Also known as "I Don't Have Many Friends"
Release Date: February 1, 2014 Length: 114 minutes Director: Takuro Oikawa
Kii Kitano as Yozora Mikazuki
Koji Seto as Kodaka Hasegawa
Mio Otani as Sena Kashiwazaki
Sara Takatsuki as Yukimura Kusunoki
Mao Kanjo as Rika Shiguma
Sayu Kobota as Kobato Hasegawa
Momoka Yamada as Maria Takayama
Finally whittling down my 'need to watch' movie list, haven't done a review for all of them but have been viewing 3-4 films a week. This one I've had for a while, about seven months ago watched the first 40 minutes and was planning on watching the rest right away but didn't turn out that way. Actually had forgotten all about this film but Kii has her b-day coming up shortly plus was reading something new about her earlier today so said it's finally time for this movie to be viewed. Next post will have more screenshots for the film but also more details about what that news is.
Koji has the lead role in the film as Kodaka, he's a transfer student at the St. Chronica Academy. He's of mixed blood, his father was British while his mother is from Japan and because of his different looks he's often been ridiculed. Kodaka is in his second year of high school, he's been attending the academy for a little over a month but still hasn't made any friends, mainly because of his looks. The movie takes place in Touya City, was just looking it up but there is no city with that name but there used to be a Toya village in Hokkaido.
One day Kodaka goes back to his classroom to retrieve his phone but hesitates entering when he hears a conversation going on in the room. However when he went in it was a one sided conversation as our co-lead in the film Yozora was talking to her 'air friend' Tomo-chan. Like Kodaka she's also a person with no friends though she's been attending the academy for many years. Seems like Yozora could make friends but she just doesn't want to, she really doesn't like the popular types of people nor does she want to join any kind of school club.
The pair kind of hit it off after talking for a few minutes, Kodaka thinks she's a bit crazy for having an imaginary friend but can deal with it as she's the only person to date who has talked with him. Yozora then suggests they male their own club, as a matter of fact she's already created it and Kodara has no choice but to be it's second member. The club is called 'Neighbor's Club' with the idea of attracting as members in the school whoa re also friendless. There wasn't a mad rush of people to join the new club but little by little it started to grow.
After the initial members of Yozora and Kodara a new enrollee was Sena who Yozora at first refused to allow into the club. Sena was an ultra popular girl at the school, she came from a rich family, was near the top of the class as far as academics go and seemed to have. Sena though didn't have it all, she confessed that she had zero friends, the only ones who liked her were the males because of her looks and all of her female classmates ignored her because of her image.
Upon hearing Sena's story Yozora reluctantly allowed her to join, shortly after two more members were added. The first was Yukimura who claimed to be a boy but sure looked like a girl but for some strange reason looked up to Kodara and wanted to be like him. Yukimura looked so much like a girl they had her dress up as a maid and ait upon the other members. Another new member was Rika, she was the smartest student in the school and had invented many things but like everyone else was friendless, she too looked up to Kodara but in a different way as she wanted to be his girlfriend.
There were a few other members though they didn't play a big part in the story, one of them was Kodara's little sister. One rule the club has is that they can't talk to each other outside of the club though they a few of them have many classes together. On the outside it appears as though the members really don't get along with each other, that's especially the case with Yozora who doesn't seem to like any of them. That's not the case though as they may not admit it they're all glad to have friends and belong to a club, one again it's especially true with Yozora.
The group usually just hangs around their club room, all of them do solo activities but just the fact that they're all together seems to be enough for them. One day a bombshell hits as the student president tells the club that they formed it illegally and need to disband it. Left with no choice they reluctantly agree and have until the end of the week to leave the room and take their belongings.
That they did but at this point the film goes from being a teen one to kind of a supernatural/sci-fi movie. Sena has loved playing a video game and now thinks she won't be able to play it anymore now that the club doesn't have a room. Rika though has developed a virtual game kie it and has the members try it out in an experiment that ends up going awry. Rika stays back but sends the rest of the group to a virtual world, a world that is exactly the same as the one they left. On the outside it may be the same but things are so much different for the members in this new world.
In this new world they're all popular with many friends, it's certainly a shock to them when their classmates start acting nice to them. Yozora and Kodara are a bit uncomfortable with others being so friendly with them though Sena is the complete opposite. She's always wanted to be the most popular girl in school and now she finally is, it's like her dream come true. That dream comes to a crashing halt though as Rika's machine has some mechanical problems and needs to stop the experiment.
Rika says it'll take a long time to get the virtual world machine working properly, the members really could care less about that except for Sena. Sena sneaks into Rika's lab and steals it, not just steals it but ends up using it to send herself back into that virtual world she was so popular in. Rika says to the other members if they don't go back into that world to save Sena she could die or stay in a coma for the rest of her life. The members agree to go back though Yozora was dead set against saving Sena.
Back in the world Sena has set it up so the members couldn't bring her back, she had bodyguards all around her plus all of her admirers would have gladly risked their lives to protect her. All the efforts to bring Sena back to the real world have failed, in a last ditch attempt Yozora said she was going to invade the school the next day, their high school was Sena's headquarters.
In kind of a wacky and confusing conclusion Sena was ousted as the school's most popular girl... her place as the head of this world though was taken by Yozora! Seems as though Yozora didn't want to leave the virtual world, not that she liked it there but just couldn't stand the thought of going back to the real world. She's protected in the school by the class president who is one tough cookie, when Kodara tries to save Yozora he is badly beaten up by him.
Kodara has a flashback during the beating, he recalls an incident when he was saved from getting beaten up when he was much younger. What he recalled is that the person who saved him was Yozora who really looked like a boy at the time and went by the name of Sora. Remembering that incident has brought new life to Kodara who somehow manages to pummel the president and save Yozora as the virtual world was crumbling.
In the finale I'm not the only one who was a bit confused as the members who have returned to the real world are also at a loss. Rika had told them they had made only one trip into the virtual world though it appeared as though they went there at least 3-4 times, one reason for the confusion is that the date was the same, could al, of those events have happened on just one day?
The club had been disbanded by the student council but they did stay together, now they've brought their possessions out on to the school grounds where they continue as a club. The council president comes up to them once again, he has no recollection of the virtual world, and tells the club that they were told to disband and must do so again immediately. In a fitting ending Yozora gives the president what he deserves which is a solid punch in the face which knocks him out.
That final virtual world fantasy scene may have gone on for too long, it was also a bit confusing but that was the only negative for this movie. It was a much better view than I was expecting, after a bunch of so-so movies the last two have been superb watches. Previous film I watched that was excellent was "Biri Girl", thought this movie was a tad better though and will give it a rating of a 9/10, may have been higher except for the ending.
Easy movie to find with subs so if you haven't seen it would recommend it, have read only one other review for the film but that one was positive too. Kii was naturally the reason I watched this film and she didn't disappoint me at all, besides setting records for kawaiiness she also had another A+ performance. Sadly this has been her last big role, think the film did okay at the box office so keep wondering what's happened to her.
May have to check out more about Mio Otani who had a huge role in this film, some of her scenes were definitely jaw-dropping. Don't know much about her but hopefully will soon, hasn't been in many dramas but has been in four films these last few years. Few more screenshots here but have too many more to count in the next post, also after these pics is the film's trailer.