2002 / 119m - Japan
Drama, Comedy
Pika*nchi Life Is Hard Dakedo Happy poster


November 23, 2020


Early but very agreeable Tsutsumi. It's certainly not the first coming of age drama about a small group of friends, but Tsutsumi finds an interesting angle by focusing on a somewhat insular community within Tokyo: the residents of a small man-made island in Tokyo Bay, connected to the mainland with just three bridges.

The district is like a mini-community within the city. Five kids from different backgrounds hang out to kill time, their dream is to go to Harajuku, where all the cool kids gather. The first two trips they undertook failed horribly, so for their third trip they decided to prepare in advance.

Tsutsumi's style feels young, light and frivolous. The actors do a decent job, the balance between drama and comedy is on point and even though 2 hours is quite long it never really drags or becomes uninteresting. Like most of Tsutsumi's work, it isn't quite distinctive enough to be called a true masterpiece, but it sure is very solid and enjoyable filler.