Nada Sou Sou (Tears for You)

This was a big hit in Japan last year with its very muted nearly unspoken love between a brother and his step-sister. Told in very matter of fact style with only an attempt at a smidgeon of drama for most of its running time, it paints a portrait of two very appealing characters (played by two very appealing young actors) that you take very much to heart and wish the best for. Yota (Satoshi Tsumabuki) is a young man living in Okinawa working hard to save up enough money to open his own restaurant. He has been involved with a beautiful medical student, Kei, for years but their difference in status beckons like an open cut.

Yota receives a letter that his step-sister Kaoru (Masami Nagasawa – the current sweetheart in Japanese romances with this film, “Rough”, “Touch” and “Crying Out Love, in the Centre of the World”) is leaving the small island where they both grew up to live with him and go to high school in Okinawa. In various flashbacks, it is revealed how she came to be his step-sister – through a series of tragedies of a father who disserted her and Yota’s mother who dies young but not before she tells him to forever protect his little sister. And so he does. Yota begins to develop deeper feelings for her but is under the impression that she believes that she is a blood sister of his – she on her part seems to have feelings for him that go beyond brotherly – but all of this must remain unsaid. Don’t get the impression that any of this plays out in perverse tones – quite the opposite – it has a very sunny, charming TV diorama feel to it – until they of course feel the need to pile even more tragedy on! It wouldn’t be a melodrama without it! The main strength of the film is really with the two actors – you just want to hug both of them. The film is based to some degree on a very popular song of the same title sung by Okinawa singer, Natsukawa Rimi.

My rating for this film: 6.0