Seven Days War
High school student Mamoru Suzuhara is a world history buff but painfully shy. When the girl he's secretly had a crush on, Aya Chiyono, announces that her politician father plans to uproot her and drag her to Tokyo, Mamoru intends to offer to elope with her, but she misinterprets his words to mean that he wants to invite her to defy her father by going away for a while, and she makes a party of it by inviting her friends to go as well. They hide out in a long-abandoned coal mining operation, but discover a Thai kid named Marret who the immigration authorities want to capture. They resolve to protect the kid from being taken away, resulting in their "hideout" being laid siege to by both the immigration authorities, and Aya's powerful father.
Another mixed bag here. Let's start with the bad (or at least unbelievable):
-We're told that the coal factory (the structure above the mine) had not been used in years. Yet the generators to run the place still had fuel, and that fuel had not decomposed.
-Methane is spontaneously released by coal, and like any gas can displace oxygen, and is flammable to boot. I hope that Marret- who arrived there first- aired the place out well before camping out in the building.
-There's quite a bit of silly "caper" here- the kids are easily able to defeat their adult enemies, dumping them into railcars, pushing their scaling ladders away, and so on. I don't know about Japan, but I'm sure that such resistance to authorities- particularly immigration authorities- would have led to dead, or at least seriously injured, kids in the US. I don't think it would have gone the kids' way for so long even in Japan. This was NOT realistic.
-I didn't think the kids' manner of escape from the siege was very realistic either. I didn't see how they could manage it with the materials on hand.
-The show's character art is merely OK, which is a problem for a film (as opposed to a series.) I didn't feel we got to know some of the characters as well as we should have.
And now, the better (or at least the more interesting):
-Mamoru is our central character, yet he has to go through quite a bit of grief to get treated with any respect at all. (At first, one of the other kids, Soma Ogata, treats him like a servant.) Much of the film is centered on his becoming a leader, of sorts- using his historical knowledge, of course.
-There's some great discussion about the lack of jobs, apparently as much an issue in Japan as an American one. Marret is in Japan because of a promise of jobs that was not kept; but one of the kids used to live in this coal-mining community- her father worked in the mine- and she and her family also ended up as displaced persons, because their boom town went bust.
-The kids try to use social media as a weapon against the authorities (or at least to buy time), but the authorities turn that around and use the kids' own social media accounts as a way to destroy THEIR morale. It's not exactly nice, but it's a believable move by the kids' opponents. (Most of the characters' backstories, to the extent they're told at all, emerge during this effort by the adults to sow distrust between the kids.)
-When we get the inevitable final sorting out of relationships (who's gonna end up with whom), it doesn't exactly go the way you'd think. In fact, my favorite character may have to wait years for their most likely romantic prospect to be available.
A lightweight little film overall, and, frankly, I wanted one character to get a much better outcome than they actually got. Still, the kids are SORTA alright. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Crunchy says TV-14. Mild violence, some psychological trauma.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 Blu-Ray
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Seven Days War © 2019 Osamu Souda, Kadokawa/Seven Days War Partners
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