A story about the disappearance of Kirishima, a star athlete of the volleyball club, and how this affects every person in his school.
User Reviews: "The Kirishima Thing" comes well-recommended with its major 2013 Japan Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director among others. This the reason why I chose to watch it first among the festival entries.
Kirishima is the star volleyball player and most popular guy of a certain high school. One day he mysteriously just quit the team and disappeared. Understandably, his teammates in the volleyball team and his close friends Hiroki and girl friend Risa, are all greatly affected by his sudden absence. This film also follows all the other kids in school (such as the film nerd and the band saxophonist girl) and how Kirishima’s disappearance also affected them indirectly.
It was interesting to see the interactions of the attractive young actors like Ai Hashimoto, Mizuki Yamamoto, Suzuka Ohgo and Masahiro Higashide, who were all very natural in their acting. However, there is hardly a coherent story line that the film follows. We know one student had a crush on another one, and there was a lot of staring and longing that did not lead anywhere. I cannot see a definite point of the film as a whole. It felt like just going on and on without a clear message that it wanted to convey. Maybe there is no message nor story, just a documentation of what happened and nothing more.