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My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru

Japan 2016

Romance, Drama, Sci-Fi

Takahiro Miki

Sota Fukushi
Nana Komatsu
Masahiro Higashide
Yuki Yamada
Kaya Kiyohara
Akira Otaka
Yoshiko Miyazaki

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My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday

My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday - Film Screenshot 1

aka Tomorrow I Will Date with Yesterday's You

Story: Takatoshi Minamiyama (Sota Fukushi) is an art student. One day he sees the girl Emi Fukuju (Nana Komatsu) on a train. He is absolutely sure that he will regret it the rest of his life should he not approach her and so he does, even though it is completely contrary to his actual nature. She in fact agress to see him the next day, but they don't agree on where to meet. Then, Emi suddenly turns up at the zoo and surprises Takatoshi as he draws a picture. She says that this is the drawing she saw at his classroom. Takatoshi doesn't really understand her remark as is the case with how she could know where she could find him. With the help of his friend Shoichi (Masahiro Higashide) he finds the right words, though, to invite her to a date. And at the end of the day they become a couple. However, there are a few pecularities about the girl as the boy who has desperately fallen in love with her realizes. Emi always starts to cry during the most unusal times and she has to be at home no later than midnight, no matter what. Moreover, there is a strange notebook of her which she forgets at his place one day. When he takes a look at the content things become clearer, but he still can't believe the truth he has uncovered...

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My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday - Film Screenshot 4

Review: A successful romantic drama requires certain ingredients which seem to be unchangable. Two lovers who share their love to one another in a pure fashion and a fate that denies them to be together. Latter one is mostly achieved through the implementation of a fatal illness. And that's exactly where everything becomes very generic. With "My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday" things are different, though. The movie brings a bit of sci-fi to the table and wisely choses not to explain the backdrop of it - since an explanation would turn out implausible at best - instead it focuses on how the relationship develops within the framework of rules set by fate. The end result is a wonderfully innovative romantic drama which delivers a lot of heartache, but will also win over sceptics of the genre.

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"My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday" is the reason why I dare watching romantic flicks again and again. Because among all the mediocre genre entries and as many cruelly bad love flicks there is that one gem every few years that you would miss if you would not open up to the genre. And you really would miss out on something if you would pass up "My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday". Granted, you shouldn't hate romantic flicks with every fibre of your body, but this would also be quite questionable. At first, everything looks rather cute in this movie, meaning that the love story features the kind of purity and naivity (which actually should be understood in a positive sense) that accompanies the feeling of falling in love for the first time. But soon it turns out that there is more. Emi simply acts unusual at certain points. As if she were able to see the future. And considering the movie's title we aren't surprised by this.

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Watching a movie like this, i.e. with a fantasy/sci-fi plot, you naturally have to be willing to accept certain facts resp. a fantasy world. At least I didn't have any problems with that since the movie makes clear from the very get-go that Emi is most likely a time traveler (parallels to the Taiwanese romantic movie "Secret" come up). So we don't get surprised by an incredible twist, and this although things actually aren't the way they seem. The resolution may not be more logical, but more innovative and most importantly the sci-fi aspect is there right from the beginning and thus allows for some wonderful, dramatic moments during the course of the movie. Furthermore, the worst paradoxes are avoided. I can't stress enough how imaginative and smart the plot is.

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The relationship between two lovers can be shed light on in a completely different manner here, and even though we are oftentimes ahead of Takatoshi since the story may be told from his perspective, but we do have the kind of distance to the events that allows us to put ourselves in Emi's situation as well, there is constantly an emotional punch to the gut as we try to grasp the extent of the drama and how strong Emi, and later on Takatoshi as well, truely is. The idea that love is merely the passing by of two people is almost dealt with in a (may I use the word?) philosophical manner. Maybe I'm reading too much into the movie, but hell, you actually CAN interpret a romantic drama! How often can you say that? The fact that the story is a bit more profound and not just full of tears is also thanks to this being the adaptation of a novel with the title "Tomorrow I Will Date with Yesterday's You" by Takafumi Nanatsuki.

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While Sota Fukushi ("As the Gods Will") and Nana Komatsu ("The World of Kanako") may in fact depict a great couple on screen and acting-wise they are convincing, too, they aren't a hundred percent believable whenever they have to let some tears flow. But this would be the only small aspect to be criticized. Even the manner in which we get to see the events from Emi's perspective in fastforward mode is everything but repetitive or doesn't serve the obvious fact of forcing us to use our handkerchief. The biggest effort of director Takahiro Miki ("Solanin") respectively the novel is probably that even though we are told how things are going to end in the middle of the movie we are still emotionally captivated at all times and never get bored or are bothered by some sort of corniness. The bottom line is that "My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday" is in fact the best Japanese romantic drama I've seen to date.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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