20 October 2013

陽だまりの彼女 Hidamari no Kanojo

Title: 陽だまりの彼女 Hidamari no Kanojo
English Title:
  • Girl in the Sunny Place
  • Her Sunny Side
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2013
  • 松本潤 Matsumoto Jun
  • 上野樹里 Ueno Juri
  • 玉山鉄二 Tamayama Tetsuji
  • 菅田将暉 Suda Masaki
  • 大倉孝二 Okura Koji
  • 谷村美月 Tanimura Mitsuki
  • 北村匠海 Kitamura Takumi
  • 葵わかな Aoi Wakana
  • 小籔千豊 Koyabu Kazutoyo
  • 西田尚美 Nishida Naomi
  • 木内みどり Kiuchi Midori
  • 塩見三省 Shiomi Sansei
  • とよた真帆 Toyota Maho
  • 夏木マリ Natsuki Mari
  • 石橋杏奈 Ishibashi Anna
  • 安藤玉恵 Ando Tamae

The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice
Okuda Kosuke has a very serious disposition, and he usually takes action after taking a long deliberation. More often than not, he's often too late such as finally asking out a girl he likes when she's already getting married to someone else.

Kosuke works as a regular salaryman and he sells advertising space in train stations. When he went to a lingerie company to conduct a presentation, he falls in love at first sight with someone he meets there who seems familiar.

Watarai Mao also recognizes Kosuke because they are actually classmates in junior high school, and they were also each other's first love. Mao struggled with schoolwork when she transferred to Kosuke's school, and he helped her with her studies. However, Kosuke's family moved away and they grew apart.

Kosuke and Mao continued their friendship when they met again as adults, as they worked together for a project. Love was also rekindled so they started dating, and they eventually got married.

However, Mao is keeping a secret, and she hasn't been honest with Kosuke even after marrying him...

Hidamari no Kanojo is about two people who fell in love when they were in junior high school, but then they grew apart only to get reacquainted again after ten years where they rekindled their romance. Although it seems that everything is going well in their relationship, Watarai Mao has been keeping a secret from Okada Kosuke, and she's still hiding it from him even after they had gotten married.

The film is gorgeous to watch, and its dreamy atmosphere is supported by the romantic and bright lighting. The characters seem to bask in sunlight, particularly the lead female character Mao, which is why it's title is literally Her Sunny Side when translated in English.

Anyway, I am the kind of person who hate surprises, and I'd rather know the outcome before I start something because I don't like being blindsided, so I made sure to research on the movie's source material during its promotions. Which means, I already know Mao's secret before I watched Hidamari no Kanojo, and I really need to discuss it in the next few paragraphs so if you haven't watched it yet and you'd rather not be spoiled, it's best to stop reading at this point.

Kosuke and Mao's history go way back than junior high school; apparently they first met each other when Kosuke was in elementary school and Mao was a cat. Yes, she was a cat who fell in love with Kosuke and she desperately wished to become human so she could be with him.

I'm surprised how accepting Kosuke is about Mao's real form when he finds out the truth, because I would have assumed that he'd freak out more and I wouldn't blame him if he reacts that way. Kosuke doesn't seem bothered because according to him, Mao is Mao. He loves her just as she is and he accepts her just as she is, it's as simple as that.

Kosuke and Mao met coincidentally after ten years because of work, but Mao said their reunion wasn't by chance. It isn't clear how she orchestrated their meeting, but she probably meant she willed it to happen.

It seems that Mao was already at her limit physically when they were around 22 or 23 years old. When she dies, everyone who knew her would forget her and all traces of her existence would disappear in the world.

However, cats have nine lives. Mao wants to become a person again in her next life and if that happens, she'll then look for Kosuke all over again.

Which really happens, thank goodness, except it isn't explicit whether they remember their past or not. It seems they both recognize each other, but if she assumes a new identity because it's her new life, then she isn't the same Mao in her past life, or is she?!

Hidamari no Kanojo has a great soundtrack, and its theme song Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys is actually one of my favorite songs. I find it amazing that Kosuke and Mao's situation really fits the song's lyrics.

Wouldn't it be nice?

Happy times together we've been spending
I wish that every kiss was never-ending
Wouldn't it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray
it might come true
Baby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do
We could be married
And then we'd be happy

Wouldn't it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But lets talk about it
Wouldn't it be nice

陽だまりの彼女 Hidamari no Kanojo