How has Yoshihiro Nakamura remained an international secret?
If there was an American equivalent to "A Boy And His Samurai," it would be the sort of film that would end up earning $100 million from family audiences. It is a sincere, high-concept movie that absolutely plays to formula, but does it with a zeal that is enormously endearing. It is interesting that I'll be publishing my review of the movie "Real Steel" today as well, because these films both fall into some of the same broad genre definitions.
In both films, there is a boy who needs a father figure, and an unlikely figure, associated primarily with violence, has to learn how to also display a tender and protective side to bond with the boy. In this movie, Hiroko (Rie Tomosaka) is struggling to raise her young son Tomoya (Fuku Suzuki), who is almost kindergarten age. He's at that point where kids accept whatever reality works best for them, where the whole world is made of possibilities and they're really starting to come into focus as people. Hiroko left her husband because he expected her to play some sort of conventional domestic role, and she needs to work. She needs to have a place in things and be good at something. And so she's raising Tomoya alone, and one afternoon, the two of them meet Yasube (Ryo Nishikikido), who appears to be a genuine samurai from the Edo period, somehow transported to modern Tokyo. So of course, Tomoya takes him home.