Directed by Kiyoshi Yokoi. This is the fifth and most highly anticipated installment of the Takumi-kun series. This is also reportedly the last movie that Hamao Kyosuke and Daisuke Watanabe reprise their roles as the couple Takumi and Gii. What is different about this movie from all the others is that it’s now told mostly from Gii’s perspective. Of all the Takumi-kun movies, this has the longest running time.

June 15 marks the date of the death anniversary of Takumi’s older brother, Naoto. In the past, Takumi had been haunted by bitter memories of the pain he suffered from his family. It was only after he met Gii did he find the strength to confront his fears. This year they plan to visit his brother’s grave on the said date but something unexpected comes up causing Gii to break his promise which sends Takumi into a state of utter disbelief and awaken feelings of betrayal from the one person he had come to rely the most on.

Being that this is Watanabe’s and Hamao’s last stint as the super couple of the series, they managed to deliver a solid enough performance. My impression of the overall mood of the entire movie is like a culmination of the previous Takumi-kun movies. There is a distinct parallel to the first and third movies, both of which primarily focused on the relationship between Takumi and Gii. From a movie perspective, the timeline of this movie is more of a continuity of Bibou no Detail. If the third movie had been extended and then split into two, Ano Hareta Aozora is definitely the other half.

Based on what we have seen from the previous installments, we cannot deny how much the filmmakers have pushed the boundaries of inconsistency with regards to the technical aspects of the film such as set locations, actors, appearances and several scenes. There is a lot of overlapping of the flashback scenes to the present. One has to keep their eyes peeled throughout the entire film because the flashback scenes also take place in the current setting with the actors showing very minimal to no changes into their physical appearances from the past and present which can be confusing. The fifth movie incorporates all that together. I am not going to delve into the reasons why they seem to keep up with this tradition rather I will just focus on the story itself since this has been a constant redeeming factor for the series.

If you have watched the Takumi-kun series from the very start, it is quite interesting to watch how much Hamao has grown up before our eyes. Like Takumi, we are witnesses to his growth from the awkward and shy teenager to the confident young man that he is now. He seems less constricted with his acting and there is much improvement with the way he interacts in scenes with his fellow actors. Although I must admit I still miss the raw intensity he displayed in Bibou no Detail which really tugged my heart.

As for Watanabe who plays the beloved Gii, his acting has likewise very much improved. The way he projected the sensitivity and vulnerability of his character was what got me rooting for him. It should be noted that the last time he allowed that level of vulnerability and intensity exposed was back in Niji-iro no Garasu.

These are the aspects that I loved about him now in Ano, Hareta Aozora. There has always been that side to him where he does not completely act like a lover but more like a brother especially whenever he embraces Hamao (Takumi). I must admit that I wasn’t especially too fond of his dyed blonde hair. I wished they had just kept his hairstyle from Pure. He was in his most handsome appearance there. He also looks a bit ragged here and the signs of age have slowly revealed on his face justifying the reason more as to why this is probably will be his last stint portraying an 18-year-old man.

Their love scenes although it shows them to be a lot more comfortable with each other still appear frantic and a bit deliberate. For me, I still say that their best ever was in Bibou no Detail. It is when they slow down their movements that you can feel the passion emanating from them on screen. Yet there is no denying that they are able to project the image of two people very much in love with each other.

Yukihiro Takiguchi who plays the resident best friend role and supporter of all that is Gii and Takumi did not have enough screen time as we had hoped. However, he remains to be consistent and stable as he had always been from the beginning of the series.

Baba Ryoma who plays Misu Arata was again a scene-stealer. He takes on the role like a glove and gets away with it every single time. The way he delivers his lines and the moves he makes reveals undeniable suavity, confidence, and timing. He really stands out and I simply find myself cheering at the way he carries himself on the screen. He always manages to leave you wanting for more.

Naitou Taiki who reprises his role as Shingyouji Kanemitsu shares relative screen time with Hamao (Takumi). As much as I completely adore his scenes but from an objective standpoint, his role does very little contribution to the prime focus of the story. Yet his presence emits delightful squeals from the fans as he breaks the seriousness of the story. Thanks to Misu (Baba), we are not heavily distracted by an ongoing side story between him and Shingyouji. I like how they are able to remain at bay from each other yet you cannot deny that exciting connection between them. If I may allow myself to analyze this further, I would say that this movie gives the audience a prelude to Pure.

Shota Takasaki who plays Reiji Minoiwa is basically the new guy in the film. He has never appeared in any of the previous films but he is based on an actual character in the manga series. His role in this movie is very minor and only for the purpose of an introduction.

Ano, Hareta Aozora is really more of a retelling of events from Takumi’s past that have already been described more vividly in the first movie. Since this also continues from Bibou no Detail, the audience gets to see how things have been going so far for the couple from the time they agreed to keep their relationship low key. What makes it unique however is how it bridges the past and present and we all get to see a glimpse of the future for Gii and Takumi after high school.

Overall, I am giving this film a rating of 4 over 5.

REVIEWER: Yojichan (Originally published June 2012)

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Red

Red

I blog about Thai, Japanese and Asian movies, drama, and anime since 2012. I've been a movie reviewer since 2007.

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