Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats / Fukubuku no Bukuchan / 福福荘の福ちゃん
One of the pleasures of Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats is watching some of Japan’s best comic actors. Miyuki Oshima (doing a fine genderfuck as the titular character), Asato Iida, Tateto Serizawa, Toshiyuki Kitami and the great Kanji Furitachi work hard, bringing out the best from the slim material they have to work with and the flat gag fillers that give them a chance to stretch a bit, but add little to the plot. This romantic comedy seems to come to roadblock after roadblock on its way to its flabby and unfulfilling ending. The story of the fat, unrequited kid, now grown up having a second chance with the love of his life is at the heart of Fuku-chan of Fukufuku Flats. There’s a bit of cheap clichéd flashback psychology to describe his current state, but despite that, Oshima inhabits Fuku-chan wholly, giving him heft and heart. She’s one of a great cast of characters that give the film a bit of well-earned sentimentality and feeling – despite the obstacles from writer and director Yosuke Fujita.
Originally published in EL Magazine, November 2014.