“Goldfish Go Home” (Akane Iro No Yakusoku) (2012 Japanese movie) review

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Intro

I decided to watch this movie because I had heard it was a Japanese movie and felt that I was neglecting Japanese movies because I had not seen any during the Cinequest season. It also had some hype behind it too.

Plot

Once upon a time, a Chinese princess migrated to Japan to be with her prince, but her prince had died leaving her very lonely. She prayed to be with him since. Her spirit became trapped in the legendary blue goldfish while his spirit became the red goldfish.

Fast forward to present day where Ricardo is an immigrant from Brazil struggling to adapt to his current Japanese setting where he is constantly being bullied, unable to make friends, and unable to keep up with his studies.

One day, he catches the blue goldfish, thus befriending a classmate of his, Hanako. Together, they attempt to reunite the blue and red goldfish in order to reunite the princess and the prince. They encounter various obstacles including the ruthless Yakuza, the greedy mayor, and a mother who plans to move back to Brazil after not securing a stable life for her family.

Good

This has to be the cutest movie of the 2013 Cinequest season. With most of the movies in the festival being adult themed with violence, sex, and drugs, it was refreshing to see a movie that was family friendly. It was a feel good movie from start to finish. I really liked the friendship between Ricardo and Hanako. Did I say cute? It’s a movie made in Japan. I’ll say it’s the most kawaii movie in all of Cinequest in 2013.

I also enjoyed seeing the transplanted Brazilian Japanese people that live there. I had no idea that Brazilian people lived in Japan. I knew that Japanese people lived in Brazil so to see the reverse was quite interesting.

Bad

I did stay for the Q&A afterwards, and was saddened to find out that there is no such thing as a blue goldfish or a legitimate red one. I also confirmed with a friend of mine who is a fish expert and the results were the same. There are no blue or red goldfish to be found. Not only are there no such things in the goldfish, the entire tale about the prince and the princess was fictional as well. That’s really all I can say negatively about this movie.

Overview

I had watched this movie because I had overheard that this movie was made by a San Jose State alum and the fact that it was a Japanese movie. Up to that point, I had only watched one Cinequest movie made in Asia so I felt that it was important to catch this Japanese flick. After seeing this movie, I felt good about seeing it. If it were available to watch again, I’d watch it again in a heartbeat.

Overall rating: 4/5

Reviewed by: Mr. Timtastic

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