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‘A Boy And His Samurai’ – Time Travel, Samurais, and Baking-Themed Reality TV

Director Yoshihiro Nakamura first caught my attention with his 2009 end-of-the-world punk rock film Fish Story. Not long after, he made the equally impressive conspiracy thriller, Golden Slumber and in 2010 he took a radical turn with the quiet, character-driven family film A Boy and His Samurai — a film about the interconnectedness of all aspects of our existence and finding splendor in the smallest but most rewarding tasks. Nakamura sees the connections that make this world so absurd and yet so beautiful and finds equally beautiful ways to dramatize those moments into something more meaningful, in its juxtaposition of the fantastic and the everyday.

Based on a popular manga by Gen Araki and scripted by Nakamura, A Boy And His Samurai is a fish out of water story, about a samurai (Shiori Kutsuna) who unwillingly travels to present day Japan, befriends a boy and his mother, takes on the role of their babysitter, cook, and housekeeper, and eventually enters a father-son cake-making contest which leads him to become the hottest new pastry chef in town.

This remarkably low-key, small-scale film is a single mom’s fantasy about finding the perfect man, and a little boy’s longing for a father figure in his life. Credit to Nakamura, who doesn’t degrade Rie Tomosaka’s character to be defined by her lack of a man. Here, she plays a strong working single mother who takes pride in her achievements and ably balances her work and home life. While Kutsuna and Tomosaka share great chemistry, it’s the father-son, samurai-schoolboy bonding that carries a good chunk of the pic’s charm. Fuku Suzuki is almost too young to be called an actor, but he’s absolutely adorable here, continuously pulling a laugh from where you least expect it.

A Boy And His Samurai combines three things I love watching onscreen: time travel, samurais, and baking-themed reality TV. I dare you not to fall in love with this sweet, whimsical, funny, poignant, family fantasy. A Boy And His Samurai may just be one of the best family films I’ve seen in years.

Ricky D

Written By

Some people take my heart, others take my shoes, and some take me home. I write, I blog, I podcast, I edit, and I design websites. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Goomba Stomp and Tilt Magazine. Host of the Sordid Cinema Podcast and NXpress Nintendo Podcast. Former Editor-In-Chief of Sound On Sight, and host of several podcasts including the Game of Thrones and Walking Dead podcasts, as well as Sound On Sight. There is nothing I like more than basketball, travelling, and animals. You can find me online writing about anime, TV, movies, games and so much more.

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