Second-year high school student Aoi Aioi is an aspiring musician Aoi Aioi. Her older sister Akane's ex-boyfriend Shinnosuke Kanomura is a struggling guitarist. Aoi and Akane's parents passed away in an accident 13 years ago, and Akane gave up her ambition of going to Tokyo with Shinnosuke to take care of Aoi. Since then, Aoi has felt indebted to her older sister. One day, she is invited to perform at a music festival as a session musician by a famous enka singer named Dankichi. At the same time, Shinnosuke returns to Aoi and Akane's town after a long time away. Then, Shinno mysteriously appears— who is actually Shinnosuke from 13 years ago after traveling from the past to the present—and Aoi falls in love for the first time.
This movie surprised me. The characters felt really real, each dealing with their own regrets about decisions out of their control. Akane staying in the small town to take care of her younger sister showed incredible strength and resilience, although the decision left her with major regrets. With that however, I wish that there was more development with all the characters as a whole, maybe having the movie take place over a longer period of time could have remedied that. Not to say that the movie was lacking, but rather it could have been that much better with even more care placed into their development. My favourite scene really put into perspective Akane’s feelings as she tried to figure out how to best take care of her younger sister in their parents’ absence. Overall this movie was heartfelt look into regrets and the power we have as individuals to remedy them in our future. This movie surprised me, and I hope you’ll give it a chance to surprise you too.
I love this anime. But if shinno didn't return and shinno and aoi came together. I would very very loved it. Because of the ending of the movie I gave it 8/10. But expect ending entire movie is beautiful. I love 17 shinno and aoi. I recommend it.
Spoiler-free review: What I do mention is either shown in trailers, the premise, or vague recounts for the story that I consider to be spoiler-free. Reccomendation: Sure, give it a watch if you've got a couple hours, but not if you have any expectations. There's a reason why this never garnered any seasonal hype or attention. It's the kind of movie you watch when you're bored. What we get is a cute little melacholy film -- perfect for a lazy chilly weekend afternoon. The sound, animation, and voiceacting are all top notch. I especially like how it was directed. So where's the issue? Mostly in the writing department, which is often (probably) to blame for the lack of desire to adapt the original manga into an actual movie. It starts and ends like a movie would, but there's a whole middle chunk in there that is painfully adapted in a way that forfeits all flow the movie had going for it. The story wants to somehow tell a complicated unrequited love story where a high school girl falls for her older sister's ex-boyfriend-- who is 13 years older...but in a non-problematic way. And it wants you to cry. (You can feel the movie watching you tearducts with anticipation.) Those were the two goals. Which is a real shame because surprsingly, this could have been blockbuster hit if it utilized the fun premise it had set-up for itself! But it's not trying to be more than a cute melodrama with (mostly) colorful characters. The characters would be a 7 or 8 /10 if the adult mains recieved personalities. The writers and animators only give adult Shinno about an ounce of the characterization they give to his red-haired younger self, and Akane doesn't even get that. It's a bit awakward that we get so much (super-naturally) manufactured drama when there's a ton just sitting there un-touched. Think Lilo & Stich but this time they don't even miss their parents, or have photos of them, or memeories of them. As far as this film is concerned, those parents never existed! This is made all the more awkward when the super-natural element is left completely un-utilized - save for the sudden Miyazaki-esque sequence that takes flight in the finale. But I can still reccomend it for a bored afternoon where you can't play outside, why? Because the sound and animation is lovely and Aoi, Shinno, and Shinno's precious love for Akane have enough juice to entertain you. (The scene where he gushes about how she's even more lovely in his eyes as an adult made it worth the watch for me alone.) Although not much. And you may find yourself checking the remaining runtime a few times, as was the case for me.
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