Year: 2002
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Yosuke Kubozuka, Arata, Sam Lee, Shido Nakamura, Koji Ookura
Director: Fumihiko Sori
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
UK: 114 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains moderate violence, suicide scene and sex references
UK Release Date: 30 July 2004 (Limited Release - London)
(in Japanese)


A huge hit in Japan, this exhilarating and endearing tale of childhood friends set against a sporting backdrop is full of style and energy. Despite fundamental differences in temperament, the cocky, outgoing Peco (popular star Yosuke Kubozuka) and the reserved, ironically named Smile (Arata) remain friends into their teenage years. Star ping-pong players for their school, the pair hit personal crises that affect both their lives and their game. Based on the five-volume manga by Taiyo Matsumoto, this debut film from Fumihiko Sori is marked by unpredictable plot and character developments, an appealing lack of cynicism and some of the most exciting, imaginative sporting sequences ever committed to film.