Ever failed at accomplishing that goal or dream you had prepared for for a long time? It’s painful, right? But because it’s a dream, you can’t help but stand up again and pursue it, putting even more effort than what you did last time.
Tori Girl (lit. “Bird Girl), a 2017 film based on a novel by Nakamura Kou, presents a story like that. Of people pursuing a dream. And it is a fun film to watch.
It is a story about a girl named Toriyama Yukina (Tsuchiya Tao) who failed to enter her preferred school and ends up in a university of science where she meets Shimamura Kazumi (Ikeda Elaiza) who persuades her to enter a human-powered aircraft club who’s aim is to participate in a competition. At first, she isn’t convinced, but she meets senior student Takahashi Kei (Takasugi Mahiro) who she immediately gets attracted to. He asks her if she could fly with him and she accepts. However, Sakaba Taishi (Mamiya Shotaro) stands in her way to be Kei’s partner.
The story may sound cliché — and it is because you can predict what will happen. But what’s fun about this movie that is worth checking out is the interactions between the characters, particularly of Yukina and Sakaba. They’re the reason why this film is enjoyable.
And one should take note not to expect much romance from this because you will be disappointed. It’s more comedy and their take on it is the usual Japanese comedy where the actors may overact a bit, but it’s not every time and it has a good timing. Ah, really, the timing of music and delivery of lines is well done so the funny scenes are mostly effectively humorous.
First, we have Yukina who gets surprised by the students of her university which boards the same bus as her. She is an energetic girl who can ride a bike for a long time at a fast pace thanks to her experience of riding a grandma bike during high school. (Uhhuh, she’s the female YowaPeda‘s Onoda.) She can be competitive that she gives her all to achieve what she set her mind to do. This is the first role of Tsuchiya Tao that I actually liked and enjoyed watching. It may be because of the nature of the film as well as her character suit the way she acted.
Then, there’s Kei. He is the senior student who got Yukina to join their club. He is one of the previous riders for the aircraft they did the previous year and he’s determined to fly this year. He’s the typical nice senior who can be a bit cunning. Takasugi Mahiro got to play well as him. And he’s such an eye-candy! At first, I thought he was Wada Takuma (maybe because of the hairstyle and the eyeglasses which somehow resembles that of Daiya‘s Miyuki). Anyway, it was fun to watch him. I’d have liked him to have bigger body because it was a bit not convincing that he was Sakaba’s previous co-pilot with that body.
The most interesting character for me is Sakaba. He’s a senior student with a hot temper. Reminds me of his role in Gakkou no Kaidan where I first took notice of him, though Sakaba here is more expressive and has wider range of emotions. He shows fear, frustration, amusement, and the like. He has a cute preference for music, too! He feels the most human in this movie which is why he’s easily likeable to me. It’s funny to see Mamiya Shotaro acting him because he portrayed Sakaba who is full of emotions and the last time I saw him is as Nii (Mr. Nietzsche in the Convenience Store) who’s a person with poker face.
Here’s Mr. Perao (Nadal) and Kazumi. Mr. Perao seems like the club’s advisor who suddenly appears out of nowhere. There’s a certain music that plays when he’s speaking and the way his lines are delivered along with it makes his scenes amusing to me. Meanwhile, Kazumi becomes Yukina’s close friend who documents their club’s activities.
Then, here are the other club members who work on the different parts of the aircraft they are building. They are all passionate people. Especially Furusawa (Yamoto Yuma) who monitors how things are going. They are amusing to watch especially around the climax of the movie.
Well, everything is fun during the climax of the movie. It’s the must watch part of the film! I already watched it a bunch of times because of how amusing everything is! I’d love to see the behind the scenes, though, because I’m curious of how they shot it all.
Overall, it’s a satisfying and enjoyable film to watch that I can recommend to those who want to release stress.
Here’s the trailer for it: