Dramas and MoviesJ-Movies

Japanese Movies: The Value of Time

Every time my digital watch shows this time combination, I feel like celebrating my birthday. 3:06 –> June 3rd, but I’m not an American so I see it as 3 June ^^

Considering how long the reviews I wrote for the previous dramas and movies are (but I cannot help it T_T), I’ll try to keep it short this time, so I’ll just review several movies under the same theme. This time it is about “time”: why it’s precious and why we should value and appreciate the moment. Yeah, I know we all know that it’s because time cannot be returned/rewound, but, well, let’s see how it’s depicted differently in these movies.

  1. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (君の膵臓をたべたい: Kimi no suizou wo tabetai)

It tells us a story about a girl who’s diagnosed with a disease and told that she’s only got little time left to live. I don’t remember exactly how long, maybe one month. But that’s beside the point. The point is that this girl tried to do what she liked and did things that she wanted to do before her time came, and in doing so she asked for a friend’s help. The irony? She died before her predicted time, but NOT because of her disease, but because she was stabbed by a criminal.

I think this reminds us to value the present and each moment. Often times, we value the time with someone knowing how little time they have left to live, knowing when they’ll die, but we often forget that everyone can die any time at any moment and by any means. That’s why we have to live the moment to the fullest. I might see this movie differently because most people reviewing this movie talking about the “something looking like a romance” in this movie, with the personality of each character, but I think this point about time cannot be disregarded either. But anyway, another thing we can learn from this movie: We can always help to brighten someone else’s life and make their life more meaningful 😊

  1. 100th Love with You ( 君と100回目の恋: Kimi to 100 Kaime no Koi)

Initially I decided to watch this movie because Sakaguchi Kentaro starred in it, (I mean, I love him!), but then I end up loving the movie-and the songs along with the singer (Miwa is awesome!). Anyway, this song tells a story about a guy who can go back to the past through a vinyl record (?). However, he girl that she liked then died of an accident. He decided to go back to the past many times to prevent it from happening, to prevent the girl from dying. But no matter how many times he went back and tried to change it, the girl always died at the end. He could change and prevent everything else except that one thing only; he could never change it.

I happen to have a glass with this writing, so maybe it can match the theme here 😀

Why I like it? Well, many things happened when he was going back to the past. For instance, he went back many times to buy time as he was trying to study the theory of relativity, in attempts to understand how the concept of time worked hoping he could prevent the girl that he loved from dying. But in doing so, he got too engrossed with his study as he was desperate to save the girl. However, this made the girl feel neglected as he barely had time for her. They actually loved each other but somehow couldn’t get their feelings across. Fortunately (what I learn from and love about this movie), he finally came to learn and realize that what’s important was the present. If she was to die, then he’d better make good and happy memories with her, making her feel loved and happy. And that’s finally what he did.

This part really struck me because I think many of us think so much about “creating the future” that in doing so “we’re neglecting the present.”  For example, some parents work hard thinking they’re working for a better future for their child, but in doing so they barely have time for them and even get negatively emotional when the kid demands for their time, love, and attention, making the kid feel ignored, neglected, unloved. And this is bad. I think this movie teaches us, somehow, that even if we want to “change the future”, we should not neglect the present. Working hard for a better future is good, but cherishing the present moment is also a must. We live in the present, in the moment, neither in the past nor in the future. What’s the use of working for a future when we neglect the present? There’s a possibility that we won’t be in that future; but we are in this moment, so we should cherish it. And that’s what I learn from this movie.

  1. ReLife

This movie is not really about time or time traveling per se. In fact, this movie actually doesn’t make sense. Still, there’s something to learn. This movie tells about an adult whose life was a mess. He felt like a failure, jobless, and such. Then he was given the opportunity to relive his life as a high schooler for a year. He was given a medicine that made his body younger for that purpose. And after a year, if he succeeded and found some changes for his life, he would go back to his old body with everyone’s memory erased so they wouldn’t remember him while he was going back to being a high schooler. See? It doesn’t make sense to me. Like, how do they get everyone’s memory erased? What about the people who knew the guy? Didn’t they try to reach out to him while he was living a life as a high schooler for a year? And I have a lot of questions, but well, I’m not really someone who problematizes such things in a movie. It’s a fiction, anyway; it doesn’t have to always make sense. What’s important for me is the story and how it flows.

Me in Flagstaff, AZ. Dec 29, 2015.

