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Spirited Away to a Romance From the Past
 
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Spirited Away to a Romance From the Past
Spirited Away to a Romance From the Past
Region:
Format:
NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1/2.0
Cast: Osawa Takao, Shibasaki Kou, Sugimoto Tetta
Release Year: 2004
Subtitle: English, Korean
Language: Japanese
Duration: 138 Minutes
Rating: 15


The story, by Yukisada and scriptwriters Yuji Sakamoto and Chihiro Ito, glides smoothly between the present and 1986, when the main events unfold. Sakutaro (Osawa), a businessman in his early 30s, is living on autopilot, in a slow, downward spiral -- until his fiancee, Ritsuko (Shibasaki) ups and leaves him. The reason: an old cassette tape that prompts disturbing memories -- and a trip to their source, the town in Shikoku where she and Sakutaro (boyhood nickname: "Saku") grew up. Following after her, he begins to reminisce about his youth -- and his love for a girl named Aki.

Switch to the summer of 1986, when Saku (Mirai Moriyama) and Aki (Masami Nagasawa) are second-year high-school students. Tall, athletic and vivacious, Aki is the very picture of a kenko bijin (healthy beauty) -- and hopelessly out of reach for the all-too-average Saku. But Aki takes an interest in him (his clunker of a motor scooter is a draw), and Saku is soon in her thrall, though he would rather die than show it. They begin hanging out together, sending requests to an all-night radio show and listing their likes and dislikes (Aki, predictably, is a fan of "Roman Holiday," Saku of "Enter the Dragon.") Then they start exchanging audio diaries on cassette tape and become something more than pals. The culmination is a romantic (if chaste) night on an uninhabited island -- and the revelation that Aki is desperately ill.

Saku, once just a moonstruck teenage boy hoping to get lucky, realizes that Aki needs him and that he will be there for her, no matter what. But he fails to fulfill her last request -- and 17 years later is still agonizing about what might have been.

 

Rental Price: $2.99

 

 

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