Hiroki delivers one of the most natural, confident and empathic dramas I've ever laid eyes on, helped by Terajima's stellar performance.
The good stuff
Hiroki made a pretty brave move here, incorporating new elements from other genres into his movies without changing anything of his trademark style.
In many ways, Strobe Edge is a typical manga adaptation as much as it is a typical romance. But Hiroki builds upon that to make a sweet, cute and genuine little love story.
Her Granddaughter is a beautiful, serene and heart-warming little drama with no false notes, no overt sentimentality and no obvious tear-jerking.
Thanks to its slightly magical touches and its strong shifts between feel-good and drama, Yellow Elephant rises above the majority of other Japanese dramas out there.
Keibetsu turns out to be another strong addition to Hiroki's oeuvre. It's not his best film to date, but it's nice to see him try out new stuff, even when it's not all that radical.
It's not a wildly original film but it introduces enough elements to differentiate itself from other Japanese dramas while keeping the usual traits firmly in place.
For Western audiences the themes of Last Words may be quite sad and depressing, but Nagisa's acceptance of her nearing death paints a very different picture.
If you want another character drama, M might prove to be a too big a challenge and there are plenty of other Hiroki films you could and should be watching instead.
I became transfixed by the soothing island atmosphere, the laid-back pacing and the nice surroundings.
Girlfriend: Someone Please Stop The World is a solid, smart drama that serves as a good entry point to his oeuvre. The film showcases his talent and houses many of his trademark elements.
Solid drama from Ryuichi Hiroki, where he returns to the Fukushima disaster area to see how many people are still struggling with the aftermath. It's a little too disjoined for its own good, but there some poignants moments and surprising insights that make this worth the while.
Sweet and endearing drama with a slightly fantastical touch. The film is beautifully shot and feels like a warm blanket, an ideal watch for a warm and summery day. It gets a little too dramatic at times and personally I prefer Hiroki's more serious work, but this is two hours well spent.
Not of one Hiroki's best. There are moments where his talent shines through, but the story is a bit too convoluted and the theme is handled in a way that seems to reference the manga a bit too literally. Overall it's not a bad film with a couple of worthwhile scenes, but Hiroki has shown he can do better.
Worthy but flawed
A rather poor Ryuichi Hiroki film. It lacks his knack for properly fleshing out characters and it looks a little too slick. Not too surprising since this is the film-sequel of a popular J-Drama, but still I expected more from him. It's not a terrible film, just that Hiroki could've done a lot better with this material.