Koi ni itaru yamai

The End of Puberty
Schoolgirl Tsubara is oddly obsessed with her awkward biology teacher Madoka. While the rest of the class responds to their instructor’s lack of authority with clamour and inattention, she hangs on his every word, filling her notebook with sketches and observations to record his quirks and peculiarities. One day, she finally takes the plunge and pounces on Madoka in his office, which results in the two of them inexplicably exchanging their sexual organs. They head to the country to hide, but are soon discovered by two of Tsubara’s schoolmates: En, who is secretly in love with her, followed by En’s own persistent admirer Maru.
KOI NI ITARU YAMAI employs cheeky wit and a great deal of originality to upend the clichés of the Japanese schoolgirl genre, finally allowing its four protagonists to cavort together in a quirky choreography. The central characters’ names represent different readings of the Japanese character for “circle”. Young director Kimura Shoko’s directorial debut is without question a lovers’ circle of a truly curious nature: queer, jarring and surprisingly serious at the same time.

by Kimura Shoko
with Wagatsuma Miwako, Saito Yoichiro, Satsukawa Aimi, Sometani Shota
Japan 2011 116’

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