By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Fantasia Film Festival 2021
Love, Life and Goldfish (すくってごらん) is one of those rare Japanese musicals where it’s tough not to smile at the end. The tunes are catchy, and I’d buy the soundtrack. I’ll have to watch it again when it hits other festivals (or arrives on home video) to affirm one minor detail which stuck out near the end—namely, was that fan featuring the shape of Jingoro the cat from Kimagure Orange Road (KOR)?
Makoto Kashiba (Matsuya Onoe) used to work at a prestigious bank in Tokyo, but due to some weird mistake, he gets sent out to work at this firm’s operation in a small town. He can’t deal, much less cope. He had a bright future as an accountant … or not. It seems he was never pleased with his life even when he thought he was going places with his firm. I’m fairly sure he tried to speak his mind, and it was frowned upon, hence his transfer and personality change.
One night while getting to know this new township, he meets Yoshino Ikoma (Kanako Momota). She runs an arcade of sorts. One game involves participants catching as many goldfish as possible in a set amount of time. Its significance is not just about the fact there’s plenty of fish in the sea but also, why should he catch one? In this film’s case, why fall in love with this particular girl? The answer is simple: he was smitten. She’s very much like Hikaru Hiyama.
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