Sono machi no kodomo / その街のこども / This Town’s Children
Milking a little more out of the popular 2010 NHK drama, Sono machi no kodomo (the movie version) edits and distills the original TV footage into feature length. Like Before Sunrise, the story follows a couple of 20 somethings over a long night. In this case, though there is much less of the slacker romance and chemistry of Before Sunrise and a much more didactic dealing with the trauma of the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake. Yuji (Moriyama Mirai) meets cute with Mika (Sato Eriko) at the Sannomiya Station in Kobe. They wander the streets of Kobe talking of life and their respective childhood traumas. The night leads into the day of the 15th anniversary of earthquake. Yuji moves on and Mika goes to the big public memorial. Moriyama and Sato give their best – Moriyama himself having witnessed the earthquake’s destruction of Kobe as a child. They develop an easygoing natural feeling relationship, but the endless talk they are burdened with by screenwriter Watanabe Aya makes the getting there a bit of a slog.
Originally published in EL Magazine, January 2011