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BRIGHT FUTURE aka AKARUI MIRAI
USA: Palm Pictures
Cast: JO Odagiri, Tadanobu Asano, Tatsuya Fuji, Takashi Sasano, Marumi Shiraishi, Hanawa, Hideyuki Kasahara, Ryo Kase, Miyako Kawahara, Chiaki Kominami, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Sayuri Oyamada, Nimura Ryo, Sakichi SatO, Tetsu Sawaki
Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
USA: 92 mins
USA Release Date: 12 November 2004 (Limited Release - New York)
Nimura Yuji and Arita Mamoru are co-workers at a hand towel factory. Mamoru is always concerned about Yuji who cannot relate with others well and Mamoru suggests Yuji to have secret hand signals between them. In his apartment, Mamoru takes good care of deadly poisonous jellyfish which can kill humans. One day, while Yuji is visiting him, the head of the factory, Fujiwara, suddenly comes in. While Mamoru keeps listening to Fujiwara's usual boring stories even with smile on his face, Yuji cannot hide his irritation toward Fujiwara. However, when Fujiwara finds the jellyfish in a water tank and puts his hand inside, Mamoru holds Yuji from warning him and just stares at Fujiwara silently. Fujiwara pulls his hand out of the water tank by sensing danger by instinct.
The next day, Fujiwara fires Mamoru for not warning him. Mamoru leaves the factory. That night, Yuji gets frustrated and a sudden violent impulse drives him to rush to Fujiwara's house with an iron pipe in his hand. When he arrives at the house, he finds the couple's bloody dead bodies. Going back home without knowing what happened, Yuji frantically tries to call Mamoru in the darkness, but there is no answer.
In the meeting room in prison, Yuji blurts out, "I should've killed them first", but Mamoru is concerned more about his jellyfish which he gave to Yuji, than his own situation. Arita Shin-ichiro, Mamoru's father, visits his son after the long estrangement resulted by his divorce from his wife. Shin-ichiro awkwardly tries to talk with his son and Mamoru thanks him for his visit. This is the reunion of the father and son after five-year separation.
In the meeting room, Mamoru seriously begs Yuji to acclimate his jellyfish to fresh water, so it could survive in Tokyo. Yuji desperately confesses that he will wait for Mamoru forever until he will be released from prison. However, in reply, Mamoru yells at Yuji, "Then, it's all over. Don't come here anymore." Feeling helpless, Yuji violently crushes the water tank and the jellyfish slips down from a hole on the floor.
When Mamoru kills himself in his cell around the same period of time, Yuji wakes up in his apartment and tears up floorboards as if he is tempted by something. He finds a luminous jellyfish swimming in darkness. Yuji is excited and the next day, he rushes to the prison to report this to Mamoru but finds Shin-ichiro leaving the cemetery with the ashes of Mamoru and follows the old man to help his recycling factory.
Yuji is devoted to taking care of his jellyfish and, befriending Mamora's father, he begins to open his eyes to reality.