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Swing Girls is a comedy film co-written and directed by the Japanese filmmaker Shinobu Yaguchi about the efforts of a group of high school girls to form a jazz band.
Swing Girls is set in rural Yamagata prefecture, in northern Japan and the characters often use the local Yamagata-ben dialect for comic effect.
The film ranked 8th at the Japanese box office in 2004, and won seven prizes at the 2005 Japanese Academy Awards, including 'Most Popular Film' and 'Newcomer of the Year' awards for Yuta Hiraoka and Juri Ueno.
The cast includes Yuta Hiraoka (Takuo, the leader of the band), Juri Ueno (Tomoko), Shihori Kanjiya (Yoshie), Yuika Motokariya (Sekiguchi) and Yukari Toyashima (Naomi). The actors performed their own music for the film.
The movie begins at a school in Japan. It is extremely hot outside, and summer classes are being held. One class is where our story begins. It is the remedial math class, containing thirteen girls and a nervous, unsocial teacher named Ozawa. While rambling on, one of the girls, Tomoko, looks outside the window to see the school's brass band, featuring one depressed Nakamura, planning on giving the teacher a "quitting the band" slip, but unable to follow through. The brass band leaves for a baseball game, and moments later, a lunch truck arrives. The driver notices he is late and is also late for a catering. Tomoko, wanting to get the heck out of math class, decides to deliver the lunches with the others for him.
On the train ride over, Tomoko pops a lunch open and the girls eat it. They also fall asleep and miss their stop. They decide to walk, losing some of the lunches in the fields when dodging a train and from procrastinating at a nearby stream. They meet Nakamura at the stadium and pass out the lunches. When they finish, Nakamura demands to know where his lunch was, and Tomoko says she doesn't know. Nakamura then discovers a speck of rice on Tomoko's chin. He says nothing, and buys his own lunch as the girls leave. As he eats, he notices that his fellow band members are sick since the lunches spoiled in the summer heat. All 42 of them along with their teacher go to the hospital. That night, Tomoko watches it all on the news and is petrified.....
Juri Ueno ... Tomoko Suzuki
Y?ta Hiraoka ... Takuo Nakamura
Shihori Kanjiya ... Yoshie Saito
Yuika Motokariya ... Kaori Sekiguchi
Yukari Toyoshima ... Naomi Tanaka
Nagisa Abe ... Reiko Shimoda
Noriko Eguchi ... Shop Assistant at Muscial Instruments Shop
Hana Kino ... Manager at supermarket
Fumiyo Kohinata ... Yasumi Suzuki
Fumiko Mizuta ... Yuka Yamamoto
Naomi Nishida ... Masumi - student at music school
Mutsuko Sakura ... Suzuki Mie (Tomoko's Grandmother)
Miho Shiraishi ... Yayoi Itami
Issei Takahashi ... Band Leader
Masaaki Takarai ... Kubota-sensei
Naoto Takenaka ... Tadahiko Ozawa (math teacher)
Y?ji Tanaka ... Manager of Pinball Parlour
Kei Tani ... Morishita
Eri Watanabe ... Sanae Suzuki (as Eriko Watanabe)
Asuka Yamaguchi ... Chika Kubo
Directed by Shinobu Yaguchi
Produced by Shintaro Horikawa,
Written by Junko Yaguchi,
Starring Juri Ueno,
Running time 105 min