I'm Really Good

Soap2dayJune 3, 2021
Content / criticism

I'm Really Good Watashi wa genki

“I'm Really Good”
Germany start: not announced

The life of little Riko ( Riko Hisatsugu ) is like one of many children who go to school in Japan. While her parents go about their jobs during the day, she and her brother Keita ( Keita Hisatsugu ) take care of the household and do their schoolwork, unless Riko meets her best friend Nanaka ( Nanaka Sudo ), who is not far from her parents' house lives away. When she and her brother come home one day, however, two strange events occur: On the one hand, Riko accidentally pocketed her best friend's homework book and, on the other hand, a textbook salesman appears at the door, who first Riko and later Nanaka sell some of his goods want.

Otherwise, not much happens on this day, although outside of the world Riko, especially in the field of politics, a heated debate is going on about the pensions and the pension system in Japan. On the radio, Riko and her friends overhear something of these discussions, but without paying much attention to the news.

Excerpts from a child's life

Not much happens in the films of the Japanese director Hirobumi Watanabe , who can be seen as a seedy salesman in his new work I'm Really Good. In addition to a rather laconic sense of humor, there are long shots, mostly filled with monologues of the characters, which make up the aesthetics as well as the story. But as in Poolsideman , the really important events take place in the background and cast a dark light on the lives of the protagonists, so I'm Really Good , who is represented in this year's Nippon Connection program, on one side is an excerpt from the Shows a child's life, but glimpses their future with a thoughtful tone.

“I'm really good” are also the first words of Riko, the lively protagonist who never fell on the mouth and we as viewers are allowed to accompany for a day. Her everyday life, her duties and interactions are appropriate to her age: She talks about the food in the school cafeteria with as much interest as she does about the math problems she is about to fail. The rural idyll around her and the loving home in which she grows up emphasize the light-heartedness of this child's life, which seems to be a little tarnished solely by the long working hours of her parents.

The future in the background

However, it is worth taking a look behind this idyll, which will not remind the viewer of pictures from childhood for nothing, but also of the transience of this moment. Watanabe, who is also responsible for the camerawork, shows his story in monochrome black and white, which brings back memories of old photographs and gives you the feeling that you are looking at someone's past. Then there is the radio news, which Riko and her friends do not care much about, but the consequences of which they will meet in adulthood at the latest.

A wistful mood mixes in I'm Really Good , whose outlook on the dangers of this world and the scope of political decisions remains subtle, but is there and makes us wonder whether this light-heartedness will continue for a long time.


OT: "Watashi wa genki"
Country: Japan
Year: 2020
Director: Hirobumi Watanabe
Screenplay: Hirobumi Watanabe
Music: Yuji Watanabe
Camera: Hirobumi Watanabe
Cast: Riko Hisatsugu, Nanaka Sudo, Keita Histasugu, Mei Mukiyama, Hirobumi Watanabe


Film festivals

Nippon Connection 2021

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I'm Really Good
"I'm Really Good" is a mixture of comedy and coming-of-age film about the lightheartedness of childhood. Hirobumi Watanabe casts a cheerful but also wistful look at childhood, its transience and its value for people.

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