The premise is an old favourite: a one-sided crush on an oblivious childhood friend. It seems like No Longer Heroine would be predictable, and yet it is not. Instead it manages to take you through a delightful play of twists and turns- be prepared for laughs and sighs equally in this cute romantic romp.
Our no-longer heroine is Hatori Matsuzaki (Mirei Kiritani), an imaginative and dramatic high school student who has been by the side of Rita Terasaka (Kento Yamazaki) since childhood. They have shared experiences growing together, and yet it has always been Hatori who has had the one-sided secret crush on Rita, assigning him the role of her “Hero”. But without the courage to tell Rita the truth she soon finds that her role as the heroine in this story is over taken by another when he begins to date the shy Miho Adachi (Miwako Wagatsuma).
The determined Hatori isn’t going to let this stop her though, as she firmly sets out to prove that Rita is the love of her life, explaining that “until the protagonist becomes aware of true love the heroine doesn’t get greedy”. Enter Kosuke Hiromitsu (Kentaro Sakaguchi), a popular pretty boy who convinces Hatori she needs to start having fun in order to forget Rita, stealing a kiss from her and suggesting he take her out for a date to make Rita jealous. Hatori eventually agrees and soon she finds herself in a bit of a triangle (or square really) love story with both boys.
Which will she end up with? The seemingly oblivious love of her life or the new love who picks her back up when she is down? Personally I think Hatori chooses the wrong guy, but “true love has no reason” afterall 😉
The styling of this film is lovely- with Hatori’s little role assignments appearing as haptic blocks above character’s heads, plenty of daydreaming, and charming moments of internal dialogue. Hatori’s outfits are also super cute! This is a real feel-good film with plenty of giggles, happy sighs and sweeping gestures. The film is also of course based from the manga Hiroin Shikkaku, which I now wish to read.
Review score: FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Catch the Japanese Film Festival in Melbourne November 26 – December 6.
Visit Japanese Film Festival for more information and session times.