Also known as
Nakimushi Shottan no Kiseki
Japan [2018] - 127m
Directed by
Toshiaki Toyoda
More info on
The Miracle of Crybaby Shottan poster


August 18, 2021


The irony of biopics is that they're usually about people who achieved something unique, stood out from the crowd, challenged reigning ideas, while the genre itself is one of the most rigid and cliché-ridden there is. Don't expect Toyoda to fight those clichés, Crybaby Shottan is a film that colors safely inside the lines.

The film documents the life of Shottan, a shogi player who failed to qualify as a pro before the age of 26 (which is the latest one is allowed to turn pro). He was urged by friends and relatives to challenge this tradition, as he regularly played and beat pro players as an amateur. Guess how that story ends.

Apart from the soundtrack, Toyoda's signature is completely absent, to the point where I wonder if he made this film just to be able to finance more personal projects. The cast is impressive though and the base quality is there. This is not a terrible drama, but it's predictable and doesn't even attempt to stand out. One of shogi fans and/or Toyoda completists.