?? Amateur photographer Makoto (Tamaki Hiroshi) and the homely but ??
?? endearing Shizuru (Miyazaki Aoi) meet during university ??
?? orientation and become instant friends. Shy by nature, Makoto ??
?? finds himself opening up around Shizuru, and the two often go to a ??
?? forest together to take photographs. Shizuru secretly likes ??
?? Makoto, but he only has eyes for classmate Miyuki (Kuroki Meisa). ??
?? When Shizuru decides to enter a photography contest, she asks ??
?? Makoto to kiss her in the forest to create the perfect picture. ??
?? But after that fateful day, Shizuru disappears. ??
Aoi Miyazaki and Hiroshi Tamaki in Heavenly Forest.
Japanese: Tada, kimi wo aishiteru
Director: Takehiko Shinjo
Cast: Aoi Miyazaki, Hiroshi Tamaki, Munetaka Aoki, Keisuke Koide, Meisa Kuroki, Asae Oonishi, Misa Uehara
The Skinny: Romance blooms between two awkward college freshmen in this surprisingly engaging entry into the otherwise increasingly formulaic "Pure Love" subgenre of romantic films. Heavenly Forest exceeds expectations in no small part due to the genuine chemistry between its two leads, both of whom deliver fine performances in their own right. Aoi Miyazaki fans will not be disappointed.
by Sanjuro: At a glance, Heavenly Forest falls into the tradition of the exceedingly formulaic "Pure Love" subgenre that has become increasingly popular in both Japan and South Korea in recent years. A select few of these films have been both brilliant and deeply moving, while the rest are more often than not rote, unaffecting exercises in commercial filmmaking. What is perhaps most remarkable about Heavenly Forest, then, is that despite whatever clichés it may contain (and it contains many), the film's central romance never feels contrived or overly-manipulative. In fact, as audience members, we don't realize just how invested we are in that relationship until the delivery of an abrupt wake-up call that most viewers may not fully anticipate.