Bankûbâ no Asahi
2014 / 132m -
Sport, Drama
The Vancouver Asahi poster


May 22, 2022


A tiny slice of little-known Canadian-Japanese (baseball) history. Yuya Ishii is a very capable director, but here he takes things just a little too easy. The result is a decent but unadventurous sports drama that is very predictable and doesn't really warrant it's 2+ hours running time.

A small community of Japanese people living in Canada struggles to integrate. The looming war and their poor relations with the Canadians makes their lives quite tough. The only hope they have is their local baseball team, but they can't win a single match. Until Reggie takes over the team and dreams up a new strategy.

The focus on the narrative is heavy, and the production design is pretty slick, so this should appeal to a rather broad group of people. The cast/performances are pretty great too, but for me, it was all a bit too classical and predictable. It's not a bad film, and it shows an interesting bit of history, but it's Ishii's worst so far.