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STAR WATCHING DOG

Original Title:
星守る犬
© 2011 TOHO / DENTSU / KDDI / Futabasha / Yahoo! JAPAN / SME / NIPPAN © 2011 TOHO / DENTSU / KDDI / Futabasha / Yahoo! JAPAN / SME / NIPPAN

Introduction

A dead man and a dog are found inside an abandoned car in the woods.
The man with no identification had died almost six months before the dog. Why didn’t the dog leave the man’s side?
The Story regresses a few years back to recount the short yet
perpetual journey of the man “Pops” and the dog “Happy”.

The original story is a hard cover comic book by Takashi Murakami. The bestseller with reviews like “most heartbreaking” and “a greatest hit” has swept the scene selling more than 300,000 copies. Surpassing 20 in number, competitors including major movie studios, television companies, and productions had vied for the adaptation rights to this much sought-after content. The protagonist “Pops” is played by Toshiyuki Nishida, a renowned veteran actor. The talented Tetsuji Tamayama is casted as Kyosuke, the pensive young man who traces the path of Pops and Happy’s journey. The screen-favorite Umika Kawashima joins the two as Yuki who travels with Kyosuke in his search for the truth. Further completing the cast is the ensemble of key thesps from the Japanese acting scene. Known for his keen depiction of man, Tomoyuki Takimoto of “The Investigation Game” and “IKIGAMI: The Ultimate Limited” directs.

Story

When an unidentified body is discovered, the city’s social welfare department is called to take the body in and hold a funeral. To Kyosuke (Tetsuji Tamayama), the case of the man in his fifties and the dog seemed like any other open and shut case, even with the time lapse between the estimated times of death. Dogs are loyal companions, so what of it. But upon finding several receipts with a Tokyo address, Kyosuke cannot fight the urge to pursue the leads to uncover the man’s identity. He jumps in his archaic car and from Hokkaido heads south. The address is quickly dismissed as being fake, but there he chances upon an unlikely assistant, a teen girl named Yuki (Umika Kawashima). From one clue to the next, the journey into the identity of the man everyone called “Pops” (Toshiyuki Nishida) brings Kyosuke closer to witness the bond the man had with his dog, “Happy”. As memories of the two are told by people who took part in their past, it becomes clear that the two had left distinct marks on those who came into contact. When Kyosuke relives the moments of Pops and Happy through their recollections, he realizes what “Star Watching Dog” truly meant and how the two spend their last days in Hokkaido.

Data

Director
Tomoyuki Takimoto
Screenplay
Hiroshi Hashimoto
Planning
Takashi Murakami
Producer
Yoshihiro Kubota
Cast
Toshiyuki Nishida
Tetsuji Tamayama
Umika Kawashima
Music
Hibiki Inamoto
Cinematography
Takeshi Hamada
Production Design
Takaichi Wakamatsu
Release Date in Japan
2011.6.11
Runtime
128min.
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