Also known as ‘The Kirishima Thing’. Who is Kirishima and where the hell is he? Kirishima apparently decided one day to quit school and the volley ball club, leaving his friends alone with the question - why? Directed by Daihachi Yoshida, based on the novel of Ryo Asai.
Kirishima, bukatsu yamerutteyo means something like “Kirishima said he’s quitting the club.” It’s funny how the movie is named after the only character that doesn’t show up, but of course the mystery of his disappearance isn’t what this film is about. It’s about the lives of numerous students we follow around. We all can remember High School (or maybe you’re trying not to), how the class gets divided into the popular and unpopular kids, the struggles, the joy… this movie delivers all of that without any melodrama or by looking down on society too harsh. It’s interesting to see how the students deal with conflicts, trying to look for a purpose in life, or how they learn the person they have a crush on has a girl/boyfriend, finding yourself trapped in following what your friends do, instead of what you really want to do, because those friends would think it’s uncool. The complexity of growing up, figuring out who you are, how the future seems to be so empty, so vague (especially for Ryoya and Hiroki). All of those emotions are well displayed by the young actors, and their characters are what’s driving this rather slow paced film. Yoshida repeatedly shows us the same scenes, but every time from a different characters point of view (intertwining sequences) allowing the audience to see how each social group views the same event. I like that sort of story telling, no narration, no explanations, you just watch the movie and have to figure out what’s happening (which leaves a lot of room for different interpretations). Of course the movie is in Japanese, it only has English subtitles, but if you don’t mind that, I’d definitely recommend this light but in some way impressive story about, I guess you could say, youth.