Asako I & II

    Asako I & II


    College student Asako falls in love at first sight with Baku after meeting at a photography exhibit. Romance sparks between the two but doesn't last long when Baku suddenly disappears from her life. Two years later, she spots a man that bears a striking resemblance to him. Even though it is only his physical similarities to Baku that attracted her to him, she doesn't say so and starts dating the soft-spoken young man called Ryohei.

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      • Erika KarataAsako
      • Masahiro HigashideBaku / Ryohei
      • Rio YamashitaMaya
      • Sairi ItoHaruyo
      • Koji SetoKushihashi
      • Daichi WatanabeOkazaki
      • Koji NakamotoHirakawa
      • Misako TanakaEiko
      • Takeshi Ōnishi
      • Ariei UmefuneArt Exhibition Employee


      • 83

        The A.V. Club

        Hamaguchi exhibits a careful, un-showy command of the frame, and a talent for creating small, sometimes comic surprises through editing.
      • 75


        Hamaguchi finds ways of crystallizing the movie’s themes, lingering on contemplative moments that position the entire story as a metaphor for the contrast between the fantasies and realities of relationships, as well as the messy negotiation required to navigate those extremes.
      • 75

        Slant Magazine

        Like Happy Hour, Asako I & II is a parable of the grace — and, yes, happiness — that spring from resignation.
      • 67

        The Film Stage

        As with the several other slight departures from realism, the artifice added to the story proves distracting. Without being successfully integrated, such choices fail to bestow the narrative with depth and pathos as intended, but only draw attention to the flimsiness of the its construction.
      • 65


        There are moments of real beauty in the film, which is an unassuming and contemplative excursion into how we love, and why. But like the fireworks that greet Asako and Baku’s first kiss, its pop is a modest one.
      • 60

        The Guardian

        This is an amusing essay in amorous delusion.
      • 60


        Hamaguchi extols his source for a compelling representation of love as a mystic experience. However, what gets transferred to the screen becomes more like banal indecision.
      • 58

        The Playlist

        This strange, deliberately naïve film plunges a high-concept romance into a banal, lifeless world.

      Seen by

      • MARTIN