A slow-burn psychological romance? Hell yeah!!
Minato is a young girl who was traumatized at a young age by being abandoned by her parents and left with her senile grandmother. She frequently corresponds with a pen-pal named Night, a boy about the same age as her that she’s never actually seen in person. Although Minato and Night are very different – Minato is upbeat while Night is brooding, they get along anyway and she regularly updates him on the happenings in her daily life. Minato is even willing to confide in Night that she’s falling in love with a boy she’s recently met named Shu.
Native/alternate titles: 東京少年; Tokyo Shonen
Genre: Drama, Romance, Suspense
Director: Shunichi Hirano
Writer: Mutsuki Watanabe
Cast: Horikita Maki, Takuya Ishida, Reiko Kusamura, Mitsuru Hirata
‘Psychological Thriller’ is the genre that entices me the most. Yet, I have always been curious about movies which are categorised as a ‘psychological romance’ movie. I was trying to find some romantic movie that has this ‘psychological’ element to them. But I haven’t been too successful (I guess) as I can’t recall the names of any such movies. After exercising my memory for a while, I remembered ‘Tokyo Boy’! I remember watching it about 5 years ago. ‘Tokyo Boy’ managed to give me that ‘feel’ – I honestly do not know how to explain what it is. It is something that I am craving right now while writing this. A full of suspense, dark, slow-burn romance! I hope that soon I will find another movie matching these criteria.
I will not dive into the story as it will spoil everything. So, I will keep it short. Minato (Horikita Maki) lives with her grandmother – the only family she has. Her mother has died in an accident and her father has abandoned her. Since the young age, Minato has found herself a pen-pal, a boy. So far she has never met him. She does not know anything about him except that he is a boy. Minato trusts the boy and becomes comfortable enough to share her secrets with him. One day, her co-worker Shu helps her out in a difficult situation. Both open up to each other. As a result, she falls in love with him. She expresses her feelings for Shu to her pen-pal. Now her pen-pal…well, there is the twist! I must stop here.
The story is slow. At times, painfully slow. On the top, there are flashbacks repeating three times from different perspectives. Although slow pace can be a bit annoying I would not call flashbacks a negative as they provide a different perspective on events. If you are impatient then you might not like this film. I could finish this movie only after a second try. During my first attempt, I think I did not even go past 15 minutes. My advice? Keep patience and you may like the progress in the story.
Even though during my second try I finished it in one go, I would not call it perfect by any mean. It can be boring, really boring for some people (Yes I am repeating but only to emphasises its boredom and slow pace). I almost dropped it the second time as well. But I held on and got rewarded with something interesting results. There are minimal dialogues but that does not affect the movie in a negative way. Overall, from the beginning to the end, as a package, it is a decent movie.
A very young but now retired actress Horikita Maki is excellent as Minato. I have always liked her and once again she is great in this movie…but why? Want me to elaborate?! Sorry, that’s another spoiler 😉
I do not remember this movie in details but I can certainly talk about some interesting stuff that I can remember. I wish I could talk about it all without spoiling too much. Minor spoilers are fine in my opinion but even if I talk a little about this, it would spoil the movie.
I recommend this movie to people who love suspense and/or psychological stuff. It starts very slowly but it gets interesting at a point. Not a perfect movie but worth to watch!
Have you seen ‘Tokyo Boy’? If yes, then what is your review about it? If not, then do you plan to watch it after reading this review?