Every year, Japan churns out a major romance tear-jerker which becomes an Asia-wide phenomenon. In the past, these films have included Hanamizuki (2010), Koizora (2007), and Crying out Love, in the Center of the World (2004). This year, that film will be the two-parter Bokura ga Ita or We were there.
Bokura stars Yoshitaka Yuriko, the indisputably most popular actress in Japan today, of such films as Himizu (2012), Robo-G (2012), Cannonball Wedlock (2011), and Snakes and Earrings (2008). Yoshitaka’s costar is Ikuta Toma, a j-drama giant and heart throb from Hanamizuki (2010) and Hanazakari no kimitachi e (2007).
The two play high school sweethearts Nanami and Yano. Nanami is a straightforward and pure girl, while Yano is the popular boy with a slightly mysterious side. Yano is closed off to others because he hasn’t gotten over his previous partner’s death. But, Nanami’s honest, genuine feelings for him slowly open up Yano’s heart again. Of course, as with any of these fateful romances, something goes wrong and they are separated.
The film takes place 6 years after high school when the lovers met. Nanami is with another man but she cannot forget Yano. One day, Nanami’s high school classmate tells her that she saw Yano. As the story unfolds, we are slowly treated with the answers to the questions: why were they separated and will they get back together?
Finally, supporting the story and the actors is king of sappy j-drama theme songs, Mr. Children, with their new song “Inori ~ Namida no Kido.”
Everything about this film looks solid. The Japanese have perfected the formula for producing the perfect “pure love” stories, as they’re called there. The producers have taken the plot from a successful girl’s comic that’s grossed over 10 million copies and brought on director Miki Takahiro of the 2010 success Solanin. And they even seem to be confident enough in this thing to make it into a two-parter.
So, if you’re a girl, be ready at the movie theater with a box of tissues because you know this is one of those sad Japanese movies you can’t stop crying over. If you’re a guy, be prepared to see this film with your girlfriend or on a date and try not to show the horror you feel as you peek into a girl’s romantic fantasy world.
The first part of Bokura ga ita comes out in theaters in Japan on March 17th. It’s concluding second part follows on April 21st. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.