I never knew that the most basic emotions can be portrayed in sentimental ways, until I watched “Restart After Come Back Home”. Adapted from the manga “Restart wa Tadaima no Atode” by Cocomi and directed by Ryuta Inoue, this film is painstakingly faithful to the original content.
It depicts the conflicting emotions faced by the younger generations while dealing with societal discord as well as personal entanglements. I’m not a huge fan of Japanese BL per se and yet this film managed to deliver a scrumptious meal that is equal parts delightful as well as thought-provoking!The movie follows our main lead Mitsuomi’s journey as he comes to terms with his evolving sexuality, tries to mend his familial relationships, while falling in love with the adorable Yamoto.
The major highlight of this film should be the Boy’s Love quotient and yet the movie manages to touch on the basic human emotions in an entirely convincing yet heartwarming manner. You slowly fall in love with the main characters and become a part of their life as they encounter various trials and tribulations on their way to “Happily Ever After”. It isn’t an easy journey because Mitsuomi isn’t an easy guy nor are his stipulations. Restart After Come Back Home manages to grab your attention right off the bat, because of the slow burn chemistry between our main leads. Mitsuomi and Yamoto are strangers who grow closer emotionally and invariably get entangled into each other’s lives. A beautifully scripted melodrama with sweet moments sprinkled on the surface, this movie reminds me of a cupcake!
Furukawa Yuuki portrays the main lead Kozuka Mitsuomi. Mitsuomi returns to his hometown, after being fired from his job. He is an introvert, soft spoken and has major prejudices against the country lifestyle.
Ryusei Ryo portrays Kumai Yamato, Mitsuomi’s love interest. Yamoto is an eternal optimist and and is an eccentric character. He was adopted by old man Kumai and helps his grandfather with their farm work.
Mitsuomi Kozuka gets fired from his job in Tokyo and haplessly decides to return to his hometown for the first time in 10 years. His relationship with his Father is quite strained, as Mitsuomi refused to take over the family business and moved to Tokyo instead. In his hometown, Mitsuomi Kozuka gets acquainted with Yamato Kumai. Yamato is the adopted son of old man Kumai, who took him in after his parents abandoned him in a park when he was a baby. The old man runs a farm near the home of Mitsuomi’s parents. Yamato and Kumai convince a jobless Mitsuomi into helping them out on the farm. Mitsuomi slowly grows closer to Yamato and one night unexpectedly kisses him while Yamato is asleep. The film thus follows on their journey as their relationship undergoes major changes and they both begin to change each other in better ways!
The Contrast Between the Main Leads
Restart After Come Back Home drives home the fact that indeed “Opposites Attract Each Other“. Mitsuomi and Yamoto have nothing in common and they are polar opposites. Mitsuomi is an introvert while Yamato is an over excited puppy, the ones you want to take home and wrap in a warm blanket! Mitsuomi’s city bred lifestyle is a stark contrast to Yamoto’s countryside habits. As such, Yamoto’s happy demeanor annoys the hell out of Mitsuomi, who is forever set in his own pessimistic ways. It is difficult for him to accept Yamoto’s easy smiles or overflowing affections. These conflicting emotions however draw him closer to Yamoto. He fails to understand how any human being can be so optimistic or cheerful? While Yamoto’s mystique lies in the carefully crafted mask he wears, Mitsuomi wants to dive into the ocean and dig deeper into Yamoto’s secrets. They make a formidable pair because both of them have flaws and yet they bring out each other’s best attributes. Certainly “A Match Made In Heaven“!
Familial Friction and Disagreements
The focal point of this film is Mitsuomi’s character development. His strained relationship with his Father stems from his major prejudices related to the countryside. Mitsuomi doesn’t want to spend his life being a country pumpkin and yearns to be a part of the city workforce. He is left with no other option but to tug his tail and return home after being surreptitiously fired from his workspace. The fact that he doesn’t acknowledge his Father’s worries or help lessen his burden is a major detriment to their already troublesome relationship. Mitsuomi’s Mother is the one caught in the crossfire and I actually feel sorry for the poor lady because she can’t convince her son about her husband’s predicaments. This is a major issue in most households and this film focuses on the delicate balance that can “Make or Break Close Family Bonds“.
Since Restart After Come Back Home deigns on LGBTQ relationships, it is only right that Yamato helps him bridge the distance between indecisiveness and familial acceptance. Although Mitsuomi learns to appreciate his Father’s business ethics and respect his convictions, he is unable to communicate the same. Yamato gives him the strength and helps Mitsuomi overcome his morbid insecurities and fears. Everyone deserves to have that one person in their life, who can give them the required reassurance! Yamato is THAT person for Mitsuomi.
“Your thoughts, you should tell him how you really feel”
Yamoto’s Inner Struggles
For most parts, Yamoto comes across as an easy-going and carefree person. The townspeople love him and appreciate his help. But the fact remains that he faces his inner demons all alone. His fears become more apparent, when his Grandfather falls sick and that causes a tactile shift in his relationship with Mitsuomi. Mitsuomi realizes that there is so much more to Yamoto than his cheerful attitude. Like most people, he is afraid of loneliness. Ryoko, his namesake sister is the only one who sees the pain hidden behind his bright smiles. Yamoto is good at schooling his expressions. There is alot of pain and even more remorse behind that facade.
“He puts on a happy face to create a barrier around him”
And despite all misgivings, Mitsuomi manages to break through this barrier! Both of our main leads share a healthy dose of respect and as such Mitsuomi won’t allow Yamoto to belittle his birth parent’s love for him. Although they abandoned Yamoto, they did care to name him. In their own selfish way, they were trying to give him a better chance at life. I absolutely loved watching their interactions because although Yamoto might act childish, deep down he yearns for real love and affection. Mitsuomi adores him and that’s exactly the kind of relationship that Yamato deserves!
The Underrated Romance
This romance begins in an unexpected way when Yamoto and his Grandfather Kumai gang up on Mitsuomi and he grudgingly agrees to help them on their farm. It’s easier said than done because Mitsuomi’s city bred attitude makes it difficult for him to adjust to the country lifestyle. He finds Yamato increasingly annoying but slowly grows to like his quirky attitude. The moment when he falls for Yamoto is when he hears the guy talk about his Grandfather. Kumai might be his adoptive relative and yet Yamoto endeavours to like his Grandfather. Yamoto’s obvious love for his Grandfather is a stark contrast to Mitsuomi’s relationship with his Father. The ensuing confusion leads to an unexpected kiss.
Although Mitsuomi isn’t clear about his affections, that doesn’t change the fact that he likes being around Yamoto. He even goes to war with the nosy townspeople for badmouthing Yamato, which is a far cry from his usual reserved character. Love makes the world go around indeed! Their love story is marked with various subtle countenances and beautifully built. There is never a dull moment with Mitsuomi and Yamoto around, because both Furukawa Yuuki and Ryusei Ryo embody their characters well. They are completely in sync with their roles and I was pleasantly surprised with the well written script. The supporting roles don’t act as hindrance and instead are tailored to add more subtle nuances and depth to this romance.
This movie should be on the top of your watch list, if you are looking for a light breezy romance. The picturesque locales, the gradual transition between warm and cold color tones that remind you of the old countryside mystique and a hometown steeped in stifling societal norms become the focal points of this sweet summer romance. Yuuki Furukawa and Ryo Ryusei’s honest depiction of their characters endear them to the audiences and you gradually fall in love with them. The “Feel Good” factor makes this film achingly familiar and it is enjoyable experience. Carefully crafted and brilliantly executed. Truly A Masterpiece!
Rating- 4.5 out of 5
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