“We Couldn’t Become Adults” Review: A Japanese drama about the dark generation Xer stuck at a dead end

Sato (Moriyama) is not above separation, but the question is which one? We run into him when he and his longtime girlfriend Nanase (Atsushi Shinohara) are drunk and wandering the eerie empty streets of Tokyo amid the Covid pandemic. They are dumped in a pile of smelly garbage bags.

Sato reminds Nanase of something she said in the past. 80 per cent of people are trash, and 20 per cent are trash. Although 1 per cent is probably fine. And if you’re not so sure about your math, Lou, remember, they’re pretty drunk.

Sato is in a state, or on the spot, perhaps nauseous – a middle-aged.

He was gloomy and dissatisfied. Unmarried and depressed. He worked too much and too hard and probably drank too much and too much. “I’m 46 and I’m being a pretty boring adult,” he laments. He received a friend request on Facebook from an old friend.

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And was asked to dig up some old psychological debris and gaze at some of the craters. That are left by that old friend and a few other old friends. He worked backwards: 2015, 2011, 2008, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, and stopped there. Just because, before that, Moriama could only start looking. Too old.

The years written on the screen are like writing an autobiography. Several significant events shape every memory, from the devastating earthquake to Japan’s poor performance at the World Cup.

This makes sense when you find out. That he worked as a graphic designer for a TV news program. And worked so many hours without gratitude that the pressure was high, low wages chew. And work defines his life.

So the Sato’s life is quite a series of anecdotes. A party for a funny TV show he works for. Where he meets a dancer and has a troubled, sad night with him. A brief affair with a cute woman who quickly realizes she is a s*x worker.

Met a rude business customer. His interview with Sekiguchi (Masahiro Higashide), his boss and old friend. A scooter broke down as he hastily delivered a floppy disk full of graphics in the pre-high-speed internet era.

Drinks with colleagues at the cosy little Nanase bar:

Who seems to have feelings for Sato. And the story of Kaori (Sayri Ito), the girl he met when he was 21 years old. The girl who sent him a friend request. The girl who spent a peaceful night with him in the space-themed room of the “love hotel”. In the same room he frequented because he felt safe. And serene in its darkness.

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There is no worse insult to Sato than being called “common”. Rebellion against simple ideas is the thread that connects many sketches of his adult life. And now, he often forced himself to use that word. He was stuck in a dead-end, doing wholesale work and offering the best marginal satisfaction.

He’s hanging out at the bar and doesn’t want to drink anymore or hang out. With any potential romantic interests because he’s on standby if any big news comes out. If an overworked lifestyle sounds relative, you may feel sorry for Sato.

Though watching him spin and spin his tires for a quarter of a century can be frustrating. He pondered, blinked, plugged the microscope lens in his navel and counted the moss fibres. Talk to someone.

I don’t mean to ignore or disapprove of Sato’s struggles with depression. But We Couldn’t Be an Adult is a silent reflection on the Gen-X midlife crisis. Age, you get a job, get married, and are born SALE.

The suggestions here are:

Sato has yet to strike a balance between youth and maturity that many of us aspire to. But why? The hero’s memories shape her more than the impenetrable blob of darkness formed by Kaori’s one.

And the only friend that inspires her to pursue an extraordinary quest: to live a truly extraordinary life. Not occur. And here he is, living a “normal” life on Facebook like billions of others. As a result, he was stuck in traffic and could not get out.

The film is based on the encounter between Sato and Kaori. The two shy and introverted people who are friends in writing and who soon experience their first true love affair. It is styled as a series of gentle and evil encounters and plays out as an emo manga for teens.

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This means it’s not a particularly dramatic buy here. And it makes Sato’s thoughts of a wasted life thin and ineffective. It plays a cautionary tale for a young audience rather than a tale of nostalgia and compassion for adults.