Review. Tsuugaku Tochu is about an introverted girl who has an unrequited love.
Synopsis. What if you had a crush on boy? What if you found out he has a girlfriend? What if you make a new friend? Will he support you as you navigate your feelings? This is the basis for Tsuugaku Tochu.
More Details. Tsuugaku Tochu is a 2015 Japanese film that stars Aoi Morikawa as introverted Yuki, Taishi Nakagawa as supportive friend Kou, Eiji Akaso as unrequited love Kyosuke and Izumi Fujimoto as Kyosuke’s girlfriend. Yuki is in high school and has a crush on convenience store clerk Kyosuke. She goes to the store every day and buys the same thing just to interact with Kyosuke. When Yuki learns Kyosuke has a girlfriend, she is embarrassed. Even worse, Kyosuke’s girlfriend realizes that Yuki likes her boyfriend, and isn’t excited about it. Yuki is also drawn to fellow art club member Kou and they become friends. Little does Yuki know, Kou as feelings for her. Will Yuki express her feelings for Kyosuke? Will he return them? Will his girlfriend get jealous? Will Yuki get support from Kou as she sorts this out?
What I liked about Tsuugaku Tochu:
Sweet Story. This was one of the quietest films I’ve ever watched. The tenor of this film was gentle based in a story from the novelist Miyu and brought to film by screenwriter Juri Takeda. There are two films in this Commuting to School series – Tsuugaku Tochu and Tsuugaku Densha. Tsuugaku Tochu is a high school romance, sweet and light. The story did have a backbone of finding yourself, expressing yourself, and pursuing what you want.
Aoi Morikawa as introverted Yuki. She was quiet with a sweetness to her. She gamely tried to befriend Kyosuke but his girlfriend was like a defender blocking every attempt Yuki made. Yuki also became friends with fellow artist Kou, handsome and gentle, who lived alone while his parent finalized their divorce. Aoi Morikawa brought Yuki to life so that she wasn’t sickly sweet, insipid, or annoying. Instead Aoi Morikawa made me want to take the journey with Yuki as she explored love and friendship for the first time.
Taishi Nakagawa as supportive artist Kou. In art club he sat next to Yuki and this provided the springboard for a deeper friendship. Kou was surprised when Yuki came to his house (to return a paint brush he’d dropped) and ran with the opportunity to become more than art club acquaintances. Taishi Nakagawa made Kou supportive but not wimpy. He cared for Yuki, he went to bat for Yuki, but he let her decide her own feelings for him. Taishi Nakagawa radiated patience and kindness, catnip to any high school girl.
Eiji Akaso as unrequited love Kyosuke. He was nice to Yuki and did not lead her to believe that he was interested. Eiji Akaso gave Kyosuke the air of a kind guy that loved his girlfriend but did not want to be unkind to Yuki, who obviously liked him.
Izumi Fujimoto as Kyosuke’s girlfriend. She knew right away that Yuki liked her boyfriend and was upfront with her displeasure. She had an evolution from jealous girlfriend, to
semi-mean girl, to sorry for her actions friend. Izumi Fujimoto was the most an experienced actress of the foursome, and it showed.
What I did not like about Tsuugaku Tochu:
High School Characters. The age, the innocence, drove the soft nature of this film. After seeing Tsuugaku Tochu I would not likely watch Tsuugaku Densha. This high school aged female character did not participate in a kiss (not a surprise). The ending was predictable.
Tsuugaku Tochu was a quiet film. This high school romance had a gentleness and offered some interesting moments.