Ijin-tachi to no Natsu
1988 / 108m - Japan
Drama, Fantasy
The Discarnates poster


February 15, 2022


Obayashi loves a good mix of drama and fantasy, a combination of genres he chased quite vigorously during the 80s. The biggest difference here is that the lead is a 40-year-old man, whereas Obayashi usually focuses on younger protagonists. It makes for a slightly different experience.

Harada is a writer for TV who sees his life fall to pieces after his divorce. When his best friend asks him if he can pursue his ex-wife, it leaves Harada in shock. He goes to a comedy show to clear his mind, where he bumps into his deceased father. Harada is so flustered that he follows his dad home, where he'll finally get a chance to get to know his parents.

The fantasy elements make the drama a bit more palatable, though the themes itself aren't too original. Performances and styling are solid, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Obayashi does crank the genre elements up a notch during a rather freaky finale, putting his signature on an otherwise fine but somewhat inconspicuous film.