Tamako (Atsuko Maeda) is your typical 23-year-old. She has just finished university and has moved back in with her father. Much to his dismay, she shows a complete lack of motivation to use her skills to find a job, and seems content to sit around the house eating, reading magna, watching TV and playing Playstation. But her world of comfort is disrupted when her father starts dating again.
This quirky comedy perfectly captures the gravity of life around the period of leaving clear institutionalised education. Tamako wants more than just her working life and battles agains herself, her inaction and her traditions to gain a better sense of herself. Deftly acted by Maeda, sometimes with dialogue reduced to grunting, she carries the comedy on her very capable shoulders. It must also be said that her father, as played by Shôko Fujimura, is a sweet tender man who only wants the best for his child and is frustrated by her complacency. It’s a typical parent/child dynamic, and it is fantastic and hilarious to watch.
The only trouble with the film is its pacing and length, but perhaps this is a technique used to illicit the feeling of Tamako’s year of idleness. The hangover the film presents, it seems, is from the pressure and expectation of youth and Tamako's fantastic reaction to it.