Film Review: Way of Blue Sky (2005) a.k.a. 青空のゆくえ

March 22, 2012

I watched this 102min Japanese film last week and was pleasantly surprised by the subtle portrayals of first love and friendship in its storyline. Way of Blue Sky (Aozora No Ukue) was released back in 2005 and directed by Masahiko Nagasawa, who was also a producer on the wonderfully poetic film Love Letter (1995) directed by a man I much admire – Shunji Iwai. You can watch this film online at MySoju, but in the meantime, here is a trailer for the film (with some pretty bad quality english subtitles).

The film tells the story of Masaki Takahashi (played by Takuya Nakayama), a junior high student who announces that he is moving to the United States that summer, and the effect it has on the five girls in his class that have feelings for him. The story is about the trials and tribulations of average 15 year olds, such as the crushes and first loves that blossom through these times. Way of Blue Sky is a heartfelt and touching story that is uplifting and positive in its message. The drama does not bog you down, but draws you to sit comfortably on your sofa and watch peacefully. The soundtrack is a big plus! A film that entices your senses and a prime example of serenity, Way of Blue Sky tells a cosy and warming tale.

The melodrama is kept to a minimum as Way of Blue Sky explores the simplicity, purity and depth of boy-girl friendships and is more an attestation to the strength of relationships. The array of character traits portrayed by the five female leads in the film are also mention-worthy, as no two are alive and each has their own unique trait. It brought a smile to my face to see the ‘foreigner’ Naoko Ichida (Aki Nishihara), the smart-alec Alisa Takahashi (Mei Kurokawa), childhood friend Haruna Kawahara (Mikako Tabe), and tomboys Yumi Hayami (Ayaka Morita) and Takako Suzuki (Saya Yuki).

Thankfully it doesn’t feel too much like a teen romance. Rather, Way of Blue Sky a nice movie to watch on a rainy cold day as it brings a small smile to your face guaranteed!

I’d rate this film a 6.5/10


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