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Asako I & II

Released May 17, 2019 1h 59m Romance Drama TRAILER for Asako I & II: Trailer 1 List
77% Tomatometer 48 Reviews 77% Audience Score 50+ Ratings
Asako meets and falls madly in love with drifter Baku who one day drifts right out of her life. Two years later, working in Tokyo, Asako sees Baku again -- or, rather, a young, solid businessman named Ryohei who bears a striking resemblance to her old flame. They begin to build a happy life together until traces of Asako's past start to resurface. Read More Read Less

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Asako I & II

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Asako I & II

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Critics Consensus

Asako I & II's high-concept premise is anchored by thought-provoking themes and confident, compelling work from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

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Critics Reviews

View All (48) Critics Reviews
Justin Chang Los Angeles Times [A] peculiarly potent story about life's unexpected little ruptures - those odd coincidences, repetitions and shifts in perspective that can set off aftershocks in the human heart. Aug 22, 2019 Full Review Ty Burr Boston Globe The movie keeps you guessing, mostly in pleasure, at both its meanings and its methods. Rated: 3/4 Jul 25, 2019 Full Review G. Allen Johnson San Francisco Chronicle Asako's only appeal seems to be that she's very pretty. Her depth of character she apparently keeps to herself. Rated: 1/4 Jun 20, 2019 Full Review David Pountain Vague Visages With surprising poignancy, Asako channels the humbling smallness of life’s journey... Dec 12, 2023 Full Review Panos Kotzathanasis Asian Movie Pulse "Asako I&II" is an excellent movie, one of the best dramas of the latest years, and a production that combines beauty with meaningful context in the most captivating fashion. Feb 21, 2021 Full Review Dustin Chang Floating World It is refreshing to see a Japanese film that is modern and direct and not trying to be overtly Ozu-y or arthouse poetic or genre-y, yet very Japanese. I very much appreciate Hamaguchi Rusuke's work. Feb 13, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (5) audience reviews
Sam F Just a star knocked off despite the perfect direction and beautiful acting, and only because this movie verges a little too much into the unreal kind of love/fairy tale. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 04/11/24 Full Review steve c I tell you ladies with baggage are trouble. Y'all better know this or learn the hard way. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member I was a bit disappointed as I expected it to end with surprise or twisting but it simply ended in plain linear drama. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member Wow. This movie carried a really important message on the importance of moving on from a past love. I think this film is great to watch if you are someone who is struggling to let go of the memories you have with an ex-lover. Especially if you dream about meeting them again and getting back together with them. But this is a great film to watch for anyone else as well. Oftentimes we idealize an old (especially first) love in our head even after years of it ending. We recall the good times and the way they made us feel and don't focus as much on the reason why that person was no good for us. We often think of them as "the one that got away" and we imagine what it would be like to see them again after years apart. We keep ourselves busy of course (naturally) and move on in life, but their memory lingers in our minds and we continue to hold them on a pedestal and compare them to our next love/lovers. This of course is a terrible thing that we do, and we know it...but we can't help it. There is something so special about that first love (or so our mind tricks us into thinking like this). ***Spoilers Ahead*** This film certainly took a twist I was not expecting near the end with the main character's (Asako) decision upon meeting her ex-lover. But I think it's an important thing to show to really drive home the message of how silly it is to think that reuniting with an ex-lover could possibly be a good thing---especially when you meet a new lover that cares about you and that you care about. A love that may have existed in the past is a love that may have indeed been beautiful but ended for a reason. You can't bring back the good old days...they have ended and it is important to move on. If not, you will not only hurt yourself but those who love you as well. Being nostalgic about the past is a humane thing that we do sometimes. However, sometimes we do it too much...to a fault. Sometimes these "good old days" memories are honestly really simple moments that we hold so highly. For example, the memories Asako shares with Baku are stereotypical "young love" moments and Baku really never seems to do anything remarkable for her. In fact, Baku disappeared one night when he was with Asako after going to get food and came home the next morning because he simply decided to hang out with a random man. Baku lives for himself and ultimately decided to disappear from Asuka after being with her for a few months. At no point in the film did we really see anything "chivalrous" or great about Baku's relationship with Asako. Their moments together were just kisses and lustful young love infatuation (mainly on Asako's part). I also liked how at the end the old mom said that she envied Asako for meeting with her old lover Baku and revealed to her that the man she used to visit for breakfast when she was younger was in fact an old lover and not her husband--even though she recalls this story so fondly and repeats it twice in the film. As viewers of the film, we see that there is nothing to envy about Asako's situation. I find that many films often fetishize and romanticize the idea of meeting and returning to an ex-lover. As if returning to them will bring us true happiness and allow us to reunite with our true "soul mate." I really liked that this film portrayed how silly it can be to do exactly that. How we can be so ungrateful by living in the past and not being grateful for the people around us who truly care about us. Perhaps some people may return to an ex-lover and be happy, but I'd say that this is a rare and uncommon case. I think most times we really just let the good memories of the past fool us into forgetting why we didn't work out with this ex-lover in the first place. This was a great film with a great message. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/21/23 Full Review andy h It's a nicely paced, filmed, written love complication that unfolds itself nicely for viewers to follow its unusual tracks. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Asako I & II

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Movie Info

Synopsis Asako meets and falls madly in love with drifter Baku who one day drifts right out of her life. Two years later, working in Tokyo, Asako sees Baku again -- or, rather, a young, solid businessman named Ryohei who bears a striking resemblance to her old flame. They begin to build a happy life together until traces of Asako's past start to resurface.
Director
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Producer
Yuji Sadai, Teruhisa Yamamoto, Yasuhiko Hattori
Screenwriter
Sachiko Tanaka, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Distributor
Grasshopper Film
Production Co
Comme des Cinémas, Nagoya Broadcasting Network (NBN), C&I Entertainment, Bitters End
Genre
Romance, Drama
Original Language
Japanese
Release Date (Theaters)
May 17, 2019, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 18, 2020
Runtime
1h 59m
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