“Eternal First Love” is Japanese romance film from 2010 starring Saki Aibu and Takashi Tsukamoto. We originally decided to try watching it since it was free on Amazon prime. Interestingly, the original title is “恋するナポリタン 世界で一番おいしい愛され方” which is a pretty long, awkward title, and I actually like the English title much better, which is very rare.
This movie is a mix of several pretty generic elements found in several other Japanese movies and dramas, including memory loss, coincidental accidents, mysterious soul-stuff, unnecessary shots of Tokyo Tower, cooking, Italy, and of course love. To make matters worse, both the cinematography and music (except for one song) is pretty mediocre, and even the acting is weak in parts. So let’s just call this a B-movie and get to the more positive part of the review. (Keep in mind this is from a person that has seen hundreds of Japanese dramas and movies, so if you haven’t then your milage may differ)
However, given all of the cheesy elements, I think the story as a whole is still entertaining to watch, and there is even a good twist of two. If you are a fan Saki Aibu then this movie is even more bearable.
One good thing about this movie is much of the Japanese is pretty straightforward and often spoken at relatively slow speeds (compared to real everyday conversations), so if you have a year or two of serious Japanese study you might catch a good amount of phrases, especially simple ones like “僕は君が好き” which appears at least once in the movie. I picked up the word 達観 (takkan) in this movie, which is used in the phrase “達観してるなぁ” and means something like “That’s pretty philosophical”
Although I wasn’t focusing on them the entire time, from what I saw the English subtitles were pretty well done, with one exception: there was a few phrases a character says in Italian (like “Bueno”) which are translated into English without explaining that the person is speaking in Italian. Personally I think the should have just been subtitled as-is without changing them into Italian, although some people might pick that up from listening. Note that I am not talking about the one conversation in this movie that is all in Italian.
In summary, if you are looking for a cheesy second-rate romance that has some good redeeming parts to it, or just want to practice listening to Japanese, this may be a good movie for you to try out. Especially if you have amazon prime (: