Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 8
A samurai from the Edo time period of Japan time travels to modern day Tokyo and affects the lives of a single mother and her son!
It’s an adorable, funny, and wonderfully poignant film. Taking a Samurai and tossing him into modern day isn’t a new thing if you watch Anime, but to do so in a live-action movie? One never knows how well or badly the interactions will work out. In this case, beautifully.
Hiroko (Rie Tomosaka) and her son Tomoya (Fuku Suzuki) have to be some of the nicest Japanese folk I’ve ever seen. Here’s this apparently crazy cosplayer Samurai type who bows, and speaks honorific language and carries swords openly, all confused and lost. Hiroko takes him in, to her own home, and of course Tomoya instantly bonds with the man and adores him. Samurai Yasube (Ryo Nishikido), wanting to help out in the home and not comprehending that Hiroko goes out to work and makes the money, starts doing domestic chores in an almost complete role reversal. Yasube’s ability to adapt in this admittedly freaky situation is wonderful to watch. After being introduced to the heavenly delights of custard by Tomoya, Yasube discovers his talents with sharp objects lie in cooking and not the dicing of enemies. He goes on to become a famous patissier, sought after for jobs by many, admired by most and envied almost dangerously by a few. Tomoya and Hiroko convince Yasube to enter a cake making contest, where sadly for little wanting-to-help Tomoya, he almost ruins the cake. The amazing entry Yasube made for the contest, an ancient Shogunate palace complete with tiny edible figurines of Yasube and Tomoya himself, is saved by Yasube’s amazing talent, as he makes it snow! Far too soon after that for my taste, comes the time when Yasube has to say goodbye to his newfound family and go back to his proper time. All is not lost or forgotten though, for a bit later Hiroko discovers a pastry shop on her way home that sells specialty custard made the same way for over a hundred years, a family secret passed down from an ancestor who loved nothing more than properly made, heavenly custard.
Given a relatively minor billing in the hustle and bustle of fest-going, A Boy and His Samurai was actually one of my personal favorites for this years SDAFF. A fun, loving and delicious way to say, do what you love, not what people tell you to do!