Sawajiri Erika and Yagira Yuya represent the future of Japanese cinema. Since winning the Japan Academy Award's Best New Actor award for her role in Pacchigi!, Sawajiri has starred in a number of films, and emerged as one of the most popular young actresses in Japan. As for Yagira Yuya, though only 16 years old, he has already received world cinema's greatest accolade, becoming the Cannes Film Festival's youngest ever Best Actor winner in 2004 for his quietly arresting performance in Kore-eda Hirokazu's Nobody Knows. Lauded as his first go at an adult role, Sugar & Spice Fumi Zekka is both a coming-of-age film and a testament of Yagira's own coming of age as an actor.
Recently graduated from high school, 17-year-old Shiro (Yagira Yuya) decides to put off college and work at a gas station instead. Shy and introspective, Shiro understands he is at a turning point in his life, but is unsure of what lies ahead. Though his parents disapprove of his decision, he has the support of his flower-child grandmother (Natsuki Mari) who declares that a gas station is a romantic place for life's drifters. Surely enough, soon a new co-worker, college student Noriko (Sawajiri Erika), drifts into Shiro's life. He falls headfirst into a bittersweet first love that ushers him into the world of adulthood.
Based on a popular Amy Yamada novel, Sugar & Spice is director Nakae Isamu's sophomore feature. It has been five years since his last film, the beautifully shot Calmi Cuori Appassionati starring Kelly Chen and Takenouchi Yutaka. While Calmi Cuori Appassionati was set in Florence, Sugar & Spice takes the same lingering sentiments to simpler times and places. Set in a military base town on the outskirts of Tokyo, the film moves at an earnest, unhurried pace, capturing both the sugar and spice of first love and fleeting youth.
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