So why would I recommend this movie? That’s because while the guy was reliving his life as a high schooler, not only did he help solve his friends’ problems but he also gradually found a purpose in his life. He came to value his life more and found his life and himself to be of a value more than before. He decided not to give up. He felt brand new. Hence, I think this movie can help us see life from different perspectives. Sometimes we can’t help feeling so miserable and are blinded because we’re so engrossed with the problems we have thinking there’s no other way to make it better. We feel hopeless; we feel powerless. But maybe we need to stay away from it for a while and see it from a different point of view. We can also see that everyone has a problem and sometimes their problem is way worse than ours. And this can help us realize that we can still do something about our life. It’s like when we’re buried in a dark room in a house. We think it’s the darkest, there’s no light and there’s no way out at all because we only stay in that one dark room. But if only we go out of that room and that house for a while, we might see other houses that are darker; we might also see a light flicker somewhere or a way out from that room or house of ours. I’m not sure if I make myself clear, but I think that’s what I learn from this movie. (PS: I re-watched some fragmented clips of this movie and just remembered that this movie is also “funny” or entertaining. But that’s not really surprising. As I’ve said before, Japan is really good at this 😊)

  1. Orange

This Japanese movie is not about time travel either, and maybe it’s kinda weird and impossible. It tells a story of two guys (a girl and a boy) who sent letters to their past selves hoping they would prevent a certain friend from committing suicide. But let’s not problematize how the letters reached their past selves and how any change they made in the past would lead to another parallel universe or alternate reality. This movie, I think, teaches us that we must always convince someone that they are loved. We might be a mere friend, but we can always be a reason for someone to continue living and think that they are precious, that they are not alone, and that their life is worthy. (Gosh, I’m really proud of myself for keeping the review of the fourth movie this short. LoL)

5. Tomorrow I will Date the Yesterday’s You

If you plan to watch this movie, I’d suggest you not to read any spoiler about this movie (So, please skip to the last paragraph). I’m listing this movie here just because the depiction of the time is kinda mind-blowing here. I love seeing something that I had never thought before, and this movie really gave me that impression. I was really in awe thinking, “How did they come up with this idea of time? How did they think of something like this?” It’s just amazing. It had never crossed my mind before. So, well, the spoilers: Long story short, it tells a romantic story of a girl and a guy, but their time goes on the opposite direction and dimension. The guy’s time moves towards the future, i.e. as he moves into the future, he gets older.  The girl’s time, however, moves in the reverse direction, i.e. she goes into “the guy’s past.” Well, how should I explain it? Haha So, when the girl was a little, he ran into this guy who saved her. And when the guy was a little, there was this woman who saved him. The girl and the woman were the same person, and so was the guy. Confused, already? That’s why you have to watch the movie yourself 😀 But to make it clearer (or more confusing? 😜✌🙈), when the woman saved the guy when he was a little, the woman has already had the memory of the little guy as an adult, i.e. as that grown-up man who saved her when she was a little. But the guy, of course, had no memory of her because he was still a little and his time moves in the opposite direction of the girl’s. In short, the guy’s yesterday is the girl’s tomorrow. The girl’s yesterday is the guy’s tomorrow. The guy’s past is the girl’s future, the girl’s past is the guy’s future. When the girl is old, the guy is young; when the guy is old, the girl is young. But this story tells about the time when their timeline crosses, in which they both are young. What happens in the guy’s future is actually of the girl’s memory. What happens in the guy’s past is actually the girl’s future experience. Confusing? Well, their first meeting for the girl is actually their last meeting for the guy. Their first meeting for the guy is actually their last meeting for the girl.  But, okay, I give up. This might be the hardest movie to describe. LoL But I’ll recommend it just because it’s kinda out of the box 🙂

6. Before the Coffee Gets Cold

I watched this only recently. I cannot say much about this movie. But, well, did I cry? Yes. I mean, I’m such a crybaby. Haha But I love some messages they’re trying to convey. You can travel to the past and to the future. “Nothing will change, but your heart will,” that’s what this movie is approximately about. Well, because at the end, you can only change the “present” ^^ But, well, if time machine did exist, I’m not sure if I want to travel either to the past or to the future. I guess I’m way too cowardly for that. And, perhaps, it’s the mystery that makes it exciting. It’s the fact that we don’t know how things will turn out that we keep doing our best and try our hardest, no? (PS: I watched this movie for Kentaro Ito. I initially found out about this movie in Twitter).

Well, I think that’s all for this time. I really love movies (or stories in general) about time or time really affects how a story is presented: Kimi no nawa (It’s an anime; it’s mind-blowing!), Initiation Love (Never browse for spoilers before watching this one!), Memento (it’s not a Japanese movie, though), Interstellar, etc. Time traveling is really an intriguing topic. The concept of time never fails to fascinate me. I think time is the greatest mystery.

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