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Different shades of love in Eigasai

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:30 AM July 05, 2018

“Of Love & Law”

The films being fielded for the 21st edition of the Japanese Film Festival, widely known in the Philippines as Eigasai, are as varied as the colors of the sakura.

The festival’s light shade of pink is provided by the inclusion of Toda Hikaru’s “Of Love & Law.” It’s a film that shines the light on the difficulties facing gay couples like Minami Kazuyuki and Yoshida Masafumi in a country where 98.5 percent of the population is made up of ethnic Japanese.


Kazu and Fumi are openly gay lawyers who run a small firm in Osaka. As they defend the rights of the “marginalized,” who are denied social recognition and legal representation, they can’t help but wish for more “normalcy” in—and protection for—
their 15-year union.

One day, Fumi and Kazu find themselves in a peculiar situation when the latter becomes an “instant dad,” after he is declared the legal guardian of Kazuma, an orphan whose care home has just closed shop!


The production sometimes lacks the urgency that makes most domestic dramas binge-worthy, but it has something other films with similar thematic dilemmas can’t claim—it’s a true story!

Furusawa Takeshi’s rollicking supernatural rom-com, “ReLIFE,” teaches viewers a thing or two about the importance of taking responsibility for your actions and seizing control of your life.

Nakagawa Taishi (left) and Taira Yuna in “ReLIFE”

It basks in the reinvigorating power of its inspiring message as it follows the eye-opening “misadventures” of 27-year-old Arata Kaizaki (Nakagawa Taishi) three months after a tragic event at his office prompts him to quit his thankless job.

Mysterious Yoake Ryo (Chiba Yudae) gives Kaizaki a rare shot at redemption when he urges the latter to participate in a “social reintegration” experiment.

Kaizaki takes a drug that makes him look 10 years younger and lives the life of a high school student for a year. He then realizes that having a lot of friends or getting good grades isn’t life’s only measure of success.

His unique “coming-of-age” story takes a fascinating turn when he falls in love with the shy but friendless Chizuru Hishiro (Taira Yuna), who tries hard but doesn’t quite live up to her classmates’ unrealistic expectations of her.

Will Chizuru still be by Kaizaki’s side after his “mission” ends?


Love takes a May-September twist in Shinjo Takehiko’s “Daytime Shooting Star.” The engaging rom-com is about transfer student Yosano Suzume (Nagano Mei) who gets stuck in a romantic dilemma when she finds herself attracted to her homeroom teacher, Satsuki Shishio (Miura Shohei).

Nagano Mei (left) in “Daytime Shooting Star”

The duo’s budding romance isn’t just made more complicated by the inappropriateness of their situation, however. Suzume soon finds herself torn between Shishio and her handsome but gynephobic classmate, Daiki Mamura (Filipino-Japanese J-pop star Alan Shirahama).

In Hanabusa Tsutomu’s “Tori Girl,” there’s a different romantic tension fueling the cat-and-mouse relationship of freshman Toriyama Yukina (Tsuchiya Tao) and the brilliant but stubborn senior Taishi Sakaba (Mamiya Shotaro).

The perpetually feuding students are forced to grudgingly work with each other to win a flying contest, especially after Sakaba’s perennial partner, Kei Takahashi (Takasugi Mahiro), gets injured during a test run.

Sakaba and Yukina then discover that there’s more to their partnership than the contentious issues they always quarrel about. But, are they better off as lovers or partners?

The films of Eigasai 2018 are being screened at Greenbelt 1 until Sunday.

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TAGS: Eigasai, Gay, Japan, Of Love & Law
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