Watashi wa Hikari wo Niggite Iru
2019 / 96m - Japan
Mio on the Shore poster


February 10, 2021


A gentle coming of age drama that alternates between stylized and more naturalistic scenes. It's an accomplished film by a director who knows what he's doing, at the same time the film struggles to set itself apart from so many other Japanese dramas. Very solid filler in other words.

Mio is a young girl who grew up in the countryside, working in a local inn. When the inn closes down she is sent to a friend of the family who lives in Tokyo. It's time for Mio to see more of the world, but Tokyo isn't anything like home and she needs time to adapt to her new environment.

Performances are strong, the cinematography looks very polished, characters are intriguing and the drama is touching. Seeing the coming of age elements mixed with the redevelopment drama is a bit odd, but it gives the film some extra character it lacks elsewhere. Definitely not a bad film, just a little too expected for a true masterpiece.