These past few weeks saw me watching two films with a somewhat recurring theme of sorts – one which revolves the relationship between an out-of-luck father figure and his daughter who has to show a degree of independence at an early stage of her life as a consequence.

Ore wa mada honki dashitenai dake 「俺はまだ本気出してないだけ」
I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow

I first heard of this film by way of SCANDAL’s 「合わないつもりの、元気でね」 which was used in the film’s end credits. I also remembered the buzz surrounding the film’s promo done in association with a fast food chain called First Kitchen[1].  

The film is pretty much a laidback comedy centred on Daikoku Shizuo (played by Tsutsumi Shinichi[2]) a 40-something layabout single[3] dad who had quit his regular salaryman job so as to pursue his dreams. The thing is he is unsure of what his dream is, much to the annoyance of his dad (Ishibashi Renji) although his quiet teenaged daughter, Suzuko (the delectable Hashimoto Ai again) is ever so supportive. It was one fine day that it dawned on him that he should be a mangaka (artist who writes/draws comics) which, for his dad, was a right facepalm moment.

Shizuo otherwise works part time at First Kitchen while working for his debut during which time each of his works were rejected by his editor (Hamada Gaku), who humourously comes up with a convoluted explanation on why he rejected the submission at each meeting at the publishers. Also, he befriended a quiet new worker named Shuichi (Yamada Takayuki[4]) at work, who also seemed to be at a loss in deciding what he wanted to do in life. In the evenings, Shizuo would often meet up with his good friend, Osamu (the ubiquitous Namase Katsuhisa), a recently divorced salaryman, sometimes with Shuichi in tow.

I didn’t think much of the film at first glance but after watching it, I thought it was a pretty good story. I have to admit that I can somehow relate to Shizuo in his search to do something else other than bringing home the bacon as a regular salaryman. Some of the scenes appear to be recurring (I love the bits where Shizuo would have a conversation with God, as well as his younger selves – all played by Shinichi) and the comedy in this may have elicited more of a stifled laugh from me but in a good way. I was actually surprised with the choice of relatively big names as the supporting cast. This 2013 film is based on a manga of the same name, and directed by Fukuda Yuichi (nope, never seen any of his work).

To see if Shizuo achieves his dream, I recommend watching this. You’d love it.

G’mor Evian!「グッモーエビアン!」

Now, I can’t remember what made me wanna check this film out. And it wasn’t because of Ōizumi Yō’s dodgy perm[5]. Ōizumi’s Yagu is a punk rocker who is travelling around the world at the beginning of the film, during which time he sends a kangaroo postcard from Australia to his friend and ex-bandmate, Aki (Asō Kumiko). Aso’s a single mom who now works for living, eschewing her old rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, whilst bringing up her teenaged daughter, Hatsuki (Miyoshi Ayaka).

On the postcard, are the words G’mor Evian! which is Yagu’s way of saying good morning, everyone. Heh.

Much to Aki’s surprise, and to Hatsuki’s chagrin (she hates it when Yagu calls her Happy-chan because she thinks it’s embarrassing), Yagu one day turns up unannounced. Aki was of course really happy that Yagu is back from his travels and was enamoured by his stories. However, Hatsuki was never impressed with Yagu’s laidback happy-go-lucky attitude towards life and for the most part, she would give Yagu the cold shoulder although he never takse her attitude towards him to heart. Nevertheless, whenever Yagu concocts his curry dish for dinner, Hatsuki would get stuck in as it reminds her of her younger days when Yagu was around.

This 2012 film’s a family drama with a comedic slant where we also see Hatsuki’s relationship with her friend, Tomo (Nōnen Rena), as well as her homeroom teacher’s (Koike Eiko[6]) concern for Hatsuki wanting to seek employment immediately after graduating from high school. You will notice that despite Yagu’s somewhat erratic lifestyle, he cares a a lot for both Aki and Hatsuki, which raises some questions if he really is Hatsuki’s dad.

It is not until much later in the story we find out why Yagu is the way he is, and what he means for the family. Another enjoyable yarn, and do watch out for Yagu’s bandmates – the bassist is Takemura Akira from SNAIL RAMP and the drummer is MAH from SHAKALABBITS. And Tsuchiya Anna’s brief appearance as a seller at the flea market.

She hot.

[1]The fast food restaurant the protagonist was working in part time.
[2]Yup, he played ‘Demon’ Matsudaira in Princess Toyotomi, and yakuza Sakuma Makoto in the TBS drama Sērā-fuku to Kikanjū. He was pretty unrecognisable as Shizuo with that perm.
[3]No clue was given as to the whereabouts of his wife.
[5]Another recurring theme in this film post.
[6]The sultry Kimie in both seasons of Legal High.