-chan like how he loved Manami but it was still nevertheless very sweet and gentle of him to chat with Tama-chan and able to realize what she was thinking. He was obviously just answering her feelings for him. I liked the bittersweet aftertaste between the two too at that particular scene. Now, are we to conclude that Tama-chan is a bisexual?
The BIG NO NO
I didn’t really like the pairing between Nishino and Kanoko. Kanoko’s the exact type of girl that I’d be turned off right from the get go on screen. She’s like the typical Asian dumb blonde and having Honda Tsubasa act as her, is probably fitting? (I never had expectation from her acting so far). Anyways, Kanoko is way too childish for Nishino. He’d probably be babysitting her the entire time. It’s tiring. Strong jealousy as well and it almost jeopardized Nishino’s relationship with Manami.
So basically that’s it. I felt the movie was slightly draggy at some points. The director likes to use lingering scenes too for like 10 seconds with just a landscape of the city or whatever. Normally, I won’t be annoyed with them if they actually even had any meaning to it, but in this movie, I found them particularly distracting and boring. I actually fast forwarded those lingering scenes. Other than that, I think the overall cast and plot is quite good.