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I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow – Review

by Olivia Saperstein

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Shizuo is a 42 year old salaried worker living with his father and daughter, who decides to quit his job and become a manga artist. The oblivious over sized child must challenge his fathers’ cynicism and the mockery of his coworkers to make his dream a reality.

Ah yes, the mid life crisis that we’ve all been through or dreaded (now called the quarter-life crisis for some). Writer/director Yuichi Fukuda succeeds in sharing a relatable story while simultaneously making us laugh–after all, we’ve all been there, why make the subject matter depressing for viewers?

Namase Katsuhisa plays Shizuo’s friend, a former coworker who still works a salaried job and has undergone a divorce. The contrast between the lives of the two friends inevitably delvers a great lesson: while Shizuo appears to have completely lost it on the surface, his friend, who has his proverbial shit together, is no more happy on the inside–a lesson we tend to forget all too easily while under the constant influence of capitalism.

We see this even more as ages are often written over characters’ heads, especially at moments when Shizuo acts like a complete clown. Since quitting, he has acquired a part-time job at a fast food restaurant. His coworkers mock him by calling him “manager,” while the real manager is 25. Yet the character of Shizuos’ depressed 26-year-old coworker proves that this crisis can happen at any age, as it is simply a state of self-doubt.

Two actors are recognized from fellow Fantasia films this year, including Guku Hamada of See You Tomorrow, Everyone (2013), and Miki Mizuno of Bushido Man (2013). Hamada plays Shizuo’s publishing rep, and Mizuno, the ex wife of Shizuo’s divorced pal. Mizuno exercises her flexibility, this time playing a demure mother rather than an ass-kicking wildcat. Hamada, equally humorous in his role as agent, although a hair tamer than Satoru.

While Tsutsumi’s performance is slightly overdramatized, his portrayal of the absent minded and self absorbed deems him completely socially unaware–a true jester. Fantasia audiences squealed with laughter as Shizuo entertains fights with God in cartoon-like dream sequences, and makes foolish decisions. Upon one of his many rejections from a publisher, Shizuo decides that it is just a matter of luck, and so he goes to a  psychic who tells him to change his name. Shizuo decides on “Person Nakamura.”

Adapted from Shunju Aono’s real manga, Fukuda succeeds in combining both visual art forms of illustration and cinema, by intercutting with the images Shuzuo draws–which are humble yet stylized, black and white drawings. For an attention-deficit generation, this is an entertaining approach.

In another dream sequence, Shizuo meets with himself at all different ages. When he asks them for their advice on his manga aspirations, they are unsupportive. All but one of course: his eight year old self. This moment indicates that when in search for our true selves, it is wise to get in touch with our inner child.

Despite the film’s cartoonish style, it doesn’t wrap everything up into a neat little package. The story reminds us that life is messy, that it takes hard work and perseverance to achieve our goals (even if we aren’t all ivy graduates), and that we have to be ready for anything. Moreover, the real kicker is that it teaches us that we can’t accomplish anything of value while thinking only of ourselves.

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Author: Olivia Saperstein

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