"Tokyo Friends: The Movie" is the theatrically released film followup to the popular 2005 Fuji TV "J-Dorama" (Japanese TV Drama) "Tokyo Friends". The original five-episode drama series was your standard melodrama/romance comedy which focused on the bohemian lifestyles of four young girls who come to Tokyo seeking out their artistic and creative dreams, ambitions and passions. The drama starred petite J-pop idol Otsuka Ai who portrayed lead character Iwatsuki Rei, who rather conveniently, was an aspiring rock musician and singer.
The movie picks up right after the point of where the TV series left off, with all the girls at various stages of their professional/personal lives: Rei is still struggling to find fame along with her rock band "Survival Company"; Working girl, Fujiki Ryoko (Maki Yoko) has finally found her "Mr. Right" and is busily preparing for her impending wedding; Aspiring actress Hayama Hirono (Matsumoto Rio) has written a comical adaptation of Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" and is frantically trying to prepare for its theater debut; Art Major Abiko Mari (Kobayashi Mao) has since moved to America and is assisting a gallery owner in New York. Rei's mentor and lover Shintani Ryuuji has also moved on as well, following his dream of becoming a rock musician by going to New York and leaving things unsettled with Rei.
The bulk of the movie follows Rei as she heads to New York to find Ryuuji and hopefully reconcile with him.
Kozo Nagayama, whose movie "The Backdancers!" also delved with similar female bonding friendships and chasing fame, here seems to offer more of the same melodramatic storytelling that made his TV dramas ("Tokyo Love Story", "Itotsu Yane No Shita", "Long Vacation", "Lipstick") such popular hits.
* Ai Otsuka as Rei
* Mao Kobayashi as Maki
* Eita as Ryuji
* Kuranosuke Sasaki as Kohashi
* Yusuke as Kobashi